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Handheld Heaven?

Posted: Mon Oct 27, 2008 8:28 am
by quantum
Hopefully there are some handheld experts that can help me with this one.

Basically I'm looking for a handheld console to play some amiga 500, snes, megadrive, pc engine retro games on. I'm happy to go with emulation or new releases and don't mind a bit of tinkering to config the machine.

So what are my options? DS, PSP or GP32?

:D

Posted: Mon Oct 27, 2008 8:43 am
by Antiriad2097
DS doesn't have the power to do a few of those justice.

PSP can do most, though SNES emulation is patchy and Amiga emulation is a non-starter (Atari ST emulation is great if you'll accept those ports instead).

GP32 won't do much, but the GP2X is on a par with PSP for most stuff.

Pandora has just come out, or for something a little larger you could look at eePC palmtops.

Posted: Mon Oct 27, 2008 8:55 am
by Lorfarius
EEEpc is def the best for Amiga stuff. You can pick them up for about £150 now for the basic level and if you bung XP on it then you are set to go.

Posted: Mon Oct 27, 2008 9:06 am
by woody.cool
Lorfarius wrote:EEEpc is def the best for Amiga stuff. You can pick them up for about £150 now for the basic level and if you bung XP on it then you are set to go.
Boyo's Eee PC is superb, WinUAE runs like a dream!

Posted: Mon Oct 27, 2008 9:26 am
by quantum
Antiriad2097 wrote:Pandora has just come out, or for something a little larger you could look at eePC palmtops.
The pandora looks interesting.

The eePC would be a handful with an external controller!

Posted: Mon Oct 27, 2008 9:26 am
by C=Style
PSP all the WAY!! It's the greatest hand held device I've ever owned (had a GP2X and it's a total joke compared to PSP, no offense) and it just incredible what this machine can do when it comes to emulation. OK you won't be getting Amiga emulation, but C64 is pretty much perfect (and I mean that when I say it). The Pandora is what you are looking for it you MUST have Amiga but also for the fact that PSP also is host to some really fine commerical games I would say get one.

It goes online, you can watch videos on it, online radio, messenger, store you MP3's and so much. Everything about the PSP is customisable and most importantly it feels great to play. The D-Pad is the best out there on any hand held at the minute, it will even do you for all your shmups and Streetfighter games. Long battery life too considering and the screen is really crisp and clear (huge too for a hand held).

To put things into perspective, I recently bought a Nintendo DS with CycloDS and a 8gb card and as much as I love it, it doesn't even get a bloody look in!

Posted: Mon Oct 27, 2008 9:32 am
by Katzkatz
Can the DS do MAME?

Posted: Mon Oct 27, 2008 11:11 am
by DPrinny
Not very well

Best to get a GP2X

Posted: Mon Oct 27, 2008 11:25 am
by DreamcastRIP
C=Style wrote:The D-Pad is the best out there on any hand held at the minute, it will even do you for all your shmups and Streetfighter games.
Er, isn't the PSP widely acknowledged to have a poor d-pad when it comes to fighting games? Iirc, the Japanese release of Streetfighter came accompanied with a d-pad attachment to help improve the controls and make it easier to execute certain special moves. I also seem to recall Retro Gamer commenting on how the game is adversely affected by the poor d-pad in the review several issues ago.

Posted: Mon Oct 27, 2008 11:27 am
by Matt_B
Katzkatz wrote:Can the DS do MAME?
No, but you can emulate some early 80s games with MarcaDS. Generally speaking, the DS lacks the CPU power to emulate anything beyond the 8-bit era.

Posted: Mon Oct 27, 2008 11:59 am
by C=Style
DreamcastRIP wrote:
C=Style wrote:The D-Pad is the best out there on any hand held at the minute, it will even do you for all your shmups and Streetfighter games.
Er, isn't the PSP widely acknowledged to have a poor d-pad when it comes to fighting games? Iirc, the Japanese release of Streetfighter came accompanied with a d-pad attachment to help improve the controls and make it easier to execute certain special moves. I also seem to recall Retro Gamer commenting on how the game is adversely affected by the poor d-pad in the review several issues ago.
Not in my opinion, certainly not on the PSP 2000 anyway. I really don't rate the D-pad on the Dual shock in any form but the PSP pad is a LOT looser and I find it really easy to hit diagonals. Believe me, I'm super fussy when it comes to controllers and the PSP 2000's D-pad does what you want it to do. The analogue nub on the other hand is God awful.

Posted: Mon Oct 27, 2008 11:59 am
by CraigGrannell
Matt_B wrote:No, but you can emulate some early 80s games with MarcaDS. Generally speaking, the DS lacks the CPU power to emulate anything beyond the 8-bit era.
It's more down to the emulation scene being small and with few programmers that don't have much time. Neo DS shows what the DS is capable of, playing most Neo-Geo games at 90–100% speed, nicely scaled, etc. The Genesis emulator's also pretty good. FWIW, FrodoDS appears to have come back from the dead, too—a couple of new devs are creating builds for it that include scaling options and other stuff.

Posted: Mon Oct 27, 2008 12:14 pm
by Matt_B
CraigGrannell wrote:
Matt_B wrote:No, but you can emulate some early 80s games with MarcaDS. Generally speaking, the DS lacks the CPU power to emulate anything beyond the 8-bit era.
It's more down to the emulation scene being small and with few programmers that don't have much time. Neo DS shows what the DS is capable of, playing most Neo-Geo games at 90–100% speed, nicely scaled, etc. The Genesis emulator's also pretty good. FWIW, FrodoDS appears to have come back from the dead, too—a couple of new devs are creating builds for it that include scaling options and other stuff.
Given that the PSP has around five times the CPU power (and the Pandora will have around ten times) I don't see how you can honestly say that the size of the homebrew scene the machine has is the main factor. Given that sort of disadvantage, it seems pretty obvious the DS is always going to be well towards the back of the pack when it comes to emulation.

Yes, people have got some decent 16-bit emulators up and running on it, but only by putting in a ton of optimization work that isn't necessary on machines that have much more grunt. By the same token, I'm sure that it would be possible to get decent Amiga emulation on the PSP - UAE runs on PalmOS and Windows Mobile devices that aren't much faster after all - but whether it's worth the effort of anyone doing so with much faster handhelds on the horizon is another matter.

Posted: Mon Oct 27, 2008 12:18 pm
by oli_lar
Its not been mentioned that there are several commercial 'Best of' PC Engine collections for the PSP by Hudson, and updates of PC Engine games (And also arcade ports of games that were on the PC Engine - Gradius, Parodius, Salamander etc)

http://www.play-asia.com/paOS-13-71-9f- ... -2uew.html

The 'soldier' collection for example is a good one, though its a pity star parodier is on there instead of Gunhed. Theres also a collection with the mythical Sapphire on it, IIRC the only other platform its had a commercial release on (Good seeing as the game goes for £300 on the PCE).

Posted: Mon Oct 27, 2008 12:31 pm
by psj3809
I really loved using my GP2X for many many months. There wasnt any decent Amiga emulation but i loved the Atari ST emulator. I had an Amiga back in the day but i'm quite happy playing ST on the GP2X.

For me the big winner on the GP2X is MAME. Runs superbly and a ton of games work superbly.

The PSP is very good but i just hate the way Sony try to stop everyone playing homebrew by constant updates to the firmware if you run certain games.

I prefer to support the GP2X which embraces homebrew emulators/games rather than the PSP which seems to try and stop it. Not normally into the whole 'david and goliath' type thing but i much prefer supporting the GP2X in this case.

The pandora could be superb but i would wait to hear reviews when people receive theirs and play emulators etc. On paper it looks the ideal gadget but we'll see.