Retro handheld consoles
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4 Reasons to Consider Retro Handheld Consoles

Last Updated on June 3, 2023

Have you ever wanted to play classic console or arcade games on the go?

A few years ago, the concept would be ridiculed; today, retro handheld consoles are practically everywhere.

There are many options to play retro games these days such as individual emulators, suites like RetroPie, etc., but the problem is that you cannot carry them around with you. Retro handheld consoles (also known as handheld console emulators) not only play classic handheld titles, but also arcade and home console games.

Here are five benefits of having a retro handheld console.

1. Portability

A console small enough to put in your pocket is ideal for gaming on the go. Unlike specific handheld console platforms, retro handheld console emulation can run multiple games from multiple platforms.

Think Game Boy, Genesis, SNES, arcades, Neo-Geo, etc. The games that you only got to play at home can now be played any time, any place. Take a classic game for a long journey, perhaps heading on holiday, or commuting on the train.

Just make sure you pack rechargeable batteries or a fully charged up powerbank.

2. A worthwhile investment

Do you remember the fiasco that Nintendo themselves created when they first brought Nintendo 64 games into the Switch? Lots of people at first complained about it. Poor frame rate, input lag and terrible graphic change are the few of the many negative things that the Switch customers encountered when the Nintendo 64 games first arrived on Switch.

But let me ask you this: if you are a retro gaming fan that only bought the Switch to play retro games, is it worth paying AU $29.95 a year to play the only NES and SNES games that are available on the Switch and AU $59.95 just to play the Switch’s Nintendo 64 and Sega Genesis games?

Unless you are also focusing on other Nintendo Switch games and actually enjoying it, there is little that the Switch can offer in terms of retro gaming (the rewind feature is pretty cool though). Heck even the original Evercade can be considered to be a better investment than a Nintendo Switch if you are looking to play retro games only.

Now consider ANBERNIC RG351P, one of the handheld console emulators that I own. A little pricey (it costs around AU $155) but once you pay for it, you will never have to pay again. You don’t need to pay any yearly subscription to access the games, and this device plays PS1 games, GBA games, Neo-Geo, MAME, and so much more.

While my retro handheld console shipped with some games in its library, some handheld emulation systems don’t have games pre-loaded. If you don’t know how to manage ROMs, it’s a big disadvantage.

3. Easily find help and knowledge

There are many retro handheld consoles on the market, varying in shape and size. Most importantly though, they can vary in hardware specs, with specific platforms playing with different levels of reliability on different handhelds.

From managing ROMs (game and BIOS) to configuring controllers, new owners can find it difficult to get started with a new retro handheld console.

Enter Retro Game Corps. This YouTube channel’s main focus is on the retro handheld console emulators. This is where you will find everything that you need to know: where to start, how to improve the features of your handheld console emulators, which handheld console emulator to choose, what it does and does not, and so on.

If you’re new to retro gaming or a veteran, check out this YouTube channel.

4. Oh, what a feeling – relive the past

You miss the days in the arcades, the days when many consoles vied for supremacy, the games that you wanted to complete but never did.

If you are a 90s retro gamer, you will certainly miss those glory days. With retro handheld consoles, you can play them all with just device. Long-forgotten arcade games, titles that never saw the light of day in the west, Japanese-exclusives – without handheld console emulators it would be far tougher to enjoy these games. RetroPie might be an option, but unless you own a Retroflag GPi or similar, you can’t carry it around.

Begin your retro handheld console journey

My two handheld console emulator

The journey doesn’t stop there. New handheld console emulators will come and can emulate even Dreamcast, PS1, N64 and even PS2 and PSP games. If that happens, then the popularity and the demand of it will increase even more.

You can find retro handheld consoles almost everywhere, from eBay, Amazon, and beyond.

So what are you waiting for? If you want to play arcade games or SEGA Genesis games wherever you go, then get a handheld console emulator. You will never need to feel bored again.

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