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This month a new handheld was released: the Anbernic RG280V. With it's diminuitive form factor and 2.8 inch screen is it the most pico PICO-8 handheld yet?

It's driven by a slightly underpowered 1 Ghz chip, the same as is used in the RG350 or even the GCW Zero from 2013. Not enough for more advanced consoles but for emulating handhelds like Game Boy Color or Neo Geo Pocket it's just right. And with the new Tac08 emulator it can even run PICO-8 games pretty faithfully.

The screen looks great, it has an even greater resolution than the RG350 so scaling issues are almost non-existent. The colors are vibrant. Build quality is top notch. The controls feel very satisfying. Although it's so small compared to a Xbox controller, the actual D-Pad is almost the same size.

The only drawbacks at the moment are some sound issues and compatibility with the PICO-8 library is not at 100 % yet. Still, the emulator is making great progress and it is only a matter of time before these issues will be resolved.

Note: it is recommended to install the pwswdpp extension for the Opendingux OS to enable several shortkeys like screen scaling, brightness and a standby mode. Also download a backup copy of the OS from rghandhelds.com so you can use a brand-name sd card.

P#79817 2020-11-29 21:19 ( Edited 2020-11-30 08:55)


Just checking, because I haven't heard anyone else mention it yet. Are you experiencing carts running faster than normal when running them on Tac08 on your RG280V? For me, nearly all carts that run properly, run at about 1.5x speed on my RG280V. Pressing the Select button makes an FPS counter appear, which generally shows numbers like 46/30 for me.

P#84848 2020-11-30 01:48

I didn‘t do a framerate check but Super Poulet Poulet runs maybe 10 % faster than normal. On the Pi 0 it runs slower than normal.

Okay, I did a check with a stop watch. It seems tac08 is 50 % faster than normal, you are right.

P#84852 2020-11-30 06:57 ( Edited 2020-11-30 13:22)

looks pretty slick, thanks for the post/review.

P#84861 2020-11-30 15:17

Celeste vs. Celeste

P#85042 2020-12-04 13:33 ( Edited 2020-12-04 13:50)

I'm loving my rg280v, and Pico games feel like a very natural and fun fit on the system. It's even rekindled my old interest in working with Pico 8! :) Highly recommended :))

P#86313 2021-01-10 04:03

As was pointed out by @MehStrongBadMeh using the new rogue firmware fixes the speed problem. 30 FPS games now run at 30, Dank Tomb, a 60 FPS game runs at about 55 FPS. The Pi 0 would not even run 30 FPS games at full speed. Breakout Hero runs at 60. So it depends on the complexity of the game.

As for other systems there is a new port of retroarch for the system optimized for the low specs of the machine. Much better than the outdated emulators provided. Now I can run Neo Geo Pocket with correct aspect ratio.

P#86317 2021-01-10 09:50 ( Edited 2021-01-10 11:51)

I just ordered this machine. I am going to try out the Adam image and see how it goes with Pico-8. I wish there was a way to enable network with it so I can run SPLORE, but I'm not complaining

P#107005 2022-02-16 01:08

I can't for the life of me figure out how to get Pico-8 to show up on my RG280v (I've been following RetroGameCorps guide) and I also can't figure out how to resolve the "Exec format error"

P#108473 2022-03-12 01:57

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