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Summary: great hardware, lackluster software.


Retrododo gave a bit of a rant about the ZPG Pro which I think is a bit unfair because he was talking about the problems with chinese retrohandhelds in general and there are certainly shoddier ones than the ZPG Pro.


The case looks very slick, nintendo-ish in quality. The analog stick is great, it is the same as in the Nintendo Switch. Very satisfying and ergonomic to hold with its rounded edges, the plastic feels great to the touch. The glass front of the screen has rounded curves at the edges which looks very premium, like a high-end smartphone. The display is top-notch. Even greater colors and brightness than my funnyplaying IPS mod on the original GBA.

The buttons feel good but not great. The D-Pad has a good size. I hear that the silver metal version has more clicky buttons, but the newer rose gold metal version, the only version yet with built-in wifi, has the same buttons. I'd say they are halfway between mushy and clicky. I wish they had a bit more resistance.

I was disappointed that my yellow plastic version has no wifi although it was originally planned. I hear that the new rose-gold metal version finally has wifi but I find the extra expense for the metal case a bit excessive. And I don't like metal cases anyway.


The hardware is great. What is so-so is the software. First you need to find it. As there is no obvious manufacturer homepage I first found some builds on comments in youtube videos and finally, on rghandhelds.com. That server was so slow that it took more than 24 hours to download. Luckily I'm not on DSL with forced reconnects.

I was also bummed that although the ZPG Pro is based on the same chip as the Odroid Go Advance I couldn't simply use images for that system. As they haven't open-sourced their OS fork yet you can't tell what changes they made. Well, you could manually compare their fork of EmuElec with EmuElec for the OGA if you are very bored.

To get PICO-8 working was another story. The latest version of EmuElec for the ZPG Pro I found was 3.8, but 3.9 has added support for PICO-8 so I compared revisions on Github to find the changes they made in 3.9. Out of the box the image is blurry as hell, you seriously need to fix that if you want pixel-perfect.

Finally out of the box the menu key was not mapped to anything. I fixed that in my config below (which is specific to the ZPG Pro and not other OGA based handhelds):

When you are done you have pixel-perfect PICO-8 goodness with 100 % compatibility and speed. Too bad about the wifi, so splore browses local files only.

These two lines belong in your gamecontrollerdb.txt:

# PICO-8
// add SDL2 game controller mappings to this file
P#85111 2020-12-07 12:41 ( Edited 2021-01-26 21:19)

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