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The Quest for the Perfect PICO-8 handheld

Ever since PICO-8 was created people have longed for a physical form of what is still a fantasy console.

On my long quest for the perfect PICO-8 handheld I've owned no less than six handhelds (plus experiments with iPhones and DIY Pi Zero solutions). Until I finally reached the handheld endgame with the Waveshare GPM280. Here's my take on all of them:

Name Pros Cons
PocketChip Officially supported by Zep Terrible keyboard, unplayable game controls
" Screen is pixel-perfect (with a bit of border) Really bulky
" Hacker vibes Unfinished look
" No sound
" Not enough perf for demanding carts
Clockwork Pi Good performance Bulky
" Good controls Low rez plastic screen that scratches easily
" Nice OS Need to assemble
" Video driver issues
GPi Case Great build quality Pi 0 doesn't have enough perf even for 30 fps carts
" Good looks Slow boot times
" Screen has great colors Low resolution, soft picture
" Bulky
RG280V Tiny form factor a good fit for PICO-8 No Wi-Fi
" Great build quality Uneven scaling
" Great controls PICO-8 emulator not 100 % compatible
" Screen has great colors Progress on emulator stalled
" Sound issues
ZPG Pro (OGA Clone) Great performance No Wi-Fi
" Runs real PICO-8 OS is lacking
" Great screen Screen has big borders if you want pixel-perfect
" Good build quality Can't use alternative OS without patching
GPM280 Best screen yet for PICO-8, 286 dpi 2 hour battery life
" Great looks and tiny form factor More expensive than RG280V
" Runs real PICO-8
" Wi-Fi access to splore
" Great performance
" Polished OS
P#88091 2021-02-24 09:03 ( Edited 2021-02-24 11:26)

Have you looked at ODROID-GO Advance?

https://www.hardkernel.com/shop/odroid-go-advance-black-edition/

I have PICO-8 running on it and it works really well.

P#93282 2021-06-10 01:53

I'd also like to mention the Anbernic RG351-Series (RG351P, RG351M, RG351V), these have an ARM-CPU, means they can run PICO8-Games natively (using the Raspberry Pi-Version).

P#93284 2021-06-10 02:39

@captadhoc I tested the ZPG Pro which has the same chip and screen resolution as the Odroid Go Advance.

P#93288 2021-06-10 06:10
:: dw817

There is a handheld console called an RG-350, @pixelpunker. There is also a donation-supported emulator called Tac-08 that runs Pico-8 games and programs in it with a few exceptions. Some of the more advanced commands are not recognized like CSTORE() and FLIP() is not recognized at all.

But most of the games for Pico-8 written with the standard _Draw() and _Update() will run flawlessly in it. I know this because I have the RG-350 and I have Tac-08 installed on it.

This is certainly worth checking out as the price for the RG-350 is now less than $85 and by default comes fully assembled and ready to go.

P#93329 2021-06-11 00:51 ( Edited 2021-06-11 01:11)

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