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[Review] PocketSprite - Tiny Retro Gaming


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There’s no denying that retro gaming, for whatever reason, is making a comeback in a big way. Atari recently launched its VCS console which raised over $2M in 2 days and the Nintendo Classic Editions were constantly out of stock

 

I was lucky and managed to get both Nintendo Classic consoles from Nintendo and both now sit proudly in my living room. This re-ignited my interest in retro gaming and I went on the hunt for my old handhelds. I managed to dig up my old Game Boy Colour, SP and Advance, which I can now enjoy on my commutes to work. 

 

Neowin posted an article earlier this year about PocketSprite, the tiny retro console and it was something that I had to buy. Check out the article above if you want more information, but I’m going to dive straight into a brief review and my initial thoughts on the device.

 

I opted for “Hacker” edition, as it involved some self assembly that I was looking forward, but mainly because it was the cheapest :p The device and its pieces came in a neat little box which you can see below. I’m not going to lie, the device was difficult to put together. I had no idea that some of the buttons would be so small and there were some hairy moments when I dropped some of the tiny buttons

 

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But here's one that I built earlier ;)

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The device was a little confusing to use, there were minimal instructions in the box and as I was one of the first people to get my hands on it, there was limited information online. I managed to figure out how to do most things eventually, but a better set of instructions would have been welcomed.

 

The little handheld has a few games preloaded: Datastorm, Geometrix and 2048 and others can be acquired. Currently the device supports the following emulators – Game Boy and Game Boy Colour, Sega Master System and Game Gear and they recently added a NES emulator, which is enough to give you your retro fix.

 

Software updates and game uploads are really simply and simply involve connecting to the devices WiFi and navigating to the devices address. Then it’s a simply case of selecting the files and hitting upload. The platform is completely open source so expect some cool things once developers get their hands on it.

 

Playing games, is tricky. The battery lasts a few hours, but I think that that’s all that my hands could take. I don’t have large hands but even I struggled a few times to hit the right button, which can make playing games like Mario, where timing can be important, difficult. I’ve got a few images below of Geometrix and Super Maria Bros. The sound is very good, and given the slightly tinny nature of the speaker, it definitely feeds into the whole retro thing. I haven’t spent too much time playing a number of different games, but the ones that I have played, I was pleasantly surprised. The games (mostly) ran with no issues and I was able to save and change games really quickly and simply.

 

Getting pictures/videos with the game actually running is a tad difficult using a mobile phone, but I've done my best!

 

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A few final thoughts, it’s probably not a device that I would use every day, it's too tiny and I feel like I'm straining my eyes way too much to make out the detail. It's definitely a conversation piece and something you can use occasionally. For something, more every day, I'd prefer something larger with a bigger screen and more important easier controls. 

 

If you fancy one yourself, head over here and pre-order one. If there's anything that you want to see, leave a post here and I'll do my best to post updates. 

 

Also my first time writing an article like this so constructive feedback is welcome! :)

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Unfortunately no HDMI output 

 

It's a bit of a gimmick but does work well (apart from the size)

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