Pandora’s Box 5S Arcade Game Console – Teardown and Mini Review

Last year – and even in 2016 – , there was a fair amount of new retro gaming news, with products such a Nintendo SNES Classic Edition or GameShell Portable Retro console, as well as community supported firmware such as RetrOrangePi 4.0. GearBest asked me if I wanted to review something a little different: Pandora’s Box 5S (aka Pandora’s Key 5S) arcade game console with 999 games most (all?) designed for two players. This looked fun, and I was particularly interesting in checking out the hardware design, and hacking potential, e.g. if there could be a way to replace the board or firmware with your own. So in the review, I’ll focus mostly on the teardown, before shortly testing out the system and a few games. Pandora’s Box 5S Unboxing The device comes ins a large package (~70 x 24 x 16cm), so I’m surprised customs did not ask any […]

GPD WIN 2 is a Handheld Game Console Powered by an Intel Core m3-7Y30 Processor (Crowdfunding)

GPD Win was a Windows 10 portable game console powered by an Intel Cherry Trail processor launched in Indiegogo in early 2016, that managed to raise over $700,000 from nearly 2,300 backers. The company has been teasing an update for a while now, powered by an Intel Core m3-7Y30 processor with 8GB RAM, a 128GB M.2 SSD, and has just launched it on Indiegogo where it has raised close to $600,000 from almost 1,000 backers in the first few hours. GPD WIN 2 external design has gone through some tweaks, but it’s mostly the same as the first model except it’s larger with a 6″ instead of 5.5″ and some buttons have been moved around, but the real differences can be found under the hood: SoC – Intel Core m3-7Y30 dual core quad thread Kaby Lake processor @ 1.00/2.60 GHz (burst frequency) with 24EU Intel HD graphics 615 @ up […]

Popcorn Hour Transformer Media Computer / NAS Launched for $95.90 and Up

Last month, we wrote about Cloud Media’s Popcorn Hour Transformer, a platform based on Rockchip RK3328 processor that could be used a 2.5″ drive NAS, and/or a 4K HDR TV box, and looked like an interested alternative  to ODROID HC1 NAS system. The company has now officially launch the device, and is taking orders for $95.90 or $115.90 for respectively the 2GB RAM/16GB flash, or 4GB/32GB versions. Popcorn Hour Transformer specifications: SoC – Rockchip RK3328 quad core Cortex A53 processor with Mali-450MP GPU System Memory – 2GB or 4GB LPDDR3 Storage micro SD slot 16 or 32GB eMMC flash (removable and upgradeable) 128 Mbit SPI NOR flash SATA interface via USB 3.0 to SATA bridge chipset for 2.5″ HDD/SSD Network Connectivity – Gigabit Ethernet Video Output – HDMI 2.0a up to 4K 60Hz with HDR (HDR10/HLG) support Audio Output – Via HDMI, and 3.5mm audio jack (analog stereo or optical […]

Rockchip RK3288 To Be Phased Out Soon? GPD XD+ Android Console To Get Mediatek MT8176 SoC, 4GB RAM Upgrade

[Update: I have now seen an email exchange with ASUS replying that Rockchip RK3288 will still be in production for 5 years, so GPD claims that manufacturing will stop for RK3288 may be incorrect, or misunderstood Update 2: Rockchip has now confirmed RK3288 will not be phased out. So I’m guessing there may have been info lost in translation with GPD simply not manufacturing their own RK3288 board anymore] Rockchip RK3288 32-bit Arm processor was first spotted in a company presentation in the summer of 2013, before being announced – with some confusion (Cortex A12 vs A17) – at CES 2014 in January. The quad core Cortex A17 processor had then its moments of glory with inclusion in products such as Chromebooks (2015), and ASUS Tinker board SBC earlier this year. Another product based on the processor is GPD XD Android game console, but according to a report on reddit, […]

Sega Genesis Flashback Retro Game Console is Powered by “Monkey King 3.6” Processor, Runs Android

Retro gaming is cool again with products like Nintendo NES Classic / SNES Classic, DIY solutions based on firmware like RetrOrangePi, and the upcoming Atari console  among others. Another model is AtGames Sega Genesis Flashback, a smaller replica of Sega Model 1 Genesis with 85 pre-loaded games including the Sonic series, Mortal Kombat series, Phantasy Star series, and Shining Force series games.   The console ships with two wireless controllers, connect to your TV via HDMI with 720p resolution, and includes a cartridge slot that works with Sega Genesis and Mega Drive cartridges. The console has been out for several months, and it would be an understatement to say reviews are not very positive with titles / bylines such as “do not buy” (partially because the console requires a power adapter….), This Genesis does not do what Nintendoes, or “More like Trashback“. But what caught my eyes is ETA Prime’s Sega Genesis Flashback HD […]

RetrOrangePi 4.0 Released

RetrOrangePi is a retro gaming & media center firmware based on Armbian Debian image and working on Allwinner H3/H2+ based Orange Pi boards, Banana Pi M2+, and NanoPi M1, as well as Beelink X2 TV Box. Right at the end of last year, I reviewed RetrOrangePi 3.0 on Orange Pi One board to which I connected Mars G01 gamepad, and I could play some games like Wolfenstein 3D and Quake, and watch videos on OpenELEC/Kodi 16. The firmware also comes with various emulators, but you’d have to load the ROMs yourself due to intellectual property / license issues. The developers have now released RetrOrangePi 4.0. RetrOrangePi 4.0 changelog: Latest Armbian v5.32 (Debian Jessie kernel 3.4.113) RetroPie-Setup v4.3.3 (unofficial fork, upgradeable) New RetrOrangePi repository for easy updates and fixes EmulationStation v2.6.5 with video and game collection support, Desktop/OpenELEC shorcuts from main menu New ROPi “Attract-Mode”-like theme (based on Cosmos theme) Retroarch […]

Orange Pi Lite Based Seedi Retro Gaming Console Takes Your Old DVDs or CD-ROMs (Crowdfunding)

Shenzhen Xunlong’s Orange Pi family is a nice collection of low costs ARM Linux development boards that can be used in all sort of projects, just like Raspberry Pi boards, but cheaper at the cost of requiring more skills, and/or efforts to complete a project. One popular use for Orange Pi boards is retro gaming thanks to community supported images like RetrOrange Pi supporting games for Atari, Amiga, DreamCast, and other consoles. The implementation looks good enough for startups to sell their own products based on Orange Pi  hardware and RetrOrangePi software, as we’ve already seen with RetroEngine Sigma Retro Game Console which had a very successful Indiegogo campaign with $629,368 USD raised. “Seedi Team” has now launched their own game console apparently based on Orange Pi Lite, but it’s a little different as instead of copying “ROMs” , you can simply insert your old CD-ROMs or DVDs. Seedi game […]

A95X R2 TV Box Review – Part 2: Android 7.1, Video & Audio Tests, and Benchmarks

In the first part of A95X R2 Rockchip RK3328 TV box review, I listed the specifications of the device, took a few photos, and reported about the chip used in the PCBA. I’ve now had time to play with the box, so I can report about my experience with Android 7.1, video & audio capabilities, and the performance of the device in the second part of the review. First Boot, Setup, and First Impressions I connected a USB 3.0 hard drive to the USB 3.0 port of the box, a USB keyboard to one of the USB port to take screenshots, and a USB hub with the RF dongles for my air mouse and gamepad in the remaining USB 2.0 port. I completed the hardware setup with Ethernet and HDMI cables, as well as the power supply. I then pressed the power button on the unit to start it up, […]