The price point for retro handhelds continues to expand the more time moves on. What started as a $10 to $100 market, now spans $10 to nearly $2000 and shows no signs of slowing down.
Normally we’d focus on the good, and take the heavy hitters of this world to task. But what about the bargain basement offerings? Are the super-cheap handhelds really worth considering over the big name brands?
With that in mind, let’s find out if the Super Game Box 400 in 1 is worth checking out, or is this mega-budget handheld to be avoided at all costs?
In This Article
What Is the Sup Game Box 400 in 1?
The Sup Game Box 400 in 1 is a mass-produced Chinese handheld that looks similar to a Nintendo Game Boy. It is, essentially, a low-cost handheld emulator box.
It also says ‘Sup’ on the case because someone thought that was a good idea.
We’ll get into the nuts and bolts of it below, but it’s worth keeping in mind this isn’t just low-cost, it’s super low-cost, and the tech inside this thing isn’t designed to wow serious gamers looking for a sleek handled like the Ayn Odin or Steam Deck. The Sup Game Box isn’t even comparable with Anbernic products.
This is the cheapest of the cheap designed for people after a random birthday gift or kids looking to spend their pocket money. For retro collectors, there are better options out there, and there’s even a more updated version that improves battery life and ditches the Sup branding, so it’s hard to say who nowadays would even want this console.
There isn’t much in the way of specs to go on. Normally when finding stuff like this, there’s an official site you can pull stuff from. If that isn’t the case, there are product listings.
With the Sup Game Box, tracking down reliable specs wasn’t easy. We’re still not sure what powers this thing, but going from what else is on offer, we’re talking about a chipset with less power than the RK3326.
So in terms of power, don’t expect much out of this system. Up to NES and some SNES feels like a good place to slot this one.
- Screen: 3-inch
- Size: 4.5-inches by 3.1-inches by 0.8-inches
- Connectivity: AV out
- Battery: 700mAH li-ion
- Usage time: Around three to four hours
The Sup Game Box retails currently for around $20/£20. The updated version, which boasts a slightly larger battery capacity, retails for less at $10/£10, so definitely pick up the non-branded version if you’ve got the option
Review – Should You Buy It?
In short, no, you shouldn’t pick up the Sup Game Box 400 in 1. If it’s for a cheap birthday gift or for kid who’ll likely break it, sure, maybe there’s a place for it. But for adults and above, there isn’t enough here to warrant the purchase outside of the fact it’s cheap.
The build quality isn’t the best, but it’s not awful either. The buttons work, and while the plastic looks cheap, it’ll do the job, just about.
Where things fall apart is the lack of power this system yields. It can play NES games, but any hopes of playing anything above that – like PS1 – and you’re out of luck. There are also issues with certain games where the emulator speed is too fast.
Playing Super Mario Bros. should be a fairly straightforward affair, but everything is sped up slightly thanks to what I assume is a higher clockspeed. Music is faster, and Mario moves quicker. It’s not the best way to play it, and when you’ve got affordable options like the Anbernic RG351 that can play up to PS1, the choice between the two consoles is clear.
Then there are things like the speakers. If you like your music with a shrill tone at higher volume levels, then this is the console for you. If not, it’s a hard pass.
Yes, being able to hook up the console to the TV and play on the big screen is cool, and the fact it’s packed with a controller is a nice touch. But even the good elements aren’t enough to outweigh the bad.
This is a gimmick gift that struggles to do what it’s supposed to. Younger kids may get some enjoyment out of it, so the Sup Box does have its place as a starter console. But for people serious about their gaming, there are plenty of better alternatives out there.
Alternatives to Consider
There isn’t much in terms of alternatives at this price point, simply because it’s the cheapest of the cheap in multiple ways.
That said, there are plenty of low-cost retro handhelds worth considering.
If you’re after something in the mid-range – $100 to $200 – the Retroid Pocket 2 Plus or the Anbernic RG353P is worth checking out. Both systems can handle up to N64 and Dreamcast really well, and the Retroid Pocket 2 Plus in particular can have some minor success above that.
If you’re looking for something under the $100/£100 price mark, the best right now is the RG351 series. You’ve got multiple choices here as well. There are some models designed to look like a Game Boy and some more like a Game Boy Micro. You can also pay extra and switch to a metal shell if you fancy it.
Plus the RG351 series can run up to PS1, so you’ve instantly got better coverage out of the box than the Sup Game Box 400 in 1.