Anbernic has detailed the company’s new handheld emulator console the RG353P.
For those in the know, the new product shares a striking resemblance with the popular PocketGo S30, albeit with an extra analogue stick to the right and a power button.
This has become many Chinese manufacturers’ M.O. of late. Grab cheap hardware, then shove it in a shell based on another product. Yes, it’s very tiring. Especially when we live in a world where the Steam Deck or Ayn Loki exist. Making an attractive product is possible, but instead, we get rehashes no one asked for.
As RetroDodo points out, and later confirmed by Anbernic, the RG353P is rocking a 3.5-inch IPS screen, which is arguably the right choice for a system designed to fit in your pocket.
In This Article
- Chipset: RK3566 – Quad-core 64-bit Cortex-A55 at 1.8GHz
- RAM: 2GB LPDDR4x
- Storage: 32GB eMMC, 16GB microSD card
- Connectivity: 2.4/5G, Bluetooth, HMDI-out
- Screen: 3.5-inch IPS with OCA full-tilt, 640×480
- Battery: Li-polymer 3500 mAH (around six hours)
Anbernic has confirmed some of the specs of the RG353P, and in a twist no one saw coming, it’ll be using the newer RK3566 chipset.
If truth be told, many of us were expecting another RK3326 device, so the move to the RK3566 chipset is a welcome addition.
For those unfamiliar, the RK3326 powers the vast majority of the lower-priced handhelds. For up to PS1 emulation, it’s a solid choice due to its low cost and availability. The latter reason being more important right now thanks to the global chip shortage that’s ruining everything.
Every company wants to release new products to stay in business, so the reliance on the RK3326 does make sense.
That said, that chip isn’t moving things forward. The Odin Pro and the Steam Deck are the current handheld consoles to beat – both capable of emulating the more troublesome consoles. If the affordable market sticks with the RK3326, up to PS1 is going to be the highest benchmark most can reach.
By using the RK3566 chips, this puts the RG353P on par with the RG503 in terms of processing power. That still isn’t enough to rival the Odin Pro or the Steam Deck, not even close, but at a lower price point it could offer up a handful of options outside of up to PS1.
With the RK3566, Dreamcast and N64 are more of a possibility. Having seen those systems run on the RG503, it’s not perfect emulation by far. But it is a step in the right direction.
What Can the RG353P Emulate?
This is very much a wait-and-see kind of situation.
According to Anbernic, the RG353P will be able to run PSP, Dreamcast, PS1, Nintendo DS, N64, Arcade, Game Boy, Game Boy Colour, Game Boy Advance, SNES, NES, and Genesis/Mega Drive.
in theory, an RK3566 device should be able to handle those systems. PSP I’d wager is pushing it and on paper, and I have reservations about how well something like God of War Ghosts of Sparta will run.
Nevertheless, we’ll all have to wait and see how the device performs before passing a final judgement.
- Sony: PS1, PSP
- N64, Nintendo DS, Game Boy, Game Boy Colour, Game Boy Advance, SNES, NES
- Sega: Genesis/Mega Drive, Dreamcast
- Misc: Arcade
Left: Anbernic RG353P - Right: PocketGo S30
The RG353P costs $139.99/£113.32. As most expected, Anbernic needed to price this one low if it has any hope of taking off in the west. The RG552 proves that people won’t pay over the odds for lackluster hardware.
Plus this is a copy-cat console. It’s the PocketGo S30 design with an extra stick and rubber grips on the back. That’s hardly a revolutionary innovation that’s going to wow consumers into spending. For the RG353P to work, it needs to be cheap.
As Anbernic went with the RK3566 chipset for this console, the $139.99/£113.32 price tag is understandable and came in close to our original estimate of £120 per unit.
When Is the RG353P Available to Order?
The RG353P is available to order right now. You can pick one up via the official Anbernic store, though it should also be available via AliExpress, Droix, and Amazon at a later date. All of the retailers offer worldwide shipping.
Is It Worth Picking Up?
As is the case with anything, don’t judge it until people have played it. Although it’s safe to say, it’s all going to come down to how much this thing costs.
As an alternative to the RG503, the RG353P could have its place. But if Anbernic prices the RG353P like the RG552, this thing will be dead on arrival.
Of course, only time will tell what Anbernic has up its sleeve. Aside from the RG353P, Anbernic is also busy working on a Windows-based handheld PC, the Win600.
Could Anbernic be moving towards splitting its lines into cheap and premium price brackets? It sure looks like it.