The beginning of retro hunting for me…
Since 2008 I’ve been full time using every emulator there is, but especially ePSXe. I had my PS3, and my gaming PC, but Breath of Fire IV wasn’t a PSN classic, and I really wanted to play it again. So I went to eBay, bought a copy (for I think $20) and proceeded to rip it, and then off to ePSXe I was.
I had submitted code corrections for the PCSX2 emulator for PS2. People think because of it’s age, like PS1 it should be easily emulated, but it took that team from 2006 to 2014 before the PS2 could run, and it required a VERY good CPU at the time. Even a modern day CPU running @ 1.0 Ghz will struggle with PS2 pretty heavily.
So now I scour the earth looking for a portable, cheap PS2 playing retro device, and people say TOUGH LUCK!
Recently, with tech being so amazing, they began releasing a full computer minus hard drive and peripherals, for $35. The Raspberry Pi 1, 2, and 3. All of which had DDR2 RAM, and could easily play “all the major retro games” AGAIN meaning NO PS2, although the PC had made it, the smaller items had not.
You can hack a Playstation Vita, you can hack a Nintendo Switch, there’s many devices, but almost none can properly run PS2, and N64, because the way they operate is so different than traditional computers. The PS2 had the “Emotion Engine” and the PS3 has the “Cell Processor” all making emulation that much harder.
So what devices are most people using / should use?
As of now, a PSPGo or a PS Vita are the 2 best devices to play retro games, unless you want to shell out for a Steam Deck (at least it also plays new games, like the Switch…) $500. Or get a new Vita (they are no longer made sooo…) $325. And then the GPD 4 Win or whatever it’s called, $800 but it’s got terrible controls, and a useless keyboard.
We want GAMING.
In comes the first contender. It comes in 5 different colors. It costs $99, and it can run PS2 games! What item is this? The Retroid 2+
With this $99 console, you can also use a mini HDMI and turn it into a home console. It’s an Android with everything pretty much preinstalled (except the games) and it’s fast, amazing, fun, easy to set up, and plays all kinds of games. Also the screen is classic 4:3 so PS2 games even used that, PS3 and XB360 were the first Widescreen consoles, and we’re not thinking about that emulation yet.
It’s hands down the best device, I’d love to say more, but you need to go get one. Feel free to comment for Retroid 2+ setup (Also buy your Micro SD from Sandisk, it’s much faster, and like $30 for 256 GB)
The Raspberry Pi 4 would have been the star of this article. They went from DDR2 to DDR4, and from 1 GB to 8 GB. But it still makes a better web server, and with all needed parts it comes to $100 to run RetroPie NOT VERY WELL. You STILL can’t get the full experience, and it lags a lot.
Whereas the Retroid 2+ does it all (for now!, can’t wait for the 3rd!) which performs along the same lines as a Galaxy S9 or S10 in terms of performance. Absolutely amazing machine. Get yours today!