Everyone seems to be talking about retro gaming handhelds these days, thanks in no small part to the long-awaited release of the gorgeous Analogue Pocket. Boasting FPGA power, a sleek design and fantastic screen, it's little wonder that this portable gem is in high demand – and some people who have placed orders this year are being told they will have to wait until 2023 to get their hands on one. Eek.
If you're tempted to splash $200 on an Analogue Pocket but don't fancy waiting that long (or suffering a drop in overall quality) then there's no shortage of vastly cheaper emulation-based handhelds on the market, the latest of which is the Miyoo Mini. While the name 'Miyoo' might not be instantly familiar, this Chinese company has pumped out plenty of similar products under different brands, including BittBoy and PocketGo. The Miyoo Mini feels like an evolution of the former, taking inspiration from the iconic Game Boy design.
The good news first. Build quality is excellent, with responsive buttons and a fantastic D-Pad. The 2.8″ LCD screen is also better than you might expect from a device that costs $60; it boasts a 640×480 pixel resolution and has very, very thin bezels, making it look extremely appealing. The unit has a 1900mAh battery which provides around 5 to 6 hours of play, and the unit charges over USB-C. Software is stored on a MicroSD card. Systems supported include the Game Boy, NES, SNES, Mega Drive, PC Engine and Neo Geo.
As has been the case with pretty much all of these Chinese-made devices, you'll need to be comfortable with the idea of downloading ROMs from the web to make the most out of it. There are, of course, options for dumping your own cartridges if you want to keep things legal.
This issue aside, the biggest stumbling block for the Miyoo at present is the fact that emulation performance isn't brilliant. Putting aside the fact that it uses the standard 'system-on-a-chip' approach combined with software emulation rather than the more accurate FPGA approach seen in the Analogue Pocket, there's noticeable lag on some of the higher-end emulators and audio quality isn't brilliant.
The stock firmware (which, rather hilariously, uses the PS Vita menu music) needs some work, but it's highly likely that the community to beat Miyoo to the punch; custom firmware is commonplace on these Chinese-made handhelds and we'll probably see vast improvements over the next few months as coders adapt their own software for the Miyoo Mini.
The verdict, then? This is certainly a neat little device for the cost, and we love the fact that it's truly pocket-friendly. Can it compete with the Analogue Pocket, though? Of course not, but then again, it costs a quarter of the price.
If you're keen to see the Miyoo Mini in action, here's Retro Dodo's review:
Thanks to Keep Retro for supplying the Miyoo Mini used in this piece.
This article was originally published by nintendolife.com on Fri 14th January, 2022.
It's always the dinky ones like this that manage to get the B A order right.
It looks really cool , seems an odd recommendation which states emulation Isn’t brilliant … surely that’s the most important aspect for one of these that it runs the games well …. I would highly recommend the anbernic rg351v which has the same sort of layout but the emulation quality is very very good and has way more emulator options including Dreamcast ( which runs surprisingly well) that costs about £100
Yeah, this is just a piracy machine.
At first, it had my interest. After reading it has Neo Geo support, now it has my attention!
I would rather buy one of these cheap, cute and functional handhelds instead of those expensive ones that I have to worry if it gets scratched in my pocket or I lose it. A personal preference matter I guess
Great aesthetics, but my hands hurt just looking at it. The GBA SP can be difficult to hold depending on what game you play as it stands.
@sanderev or... it is a great way to play the games I have owned since the late 80's, all in one convenient package.
There has been some nice firmware updates for this as well
Taki Udon's youtube channel released a video on the latest firmware. It looks like a great little (pocketable) device, I just ordered one.
I couldn't buy a Analogue without Credit Card and my GBC is under Repair.
I also wanted to play Playstation Games, so i tried the Anbernic rg351v.
As a FPGA Snob, i can really really recommend the software emulation bases Anbernic rg351v!
The build Quality is pretty great, Buttons feel great and the 2D Systems and Playstation work great.
Can't recommend it for N64 or dreamcast and you have to rebind Buttons for the NES/Gameboy to B=A and Y=B.
The Screen is great and has the correct aspect Ratio for old Games.
140€ on Amazon.
Ha overread your comment.
I also like that you can see through the case, like my og Gameboy
At first i was like nahh, but mmmm... Im interested.
@Guitario It doesn't play physical cartridges, and it has no way of importing games from physical cartridges. So my point stands.
The analouge pocket looks overpriced, but at least that uses original cartridges to play the games. And since emulation on it's own isn't illegal, those are actually legal.
I recently purchased a second hand GBA, to play all the GBA/GB/GBC games I still have (since I sold my old GBA), I even started buying some second hand GBA games as well. Also I replaced the batteries in my Pokémon cartridges and am having a blast with those.
As an owner of a “piracy machine”, I just want to note that there is a difference between preserving games and piracy. Nintendo or Sega is not likely to re-sell their 30 year games at full price, and I already own NSO, so the only reason I use these methods is too play games that I couldn’t play otherwise Ex. Mario RPG, Earthbound, Golden Sun, the list goes on. Even games that I have that I am technically discrediting Nintendo from my money, like Pokémon Mystery Dungeon or Advance Wars, don’t do enough as remasters to entice me to buy it. If Nintendo really wanted people to not use these methods, they would provide enough of a reason to purchase a remaster, such as an actual new way to play an old game. However, I draw the moral line in the sand at N64 and GameCube games, as those are graphically advanced enough to perhaps offer a fair deal at full price. But, playing games that no company offers me the choice to play or a better alternative than just playing the game is not piracy, it’s just good business.
@sanderev what's wrong with that? Is Nintendo giving me an option to buy Mother 3?
The Miyoo Mini or any of the anbernic devices you get way more bang for your buck. If you want an emulation device at a decent price you could easily pick one up for roughly 60-150 USD. The Analogue Pocket is great if you have cartridges around but tbh most of those games we grew up with and there's a good chance that we adults dont have them anymore or never had them to begin with.
@Chunkboi79 I keep all my cartridges from GBC to 3DS. Some people didn't keep/take care of their games?? That's sad.
@HXLXIII I agree, but not everyone is going to do exactly what we did. I have my GBC carts but I never had an advance growing up. Also I personally don't find the value in a $200 device that only plays cartridges when I could just dump everything onto an rg351mp for 150
Wake me up when those devices use emulators that aren't pieces of crap.
@mikegamer I take it you haven't checked out the retroid pocket 2+ or the anbernic rg351mp?
What are the cheaper but still decent ones that play GBA cartridges?
@The-Chosen-one Same. I was lucky to grab the Analog in the original preorder and love it for GB and GBC games. But this unit is pretty interesting especially with the screen format for GBA titles. The Analog Pocket is very impressive but it was clearly designed with the earlier consoles in mind. It could honestly use a revision for better displaying GBA titles in a full frame window substantially larger than the Pocket though.
This is absolutely not a good alternative.
I’d like Retroarch to make official hardware including handhelds for their stuff
I love these things. Still rocking the RG351V, but the RG522 that released last month can play certain GC games so....I’ve got my ninja eyeball on it
@sanderev You’re a broken record, at this point.
@NinChocolate That’s a fantastic idea, but I seem to remember retroarch not being owned by a single person, since it’s open source if I remember right.
Dinky? That’s a no sale for me. XD
@BloodNinja Expensive bugger.
@Chunkboi79 Do they use actual up to date emulators and properly mapped buttons that can be configured to whatever you want? Because of lot them don't let you do that.
There are ways to dump roms and put them on a sd cart.
Retrode2 for Modules and any CD/DVD-Drive for Discs.
The Sega Roms are even purchasable on Steam, you can use them on a everdrive or emulator of your choice.
And Games that are abandoned and the Originals costs several houndreds of your Currency?
Get it where you can, even if not legal, nobody will bring you to court.
The original Creators will se no Cent from the second Hand Market.
The Anbernic ones work with Retroarch, you can change the Button Mapping also per Game if you wish.
As stated, N64 and Dreamcast Emulation is crap, but 8bit, 16 bit and Playstation work really great.
I just received this early this week. The build quality is really good. Feels like an official product. I haven’t updated anything yet firmware or otherwise. I’m just using it with whatever was flashed on it straight out the box. It plays everything I’ve tried so far ( gba, gb, gbc, neo arcade, mame and ps1) extremely well. Button inputs were on point for Tekken 3. I’m really really pleased with this fir the price. If you want something a little nicer build wise - $20 extra dollars will net you an Anbernic RG280M (this is my favorite “mini” handheld).
@DropDash it’s dinky but the controls are full size. Probably one of the best d-pads on a Chinese handheld in a while.
The screen is Gameboy (like Analogue Pocket) or Gameboy Advance ratio?
"Can it compete with the Analogue Pocket, though? Of course not, but then again, it costs a quarter..." Only a quarter?? SOLD!
bruh just hack a 3ds
I have one of these. Not this one but a cool orange one. I paid $60 for mine. I paid $120 for over 30,000 games on Etsy. I was really too lazy to just download the ROMs. I couldn’t be bothered. I think it is a RG350.
what do you actually get out of this? are you a lawyer or a legislator? police officer?
@tseliot It’s expensive, but not for me! XD
@dimi It should be 4:3 aspect ratio.
@Azuris Why on earth would you need to rebind A to B and B to Y for GB games? The A button on the GB is higher than and to the right of the B button, same as it is on this device. Sure it's a steeper angle here, but it's a lot closer to a real GB by default than your suggestion, which is nearly 90 degrees off.
I mean it's great that you can rebind them if that's what you want, but it's weird that you're talking about it as if it's something everyone is going to need to do.
@dimi It's 4:3, so GB(C) games will have small black bars on the left and right and GBA games will have small black bars on the top and bottom. The home consoles this plays were all meant for 4:3 TVs, so they shouldn't have black bars (unless you want square pixels in your SNES games, but they weren't really designed to look like that).
@mikegamer I can't speak for all of them but the anbernic rg351mp absolutely does. Custom firmware is what really carries this device. Anbernic makes really well build emulation devices but the community really knows how to get the most out of their product. I used to build emulation stations with raspberry pi and honestly these little devices make the whole process 10x easier.
I use 351elec and honestly I'm playing games at full speed with only slight chugs once I hit ps1. I also was able to port games like shovel knight and cave story to it. Honestly these little devices have come a long way!
My "piracy machine" of choice is still the Funkey S.
It's ridiculously tiny but kind of perfect for the novelty factor, which is what handheld retro gaming ends up being for me in practice. It plays everything up to and including PS1 games... If I want to dig deep into Final Fantasy 7, I can do that on my Switch, but if I want to dally around with random old roms then a key chain-sized joke device is almost the perfect way to do it.
Because it has than the same Scheme to run and jump as in Super Mario World and even the Super Gameboy did it that wise back then
Edit: The Angle is to steep in the diamond layout.
Thats why most games since the Super Nintendo changed from A and B to B and Y.
Your thumb comes from below, the angle holding it is cozier.
If you are interested in these types of machines I can really recommend a Youtube channel called Retro Game Corps. Everything you could possible want to know about them can be found there.
@Azuris But the angle between A and B on this (or a SNES gamepad for that matter) is far closer to what you get on a real Gameboy than B and Y is.
I guess what I'm saying is that if you had a problem with the layout on the original GB then fair enough, but for everyone who played thousands of hours on GB, GBC and GBA and had no problem with it, the default mapping here is much closer to the physical layout of those consoles than what you're proposing.
If your first love is SNES and you want your GB Mario games to play more like SNES games that's fine, you just seemed to be assuming everyone would want that. I think you're the exception rather than the rule.
My PS Vita and phone both handle GBA/GBC emulation well, so I'll just stick with those when I want a portable solution.
I had a FunKey S until my roommate’s dog somehow pulled it off the dining table and chewed it to bits.
I have one and they have updated the firmware 4 times since it released in December. It is running way smoother.
Wouldn't those spree candy buttons melt during heavy use?
@sanderev but these “piracy machines” give us ways to play games that the creators don’t I don’t see GBA,GBC,or GameCube on NSO these devices are clearly made to give us a good emulation experience that the official copyright holders can’t even come close to doing with NSO being clear proof of it
@-wc- I think he’s mad because we have innovative devices like the retroid pocket 2+ while he’s still using the gba and playing the retron5
Why do you keep promoting consoles with illegal emulation?
@SirPrimalform oh cool thanks for the info.
I don't know why I let it get to me, but these anti piracy nags are really annoying. I'll just never get why the role of bootlicker-slash-volunteer-deputy-scold is taken up by regular people. Corporations can't love you back! live you life! it's just videogames! ☺️
@AiZekas Emulation isn't illegal. Pirated ROMs are copyright infringement, but who's to say you aren't backing up your own games with something like a Retrode?
This thing is super cute! Kinda want it to go with my growing collection of similar things. And the gray version looks super nostalgic
@sanderev Oh good lord forbid anyone pirate a 35 year old 8 bit game.
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