Move Aside, Analogue Pocket - We're Getting Another FPGA Handheld 1
Image: SipeedIO

Chinese hardware maker Sipeed has announced that it is going to release a handheld games console built around 'Field Programmable Gate Array' technology.

Unlike software emulation, FPGA devices can emulate the performance of retro consoles at a hardware level, which means accuracy is excellent – as anyone who owns an Analogue Pocket can attest.

That device also uses FPGA chips to replicate systems such as the Game Boy, Game Gear, SNES and even arcade hardware, but its high cost has been a barrier to some players.

Sipeed's device could well turn out to be cheaper, as it's running a pretty weak FPGA chip, the TangPrimer 25K. That means that more advanced systems, such as the PS1 (which is supported by the MiSTer FPGA system) probably won't be possible, but it should have enough power to run 8 and 16-bit systems.

The device will sport a 2-inch LCD screen with a 480 x 360-pixel resolution and will ship with either 32MB or 64MB of SDRAM. A 1,500 mAh battery will power the unit, which will measure around 100 x 50 x 15mm.

It remains to be seen if Sipeed's handheld will challenge the Analogue Pocket, but it could provide a low-cost rival to that device – and the more FPGA-based options we have on the market, the better.