And while I wouldn’t say that this is life changing breaking news, it is something that I wanted to cover for a really important reason…
This seems to be the first time that Anbernic has reached out to the development community to work together.
So this particular partnership does represent a step in the right direction for Anbernic and hopefully other handheld makers.
In almost every emulation handheld release, the very first thing savvy users will do is purchase new SD cards and install a custom firmware.
This is because emulation handhelds will almost always ship with a firmware that is painfully insufficient. And in some cases, the firmware entirely cripples the device it is intended to serve.
Sadly, there are so many buyers who have no idea that much better solutions exist. So they will simply accept what was given to them by the maker of the handheld they purchased.
But with teams behind solutions like JelOS, ArkOS, AmberElec, Garlic Os, and Onion OS, we have some incredible options for something that actually works.
And it is a night and day experience when you upgrade from the stock OS.
Lead By Example
Until this year, it has been painfully obvious that handheld makers should be working with the dev community to improve their products.
But most of those companies have seemed reluctant to enlist the help of the community who creates custom firmware for these devices anyways.
I have said many times that these companies should reach out to the incredible developers and ask them to make the official firmware for their devices.
We have not really seen this happen until this year when Powkiddy worked with the makers of JelOS to help improve the Powkiddy x55.
And it is good that they did, because that device was doomed without it.
Since that time, Powkiddy also enlisted the dev community to work on the RGB10MAX3 Pro so that device can ship with a custom version of JelOS.
Perhaps Anbernic saw how beneficial this move was for Powkiddy and decided to follow suit.
So all of this time, it could have been that easy? Just ask, and you could have had an awesome firmware on your devices?
The RG35XX will now ship with a custom dual-boot option with their stock OS and also Garlic OS right on the device from the time of purchase. No more need to upgrade yourself.
Hopefully Anbernic recognizes how great this is for their products, and this can become the norm for future devices.
I’m really hoping that the manufacturers of emulation handhelds realize how important the software is to make their hardware really shine.
Companies like Powkiddy, Anbernic, and Miyoo can benefit greatly from having the development community as partners rather than adversaries.
Whether or not those companies start paying those development teams for their work is the next big step in the partnership.
To my knowledge, most developers are doing all of this work simply for the notoriety and a free handheld every once in a while. Which surely isn’t enough to cover their time and efforts.
I also do not know this for a fact and I am not a developer myself, so I can’t really speak for them in this area.
But with my small amount of public voice in this community, I do want to advocate for those developers and encourage handheld makers to keep doing the right thing.
At the end of the day, we are all here because we love video games. Let’s keep pushing this awesome niche into more positive areas and to new heights, shedding some of the negative aspects that have plagued it for the past few years.
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Anthony has been a video game lover ever since he can remember. He became a fulltime nomad in 2018, living throughout most of Asia. He focused his passion in retro gaming and began creating a game for the Game Boy Color while living in Nara, Japan during the 2020 pandemic. He is now in Chiang Mai, Thailand, where he spends most of his time gaming, going on long walks and meeting as many stray dogs as possible.