Chinese New Year celebrations are still in full effect, so I figured the rest of January would be totally silent in handheld news.
Anbernic is a company we got used to hearing from every month in 2022. But until today, their 2023 plans were quite mysterious. We had zero known devices from them on the horizon.
Not to be outdone, Anbernic had to throw their name in the hat for your early 2023 purchasing considerations!*
Let’s take a look at the new RG405M and see if it’s something we should be excited about. Spoiler warning… it is![ Just to clarify: I do not believe it is Anbernic who leaks their devices. I believe it is the developers and manufacturers they must work with to create the devices. But if Anbernic were to work directly with media outlets, such as RetroDodo *cough cough*, it would surely benefit their exposure and improve their reputation with the community. My inbox is open 🙂 ]
Anbernic RG405M Details
As you can probably guess, the name alone has me pretty excited.
Anbernic… you had me at “M”. I keep trying to leave you, and you keep pulling me back.
Yes, the “M” means that this new handheld is going to be a metal shell horizontal console.
The 405 also lets us know that this will be a four inch LED screen.
According to the leak source Retro Handhelds, who presumably gets some of their early info from devs working with Anbernic, the RG405M should feature a T618 chipset, which is what came inside the Retroid Pocket 3+.
Anbernic has settled comfortably into a place of following rather than leading… So with GoRetroid making that power jump, it’s at least good to see Anbernic following and not holding firm to the rk3566.
From the video that has spread throughout the online handheld community, we can see that the RG405M has one SD card slot, one usb-c plug, and no HDMI out.
Somebody familiar with the tech has told me that T618 devices have the possibility of video out straight from the usb-c, so maybe that is why they did not include a micro HDMI.
Fingers crossed for using the RG405M on your television. That was a big selling point of the RG353M and RG353V.
I gotta say… this new button layout from Anbernic is looking incredible. Almost like they heard the community and changed it for the better. Who woulda’ thought?
They alternated the analogue stick placement (left on top, right on bottom), the Start/Select is now more conveniently located next to eachother for easy right thumb access, and the function button with left thumb access.
We should anticipate that this handheld, and all quality handhelds moving forward, will make use of Hall joysticks.
The volume buttons are now on the top so you don’t accidentally press them. I never had that problem, but others mention it.
And… and… and… the LED is no longer in our eyes, people! Yes, I had been campaigning for LED location to be changed since the RG351V.
I actually opened up both of my RG351Vs and my RG353M to put white tape over the LED. This dims it quite a bit, making both devices go from a 9.9/10 to a 10/10 in my book.
I like these triggers from Anbernic, so no complaints from me there.
We should also expect that this will have pretty good battery life (6-7 hours) and that it’s a
dual boot device (linux and android). That’s just normal Anbernic stuff right now.
Edit: It has been pointed out that T618 devices are most certainly going to be Android only. Therefore, no need for an OS memory card.
Emulation capabilities with that new T618 CPU should hit Game Cube and PS2. This will put these smaller affordable Anbernic handhelds at the same level as the Retroid Pocket 3+.
In 2023, Game Cube and PS2 is gonna be the expectation from all of these handhelds…. we’ve had devices that top out at Dreamcast, PSP and PS1 for a couple years now. I don’t anticipate people being okay with more RK3566 or RK3326 chips. We’re done with those days.
Thankfully, 2023 seems to be starting off on the right foot.
I have to say, Anbernic is absolutely knocking it out of the park with the RG405M so far.
I can easily see it replacing my RG353M, and it will probably become Anbernic’s best 4:3 game console.
Obviously, it’s a bit of a bummer for all of us who just bought the RG353M a month or so ago.
But that’s how the handheld market works lately… small changes = new SKUs. They know there’s thousands of suckers out there (me included) who must have it.
Hey Anbernic… I’m gonna buy the dang thing… can you at least give us a few awesome color choices? I’m still interested in consulting for you guys. Holler at me.
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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.