We have finally gotten some updates on the highly anticipated handheld console line from Orange Pi, and things are looking a lot different.
Truth be told, we took quite a lot of flak for our article about their upcoming ultra powerful gaming handhelds.
Orange Pi themselves tweeted out our article confirming the details, besides the predicted pricing.
So turns out, our source wasn’t far off.
Today, a familiar source of info coming out of China, NITTRX, has updated us on Orange Pi’s plans.
And a lot has changed!
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Orange Pi Handhelds
As we can see, the new handheld designs are vastly different from what we have seen before.
I felt like the initial concept images were premature, and it didn’t take long for updated designs to make an appearance.
But according to NITTRX’s post, these design images are what may be final.
It was first reported that Orange Pi intended to offer three models: an AMD 7840U, AMD 6800U and Rockchip RK3588S.
The rumored pricing was 3000 yuan ($430USD), 2000 yuan ($290USD) and 1500 yuan ($215USD). The community strongly disagreed that this would be possible, and it was also later denied by Orange.
So one surprising detail to see in NITTRX’s post was the mention of a 1000 yuan device. Perhaps that detail meant for the cost to produce the unit, not sale price.
And now, it appears they have narrowed things down to two distinct looks. These designs are labeled as the “ARM” unit and the “X86” unit.
Orange Pi X86
The X86 model from Orange Pi is clearly their vision for their premium handheld.
It includes all of the fancy bells and whistles like LED rings around the joysticks, touchpads à la the Steam Deck, and also a giant 7 inch display.
This will likely be where we will see the AMD 7840U and/or AMD 6800U CPUs make an appearance.
This would be a Windows based handheld device, so it would primarily be focused on PC games from Steam and streaming.
And because of the chipset used, it should perform quite well. Hopefully the quality of the handheld can put it next to the likes of AYANEO.
Speaking of AYANEO, Orange Pi clearly spent a lot of time looking at the AYANEO 2 and also the Steam Deck when creating this design. But I digress…
Orange Pi ARM
The ARM model from Orange Pi appears to be their budget option.
And NITTRX’s post indicates that this is where Orange Pi has found the way to cut costs on production the most. This is also where mention of a “1000 yuan machine” appears.
Again, I believe this to mean that Orange Pi has managed to reduce their own costs to produce the unit to around that much. Not a final sale price.
By making adjustments to the materials, removing the LED around the joysticks, and no touchpads, this can be the most cost effective option for both Orange and the buyers.
If this device still uses a RK3588S like the initial plans, then we know that this should be able to dual-boot in Android or Linux. So this is where we could have a really great emulation handheld.
We kind of hate to point it out again, but this does appear to be nearly identical to the Nintendo Switch Lite design.
But hey, it happens I guess.
We’ve seen the design of these devices change quite a bit, but it is maybe unfair to judge Orange Pi for that. The only reason we have seen these images is due to premature leaks of the concept images.
Surely all of the best handhelds go through quite a few changes before they settle on their design.
And while these new designs still look quite derivative of existing consoles, that’s also not new to our scene.
That also could be an adept evaluation of what we are seeing from Orange Pi: “not new to our scene”. These consoles are not really anything we have not seen.
Where Orange Pi could deliver something great is in the price.
We would still like to believe that these upcoming handhelds from Orange Pi will be awesome.
Time will tell, and we are quite interested to see how this unfolds.
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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.