Today, after months of unusual teasing, the pocket friendly GKD Pixel has been revealed in its full glory.
Update December 18, 2023: The team behind the GKD Pixel have shared a video to Youtube breaking down the device's appearance and software experience. And it seems to be everything we had expected: a beautiful device with a dated OS. We do think they created something unique and worthwhile. GKD has tentative plans to start taking orders on December 24th, 2023.
It has been a bit frustrating watching the guerrilla marketing approach that the people behind Game Kiddy (GKD) and RetroCN have been implementing for the Pixel.
If you’ve been on Discord watching the progress of this new handheld, you know what I mean.
The “mysterious” photos of a small device with an intentionally covered face. As if there was something incredibly unique to be revealed at a later date.
I jokingly posted a comment saying something to the effect that I had seen a photo of it, and people will not believe it when they finally see it. Because I knew that the face of the Pixel was entirely ordinary and familiar.
It has no special button configuration and is much like any other Super Nintendo controller inspired handheld device.
So now that it has been fully revealed, are we particularly impressed with the GKD Pixel? Yes, actually.
Table of Contents
Why the GKD Pixel?
So why the Pixel? What reason to make a device like this in 2023? Well, I do believe that the GKD Pixel fills a void in the handheld gaming scene, despite it’s unnecessary hype.
The Pixel is a perfect device for those who loved the pocket friendly nature of the Anbernic RG Nano, but understood that the Nano was quite impractical for actual game play.
The GKD Pixel has a much more appealing design, a nice screen, and looks like it is just large enough to want to play.
It still is very pocketable and will have the power to play everything through 32-bit. So this is a wonderful device to keep in your pocket or in your bag for quick access to retro gaming.
Game Play Expectations
As far as known specs for the GKD Pixel – it has a two inch IPS screen (320×240), a 1500 mAh battery, no WIFI, and it will come loaded with GKD’s notoriously locked Linux firmware.
This won’t be the best OS experience you’ve ever had, but hopefully it stays out of the way and allows for easy game play for consoles like Game Boy, Super Nintendo, Neo Geo Pocket, Sega Genesis, and Pokemon Mini.
They have boasted higher capabilities in the early teasing of the Pixel, but I can’t imagine wanting to play Playstation on a 2 inch screen. Maybe that’s a desire for some, but the larger pixels of 8, 16, and 32 bit games will be ideal on this screen.
It also has a full aluminum shell, so this thing can take a beating in your bag or if you happen to drop it. Plus, metal shells just make gaming devices feel so much nicer and are a personal favorite of mine.
I am genuinely impressed with the overall look of the GKD Pixel, but why all the mystery?
I believe this tactic was due to the delay in production of the Pixel’s buttons, as RetroCN shared on social media, and nothing else.
But the team behind this new device acted like we were gonna see the next big thing, pun intended.
And what we got was a cute little handheld that can play games well and looks cool. We didn’t need the theatrics. The Pixel is good enough without any extra hype.
How To Get One
From past experience, we know that getting a GKD device will not be as straight forward as buying something from a company like Powkiddy or Anbernic. You’ll have to put some effort into getting one, if you want it.
The GKD Pixel is set to be released any day now on the RetroCN website. RetroCN has been acting as a proxy for both GKD and Ozone, the designer responsible for the metal shells in GKD devices and the Metal Analogue Pocket.
But we’ve lost a bit of faith in RetroCN over the past few months watching their role as middle man. Tough to say who is at fault there, but it doesn’t seem to be an efficient relationship.
Nonetheless, we do believe that the GKD Pixel is a worthwhile device that appears to be quite premium and well built. And if you think it looks good, you should support it.
It was previously mentioned that the GKD Pixel would retail for around 400 yuan, which is about $55usd.
If it can come in under $90 with shipping and taxes, I do think it is worth the investment for a really durable and beautiful pocket gaming device.
I have my fingers crossed that the release of the GKD Pixel is the most successful for GKD and RetroCN. Time will tell.
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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.