For those of you that love some of the best retro handhelds around, you’ll certainly know that China are continuously cloning popular games consoles. The Nintendo Switch is by far the most popular handheld to be cloned by the likes of Powkiddy.
The Powkiddy X2 may not be the next Nintendo Switch 2, but it’s taking obvious features from Nintendo’s arsenal in hopes to put their handhelds into peoples… well, hands!
How they are getting away with this, we do not know. But it’s probably due to China’s laws that allow them to somewhat “copy” other companies designs in a way that isn’t “identical”.
Who Is Powkiddy?
Powkiddy is a company based in China who are renowned for making electronics, more specifically average games consoles. They use emulators, and pieces of software internally to play your old school retro games using ROMs.
What’s making them quite popular recently is the fact they are illegally pre-loading ROMs for their customers which allows them to play hundreds, if not thousands without having to source them themselves.
That combined with a below average games consoles and you have yourself a cheap handheld to play your best Gameboy Color games, and even PS1 games on a tiny, cheap Switch like console
Powkiddy X2 Specifications
Because the Powkiddy X2 has only been released, and only a handful are available in the first batch on AliExpress there is very little information on the handheld, but the below specifications are what we know so far:
- 7″ 1024×600 IPS display
- ARM Cortex A7 at 1.3GHz Processor
- 3000 MAH Battery
- HDMI Output
- Micro USB Charging
- x2 Mciro-USB Ports For Controllers
- TF/SD Card Slot
- $79.99 Price Tag
What Can The Powkiddy X2 Emulate?
With the ARM 1.3GHz Processor, and running on what looks like RetroArch (that could change) the Powkiddy X2 should be able to emulate everything up to Playstation 1. If not, the $80 price tag is a ridiculous number and should be halved if that’s the case.
Below is a list of what the Powkiddy X2 can apparently emulate:
- Gameboy Color
- Gameboy Advance
- Game Gear
- Mega Drive
- Super Famicom
- Neo Geo
As of right now, we have no idea how well the Powkiddy X2 will perform, but you can be sure once we get our hands on it, a full review will be posted here, and on our YouTube channel.
Powkiddy X2 Appereance
There’s no hiding that the Powkiddy X2 looks very similar to the Nintendo Switch, but let’s put that aside for a moment and take a look around the device.
It features a large non-touchscreen display with a resolution of 1024×600. Many of us like having a larger screen for games, but when it comes to emulation, many of our games will be stretched, and the pixel density blurred.
The large screen will only come in handy with Playstation 1 emulation, but even then, it might look a bit weird. Personally, I think Powkiddy just wanted to make a handheld the same size as a Switch to test the waters and hope customers buy it for a laugh, or a gag gift instead of a serious handheld.
The Joy-Cons do not remove, these are just styled face plates that are meant to look like the Switch. But in classic Powkiddy style, they’ve simply swapped the colours around. Take that cease and desist!
On top you have your on/off buttons, a TF Card slot for you to install your ROM’s or perhaps for Powkiddy to illegally install them for you. A HDMI out port, a headphone jack and just TWO shoulder buttons. Not four which some PS1 games are needed to play… nice one Powkiddy.
The face of the Powkiddy X2 actually looks quite nice, the analogue sticks are in the correct place, buttons look somewhat good quality, the hopefully, the IPS display is bright and crispy, but time will tell.
The Powkiddy X2 isn’t going to sell millions of units, it’s not going to emulate the best Dreamcast games, and it’s not going to feature the greatest technology. But it will do well. These Chinese handhelds are becoming more and more popular by the day, due to the cheap “throw away” nature of them and easy access to retro games.
But like most things Powkiddy releases, they are cheap handhelds, some that break over time, and they become products that get chucked under your bed for months on end.
But for those of you that do want a large console to play retro games, then this could be for you. It should run emulation well, and with the big screen it’s a very unique Chinese handheld and one that doesn’t have too much competition.