The 3.5″ handheld scene is getting more and more overwhelming by the day, with new releases coming out every few weeks. To change up the scene the developers behind these popular handhelds have had to come up with a new way of creating a handheld that feels unique.
So, what you’ll start to see (just like we mentioned many months ago in our Retrospect Podcast) is more handhelds coming out with 5″ screens, just like the ODROID Go Super, which has started the trend in this “affordable” market!
As of the 1st December you can now pre-order the RG552 from Droix. Droix are a respectable trustworthy retailer who has great customer service, will accept returns/refunds and will also support you all the way through your retro handheld experience.
The RG552 is the new name of ANBERNIC‘s upcoming handheld, the successor to the RG351V and RG351P. It’s not officially released but a video of the screen has been revealed from a Japanese social network.
Zhou has been a developer working on ANERBNIC’s products for a long time, and although he rarely releases any information about them, he has revealed a trailer showing the new 5″ screen for the upcoming RG552 handheld. On the social network he has used the title “RG552”, which is the official name of this upcoming handheld.
The trailer above was released on the 30th November 2021 which makes us belive that the handheld is ready and will be listed on AliExpress shortly after, but we’ll talk more about that at the bottom of this article.
Once we have muted the awful music we can then see what the RG552 has to offer, and although it’s not “next-gen”, it’s a step in the right direction. This will be the first ever RK3399 chip we have tested, so we’re keeping our fingers crossed.
- 5.36″ IPS Touch-Screen Display (1920 x 1152)
- RK3399 1.8Ghz Hexa-core CPU
- Mali T860 MP4 GPU
- 4GB RAM
- 6400mAh Battery (6 hours of gameplay)
- Android 7.1 Operating System
- Silent Active Heat Sink Turbo Fan
- HDMI Out
- USB-C 3.0
- 3.5mm Headphone Jack
- A metal edition will be available, possibly named RG552M.
The trailer gives us the official specifications of the RG552 and it finally shows a change from the over-used RK3326 chipset that has been the norm for a couple of years now.
This RK3399 chipset is new to us, so as of now, we can’t give you an idea of what this can emulate, but if we had to guess it will emulate Dreamcast and PSP games flawlessly without any problems.
If it doesn’t do that, then there’s no need for previous ANBERNIC customers to upgrade. We’re seeing a huge demand from emulation gamers wanting the need to play the best Gamecube horror games on their handhelds but that may be a stretch for the RG552.
The large 5.3″ screen is a nice new addition to ANBERNIC’s handhelds, the nearest we have seen to this in the affordable handheld scene is the new Powkiddy Max 2 which is a great handheld, especially with its ergonomics and large screen.
From a far, it does look like an RG351P, this is probably intentional as they want it to look like their previous branded handhelds, but in our honest opinion this design is getting a little outdated, especially with the cheap, squared shoulder buttons that aren’t stacked.
Towards the end of the trailer you will also see a quick reveal of the metal variant which could be named the RG552M. This will cost significantly more but it will be the first affordable handheld out of China to take on a metal shell.
Yes, it will weigh far too much for the average gamer, but it will undoubtedly feel like no other handheld on the market as of now.
What Can The RG552 Emulate?
The RG552 is going to be able to emulate far more than its predecessors, because they won’t be using the old RK3326 chipset.
With the developer showing of flawless PSP emulation, it’s a hard hint that they’re moving in the right direction, even if it is Android.
If we have to place bets on what the RK3399 chip can emulate it would be as far as Dreamcast and PSP games flawlessly.
Gamecube emulation on this could be a little tricky, it’s likely that smaller Gamecube games could potentially run on it, but if you want to play on some of the best Gamecube games around it’s likely you will be greeted with frame rate drops, audio cracking and just an unpleasant gaming experience.
For those that have asked us, no this will not be able to emulate PS2 games, even some of the latest smartphones struggle to emulate the best PS2 games, so this thing isn’t going to do it either.
How Much Is A RG552?
There’s no official information regarding the price or released dates of the RG552, but having years of experience in this industry, we can make a dang good guess.
The RG351P is currently retailing for approximately $99 and the RG351M approximately $135, so a handheld with a bigger screen and a faster chip is going to be a lot more than this.
The RG552 has been listed on Droix for £189.99 here.
RG552 Release Date
The RG552 is now for sale at Droix.net for £189.99 and will officially ship on the 20th December 2021. It will also go on sale on AliExpress for a little cheaper on the 6th December 2021. Make sure to grab one quickly because typically ANBERNIC sale this in batches, so get on the first batch as fast as you can.
I personally think that these retro handheld are going to hit a bit of a “wall” in the coming years. PS2 and Gamecube emulation is incredibly hard, and only PC’s can emulate it will enough to be enjoyable. So what’s going to happen to all of these handhelds once they hit that “emulation wall”?
That’s the big question. They can only change the shell and design slightly, as the gaming layout needs to be similar. They can change the screen, add new triggers and so on, but when is it eventually going to be the same thing with a new shell? Just like what’s happening in the industry now, repeated handhelds, with the same emulation power.
It’s going to be years until we see China release handhelds with anything over Gamecube emulation, which is sad to hear. But who knows, when a market lacks new products innovation is mandatory to succeed.