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 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.
The RG552 is possibly 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 video showing the new 5″ screen for the upcoming RG552 handheld. On the Japanese social network he used the title “RG552”, which could be the official name of this upcoming handheld.
What’s more is that you can see God Of War on PSP running flawlessly, which is impossible on the previous “RG” series of handhelds meaning it’s most likely that we’ll be getting a new chip once it’s released.
All of this information should be taken with a grain of salt as it hasn’t come from ANBERNIC officially.
RG552 Specifications (Rumoured)
As of now, Zhou has revealed no other information about the RG552, but a leak on a Japanese website where the original video was sourced revealed the following specs. It’s not a lot of information at all, but hey, it’s better than nothing!
- 5.5″ HD IPS Screen (Switch between 4:3 and 16:9 possible)
- dual TF Card
- Dual Joystick
- Dual Speakers
- HDMI Out
There’s no real information about the resolution of the screen either or how the handheld will look, but it’s most likely going to look like the RG351P, just longer, and possibly thicker just like the RGB10 Max.
There’s also no information about a metal variant, which we know a lot of you love. If they did, expect to pay a premium for this.
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. If they do, we’re giving this handheld a hard pass, there’s just no need to go backwards.
With the developer showing of flawless PSP emulation, it’s a hard hint that they’re using something far more powerful.
There is a more expensive, high performance RK chip called the RK3399, a more effective chip that could possibly emulate PSP flawlessly, but many members of the community want ANBERNIC to move away from this chip for performance reasons. It could be possible the ANBERNIC use this chip, but again, this is all speculation.
Perhaps they’ll go down the Android route and use MediaTek chips which are typically found in smartphones. These would be a great chip to use as it has eight cores, but Android isn’t the easiest to use for newcomers in the scene, as shows in the Retroid Pocket 2.
If we take a look at the performance in the leaked video, if PSP emulation is running that good, it could mean we could see the best Dreamcast games running incredibly well, with a possibility of running the best N64 games perfectly like Golden Eye and so on.
Many of you will be wondering if this can emulate Gamecube games or PS2 games, and the likely answer is probably not. Even some of the best smartphones struggle with emulating these consoles, so an affordable handheld like this will probably struggle to.
While the RG351V/P/M can technically “run N64 games”, they don’t run all of them flawlessly, and that’s why we’re very strict with our reviews, but it looks as the RG552 could be that handheld that actually runs the N64 and Dreamcast “flawlessly”, but we won’t know until we get one into review.
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.
We estimate that the RG552 will retail between $120 – $160 for the plastic variant, if they launch a metal variant (we hope they do), we could see this adding up to $50 to that price tag. If they move beyond the $200 they’ll be competing with the Nintendo Switch and the likes of GPD which they just can’t do currently.
RG552 Release Date
As of now there is no official information regarding the RG552’s release date, but after speaking with ANBERNIC’s marketing team, they have informed us that it will “probably be in November”.
So just in time for Christmas!
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 Dreamcast emulation, which is sad to hear. But who knows, when a market lacks new products innovation is mandatory to succeed.
UPDATE 3/6/21 – Recently new footage of the RG552 has been leaked, showing off the built in fans, and it also gives you a little look into the sheer size of this thing.