PocketGo review: Portable retro-gaming-bliss

PocketGo review: Portable retro-gaming-bliss

The PocketGo is the latest portable gaming emulator of BittBoy, and refined handheld retro-gaming and hitting the sweet spot between size, features, and price. The New BittBoy V3 that I reviewed is similar in many respects, earlier this year, it plays to the same retro games from the NES, GameBoy, Genesis, and many more through software emulation. It is listed for $50 (including a 8 GB MicroSD card), but sold for $40 for most of the time since its introduction. If you are looking for pixel-perfect emulation, then you should look somewhere else. But if you want to play just the best way to get all your retro gaming favorites on the go, then this is your best bet.

PocketGo Adam Patrick Murray/IDG

The PocketGo is the best option for portable emulation.

Play games for days

as well as the New BittBoy V3, PocketGo, has a beautiful screen with a lot of light. The keys offer a satisfying compromise between stiff and clicky resistance and at the same time offers enough travel. The design goes back to the classic game consoles of the past, but it is simple and tasteful enough not to go out-of-date. And the sheer number of emulators and emulation options to paint much to justify the small price tag.

PocketGo Adam Patrick Murray/IDG

It supports save States, and games from a MicroSD card invites (included). The list of emulators achieved in decades of gaming history, including the NES, GameBoy, GameBoy Advance, SNES, Genesis, master system, PC Engine, NeoGeo, MAME, and even PlayStation 1. It even includes a small list of freeware games such as Cave Story, Doom and Quake.

PocketGo upgrades

in the course of time, one of the biggest problems came from the use of the BittBoy V3 was the vertical orientation, which mimics classic Nintendo game Boy. In my large hands it was not enjoyable to play, but it got the job done. Fortunately, the PocketGo is a horizontal orientation as it is for the game Boy Advance, and it is much more comfortable for long gaming sessions.

PocketGo Adam Patrick Murray/IDG

The PocketGo the horizontal orientation is much more convenient than the BittBoy vertical alignment, but the BittBoy design is more classic.

switch to a larger booth space allows you to also add the PocketGo, left and right shoulder buttons. That means it has enough buttons to play properly, all the SNES, GameBoy Advance and other systems, so many buttons, the rooms of hotel booking without the assignment of the controls. 

The PocketGo a higher battery capacity on the BittBoy V3, jump from 700mAh to 1,000 mAh. The increase in processor performance negates most of the battery savings to be expected. However, the battery life of the two devices took me to the last point, I had not expected. I was just a few weeks of using the PocketGo for about an hour every day on the Train.

PocketGo Adam Patrick Murray/IDG

Speaking of computing performance, the PocketGo has a newer system-on-a-chip as the New BittBoy V3. There is no real difference in day and night, I noticed better performance on some SNES and GameBoy Advance games. This happened in the form of less screen tearing, and maintaining a more stable framerate. 

Probably the biggest improvement is the PocketGo is the inclusion of a dedicated volume wheel is! To Select and step through the volume settings with the buttons on the face was a real weak point of the New BittBoy, and I’m so glad this was addressed. Unfortunately, there is still the need to jump through bigger volume settings with the Select and face button method, which is used with the dial as fine-tuning. For the most I just had with the wheel. So it’s not perfect, but still a huge improvement.

PocketGo Adam Patrick Murray/IDG

The little volume control on the side makes a huge difference!


work, There are still some disadvantages, the PocketGo that I would like to see in the future, devices treated The Linux-based home screen can use a little cumbersome to use and to learn—not so much in the game, but before diving into a game, or to try to change the settings. For example, in some emulators, the button ‘B’ is to be confirmed, but in the main menu there is button ‘A’. On top of that, the on-screen-display how much juice is left in the battery is still not easy. Even something like a basic percentage display would be so much more helpful.

PocketGo Adam Patrick Murray/IDG

you Can not tell the status of the battery by the small flash in the lower left corner of the screen?! Yes, I also do not…

Secondly, it is more difficult to replace the battery in the PocketGo, as the New BittBoy. The BittBoy had to solve an easily accessible battery pack, you could replace the rear. If you need to replace the battery, you need to click on the PocketGo Unscrew the whole backplate, which holds you in place of the On/Off switch, shoulder buttons and volume control. The first time I tried I almost lost a piece, because I expected it to fall. Hopefully, you need never replace the battery, but if you do, it is not an ideal situation.

PocketGo Adam Patrick Murray/IDG

Four screws on the back you get the PocketGo. Along the upper side of the shoulder buttons, reset switch, a headphone Jack, the USB micro charging port, A/V output and a Micro-SD card slot.


The PocketGo builds on the New BittBoy V3 and displaces it as my recommendation for handheld gaming emulation. The new orientation of the device and the improved handling makes it a lot better, and the price is just gets right to what you. While the emulation is far from perfect, the trade-off for a portable device that gets you most of the way to get there is worth it. 

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Released on Fri, 29 Nov 2019 11:36:00 +0000

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