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Chinese handheld gaming company Anbernic is preparing to launch its smallest game console to date. The upcoming Anbernic RG nano measures just 71 x 43 x 17mm (2.8″ x 1.7″ x 0.7″), making it small enough to clip on a keychain and keep in your pocket or handbag. It weighs 153 grams (5.4 ounces).

But it’s also a full-fledged game system with a color display, D-Pad, action buttons, and even shoulder buttons. First unveiled in May, the Anbernic RG Nano is now available for purchase. Retail prices start at $66, but Anbernic is offering a $6 discount to customers who order by June 15, 2023.

The RG Nano has an aluminum alloy body and comes in several color options including dark purple, blue, and red.

Its tiny display is a 1.54 inch, 240 x 240 pixel IPS LCD screen, and the system is powered by a 1.2 GHz ARM Cortex-A7 processor and 64MB of DDR2 memory. It uses a microSD card for storage, and Anbernic sells models with 64GB or 128GB storage cards, but it supports cards with capacities up to 512GB.

While the hardware isn’t particularly powerful, Anbernic says it should be good enough to handle NES, GBA, and even PS1 games (although The Phawx says it struggles to run most PS1 titles at playable speeds). It runs a Linux-based operating system with support for emulators. There’s also a clock function if you just want to use the RG Nano as a time piece.

You can also use the RG Nano as a portable media player. It has a  built-in speaker and support for MP3, FLAC, OGG, MP4, and AVI files, among others. While there’s no headphone jack, you can use a USB Type-C to 3.5mm audio adapter if you want to plug in a pair.

The RG Nano has 1,050 mAh LiPo battery that the company says lasts for 2.5 hours, although I have to imagine that battery life will vary depending on whether you’re using the device to play games or just listen to music.

The Anbernic RG Nano isn’t the first keychain-sized game console we’ve seen. The Arduboy Mini is a crowdfunded model that hit Kickstarter last year and should begin shipping soon, while the FunKey S is a tiny console with a Game Boy Advanced SP-inspired design that launched a few years ago. Others include the PocketStar and Thumby.

But the RG Nano is one of the first to come from a company with a long track record in the handheld game console space.

This article was first published May 26, 2023 and most recently updated June 13, 2023. 

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  1. Really wish Anbernic made something nice/metal in between the new RG Nano and the really old RG280V, or at least something closer in size (and screen-to-bezel ratio) as the original Miyoo Mini (smaller non-plus version). Even an updated 280V with a larger screen and more modern specs would be cool.

    Also wish they’d get their US distribution channels running again.

  2. “There’s no word on the processor, but given that the system is expected to be able to handle emulation of classic game consoles up to the Game Boy Advance, I wouldn’t expect anything particularly powerful.”

    According to Retro Handhelds
    it’s rumoured to feature an Allwiner K3S, but I can’t really find anything about this SoC… it looks like a Cortex A7 running at 1.2Ghz, similar to the Funkey S.

    1. Looks like I’m a rich idiot, I’m probably going to buy one if it’s able to function as an mp3 player as well, Anbernics are usually reasonably priced so I bet this won’t break the bank.

      1. another “idiot” with too much money to spend here. Anyway have you seen the prices of consoles and “only-for-download-in-my-latest-console” games these days?
        For me this is a bargain!

  3. Too much big for a keychain, too small to play if you aren’t too young, and if you are, you wouldn’t be interested in those old games.

  4. I guess the target market for this are people with small hands and good eyesight (with/without glasses).

  5. This thing is basically a complete clone (spec-wise) of the Funkey S.

    I’m going to order one, but I have no hopes of it actually being playable. The Miyoo Mini was about 3x larger than this, and it was too small to hold for more than 5 minutes.