About a year and a half after launching the ODROID-GO handheld game system with support for 8-bit games, the folks at Hardkernel have introduced a new model with a faster processor, an upgraded display, and support for 16-bit and 32-bit retro games.

The ODROID-GO Advance is an Ubuntu Linux-powered handheld gaming device that will be available in late January for $55.

The new model drops Arduino compatibility, but adds enough functions that it makes sense to think of the ODROID-GO Advance as not only a retro game console, but a full-fledged Linux computer that just happens to be styled as a handheld retro gaming system.

It ships with Ubuntu 18.04 with the Linux kernel 4.4.189 and a user interface based on EmulationStation. HardKernel says the ODROID-GO Advance supports emulation of a bunch of classic game systems including the original PlayStation and PlayStation Portable, Sega CD, and Nintendo systems including the NES, SNES, GB, GBA, and GBC.

The little computer is powered by a 1.3 GHz Rockchip RK3326 quad-core ARM Cortex-A35 processor with Mali-G31 MP2 graphics and features 1GB of DDR3L RAM, 16MB of SPI flash storage, and a microSD card reader.

There’s a 3.5 inch, 480 x 320 pixel LCD display, a mono speaker, and a headphone jack. And the little computer’s 3.7V 3,000 mAh battery is said to offer up to 10 hours of battery life while playing games.

Other features include a USB 2.0 host port, a 10-pin port with access to GPIO, IRQ, and I2C pins and a 2.5mm DC power plug.

The whole thing measures about 6.1″ x 2.8″ x 0.8″ and weighs six ounces.

via CNX Software

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16 replies on “ODROID-GO Advance is a $55 handheld game system running Ubuntu (coming in January, 2020)”

  1. Wow. $55 is a good price. I’m kinda disappointed with my RG350 and it’s inability to play FBA CPS3 at a full 30 (and definitely not PSP). I wish this has some form of tv-out via HDMI.

  2. I look forward to reading the reviews. It will be interesting to see what they did well and what doesn’t work. It is very cool that they made this.

  3. Definitely going to pick one of these up. The only devices that compete with this are all the chinese devices running Opendingux. Emulationstation is just far better.

  4. Seem to have excellent engineering team. Its 2020 like to see more power but at $55 cant whine. There will be upd in few years

  5. The single analog stick just kills this. Very disappointing. Looks ok otherwise for the money, though 640×480 would have been much nicer.

    1. To be fair this is intended to be modded and has exposed GPIO, so it you want extra shoulder buttons or a second analog stick, it’s relatively easy to mod. Also the PS1 mostly works without analog sticks and the 6 front buttons can be mapped to L2/R2, so apart from ApeEscape you are set. All the other emulated systems are fine with these controls, including the PSP, so I don’t really see how it “kills” this unless you plan to use it as a dedicated PS1 emulator – and nothing else. In which case you are much better off with a used Vita.

    2. Name 1 game that requires 2 analog sticks that this system is capable of running. Like zdanee said, Ape Escape on PS1 is the only game.

      1. What about Duke Nukem 3D ? Or better yet Quake III ?
        That’s a pretty fun game, and sucks without proper controls. Plus there’s plenty of Mods, or games built upon it.

        Also, I wonder if they could add a second joystick, could it be mapped to be used in PSP Emulation?

        And I know even the first joystick was an after-thought, this thing really isn’t designed for 3D games in mind, its moreso for NDS style graphics. I think having a bit extra oomph would’ve been welcomed for early 3D games from the N64, PS1, PSP, and DreamCast. And a lot more oomph is necessary to emulate PS2, GameCube, Wii, and 3DS titles… something high-end phones can achieve. Emulating PS3, WiiU, and Switch isn’t possible on ARM/portable devices yet. There’s very little interest in Xbox/360 emulators. Forget about PS4/XB1/x86-AAA Emulation for at least a decade.

        1. This will probably struggle with N64, and I’m quite confident that PS2, GC/Wii and 3DS is impossible with these specs. as for NDS the lack of touchscreen and second scren makes it not viable even if the emulation would work. Just to put it in context: you’d need a S835 for GameCube, and the GPU is the most important part, an Exynos 8895 will not work with a 20-core Mali GPU. Portable PS2 and Wii will be more likely achived on embedded Ryzen portables before cheap ARM throwaways become that powerful.

          1. I’m actually really surprised that PSP is running in the video. I wouldn’t have guessed that this SOC could handle PSP. I would have guessed that 2D PS1 games would be the absolute limit.

          2. Some PSP games are pretty easy to run. I’d be curious how it handles heavier games like Valkyria Chronicles 3 or the Star Ocean games.

        2. Duke Nukem 3D wouldn’t make any use of analog sticks. The game doesn’t handle 2-axis aiming very well. Its actually really difficult to aim up and down in that game engine. The game was meant to be played like Doom with your left and right keys being used for Yaw and not sidestepping. Mouse aiming wasn’t even used by default.

          Quake 3 is a good example though.

      2. The Quake games would have been my go to answers. There are a number of open source FPSes that would be nice to run on this and they all require two sticks. Xash3D, Return to Castle Wolfenstein, any Doom engine that includes freelook. And honestly, even Chocolate Doom plays nicer with a dual stick layout, even if you never look up or down. Twin stick shooters also kinda need that second stick, there’s plenty of those out there that can be ported. And for N64 emulation, a second analog would be better for the C-buttons since the actual button layout isn’t great for them. It also comes in handy for vertical shooters, letting you play them in the proper direction. There, way more than “one game”, so drop the condescension.

        The Vita is still better for all this stuff despite being close to a decade old at this point entirely because they got the details like this right. Even if you don’t need it for perfect SNES emulation, it costs next to nothing to include the extra stick, and it’s been the standard for close to 20 years now.

  6. Seems like it is decently priced, decently specced, and well-built. Good job.

    The closest competitor would be the RG350, and that goes for around $80. Arguably it has a better shell, better screen, better speaker, HDMI-out dual joysticks, and quad shoulder pads. But what the Odroid Go Advance has going for it is better performance and better battery life.

    Although I really wished they made an Odroid N2 into a pocketable console. That thing is pretty good for performance, and has a really strong community for Android, software, and projects. Not too sure about the Raspberry Pi 4, it’s still pretty new I guess.

    1. Getting something like the Odroid N2 or RaspPi4 to be suitable for portable use will require them to make a version of it that gets rid of all the power-hungry features. The USB 3.0 ports will need to be dumped.

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