Hardkernel’s third ODROID-Go device has a bigger screen, a bigger battery, improved wireless capabilities, and more buttons than the company’s first two handheld gaming systems.
The ODROID-GO Super was announced in December with a list price of $80 and now it’s available for purchase. While it’s out of stock at the Hardkernel Shop at the moment, Ameridroid is selling the ODROID-GO for $90.
The new model features a 5 inch, 854 x 480 pixel LCD display in the center, with game controllers on the left and right sides and shoulder buttons along the top edge. Overall, it looks a lot like a Nintendo Switch Lite, which is hardly surprising since the the original ODROID-Go from 2018 looked like a Nintendo Game Boy, and the ODROID-Go Advance that hit the streets earlier this was inspired by the Game Boy Advance (with a more rectangular design).
But not only is the ODROID-GO Super less than half the price of Nintendo’s handheld game console, but it’s also a heck of a lot geekier. It’s designed to run an operating system based on Ubuntu Linux, with support for emulators that allow you to run games for the PlayStation 1, PlayStation Portable, Nintendo 64, and other older classic game consoles.
The system features a 1.3 GHz Rockchip RK3326 quad-core ARM Cortex-A35 processor with ARM Mali-G31 MP2 graphics and 1GB of DDR3L memory. There’s a small amount of built-in storage for a bootloader, but the ODROID-GO Super is designed to use a microSD card for storage.
Other features include a mono speaker, 3.5mm headphone jack, USB 2.0 host port, a 4,000 mAh battery, and a DC jack for a 5V/1.5A power supply.
Hardkernel says it’s made a number of changes to set the new model apart from the ODROID-GO Advance, including a larger, higher-resolution display (the Advance had a 3.5 inch, 480 x 320 pixel screen), a bigger battery (the Advance had a 3,000 mAh battery), and support for faster UWB WiFi+ Bluetooth.
There’s also a second analog joystick, dedicated volume buttons, and the microSD card now has a spring eject system to make it easier to remove cards.
The company will also pre-assemble the ODROID-GO Super at the factory before shipping it to customers rather than shipping a DIY kit that needs to be assembled at home.
Since the new model has the same processor as the ODROID-Go Advance though, software developed for one device will be able to run on the other.
If you don’t feel like waiting until January (or prefer a smaller handheld gaming device), the ODROID-GO Advance is currently available from Hardkernel for $59.
This article was originally published December 22, 2020 and last updated January 29, 2021.
Will Odroid Go Advanced buttons work on the super?
This is definitely tempting to use as a cloud streaming device if it can run Android. But I’m not quite sure the specs are powerful enough to run streaming apps like Xbox game streaming. The last RK3326 device I tried struggled to run streaming apps on Android.
one question, I can run this in qemu?
how improve it? how optimalise
If you don’t care about the portability and already have a computer you’re probably better off just downloading console emulators directly.
And you might want to be quick about that.
I really like the increase to the physical size. My Go Advance is just a little too small to fit in my hands comfortably. Its also nice that they’re now going to be pre-assembled.
The change to a larger 16:9 screen (compared to the smaller 4:3 screen) will be nice for GBA’s slightly wider ratio, but it’s worth remembering that most other emulated consoles are 4:3 natively, so you’re not getting an extra 1.5″ of diagonal screen size in games, you’re getting an extra 0.7″ of diagonal usable size on a 4:3 game. It will make the UI experience better for sure.
I was originally resistant to the idea that the Go Advance needed an extra analog stick (as there are almost no games that require 2 joysticks within reach of this system’s performance). However, after using other systems with two joysticks, I realized that two sticks adds the benefit of choosing which hand you want to use a single-stick with too. On N64, I played some games with my left hand on the analog, and some with my right. Nice to see the extra stick for that purpose.
Personally what I think they should do is have a hardware switch that flips the display 180′. That way they can have the Joysticks up the top, next to the Shoulder Pads when playing a demanding 3D/Open-World title (eg Shooting and Flying the Hunter Helicopter in GTA Vice City Stories on PSP)(or maybe just playing Quake 3). Then when you want to play a 2D game, (eg Super Mario Advance2 on GBA) you can either shift your grip to use the D-Pad and Action Buttons on the bottom, or have them on the top by flipping the screen and have the joysticks on the bottom annoyingly resting on your palms instead.
Here’s why I mentioned the above. This device is using Cortex-A35 cores and is targeting 2D gaming (Atari, Mame, Sega, S/NES, GB/A etc). Those games use D-Pad and 4-Action Buttons, and rarely make use of two Shoulder Pads. So losing the Shoulder Pads or having them hide on the bottom doesn’t matter in most cases.
Due to how good HardKernel/Odroid software is and how advanced emulation has become, this can punch above its weight, and to a very limited point, do some 2.5D games (MS DoS, N64, NDS, PS1, PSP, DreamCast, 2DS etc). This level of performance usually demands a higher clocked Cortex-A55 processor. Those games make do with the same D-Pad, 4-Action Buttons, but four Shoulder Pads and one Joystick (preferably on the right).
It cannot do much better, like proper 3D games, that usually asks for Cortex-A73 cores and above. When doing legacy 3D games, such as PS2, n3DS, GameCube, Wii, Xbox, etc you’ll need to rely more on the shoulder pads and joysticks. That means improving the four Shoulder Pads, having two Joysticks, and placing them above the Action Buttons and D-Pad (ie WiiU Pro Controller). Actually this rings true as well for newer 3D (3.3D ?) games such as the PS Vita, 360, PS3, WiiU, Switch, etc etc which are not emulate-able yet on ARM cores, but perhaps possible in the coming years on a portable-x86 device.
For actual modern 3.5D games, such as XB1, PS4, PS5, XseX, Gaming PC you’ll need finer controls. For instance, Keyboard, Mouse, Gyro, and Touchscreen. And you will need a non-portable x86 processor (or maybe an Apple M2 ?).
I have all the roms but held off on the Go Advance as I heard that the buttons wear very quickly. I will wait for the reviews before thinking of buying.
1h working time ;-(
alternate model is currently out of stock on their website, and you have to buy 5 or more to buy from them, it appears..
Whoops, fixing that now!
“The ODROID-Go Super will go on sale in late January 2020 for $80.”
— hey Brad, I predict NOT.
That seems correct to me, the previous model was $60
I think they missed the mark by a year. 🙂
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