Everyone seems to be talking about retro gaming handhelds these days, thanks in large part to the long-awaited release of the great Analogue Pocket. With FPGA power, a sleek design and a fantastic screen, it’s no wonder this portable gem is in high demand – with some people placing orders this year being told they’ll have to wait until 2023 to get their hands on it. Hic.
If you’re tempted to spend $200 on an Analog Pocket but don’t want to wait that long (or suffer a drop in overall quality), then there’s no shortage of much cheaper emulation-based handhelds on the market, the latest being Miyu Mini. Although the name “Miyoo” may not be immediately familiar, this Chinese company has released many similar products under different brands, including BittBoy and PocketGo. The Miyoo Mini looks like an evolution of the first, drawing inspiration from the iconic Game Boy design.
First the good news. Build quality is excellent, with responsive buttons and a fantastic D-Pad. The 2.8-inch LCD screen is also better than what you would expect from a device that costs $60; it boasts a resolution of 640×480 pixels and has a very, very thin bezels, which makes it very attractive. The device is equipped with a 1900 mAh battery that provides 5 to 6 hours of play time, and the device charges via USB-C. The software is stored on a microSD card. Supported systems include Game Boy, NES, SNES, Mega Drive, PC Engine, and Neo Geo.
As with almost all of these Chinese-made devices, you’ll have to put up with the idea of downloading ROMs from the internet to get the most out of it. Of course, there are options to reset your own cartridges if you want to stay legal.
Apart from this issue, the biggest stumbling block for Miyoo currently is the fact that the emulation performance is not brilliant. Leaving aside the fact that it uses a standard system-on-a-chip approach coupled with software emulation rather than the more precise FPGA approach seen in the Analogue Pocket, there is a noticeable lag behind some higher end emulators and audio quality. not shiny.
The stock firmware (which uses music from the PS Vita menu rather amusingly) needs some work, but it’s highly likely that the community will outdo Miyoo; custom firmware is a common sight on these Chinese PDAs and we will likely see major improvements over the next few months as coders adapt their own software for the Miyoo Mini.
Then the verdict? It’s certainly a neat little device for the price, and we love the fact that it’s really pocket-friendly. However, can it compete with the Analogue Pocket? Of course not, but then again, it’s worth a quarter of the price.
Thanks to Save retro for the supply of the Miyoo Mini used in this work.