With the annual Tokyo Game Show wrapping up today, we’ve been blessed with a plethora of announcements to excite the gaming community: from new footage of anticipated titles like Palworld or the new Dragon’s Dogma, to smaller incremental updates to existing games and DLC. However, one announcement that should definitely catch the attention of our retro handheld community is Project Nadeshiko. Coming from a Japanese company called Tassei Denki, who have formerly developed mostly controllers and accessories, this handheld appears to be looking to stand in as an emulation 3DS-alike. Two screens? Check. All the requisite face buttons? Check. A Ryzen processor? Wait, what?

Yeah, I don’t really know what that means either, I fully expected an ARM chip, but I guess we’re going straight for the big leagues. One could speculate this will probably be an x86 handheld then, which could certainly be very interesting if they manage to pull it off. This would mean not only 3DS emulation, but the full emulation library within its power scope. PS2, Gamecube, DS, PSP, the sky is the limit. Or rather, probably the processor is the limit, it is unlikely we’ll be seeing PS3 emulation though that would certainly be impressive.

The prototype units on display at the Tokyo Game Show

Two AMOLED screens, reportedly one at 7 inches and the other at 6 inches, perhaps the top one is the larger display? 2400×1080, so a 20:9 aspect ratio, which hints at repurposed cell phone displays and makes a lot of sense. 600 nits brightness? Nice. 90hz? Can’t say whether or not that’s a very helpful feature for emulation, but there are hints that it may play older PC titles as well if it’s on x86, so I guess that could theoretically use the higher refresh rate. It should at least help make the interface snappier.

This could make for an interesting alternative to either tracking down original hardware to play dual-screen games, or as a dedicated handheld alternative to the Surface Duo that became popular in our community recently. Now it just remains to be seen whether or not Nintendo will let them get away with something like this. I mean, technically the 3DS is now a discontinued device, but Nintendo has been known to send their attack lawyers against less. Also, even if they do pass the Nintendo barrier to entry, there are still plenty of examples of ambitious handhelds that get announced and even prototyped without ever sending a unit properly to market. I’m still a bit cheesed about being bamboozled by the Smach Z all these years later.

Regardless, this is an exciting look into some possible innovation within the handheld space. With 3DS and DS being most preferably played on a dual-screen device by their very nature, those of us seeking to emulate and preserve the legacy of those devices should be glad to see dual-screen emulation handhelds becoming a real thing. If this does launch, and it is popular, it may very well be the spark to ignite a fire under other handheld manufacturers to bring us more. Rest assured we will be watching closely for more information about this device, and we will be sure to update you all the moment we hear anything concrete and exciting. Until then, stay tuned for more retro handheld news, and stay hydrated!