I like it when retro handhelds have a fun form factor and that usually involves them cloning a preexisting controller or console. The countless handheld PCs and handhelds that look like a Nintendo Switch can get boring, so I always praise when there is something new or weird to be offered. Recently, this has been a great time for fun releases and the upcoming ones add some enjoyment to be had as well.

When so many of these devices share the same performance, the form factor is what keeps it interesting. Of course, it just fuels this sickness and addiction we have of buying these things, but it also speaks to that inner nostalgia we are always chasing. Let’s look at some of the most fun console and handheld clones and also see what is upcoming.

The Controller Clones

One thing that I find enjoyable is a good controller clone for a retro handheld. Anbernic did this with a few of their releases. The RG353P resembles an SNES controller. They also have the RG Arc that looks like a Sega Saturn controller, although it struggles to play Sega Saturn Games. The Data Frog was even an attempt at an SNES controller and gave the community frog fever there for a minute.

Retro Arena on the Anbernic RG ARC

The RG Arc

This type of handheld always works so well because we have that great familiarity of holding these controllers. The D-Pad alone on the RG Arc makes it a great purchase. Even if a console doesn’t have the same shape as a controller, they sometimes try to copy the color. There are so many Famicom and SNES colored variants of big releases and it is because they know people want to see it

The Handheld Clones

Anbernic RG35XX 2024 with Miyoo Mini Plus and R33s running TLOZ The Minish Cap

Anbernic RG35XX 2024 with Miyoo Mini Plus and R33s running TLOZ The Minish Cap

Another type of handheld that has been coming out is the ones that clone other handheld gaming systems. The recent RG35XX SP proves the community loves the familiarity of a handheld they once had. This can also be said about the RG28XX or Miyoo A30 that both resemble a GBA Micro. Even all of the vertical handhelds like the 351V, Miyoo Mini, RG405V, and others of the like resemble that same Game Boy factor.

Upcoming Devices

This year has been so much fun with devices and it has brought back a ton of that excitement I had when I first joined the hobby a few years ago. Let’s look at what other clones we have to look forward to for the rest of the year.

AYN Odin 2 Mini

Odin 2 Mini

AYN Odin 2 Mini

  • Resembles: A PS Vita
  • Release: End of June
  • Where to Order: AYN Store
  • More Information: Here

Anbernic RG Cube


RG Cube

  • Resembles: A Leap Frog
  • Releases: TBA (Most likely soon though)
  • Where to Order:
  • More Information: Here

Ayaneo Pocket DMG

Ayaneo Pocket DMG

Pocket DMG

  • Resembles: A Game Boy
  • Releases: TBA
  • Where to Order: TBA
  • More Information: Here

Miyoo Mini Flip

Miyoo Flip

  • Resembles: A Game Boy Advance SP
  • Releases: TBA (Hopefully this year)
  • Where to Order: AliExpress
  • More Information: Here

What’s Next?

What is next with these devices? I have a feeling we are going to keep getting clamshells, but I am curious to see where we go after that. Will they start incorporating 2 screens to copy the DS? Personally, I would love to see an N64 controller clone. It wouldn’t be the most practical and would probably be ugly, but I want it.

What is your dream form factor? Let us know in the comments below, and chat with us in our Discord!

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