“PUMPKIN SPICE LATTE!!!”
Whats good gamers? Please put down your pirated copies of Super Mario Wonder on Steam Deck because we are coming in hot with an important news bulletin. Papa Stubbs let me out of the dungeon in his basement just long enough to talk about our favorite e-waste in hopes that he might leave me a carrot with my daily ration of porridge and stale water (yes stale water exists. Help). He even said that if this article can generate at least 10 clicks, he will let me see an old picture of my fiancée I left in my wallet. He’s a really nice guy. I’ve been thinking a lot about certain T618 devices non-stop for the past…. 15 minutes or so. I think despite the Netflix documentaries worth of coverage about it, this little silicone and plastic daemon has more to say, and my schizo-ass will listen. What are you? Who made you? Why have you collapsed the sanity of Taki Udon? Why does the T618 refuse to die? Who even reads these? (besides Andy, bless). Yeah, this is a retrospective/self indulgent rambling on the Retroid Pocket 3 Plus.
For those who didn’t catch my RP2S review, Retroid is one of those companies where releasing a handheld is a big deal, since they actually design their handhelds in-house and make a solid effort to build their devices well. That doesn’t mean that their consoles are perfect, or objectively better than the competition, but it’s indicative of their confidence in their releases. Considering they only release about two handhelds every year, you see why they put so much time into R&D. As opposed to AYN who launches two indiegogos a year and adds an additional year for R&D to make truly innovative decisions like “let’s add hall sticks” or “let’s get the gamers what they truly want, console that’s w i d e r”. Let’s give AYN some credit though, at least they apologized for somehow forgetting the technology it takes to dock a console to the TV for the Odin 2.
Yeah I am, like you, a consumer (editors beware you’re in for a scare). And like every consumer last year, I was kerfuffled by Retroid’s announcement of certain Retroid Pocket 3 Plus. I was mad, angry, and sobbing uncontrollably. I also listed my new RP3 up for sale with no intention of buying a RP3+. But like the dirty capitalist truffle pig that I am, I ended up shilling the $150 buckaroonies and consumed the product. Russ sighed in defeat, Retro Dodo was inconsolable (he did put it in his top five handhelds of 2023 though), and Taki was very upset when he bought the console third-party months after release with ROMS on it and then complained about (but also said he made it… idk dude are you alright?). ETA Prime liked it… I thought it was pretty nice 🙂👍 up until the point where I got bored and sold that too because I *cough* just bought a Steam Deck. Yeah…
Something goofy happened though, as the “Power Wars” of emulation handhelds came to a plateau with every mid range handheld running the ever-present and eternal Unisoc T618, the RP3+ just… kept selling and getting support. DIY, an actually good metal edition, hall sticks, and much love from the community. The RP3+ seemed to persist as a handheld everyone just kept recommending on just about every non “just get a Steam Deck™” post despite the flaws. The T618 just refuses to die. It started with the Powkiddy x18 (may it burn in hell), then succeeded with the Anbernic 505, Anbernic 405 series, Powkiddy again with the x28 (It’s fine), and Retroid again with the Flip (It’s fine). I don’t mean to be political and go against the grain here with a hot take, but I don’t really have any outrageous opinions on the T618. It’s a pretty good processor. It’s nice. It lets my dogs out and waters my plants while I’m at work. Battery life is good for a mobile chip, it runs UP TO GC and PS2 (please stop recommending this processor as a portable Gamecube. Stop it). It absolutely excels in the 2D realm with multiple scaling and latency options as well as fast forwarding that is open to you for just about any game with a lot of headroom via Retroarch. I get that you nerds want to move on from the power profile of the T618, It seems to have a life longer than that of British royalty or the average United States Senator. But IF this processor is here to stay (doubt), then I expect to see improvements on the rest of the hardware before shelling out more dollery-doos for anutha one. Out of just about every t618 handheld, the Retroid Pocket 3 Plus still reigns supreme as the one device without a major faux pas. It’s relatively mediocre, boring, and the best kind of handheld in my opinion; because Sir/Madam/Xir/Xadam I’m just here to play video games and shitpost. Before this community, I never cared about things like button quality, integer scaling, input latency, framerate on retro titles. Now all I do with these things is take 3 hours to set up my cores and image quality. I JUST WANT TO MAKE IT THROUGH MY MOTHER 3 SAVE. HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO DO A RHYTHM BATTLE IF I HAVE TWO FRAMES OF INPUT LAG. IT’S BEEN 3 YEARS PETER. I WANT TO SEE MY FAMILY AGAIN.
So yeah leave it to Retroid to have the confidence in their devices to provide DIY for pretty much all of their revisions and upgrades for the pocket line. Why buy a whole new console when you can just buy an $85 motherboard and upgrade it yourself? We are adults. We can buy tools. Retroid devices are always a joy to open up because the inner layout of the logic boards is always nestled so nicely in convenient locations carefully engineered by some probably underpaid electrical engineer in China, to which I say “Thank you. Please take a vacation”. All the way down to the type of screws they use, the console just invites you in to **** it up. And oh have I done so. Here I present to you what is in my opinion, the best Retroid Pocket 3 Plus you can own. This thing is the bee’s knees, the creme de la creme. It will make your mother faint and your children weep with envy.
Isn’t it great? Oh you don’t see it. Look closer. Still don’t see it? Good. It’s nothing special. It plays video games and it’s comfortable. I can put it in my pocket. When I push a button, it makes me feel good. My monkey brain has neuron activation. Retroid should hire me to advertise their products.
In summary, here’s what we have:
– ONE Retroid Pocket 3 Plus in BLACK because I want to look at games.
– Dome switch d-pad, default option and it works. Yippee!
– Dome button switches. Russ agrees with me on this one, so I know I’m right by saying Retrold dome switches are far superior (and quieter) than the rubber membrane variant. If you disagree with me, feel free to insult me ad hominem in the comments to bump the post. Special thanks to Joey U. for selling me a dome switch board! That I…. might have originally sold to him.
– Hall sticks. Obligatory Aish shout out. I hear if you make a blood sacrifice on a full moon and say his name three times in a mirror, he will come through it and change all of your controllers to Hall sticks as well as eat all the bread in your house. If you find Aish is in your house, please call your local authorities immediately and hide. You are not safe.
– Retroid original grip, No crappy 3D printing here that will scratch the device or smell bad. Engineered with the tender love and care Retroid gives all their products. I think mine came with a kiss on it. NOTE FROM THE FUTURE: It’s not here yet 🙁 I had one for the RP2S so I know they are baller AF.
– Here’s my innovation here: Joycon button covers. Honestly the Retroid buttons are too smaw and wittle and kind of stab my thumb to press a lot. Running and jumping in super Mario world feels more like a punishment for my bad financial decisions. I don’t like it, so I changed it. Basically these are just plastic covers you can stick on the buttons that don’t sacrifice the actuation since they are pretty close to the size of a joycons. I think they are neat and they only cost $10. Do it. If you regret it, post a comment and I will gather my friends to form a circle and we will cry and pray for you.
Special thanks to Joey U., Charles B., and David L. For their help getting all these components to Frankenstein together! I have less money now but I’m happier for a week.
I gotta be honest, I just like to have a device just lying around loaded with my favorite ROMs in case I want to make a booty call with a certain retro title and not have to worry about sacrifices or hardware tweaks. With the Retroid Pocket 3 Plus being able to play everything up to and including PSP near perfectly with extremely optimized software, I’m totally content with leaving GameCube and PS2 to my Steam Deck like Gabe Newell intended. As always, these comments are specific to my personal use case and I try to deliver something useful that might in part cater to somebody’s interests. Now my anxieties are free and I can get on with my life for the next week or two until I find something else to fixate and dread over. Your paralysis demon might be a fancy dude in a top hat. Mine is a drifting analog stick and a Kirby Super Star running with 3 frames of input lag. We are not the same.
As this very fruitful year comes to its Twilight, I wish to impart a bonus. A free DLC if you will. From the position of absolute non-authority or insider knowledge, I would like to give the T618 a gratuitous epilogue, a funeral, a send off into the sunset. We hope that this processor can finally be buried and we can progress with new and better tech for the mid-range affordable market. Joey, this is for you (not me, you, Joey. And not the Joey I mentioned above. We are now on our third Joseph and one article. )
We are gathered today to celebrate the overextended life and way-too-untimely demise of the t618 processor. They were beloved by many, indifferent to most, and despised by one or two. You are considered “A portable PS2 or GameCube” (eye-roll), a retro emulation powerhouse, a PSP roms best friend, and a money printing cash cow for our dear friends in China. I can’t say that you will be missed, but your legacy lives on in the eternal Hall of Fame next to the likes of the RK3326. Ashes to Ashes, dust to dust, goodbye, and I’ll see you in hell.
You can find multiple RP3+s from people with questionable taste at:
Or go to the RH Discord linked below
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