You’d think given the barrage of handheld releases in the past few years that we’d have already seen every type of form factor imaginable, with designs ranging from Nintendo clones to chicken nuggets. It would seem though, that one mystery manufacturer has spotted a potential gap in the market, and perhaps even taken some design inspiration from unexpected places. The Sugar Cubes (yes it’s plural) is part Game Boy for sure, and the new gimmick of a rotating screen may be familiar to those who remember the slip screens of the mid-2000s cell phone designs. Given that this handheld is designed with gaming in mind rather than T9 texting, the company may be on to something.
The emulation system comes from a “Company Unknown” at this point, and its original naming doesn’t offer many hints to its origins. Presumably, the intention of the screen rotation would be the ability to switch between games best suited for a horizontal or vertical screen play experience on the fly. Users could switch over from Mortal Kombat to Galaga and have their preferred aspect ratio, or some approximation of such, with each.
In 2008 when Robert Downey Jr. first suited up as Iron Man, the world still hadn’t made the jump into the smartphone era. In the movie, Tony Stark can be seen using a clever little swivel phone, the pinnacle of sleek design. The phone in question was the LG VX9400 (see pictured). The phone held some pretty impressive features for the period, including the ability to tune into digital TV broadcasts, a micro SD slot, and Bluetooth stereo audio. All of which were fairly uncommon at the time. One can’t help but wonder if a late night watching of Iron Man inspired a “what-if” design of this new-to-emulation handheld form factor.
The handheld will be powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 888. This 8 core processor is a few years old at this point, but should provide more than enough power to be comfortable in the PS2/Gamecube era. Given that those systems represent the end of the 4:3 television era, it could be interesting to experience games from that time on this machine. The Sugar Cubes also sports a 3.9″ OLED display, which should provide an excellent experience for a screen of that size. Other than the rotating screen, the design is very reminiscent of the Anbernic RG353V, with two analog sticks sitting below a d-pad and the standard 4 face-button arrangement.
Pictures indicate that the Sugar Cubes will come in a variety of color options and feature an all metal casing design. No news yet on pricing or release date. Whether the Sugar Cubes will find an audience wanting this power at these aspect ratios will likely come down to price, performance, and availability. We’ll keep this post updated as more news comes to light on this different take on the emulation handheld.
What did you think of this article? Let us know in the comments below, and chat with us in our Discord!