The original PocketGo is a brilliant piece of kit. It wasn’t without its faults, but at the price it was going for, it was a great way to play Genesis (Mega Drive) games, as well as NES and GameBoy games.
Fast forward to today and BittBoy have released their newest version, dubbed the ‘New PocketGo’ and thankfully it’s available for a reasonable price at RetroMimi. From the outset, there are a couple of differences to it. The first is the size. It’s actually a bit bigger than the original one and as a result, it feels more comfortable in the hand. I only spent a limited time with the original PocketGo that a friend has due to its small size hurting my hands after longer play sessions. In comparison, the New version is much more comfortable to hold and after a long session, my hands were still fine.
Ease of Use
It’s a bit of a quirky one when it comes to using the system. The microSD card that the system comes with has two partitions on it, one which has the operating system for the unit, and the second partition has access to the emulators and also any ROMs on the unit. However, this partition will not open up on Windows (it’s a Linux partition).
The work around for this is to use a microSD card in the second slot (which is the whole point of having the second slot, anyway). It needs to be formatted to FAT32 in order for this to work, but it’s easy enough to do this. There is the thing to consider that FAT32 only works up to 32Gb. However, you won’t need a microSD card greater than that, anyway. The 32Gb version is more than enough to store all of the games you would want to play on this device.
It really is as simple as making different folders on your SD card for each emulator you want to play and then dropping the ROMs into those folders. Then, all you need to do is choose the emulator you want to use, and select the folder that contains its ROMs.
I’m really impressed by the build quality on the New Pocket Go 2. It feels sturdy in the hands and the buttons do feel high quality. Given that this in an emulation device and therefore the games will need a D-pad, it needs to be looked at how the D-pad feels. In short, it feels really nice. It isn’t a clicky offering (which I like) and it’s easy enough to pull off moves in Street Fighter 2 (even for a rubbish player like me).
There is also an analogue stick included on the unit. This is like a smaller version of the one you would see on the Nintendo Switch Joy Cons. To be honest, I didn’t find this to be that great to use, and instead I preferred using the D-pad instead.
The other buttons feel really satisfying as well. It just has a really nice feel to it, which is exactly what you’re wanting in a handheld system. In the box there was also four buttons; red, blue, green and yellow to mimic the colours found on the Super Nintendo controller.
Screen and Sound
A common issue that players had with the original Pocket Go was the fact that the screen was a bit small and there was also screen tearing for a lot of games. This isn’t the case with the Pocket Go 2. In the extensive amount of playing I’ve put the system through, I didn’t see any screen tearing at all. The screen is also really nice in terms of its vibrancy. There is the option to adjust the brightness of it, although to do so you need to hold down the select key and push the volume up key to lower the brightness, and the volume down key to increase the brightness. A recommendation is to enter into the emulator menu (by pressing the menu button) and then changing the screen brightness that way.
Sound wise, the emulators do a great job of emulating the sound perfectly (even for Sonic the Hedgehog), although there is only one speaker on the device. There is of course a headphone jack on it though, so you can plug in a pair of headphones.
The quality of the emulation for the simple consoles is, as you would expect, flawless. Two consoles that a lot of handheld systems can stumble on are the Super Nintendo and Gameboy Advance. Thankfully, when it comes to the New Pocket Go 2, both systems run without a hitch. One of the hardest games to emulate is Super Mario World 2 thanks to it using the Super FX chip. The New Pocket Go 2 can handle this game without any stuttering or slow down at all.
Another nice addition is the ability to play PlayStation games on the unit. It should be noted that not all PlayStation games will run at a solid 60FPS, although if there’s a game you desperately want to play, then you can turn on frameskip in the emulator settings. Personally, one game I wanted to play on the unit was Tony Hawks Pro Skater 2. For the most part, it runs really well. It’s still one of the best games on the PlayStation (and Nintendo 64), and I’m glad that I’m able to have a few quick bursts of the game when I feel like it.
With respect to the Nintendo 64, a lot of pre-release reviews that I saw on YouTube did show off Super Mario 64 running on the system. As it happens, in the retail units of the Pocket Go 2, the emulator has actually been removed. There aren’t really enough buttons to play Nintendo 64 games on the Pocket Go 2 anyway, so it’s removal isn’t a real loss.
Thankfully, despite the beautiful screen, the battery life isn’t terrible. It has a 2000mAh battery in it which I found to be good for just under 4 hours. The battery is charged by USB-C which is a lot nicer than the flimsy micro USB ports that’s present on other devices. The Pocket Go 2 is available from Retro Mimi.
Ease of Use
Value for Money
The New Pocket Go 2 is a brilliant handheld emulation device at a low price point, and is highly recommended.
Analogue stick is a bit so so
Last update on 2020-02-20 As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.