WANT INFO ON POCKET GO? START READING HERE!
TL;DR This was initially a device review, but as I was stickied, I will try my best to edit it into some sort of "masterpost". First half are some basic tips and documentation, the second half is my review.
Before both, I have included an "Other reviews" section, compiling other people's opinions so you can have different POVs. Please take your time analyzing those if you want to form your own, unbiased opinion.
Many thanks to sryidc
and many many others for their support and contributions!!! I tried to credit everyone properly, please let me know if I missed someone in any link.
Summary: It's a 40$ device, and it performs as such. It has some flaws, for some people they are deal-breakers, for some they aren't.
1 - Other reviews
2 - Documentation & Basic instructions
3 - My review
1 - Other reviews
Negative reviews (READ THOSE FIRST AND WITH MUCH DETAIL, this is important so you don't get wrong expectations)
Neg.1 - Neg.2 - Neg.3 - Neg.4 -
Positive reviews: Pos.1 - Pos.2 - Pos.3 - Pos.4 - Pos.5 - Pos.6 - Pos.7 - Pos.8 - Pos.9 - Pos.10 - Pos.11 -
Youtube reviews: Vid.1 - Vid.2 - Vid.3 - Vid.4 -
For more reviews, check out the Official Retromimi page - Reviews at the bottom of the webpage. (Mostly positive)
You should also check the comments on their Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. (Some negative and with problems, no idea if they had a solution or were reached out by the company.)
Reported issues at delivery:
No MicroSD card included: NoSD.1 - NoSD.2 -
Broken console: Broken.1 - Broken.2 - Broken.3 -
Sound not working: Soundless.1 -
2 - Basic instructions:
(Some of those could also work for Bittboy, as they are very similar softwares, if not the same - I'm not too sure, but in the first link you find ALL information)
Updated Discord Link: https://discord.gg/6d76Y7G
Webpages where you can purchase the product:
Retromimi (Best reputation): https://retromimi.com/
BittBoy (HORRIBLE reputation, do not buy from here): https://www.bittboy.com/
PocketGo (Unknown yet, unadvised to use): https://pocket-go.com/
Best to order from Retromimi or Aliexpress, and always pay with PayPal, it's the best one so far according to user's threads. ALWAYS CHECK THEIR SHIPPING POLITICS!!! For some countries or regions, they can charge more for shipping (even a LOT more!!).
GitHub links (Software developers - Documentation on BOTH PocketGo & BittBoy!): https://github.com/TriForceX/NewBittboyCFW https://github.com/TriForceX/NewBittboyCFW/wiki
CFW Version 1.2 (including 60fps patch): /Bittboy/comments/cl1hsx/pocketgo
Bittboy CWF 3.9 (shares some/many things with PocketGo): https://pastebin.com/UC2Qnqvp
Bittboy CWF 4.0 (Minor update) [Credits to PrydaBoy
for posting the link]
CFW Version 1.3 / BittBoy 4.2: /Bittboy/comments/ctlra3/new
64GB PocketGo image file from 808 Retro - complete with latest CFW and many games: https://www.arcadepunks.com/64gb-pocket-go-loaded-image-from-808-retro-complete-with-latest-cfw/ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NFAiaN9sOKg
Credits to novasheikh
. Original post here.
Tutorial - How to install the PocketGo program into any MicroSD card: https://github.com/TriForceX/NewBittboyCFW/blob/mastePocketGo-Guide-EN.md
Use this image for the latest CFW (v.1.1): https://boards.dingoonity.org/other-game-systems/pocket-go-cfw-v1-1-160719/
Related thread, courtesy of PrydaBoy
How to access the 'main' partition with Windows versions older than 10: https://media.discordapp.net/attachments/540168749681082368/596007212233654309/How_to_access_MAIN_partition_on_Win7-8.jpg
Guide created by xs4all, info in guide originally provided by Samuel Avner on discord.
How to fix the backlight: /Bittboy/comments/c6ca4s/i
How to install the rainbow buttons (VIDEO): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VSAOKvCoaPA
How to clean the dirt inside the screen (VIDEO): https://www.facebook.com/BittBoyHandheld/videos/454637785328546/
How to solve the annoying buzzing:
Solution to headphones issues: /Bittboy/comments/cdh3uw/anybody
Credits to gangastanthony
How to properly turn off your PocketGo [EXTREMELY IMPORTANT TO AVOID DAMAGE]:
Press the "Reset" button, the small, round one on top of the PocketGo, which allows you to return to the emulator's options. Exit the game, and also exit the game selection screen (By pressing Start). From the "emulator selection screen" press L or R until you reach the "settings" tab, and choose "Power off".
You must power it off "just like Windows" or a computer, by going to that tab as instructed above, and pressing A on the option "Power off" - Then pressing A again to confirm the power off.
Once you've done that, you must operate the switch (in my case I push it up) to completely turn off the PocketGo.
Like the previous sticky-post explained, failure to turn it off from the software is equivalent to plugging the power cord of a computer, which damages the components.
How to update the PocketGo firmware on a Mac device:
Credits for this go to hanamishi
and their wonderful post here.
Download and install these software:
Then follow these steps:
Download the CFW
Back-up ROMS and save files to the Desktop.
Use the SD Card Formatter to get a FAT32 format on the MicroSD card.
Us BalenaEtcher to burn the CFW image file on the formatted card.
Copy back the ROMS and save files.
Info spreadsheet about emulators (Credits to Count_Duckula
What to do if you can't see the 'Main' partition:
Try uninstalling the card/card reader in Control Panel Device Manager.
Remove the card, re-insert and Windows should pick it up again. /Bittboy/comments/chw0j7/no
Credits to Sonicsoul75
for these instructions.
How to start making games for the Bittboy/PocketGo: /Bittboy/comments/ceg0e0/this
Credits to thecrait
for this awesome guide, go follow him on Twitter
(Nearly) 60-fps fix (Credits to discord user hi-ban):
This file should be stored on your main disk (on the SD), within the 'kernel' folder. (Props to xtoc1981
for letting me know about this)
!!THIS IS ALREADY INCLUDED WITH THE CFW VERSION 1.2!!!
Another possible 60fps fix: /Bittboy/comments/ctr77f/possibly
How to add more games (ROMs):
First of all, be sure your PocketGo is properly turned off, and only then remove the SD card (You can do it easily by using a tooth-pick, like I mentioned at the beginning)
Once removed, put the SD card in your USB adapter, and plug it into your computer.
Important! Windows versions below Windows10 will NOT work, and NOT display anything. If you are using Windows to add games or edit the SD card, use Windows 10. Otherwise, use Linux or a supported variant.
Once you have inserted the SD card, Windows will usually give you 2 prompts: "You must format the drive to continue". CANCEL or click the X in both of these prompts - Do not tamper with the drives, nor format them unless you are sure of what you are doing.
Now, once the card is properly equiped, you can open the file explorer (Win+E or click the folder icon usually found in the bar down below) and from there access the partition named "main".
In the "main" partition, open the folder named "roms", at the very bottom (The name is without any " " symbols).
Inside this folder, you will find sub-folders, all respectively of the proper emulatoconsole. Open the one you wish to modify, and inside there copy/paste your legally owned ehem ehem rom files.
After that, make sure to properly eject the SD card, just in case. Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pnqoe22AoV0
Related thread. Another one. OFFICIAL WEBPAGE INSTRUCTIONS.
Always check your keys!
It is important to mention that inside the emulators, some keys change. For example, in the M-Arcade emulator, the "accept" key was the right-direction key for me. Similar things happen in some emulators, you'd do well to try and press every button in turn to see what it does.
To exit DOS-Box, for example, you have to hold pressed the R button.
This is important so as to not hard-reset the console. Remember the rule: Never do a hard turn off. It breaks the console.
MISC Video (Thanks to novasheikh
for posting it): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FTAOtoRvl1c
How to re-add deleted emulators back to the main menu:
had this issue where pressing select and fumbling around, he accidentally deleted an emulator icon, without being able to put it back in place. Mazz1983ita
initially gave them a solution, however it turned out to be incomplete.
gave the right solution:
Press select on the icons screen again (doesn't matter which icon you are on)
Select "Add Link" you should find a list of folders; go into emus -> gambette -> then the executable which for me was the only icon that wasn't a folder.
The next Screen allows you to edit the options for the Emulator; go to "Selector Path" and navigate to whichever folder contains your Gameboy/Gameboy colour ROMs open it then press start.
Then just press B and save changes when asked; the icon should now be back and open directly to your roms again.
How to remap buttons inside emulators:
For the Gameboy (1st emulator):
-Start any game
-Press 'Reset' button
-Go to 'Settings'
-Go to 'Controls'
-Press B to exit settings, then again to return to game.
(I re-did all of these with the A button, you might want to check if the first time you must confirm with the B button, I don't remember)
For the GBA (2nd emulator):
-Start any game
-Press Reset button
-Go to 'configure gamepad input'
-Confirm with the B button
-Inside the menu, go down to the options A and B (shown in the right column) and press the Left&Right buttons respectively, until A (right) is equal to B(left), and below that, B(right) is equal to A(left)
- In the submenu, the B button will still act like 'A'. In the game, and outside the emulator, A button acts like 'A'
For the NES (3rd emulator):
-Start any game
-Press 'Reset' button
-Go to 'Settings' (accept with B button)
-Go to 'Control Setup'
-Select the key you want to map, press the 'Select' button to start mapping, next press the desired key to map. (Bear in mind the NES considers the A key to be the 'B button', and viceversa)
-Go to 'Save config as default' (Confirm with either A or B, i'm not too sure...)
For the PS1 (10th emulator):
-Start any game
-Press 'Reset' button
-Go to 'Controls' (Confirm with B key, Cancel with A key)
-Go to 'Player 1 keys'
-Press the B key to start mapping - Then press the key you want to map to.
-If you want to exit, press the A key to exit.
Those are the only emulators I've checked, so I can't really say more :$ But they are mostly the same pattern; start any game, press "reset", and then search for the "options" or "config" menu - The only trick lies within if you accept with A or B, and with the other button you cancel.
How to make the Sega emulator work.
Put your bios bin files in the same folder as the Sega/mega CD rom files (for easy access).
In the smd emulator pick the bios file instead of a rom file, it will open the Sega/mega CD boot screen.
When that is loaded press the menu button and select "change CD/ISO" and then select "load CD image".
Navigate the directory tree to the .cue file of your choosing and profit.
Credit to hootowlserenade
for these instructions.
Alternative instructions by Count_Duckula
in the comments of this thread, check them out.
3 - My Review
Long analysis ahead. (Any wrong info, or corrections are welcome - Please let me know in the comments!)
At the beginning of June, I've discovered this sub and the BittBoy branch of emulation. I've placed my order on the PocketGo via retromimi webpage (As official BittBoy does not support PayPal - Heavily recommended to purchase via PayPal from Retromimi, NOT recommended to purchase from BittBoy). (Another case)
The order was placed on the 6th of June, confirmation and delivery statement was received on the 14th of June, and I received my PocketGo on the 24th of June. TOTAL: 20 days for delivery, roughly 3 weeks. (South Europe)
The package received included:
- 1x PocketGo unit.
- 1x 8GB MicroSD card with the system installed.
- 1x MicroSD-to-USB card reader
- 1x Charger (USB-Standard mobile charger)
I've also been given the 4 colored extra buttons, for my pre-order, but PocketGo does NOT include the TV adapter, at least not in my package, nor in the descriptions from retromimi.
So, let's get down with the analysis of the gadget!
The PocketGo is tiny: 12cm "long", and 5.5cm "tall" (USA: 4.73 x 2.17 inches). From back to front, it's roughly 1.2 cm "fat" (0.47 inch), and the screen is 5cm "long" and 4cm "tall" (1.97 x 1.57 inches).
Bear this in mind before purchasing, as it might not be for everyone. If you have bad eyesight upclose, or have too big hands, maybe it's not the adequate console for you. On the other side, it is wonderful for transport, it fits in mostly ANY pocket (I usually wear it in my front pocket of the shirt, or in one of my bermudas pockets)
The PocketGo is durable: So far, I've been playing it on-and-off, and it seems it is quite durable, regarding battery life. I can state that i've played mostly 2 hours on it, and yet it seems it has fuel going on. I will keep on playing, to see how long it takes for it to deplete, but I can assure you that you can put some fun time into it.
The only issue I could point out is that, regardless of charge level, in my console the icon displays a nearly empty battery. I still play it, and it lasts quite long, but it's a bit bothering to not be able to ascertain exactly how much battery is there left. I think a good improvement would be to add a % to the icon, so it could properly display how much you have left.
How long does it take to fully charge? Less than 1 hour. I have estimated 30-45 minutes of being conected to the computer gives the PocketGo a full charge, and the same goes for it being connected to the electrical output.
The PocketGo uses a standard mobile phone charger, and you can leave it all night charging, it won't explode or anything (At least it didn't, in my case).
The PocketGo is tight as a virgin: Pardon my language, but it truly is. Both pulling out and putting in (heh) the SD Card AND the charger takes some effort. Operate very carefuly at the beginning, so as not to break anything by accident! The SD card is a bit hard to insert/remove, you might want to use a pin or one of those picks. I'm doing that, and it's quite easier for me now.
Regarding the charger, at the beginning I had to push a bit for it to enter, and it still didn't go all the way in. A part of the charger will remain outside, so don't be alarmed about that.
The headphones minijack goes all the way in, although you might want to put a slight bit of pressure for it to enter completely. At first I was confused by this tightness, and thought it was a problem with the device. After a second attempt, days later, I managed to push the headphones all the way in and they work ok.
The PocketGo is very versatile: So far I've been playing GameBoy Color, GameBoy Advance, NeoGeo (Metal Slug) and PlayStation 1 (Castlevania SotN) - All these systems worked very well, although there are quite a number of people who claim that the emulation on NES / SNES is subpar (Threads linked below).
Regarding the screen tearing, I have noticed a bit of irregularities, but personally, it's not as grave as most people make it out to be - For me, it really isn't a deal breaker. It's true that for some systems, like the PS1, I have enabled the Frameskip = 1, but the games still play wonderfully smooth.
An important thing to notice is that you might want to press the 'Reset' button (small, round button in the upper side of the console) so you can access the emulator's menu, and from there remap the buttons, as in most emulators, the B button is mapped to the A key, and the A button is mapped to the B key (It's inverted, so to say)
The sound: There really is a bit of a buzzing, which can be annoying, so I can't defend it there. I found out that there are 2 ways of working with the sound, a "Hardware" level, and a "Software" level, let's say.
If you press the Select+Y or Select+B buttons the "Hardware" level rises or decreases, respectively. Once you set the general level, you can adjust the sublevel of the sound (Let's call it "Software" level) by spinning the wheel at the side.
And now that we are talking about the wheel, I must say this ties in with the size of the console - Many times I found myself accidentally scrolling the wheel, while I was grasping the console with my full hand. You might want to take this into account.
By using headphones, it works just fine. The only trick there is to it, is to "jam" the headphone stick all the way in. As I mentioned in the previous point, the hole is very small and tight, so at first it might seem like it won't go in. Just put a little pressure until it does.
The screen: As I said before, the screen is pretty small, but it renders the graphics pretty well, even excellently (imo). Inside each emulator, you can choose how you want the screen to display - Fullscreen, original size adjusted, or unadjusted original size. Depending on what you choose, you might get better resolution or worse, but also smaller or bigger size.
Regarding the light-bleeding effect - It's really small, in the upper-left corner. If you have the console directly in front of you, you won't even notice it. The effect is noticeable only if you tilt it forwards, in which case you might eventually not even see your screen (because of the tilt) - So, yeah, I think that is also a issue which was blown out of proportions.
Video. Related thread. Another one. Lightbleed picture.
The controls/input: As I mentioned previously, some controls you might want to remap. In the general menu, the L and R buttons have swapped effects in the original system, L goes to the right and R goes to the left. If you use the newest kernel, this is fixed.
I don't really have any complaints about the buttons, although they are quite small, so sometimes it's hard to operate and they get "sorta-stuck" (For example, in Castlevania or Metroid games, where fast and precise input is required), but is certainly not a deal breaker.
Another thing that bugs me is that you can customize (remap) the buttons inside each emulator, for the videogames, but when you press the 'Reset' button, and access the emulator's submenu, you must accept with the 'B' key, and cancel with the 'A' key. I really wish they would fix this in future versions of the kernel.
Related thread. Another one. A third one!
Others: The system can be suspended in its main menu or in the ROMs selection screens, by pressing the 'Reset' button. This way, it will enter suspension, saving battery and blocking all key inputs. If you want to "wake it up", just press the 'Reset' button again.
The system cannot be suspended mid-game, unfortunately (Or at least, I didn't find out how)
The savestates work wonderfully for some games (NeoGeo keeps all of them), but for others they reset when you turn off the console (GBA, for example)
Conclusion: All in all, for the less than 40€ which it cost me, I think it is a very, VERY good item, and it's definitely worth your money - Although maybe you would want to wait for an upgraded version to come out, seeing the company's tendency so far.
Anyways, it's a solid 8/10, so definitely recommended. This review is based in all "popular" games, like Pokemon, Castlevania, Metroid, Fire Emblem, Advance Wars, etc... And on the following emulators: GB, GBC, PS1 (Castlevania SotN), NeoGeo (Metal Slug), the ported games (Wolfenstein, Doom, Cave Story)
Hope all of this helped someone!! Let me know if there is any wrong info, or if there are some things you'd like to add. Also, feel free to use/ copy-paste any info here for any guide or instructions you want to write!!
My intention with this post is so that people don't even need to browse the main sub - Reading all that's written here and in the comments, as well as in the linked threads, will give them a general idea and a view of the big picture regarding the PocketGo (and sometimes the Bittboy), so they can decide wether to join the community or not.
AUGUST EDIT: I am currently enjoying other things in life and will go away for a time, so I will leave this sub for a while. Sorry for not further updating this post, please do browse the rest of the sub if anything is not answered here. Cheers!