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Thread: RetroDuo Portable Video Review - SNES & NES 2-in-1

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    Bell (Level 8) Satoshi_Matrix's Avatar
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    Default RetroDuo Portable Video Review - SNES & NES 2-in-1

    Hey guys, I thought I'd share with you my video review of the newly released RetroDuo Portable. This unit is the third of the portable SNES clones, but is third time a charm? I've split this review into two parts - hardware review and games compatibility stress test. I should have the second part up tomorrow. When I do, I'll add it to this thread.

    for now, the hardware review

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lq1H-HhZNH4

    And again, for those curious on my thoughts on the other two portable SNES clones:

    Yobo FC-16 GO

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=elqLpKKWgC4

    Hyperkin Supaboy

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RAxAu6kx7Zg
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    nice review....crap product.

    Good SNES portables are like a jumping elephant...they don't exist.

    just my opinion...everyone else is free to throw away their money.

    thank you.

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    Default As usual, MyTurnToPlay adding 0 value

    Why is this guy still allowed to post here, again?

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    Quote Originally Posted by MyTurnToPlay View Post
    nice review....crap product.

    Good SNES portables are like a jumping elephant...they don't exist.

    just my opinion...everyone else is free to throw away their money.

    thank you.
    So, enlighten me.

    If those are your feelings, why is it that you feel compelled to categorically/religiously respond in every iteration of every portable SNES clone thread?

    Without diminishing you RIGHT to post ... why not just ignore these threads if you hate clone SNES hardware so much?
    "And the book says: 'We may be through with the past, but the past ain't through with us.'"


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    Bell (Level 8) Satoshi_Matrix's Avatar
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    Do not feed the troll. It's best for all of us if we simply completely and utterly ignore MyTurnToPlay.

    Now back to your regularly scheduled thread with zero replies thus far!
    check out my classic gaming review site: http://satoshimatrix.wordpress.com/

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    Quote Originally Posted by Satoshi_Matrix View Post
    Do not feed the troll. It's best for all of us if we simply completely and utterly ignore MyTurnToPlay.

    Now back to your regularly scheduled thread with zero replies thus far!
    Fair enough. I still need to watch your review, which I can't do at work ... though I will later this evening.
    "And the book says: 'We may be through with the past, but the past ain't through with us.'"


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    ServBot (Level 11) TonyTheTiger's Avatar
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    I tried watching it on mute at work with the closed captions on but that's a show in itself. I certainly had trouble understanding your comments about "public pollen" and "student market." After having watched properly, I definitely appreciate the review.

    I'll tell ya, the face button problem is a huge problem for me. As an avid Mega Man X player, I've become extremely proficient at rocking my thumb across Y, B, & A. If I can't properly reproduce my play style on this thing then that's a giant black mark. And the D-pad thing is just plain stupid.
    Last edited by TonyTheTiger; 02-15-2012 at 04:43 PM.

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    one thing i think we're all forgetting here is that the y + a buttons are farther apart on a real SNES controller than the b + y, x + b, etc (I've got one here in front of me, I'm not making this up!). I also can't think of a situation in which the distance between y + a on the RDP would impede playing any worse than the gap on a real SNES controller.

    Anyway. I enjoyed the review. Looking forward to part 2.

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    I wonder if you could mod or replace the stock D-pad, maybe with one from an official SNES controller. I think the only reason official controllers don’t have that problem is they’re shaped like a top that teeters on the center point.

    These things are starting to look a lot more appealing compared to the NES counterparts that I've seen.
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    Quote Originally Posted by understatement View Post
    I wonder if you could mod or replace the stock D-pad, maybe with one from an official SNES controller. I think the only reason official controllers don’t have that problem is they’re shaped like a top that teeters on the center point.

    These things are starting to look a lot more appealing compared to the NES counterparts that I've seen.
    You can't replace it with an official d-pad. I've tried already with a Pokefami DX, which is the "eastern" equivalent to this.

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    Good review! But, man, that D-Pad with the center press contact issue seems troublesome. I hope they revise that.
    Last edited by Frankie_Says_Relax; 02-15-2012 at 06:39 PM.
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    Nice review! Up to 8 hours of battery life is awesome. Sounds like the better SNES portable so far compared to the other two. Still not totally sold on any one of these since they all seem to have different pros & cons.

    Quote Originally Posted by nusilver View Post
    You can't replace it with an official d-pad. I've tried already with a Pokefami DX, which is the "eastern" equivalent to this.
    I'm a little concerned with the RDP's dpad and it seems like a potential problem with a lot of games. I'm usually 'thumb heavy' on dpads when playing certain games. So the Pokefami DX is the same where the center of the dpad can be pressed, basically hitting all directions at once? Is the Supaboy's dpad similar too?

    Sounds like the included Retrobit controllers are great but I can't see myself using them much with the RDP. I wonder if the dpad from the Retrobit controllers could possibly be swapped to the RDP?

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    Maybe there's a way to epoxy a ball bearing or something to the dead center of the underside of the D-Pad.
    "And the book says: 'We may be through with the past, but the past ain't through with us.'"


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    Quote Originally Posted by csgx1 View Post
    I'm a little concerned with the RDP's dpad and it seems like a potential problem with a lot of games. I'm usually 'thumb heavy' on dpads when playing certain games. So the Pokefami DX is the same where the center of the dpad can be pressed, basically hitting all directions at once? Is the Supaboy's dpad similar too?

    Sounds like the included Retrobit controllers are great but I can't see myself using them much with the RDP. I wonder if the dpad from the Retrobit controllers could possibly be swapped to the RDP?
    according to nusilver, the PFDX has the exact same dpad flaws as the RDP. The Supaboy does as well. Only the FC-16 Go avoids this issue, but the FC-16 GO also has the worst screen of the four.

    Honestly, the two controllers the RDP comes with are so damn excellent they more than make up for the flaws of the built in controls. In fact, anytime I play it now, I sit it on its stand and play it with the controllers. The controllers are small and its really no trouble to carry one with me. Its a shame the built in controls weren't of the same quality as the stock controllers, but its clear they built-in controls weren't designed by the same people who made the external controllers.

    Based on all the findings with Nusilver, it's pretty clear that the RDP and the PFDX are completely identical in every respect except for the external shape of the shell.

    That makes me wonder. Nusilver, do you know who made the PokeFami DX? does the box have any company information or come with a manual of some sort?
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    I have not used the Supaboy or the RDP, but sounds like FC 16 Go is the best right now. The biggest thing about these machines, to me, are the units themselves. Video out, controllers in the box, and the ability to use original SNES controllers are all great, but if the portable aspect isn't up to par, then what's the point? I already have two SNES systems in the house and more than one portable that will emulate the games. I want portable SNES perfection. Honestly, I don't think any of these accomplish that feat. The SupaBoy has sound issues, RDP has D-Pad issues, and FC 16 Go has screen blurriness to go along with D-Pad issues. The second revision of FC 16 Go fixes the D-pad to a certain degree, but it still needs work.

    Sounds like RDP is the closest to perfection, but it appears they need a second revision to fix the D-Pad issues and the space between the buttons. I have the FC 16 Go and plan on keeping it until one of these units hit phase 2...or lands on the clearance rack.

    I absolutely love the wireless controllers included with the FC 16 Go, and if I were to play any of these without the on board controls, I'd want them to be wireless. Huge plus, imo.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Satoshi_Matrix View Post
    according to nusilver, the PFDX has the exact same dpad flaws as the RDP. The Supaboy does as well. Only the FC-16 Go avoids this issue, but the FC-16 GO also has the worst screen of the four.

    Honestly, the two controllers the RDP comes with are so damn excellent they more than make up for the flaws of the built in controls. In fact, anytime I play it now, I sit it on its stand and play it with the controllers. The controllers are small and its really no trouble to carry one with me. Its a shame the built in controls weren't of the same quality as the stock controllers, but its clear they built-in controls weren't designed by the same people who made the external controllers.

    Based on all the findings with Nusilver, it's pretty clear that the RDP and the PFDX are completely identical in every respect except for the external shape of the shell.

    That makes me wonder. Nusilver, do you know who made the PokeFami DX? does the box have any company information or come with a manual of some sort?
    No manual included; the company is listed as Gamejoy Japan... a company which I can't find any information on.

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    ServBot (Level 11) kedawa's Avatar
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    Great review.
    I'm relieved to hear that the dpad issues are mechanical and not electrical, although that doesn't mean they'll be easy to fix.
    Adding a hard pivot point to the dpad would introduce problems of its own, such as pressure on the mainboard, or particles of worn plastic that could bugger up the screen.
    It's kind of a moot point for me, since I actually like the original RD controllers, and have never had a problem with the dpad on them.

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    If you like the stock RetroDuo Controllers, then you really owe it to yourself to try out the RDP's controllers. They're LIGHTYEARS better.
    check out my classic gaming review site: http://satoshimatrix.wordpress.com/

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    Looking forward to the other half of this review. I'm still enjoying my Supaboy(audio issue and all), but I'm definitely interested in how the competition stacks up. Speaking of the Supaboy, couldn't you just get a 1/8" plug at radio shack or somewhere, without the cord, just the plug and put it in the A/V socket to use external controllers in portable mode? I haven't tried it, but seeing as the screen stays on even with the A/V cords plugged in, it seems like a viable option to me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by eggwolio View Post
    Looking forward to the other half of this review. I'm still enjoying my Supaboy(audio issue and all), but I'm definitely interested in how the competition stacks up. Speaking of the Supaboy, couldn't you just get a 1/8" plug at radio shack or somewhere, without the cord, just the plug and put it in the A/V socket to use external controllers in portable mode? I haven't tried it, but seeing as the screen stays on even with the A/V cords plugged in, it seems like a viable option to me.
    When I had my Supaboy, you could still use controllers in portable mode. Though only clone and 3rd party controllers, unfortunately official Nintendo as well as Nintendo licensed controllers don't seem to work in portable mode. I don't know why that is, but it's really strange.

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    Quote Originally Posted by eggwolio View Post
    couldn't you just get a 1/8" plug at radio shack or somewhere, without the cord, just the plug and put it in the A/V socket to use external controllers in portable mode? I haven't tried it, but seeing as the screen stays on even with the A/V cords plugged in, it seems like a viable option to me.
    except you wouldnt get any sound output that way.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Satoshi_Matrix View Post
    except you wouldnt get any sound output that way.
    Yeah, I thought about that a bit after I posted. Though there might be some way to get sound from the A/V port via headphones or something. That'd semi-solve the buzz issue, too.

    EDIT: Upon further inspection, the A/V jack is a 2.5mm plug instead of a traditional 3.5mm headphone plug. I'll dig out one of my 2.5mm to 3.5mm adapters in the next few days and see if I can get audio from it via headphones that way. Also, sorry to derail this thread with Supaboy talk.
    Last edited by eggwolio; 02-16-2012 at 01:24 PM.

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    ServBot (Level 11) TonyTheTiger's Avatar
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    I guess what rubs me the wrong way is that all the problems with this thing sound like very basic issues that should have been easily addressed during the design phase. Is there really a reason for the D-pad and buttons to not look/function to SNES specs other than an arbitrary desire to deviate for the hell of it? It's especially egregious since the separate controllers prove they most certainly had the capacity to conform. Weird compatibility problems are expected with clones and are often forgivable given the technology. But basic stuff like this is pretty ridiculous for a device that, in all other ways, looks to be amazingly comfortable to hold. It's almost like self-sabotage. "We're making a clone system so we must make certain to deliberately mess something up!"
    Last edited by TonyTheTiger; 02-16-2012 at 02:48 PM.

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    I couldn't agree more. The system is so close to being the definitive best but it has a few small but annoying flaws that keep it about on equal footing with its competition. The FC-16 Go and the Supaboy are both functional though flawed through their cheap parts, but the only noticable problems with the RDP are all ill conceived design choices.

    I'm hoping to have the follow up review done soon.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Satoshi_Matrix View Post
    I couldn't agree more. The system is so close to being the definitive best but it has a few small but annoying flaws that keep it about on equal footing with its competition. The FC-16 Go and the Supaboy are both functional though flawed through their cheap parts, but the only noticable problems with the RDP are all ill conceived design choices.

    I'm hoping to have the follow up review done soon.
    i'm glad the screen doesn't flicker like on my pokefami dx when i'm not using headphones, but i'm still curious if it's the same one. have you opened 'er up? can you tell me the part number on the ribbon connecting the screen to the board? if it's the same one...hmm...

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