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The Game HAT

Posted: 06 Jun 2019 15:28
by admin
If you are on a budget and if you are looking for a "cheap" retrogaming kit, and if you have a raspberry pi 2b/3b lying around, this is maybe for you.

This comes as kit, but does not require any soldering. Completing the kit takes maximum 30 minutes. Add another 30 minutes to install the GameHAT OS (Retropie) on a sd card, and you are ready to go !

The features I like

- Good quality lcd screen, but limited in resolution (320x200)
- Has left / right triggers, which does not exist on the Bittboy, and which I consider an essential feature.
- Has a very good pair of speakers ! Sound coming from these small speakers is amazing ! Almost like a "3d" effect!

Things I don't like

Unfortunately, this handlheld has a number of points I don't like (at all)... take a look:

- Battery life is rather bad, but that was to be expected given the fact you have to use a raspberry pi 2/3. I think installing a pi zero is also
possible, but I didn't try. In this case, you could have a better battery life, but worst gaming experience.
- The buttons are very noisy ! I don't like this kind of switches, to be frank. I prefer the GBA/GB style rubber contacts.
- Is quite big
- They chosed to use an analogue stick instead of the traditional D-pad. This is for me a mistake, as the D-pad is better suited to classic games.
- Does not have separate controls for the brightness / sound which is really a pita, specially for the sound. Even the bittboy is better on this regard.

In summary

All in all, I'm not convinced by this handheld. The nice part is that you can use a standard raspberry pi on it. But that's pretty much everything.
For a little bit more, I would rather invest in a LDK or or another opendingux based handheld. But if you really want to use a raspberry pi, either:
wait for the GPi Case, or buy the freeplay kit (which is much more expensive, I agree, but a better overall solution).

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