Release Date: August 2017
When it comes to playing classic games on a portable system I usually stick with the real deal or use my PSP to emulate them. I just so happened to come across a portable Sega Genesis emulator and it seemed fairly solid. It had licensed games, and original, ranging from Sonic the Hedgehog 2 to Mortal Kombat and Altered Beast. This was a spur-of-the-moment buy and I didn’t do much research.
I can’t say I don’t regret my purchase, but I did at first. When you open the box you don’t get any fancy packaging like you would from a first-party company. It’s the game player in a cardboard tray, a loosely packed USB cable, and a manual tossed in. I realized it was probably a Chinese knock-off, but still of some sort of quality.
The system itself is extremely light and some would say feels cheap. We are used to the weight of portable systems like the PSP, GBA, or even DS. This has no moving parts and only needs a small battery. It has a 2.8″ 4:3 screen which is perfect for these older games as widescreen was not a thing at home at the time. The D-Pad rolls rather than rocks which are nice for fighting, and it includes A, B, and C buttons as well as X, Y, and Z which are used for a fighting game. There’s a start button and a menu button as well as an on and off switch. All the essentials are there and the buttons feel quite nice and I was pleased.
The screen itself is of surprisingly decent quality. The game looks great and I didn’t experience only washed-out visuals like on some cheaper players. The biggest issue, hardware-wise, is the speaker as it’s really bad. If you only turn the volume up about 3/4’s it’s not so bad, but all the way up and it sounds blown out and tinny. Thankfully these older games don’t need surround sound or anything, but a slightly better speaker would have been nice. Thankfully, it sounds way better with headphones on and the sound was quite nice and can get pretty loud. Shame on you AtGames for such an easy oversight.
Software-wise, the menu lacks any flair. It looks like a third-party emulator menu with a list of games and a box shot next to it. You can flip through the 85 games and they play! Surprisingly at great speed as I had no slowdown or any crashing as of yet. The major software issue was with the SD Card and loading your own ROMs.
It states to put a “game” folder on the SC Card and use .bin Genesis ROMs. That’s easy enough, however, no matter how many different cards I used the system would not read the files. I tried formatting it as exFAT, FAT, FAT32, etc. and Google didn’t really come up with much. I found a small comment somewhere stating that Windows 10 does not format the cards properly and doesn’t play nice with this player. I had to download a drive partitioning software and it finally read the cards. This is just absolutely absurd and is a huge oversight by AtGames. Clearly, their SC Card driver is awful and 99% of users who buy this system won’t know how to do this.
With that said, it loads games on the SD Cards, and I didn’t run into any issues. There are a few games that won’t play on here, but they are more obscure titles, but all your popular go-to ones will.
Overall, this is a decent player if you’re a hardcore Genesis fan. Albeit, you can emulate these games on your PC or even a PSP and a DS if you have the hardware for it. However, when you get a Genesis kick it’s not to pull out a dedicated player and pump out some time real quick or pull it out of your backpack while on break or something. Maybe their 2018 model will fix these major issues, but the hardware itself is pretty nice.