So I finally got my GP2x-F200 from Korea. Shipped July 8th arrived July 14th in Maryland, USA. I spent all night last night tweaking it and playing with it.
The GP2X-F200: Emulation Heaven!
What the hell is a GP2X F-200? It’s a small (sadly, now discontinued as of July 2008) handheld from Korea. It runs on Linux and anyone can write software for it. A very talented and dedicated group of retro-gaming fanatics from all over the world has done just that, creating a fantastic library of emulator software for the little device.
Basically you can run full speed Sega Genesis, Sega CD, TurboGrafx16, Sega Master System, Game Gear, Capcom CPS2 Arcade (street fighter series, aliens vs predator etc.), Nintendo, Gameboy, and close to full speed (most games run great but not all) Gameboy Advance Super NES and MAME arcade. That is by no means a full list of emulated systems its just to give you an idea. It also runs Adventure games from Lucasarts and Sierra, and old FPS games like DOOM, Descent, and Duke Nukem at full speed.
To run the games legally, you must already own a copy of the game before you download a ROM (electronic copy of the game).
– Huge Image of Gp2x-f200.
– Wikipedia Article on GP2x series handhelds.
– Good review video of the F-200 from youtube.
This system has a large, bright LCD touch screen, very loud speakers (for a handheld) and takes SDHC cards as it’s memory. I put an 8 gig card on it. To load it, you simply connect a USB cable to your computer and literally drag and drop everything.
It takes AA batteries, but you can’t use the kind you buy at the grocery store. (those would only last 10 minutes in the GP2X) You need high-powered 2700mAh NiMH rechargeables. These will last you roughly 3 hours or so. More if you are only watching movies on the thing.
It has nice, responsive controls.
Quick Summary of First Impressions of Hardware
-Great screen! Bright, large, very responsive to stylus
-Love that it takes AA’s instead of some expensive proprietary battery
-SDHC cards are quick and easy way to load software and games
-USB connectivity to PC
-LOUD speakers and loud also in headphones. (I hated how the DS has very low volume settings so the kids dont sue Nintendo)
-Love that you can plug the tv-out cable to your TV and play games on it using the GP2x as the controller.
-Controls not the best for fighting games that require rolling motions like street fighter
-No place to store the stylus
-Default operating system /user interface sucks.
-Default stylus sucks
Here is what my desktop looks like:
Emulator Reviews for GP2X F-200
Now, I was a little intimidated knowing the machine runs Linux, i’ve never used it before. I wasn’t sure how to install Linux software, I was clueless. But I read all the FAQ’s and documentation and it was so easy, I prepared a SDHC card before my unit arrive and I was able to plug it in and play right away, showing I had done everything right. I even had the icons I wanted for all my emulators show up just as I wanted!
And since the standard user interface for the system sucks, I placed a new user interface I downloaded called Gmen2x into my card to auto-start. It worked perfectly the first time! I used the Gp2x as a generic USB device in windows vista and formatted the SDHC card through the GP2x, then dragged all my folder sinto the card. Worked like a charm.
Here are my favorite emulators so far:
SCUMM VM (lucasarts and sierra adventure games)
I got it mostly because it can play all the old Lucasarts adventure games like Day of the Tentacle, Full Throttle, The Dig, Zak Mccracken. It can also play old sierra games like Police Quest, Kings Quest, Space Quest (you type in the sierra games using a virtual keyboard or predictive text like on a cellphone). All run great with the touch screen! I’d say its better than playing with a mouse.
SCUMM VM is a FANTASTIC Emulator and I absolutely love it. Runs every game I want it to run lightning fast and with a friendly menu. Touchscreen works amazing as mentioned before.
PicoDrive (Sega Genesis / SegaCD)
All I can say is holy shit. This is one fantastic emulator. I can play Sonic CD on a handheld! how cool is that. And Out of this World 2, a game that was only released for Sega CD that I never got to play. It runs all my Sega ROMS and has a great menu that lets me save anytime anywhere. The GP2X’s best emulator right up there with SCUMMVM.
CP2S (Capcom arcade games)
Here is another fantastic emulator. It runs all the old fighting games like Street Fighter series, Darkstalker series, Aliens Vs Predator, Dungeons and Dragons etx. at full speed with Q-Sound support.
TurboGrafx16 (Temper) – Runs great!
NES (GPFCE) – Runs fantastic
Gameboy (LemonBoy) – Smooth, GREAT Interface
GBA (GBSP)- Runs mostly smooth
Sega Master System – great!
SuperNES (PocketSNES) – Runs mostly smooth
MAME (MAMEGp2x)- runs slow for more modern arcade games like Simpsons, hardly any game i put through it ran at full speed. But I am told it’s meant (at least on GP2x) for older arcade games.
NeoGeo (GnGeo2x) – AMAZING! Runs all my neogeo roms perfectly
Arcade (FinalBurnAlpha) – Runs lots of good arcade games like punisher very fast
PC DOS (DOSBox) – Runs a bit slower than I wanted, I decided to delete it since i only wanted to use it to run my Sierra Adventure games, SCUMMVM does it better, it’s also hard as hell to use) This may be because I didn’t have the right settings though. hard to say whether it works well or not since I only tried it with a few sierra games.
Handheld Unit: $160
TV Out cable: $10
PSP case: $15 (the official case sucks so bad, but I wanted the metal GP2X logo on it so I removed it and stuck it on PSP case, works much better!)
Generic telescopic Stylus pack: $9
One size fits all Screen protector pack: $10
2700mAh NiMH Rechargeable Batteries (12): $60
La Crosse Technology BC-900 AlphaPower Battery Charger: $30
8 gig SDHC card (class 6): $40
SDHC usb adapter: $3
$347 total (really, all you’d need to play is a SDHC card, rechargeable batteries and a charger so minimum cost is more like $210)
A great little handheld gaming device for the computer savvy. But I’d say wait for the Pandora Handheld, should be far faster and easier to use. (should be out before 2009, maybe even by September 2008)