Hardware Review - News

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December2016

  • Hardware Review Famicom Classic Mini

    The NES Classic Mini's Eastern relation

    With the NES Classic Mini currently proving to be quite hard to find at retail right now, chances are that the thought of sourcing its Japanese sibling may have crossed your mind. Released at the same time and boasting a design which imitates that of the system that started it all – 1983's "Family...

  • Hardware Review Hyperkin SupaBoy S

    It's back, but is it better?

    The industry's passion for "new" retro hardware has been growing steadily over the past few years, and the launch of the NES Classic Mini finally signals Nintendo's entry into this niche yet vibrant sector of the market. Given the astonishing success of that venture it is almost inevitable that we'll see a SNES Classic...

  • Hardware Review Retro-Bit x 8Bitdo RB8-64 Bluetooth Controller

    Three pronged thriller?

    8Bitdo's replica controllers have gained quite a reputation with retro gamers who are keen to get that authentic feel but also wish to benefit from modern conveniences such as the absence of annoying wires and the ability to recharge the internal battery. We've already seen excellent variants on the NES and SNES...

November2016

October2016

September2016

  • Hardware Review Pokémon GO Plus

    It's all in the wrist

    When The Pokémon Company revealed Pokémon GO last year, it also proudly displayed the Pokémon GO Plus device. With a design which playfully mixed the iconic Pokéball with Google's map pin, this Bluetooth-powered lump of plastic was pitched as an optional extra that would make the process of playing the game every day that...

  • Hardware Review RetroUSB AVS

    The NES advantage?

    After years of enduring sloppy imitators which offer patchy performance and incomplete compatibility, we're finally seeing clone consoles come of age. The RetroN 5 leveraged the versatility of Google's Android platform to offer HD visuals and save state support, while the super-premium Analogue NT took existing Nintendo chips...

August2016

  • Hardware Review Everdrive GBA X5

    ​Flash by name, flash by nature

    In the world of flash carts, one name stands out from the rest: Krikzz. This individual has produced a long line of carts for various retro systems, including the NES, SNES, Mega Drive / Genesis and N64. With each product the aim is simple - make the user experience as sea

  • Hardware Review PocketCHIP

    Gunpei Yokoi would approve, we feel

    When we initially reported on the PocketCHIP back in May we perhaps got a little carried away in comparing this cheap and cheerful Linux-based handheld with Nintendo's classic Game Boy. On paper at least the system hits many of the same notes - low price, commonly-available tech used in a new way and adorable...

July2016

December2015

  • Hardware Review Cyber Gadget Retro Freak

    Freakishly good?

    You should never underestimate the power of old games. When the Retro Freak was announced earlier in the year it triggered quite a stir online - a remarkable feat when you consider that the company behind it, Cyber Gadget, is a tiny and largely unknown Japanese outfit. The system's retro-gaming potential ensured that it set many...

  • Hardware Review 8bitdo SNES30 And SFC30 Bluetooth Controllers

    Clones 25 years in the making

    Chinese firm 8bitdo is on a roll when it comes to making Bluetooth controllers which look and feel like classic Nintendo pads. We've already had the NES30 and the FC30 Pro - the former taking inspiration from the classic 8-bit console and the latter sporting design cues lifted from the Japanese edition of the NES, the...

November2015

  • News ​Hardware Review: Gamepad Digital GPD XD

    That design reminds us of something

    Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but when you're creating mass-market electronic devices, slavishly cloning the work of others usually lands you in costly lawsuit - just ask Samsung and Apple. However, there are a multitude of hardware makers working out of China which are small enough to operate...

October2015

July2015

May2015

  • Hardware Review REVO K101 Plus

    Hands-on with the ultimate hardware GBA clone

    Love them or loathe them, hardware clones of vintage gaming platforms are here to stay. Technical wizards operating on the fringe of the gaming hardware arena are constantly dreaming up new products which ape the performance and feel of classic consoles, and in the past few years we've seen imitations...

March2015

  • Hardware Review 8Bitdo FC30 Pro Controller

    We are Family (Computer)

    Remember the 8Bitdo NES30 pad we reviewed a while back? It was a likeable take on the whole Bluetooth gaming pad concept which looked and felt like a genuine NES pad from back in the day. The makers of that particular controller are back with a revised unit, and this time it's focused on the NES' Japanese counterpart - the...

October2014

August2014

  • Hardware Review 8Bitdo NES30 Bluetooth Controller

    A familiar friend, reinvented

    If you're an Android user then you'll already be well aware of the operating system's native connectivity with wireless Bluetooth peripherals, including dedicated game pad controllers. Apple has recently introduced a similar protocol for its iOS platform, and Android-based micro-consoles like the Ouya, M.O.J.O. and

July2014

July2012

  • Hardware Review Nintendo 3DS XL

    The official Nintendo Life verdict on the new super-sized console

    It’s fair to say that the 3DS didn’t have the start that Nintendo was hoping for. Launched amid high expectation and a groundswell of three dimensional hype, the system initially struggled to find an audience; it took a price cut and an injection of big-name quality software to...

March2012

  • Hardware Review Hyperkin SupaBoy Portable SNES

    The biggest retro hardware release in more ways than one

    The lapse of hardware patents on retro platforms has resulted in an explosion of clone machines, most of which are produced cheaply in the Far East. These systems emulate the performance of consoles such as the NES, Super Nintendo and Genesis/Mega Drive, all of which are no longer covered by...

  • Hardware Review Everdrive 64

    One cartridge, infinite possibilities

    They may not find much favour with purists, but flash carts are becoming increasingly popular these days. The rapid march of technology combined with the low cost of flash-based storage has generated a wide selection of different options, almost all of which are produced in limited quantities and to very crude...

January2012

December2011

May2011

March2011

  • Hardware Review Nintendo 3DS

    We take Nintendo's 3D portable wonder for a spin

    To say that the buzz surrounding the upcoming Nintendo 3DS system is insane would probably be the understatement of the century. The system has garnered an incredible amount of hype and anticipation over the past year since it was announced and now that we've had a hefty dose of playing time on the...

June2010

  • Hardware Review VDigi VD-W3 Wii HDMI Upscaler

    We take a look at VDigi's up-scaler device that aims to bring you a step closer to "Wii HD".

    It's well documented that the lack of High-Definition (HD) doesn't affect the majority of Wii gamers, however there is a significant minority who eagerly await Nintendo's step up in the HD realm. VDigi have identified this specific Wii gamer and offer them a...

February2010

  • Hardware Review Yobo FC-16 Go Portable SNES

    Attack of the clones

    Those of you with especially keen memories will recall that we reviewed the RetroDuo console not so long ago. One of the growing number of unlicensed clones hitting the market at the moment, this neat machine is now joined by something a little more portable - namely the Yobo Gameware FC-16 Go. This is essentially a portable...

November2009

  • Hardware Review Nintendo DSi XL

    Is bigger really better?

    It would be accurate to say that more than a few heads were scratched when Nintendo announced that they were releasing yet another new model of their DS system called the DSi XL, especially considering that their DSi system had only been on the market for less than eight months. And to make things even more odd, instead of...

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