New PocketGo review: Handheld emulation continues to grow

New PocketGo

The New PocketGo (or PocketGo 2) from BittBoy isn’t a replacement for the original PocketGo, it’s an older sibling who’s twice as big and more powerful in many ways. With it, BittBoy continues to iterate on the portable retro gaming emulator, evolving the hardware and allowing for smoother emulation past the 16-bit era.

While the price ($66 from Retromimi) is double that of the original PocketGo, it’s still a terrific value. The New PocketGo is now my go-to recommendation for handheld gaming emulation.
Old PocketGo vs New PocketGo
Like I mentioned before, the New PocketGo doesn’t really replace the original/old PocketGo, it just beefs up almost every aspect of the experience—including the price. At around $40 on Amazon, the OG PocketGo was a no-brainer for retro game enthusiasts like myself who wanted to take their ROMs on the go. But the hardware was only able to play games up to the 16-bit era (including GameBoy Advance) reliably.

The New PocketGo plays games from the PlayStation era with ease, and it improves 16-bit emulation thanks to souped-up internals. The jump from a 533MHz processor to 1GHz helps, as does the huge step up from 32MB DDR RAM to 512MB DDR2 RAM.

The battery capacity also has increased from 1000 mAh to 2000 mAh, and the battery is easily removable from a back panel. The battery life on the original PocketGo was phenomenal. Even with heftier internals, the New PocketGo can go just as long on double the capacity.

The display has increased in size from 2.5 inches on the OG PocketGo to 3.5 inches on the New PocketGo, but it retains the familiar 320×240, 3:2 aspect ratio. The IPS screen on the original was already phenomenal, and the new one is just as good, so no complaints there. I noticed a bit of light bleed around the edges of the screen in low-light situations, which can be distracting, but it’s faint enough that I couldn’t even get a good photo of it.