PowKiddy V90 Review and Guide

Last updated: 23MAR2021 (see Changelog for details)

I wasn’t expecting much from the PowKiddy V90, but I underestimated it. This little clamshell device was everything I was hoping for in a budget handheld. I’m comfortable saying that this is one of the best sub-$40 handheld devices you can buy, and it makes a great gift to friends and loved ones.

One of my favorite aspects of this device is the fact that it just uses a Nokia phone battery, and it’s easy to access and swap. If you’d like to buy a replacement (or upgraded) battery for the device, the ShenMZ or Taeozi models are recommended.

Buy a PowKiddy V90 here, or shop around for deals on AliExpress.

Table of Contents:
Install custom firmware
HYJiNX187's PCSX-ReARMed config library

Changelog

Install custom firmware

The custom firmware for this device makes a huge improvement to your experience. Install the MiyooCFW 1.3.3 firmware here. Once you have installed the new firmware, there are a few recommended tweaks to increase performance:

Update certain emulators:

  • Download the latest version of snes9x4d (SNES) and place it in the emus/snes9x4d/ folder (replace the one that’s already there).
  • Download the latest (“PocketGo”) version of Gambatte, (GB/GBC) and place it in the emus/gambatte folder. Make sure it is just named “GAMBATTE”, and replace the one that’s already there.
  • Download the latest “improved” beta version of fceux (NES) and place it in the emus/fceux. Make sure it’s named just “fceux” and replace the one that’s already in there.
  • Download and unzip the latest version of pcsx (PS1) and place it in the emus/pcsx_rearmed/ folder (replace the one that’s already there).

Add BIOS files:

  • If you want boot logos for Game Boy, Game Boy Color, and Game Boy Advance, add the bios files for each emulator. You’ll definitely want to do this for GBA anyway, since it will improve compatibility and performance. Once you have added these files, you will need to turn on the boot logo (“boot to bios”) option in the Gambatte and GPSP emulator settings.
    • gb_bios.bin goes in the .gambatte/bios folder
    • gbc_bios.bin goes in the .gambatte/bios folder
    • gba_bios.bin goes in the emus/gpsp_rumble folder
  • The PCSX ReARMed emulator also needs bios, which is the SCPH1001.BIN file by default. Place it in the emus/pcsx_rearmed/bios folder. For even better performance, check out the PCSX-ReARMed configuration library package below.
  • The neogeo.zip bios must go in the ROMs folder for Neo Geo.

Miscellaneous:

  • Using custom firmware, tap the function button to place the device in suspend mode
  • Using custom firmware, press R1 + START (or hold START for a few seconds) to bring up the safe shutdown menu

HYJiNX187’s PCSX-ReARMed config library

HYJiNX187 has created a handy configuration library package that will boot the top 100 PS1 games as defined by the GameFAQs community, plus another 25 that were requested by users. Installing this package will give you optimal performance for these 100 games, and it will be much improved over the stock (and default CFW) experience. In general, once properly loaded these games will perform much better than you would expect — the vast majority are both playable and enjoyable.

Note that there are some steps involved with setting this up, such as using PBP files and loading several BIOS files, but it’s relatively straightforward—just read the ReadMe file in the package itself.

In order for the configuration to work, you will need to make sure that the file names listed in emus/pcsx_rearmed/.pcsx/cfg match your file names (if you don’t see the .pcsx folder, make sure that hidden files are visible on your PC/Mac). If you are having issues finding the right PBP files to run, you can also run bin/cue files, just be sure to change the name of the .cue file (NOT the .bin file) to the same file name as the ones found in the emus/pcsx_rearmed/.pcsx/cfg folder.

HYJiNX187’s PCSX-ReARMed Config Library v1.1

Notes on Neo Geo BIOS

Discord user xs4all was kind enough to share these findings regarding the Neo Geo BIOS for this system:

GnGeo (Neo Geo Emulator): 
BIOS For those that care or just curious, I managed to figure out the what files should be in the neogeo.zip file that GnGeo needs, keeping the zip file organized:

000-lo.lo
sfix.sfx
usa_2slt.bin <= USA Bios
vs-bios.rom <= Japan Bios
sp-s2.sp1 <= Europe Bios

By default GnGeo looks for the Europe Bios, if you want to change the Bios region in GnGeo, do the following:

Text edit the following file: SD CARD\ .gngeo\gngeorc
Depending what country you want to use, add one of the following lines and save:
country usa
country japan

No need for Europe as GnGeo uses Europe as default, for those who want to play NeoGeo games in Japanese, this is very handy.

Because of the limited ram for the BittBoy/PocketGo1 and other variant devices such as PlayGo, v90, etc…, any roms that are greater than 40mb zipped will not work. Just sort your NeoGeo roms by size and delete any games greater than 40mb zipped, so pretty much “kof98.zip” is the largest rom size you can play on this device.


Changelog

23MAR2021
– added neogeo.zip BIOS file location info
– added Neo Geo BIOS notes from xs4all

08MAR2021
– updated HYJiNX187’s PCSX-ReARMed config library to v1.1

01MAR2021
– added HYJiNX187’s PCSX-ReARMed config library

01FEB2021
– published guide
– added latest version of PS1 emulator

11 thoughts on “PowKiddy V90 Review and Guide

  1. My internet buddy wanted one of these, and I told him about the screen tearing and low performance. ZeePeezy had already made a couple of videos about it so I knew to steer clear since I already had a LDK vertical. “But it’s SO Kawaii!!!” Was the immediate response , and yeah, that’s why you get one. You want the GBA sp without the hefty price? There you go! The colors match your favorite Pokemon? There you go! He loves it, but I’ll stick with the LDK. It’s around the same price and Gameblabla has done some amazing things with it (like a Super Mario 64 port.) Since they use the same battery here’s a tip: the Taeozi BL-5C 1600mAh battery is one of the best I’ve tried. There’s one that promises 2450mAh, but it’s a scam. Peel off the pretty gold label, and you’ll find that it’s a normal Nokia battery. After installing the Miyoo custom firmware you’re definitely going to want a new battery and the Taeozi batteries come in a two-pack so if one croaks on you you’ve got a backup. Hope this helps!

    Like

      1. Man, I use to watch your YT channel and appreciate your reviews. Now looking in your site for this guide (I just bought a V90) and seeing your photo in the comments, I realize you are the same Russ from The Domestic Man, where I found many recipes when I started to go paleo few years ago. Internet is a small place.
        Cheers the coincidence of our two interests and congratulations for your good work on both!

        Like

  2. Thanks a lot for compiling these information !
    Any idea where to find other ported games than those included in the firmwares (I mean compiled ports, not roms) Thx!

    Like

  3. I installed the cfw. All the vertical arcade games are horizontal. Is there a way to rotate the screen in fba?

    Like

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