Last updated: 27JUL2021
The Super Console X King is a rebranded version of the beloved Beelink GT King Android TV box, but pre-loaded with EmuELEC 4.2 and a bunch of games. Let’s see how this performs as an all-in-one retro gaming console.
01:02 tech specs
02:02 unboxing and impressions
04:05 EmuELEC orientation
07:34 N64 performance
08:52 Amiga, PS1, NDS performance
09:48 Arcade performance
10:49 Sega Saturn performance
12:09 Dreamcast, Atomiswave, Naomi performance
13:49 PSP performance
16:09 adding your own games
16:50 Android TV experience and gaming
20:13 comparison with GT King & NVIDIA Shield TV Pro
22:47 summary and conclusion
Comparison with competitors
The Super Console X King is not the only high-tier Android TV box on the market. Let’s look at some of its competitors.
The original Beelink GT King TV box has the exact same specs as the Super Console X King, but doesn’t come with controllers or an SD card pre-loaded with games. However, you can flash EmuELEC to an SD card and have the same experience, although you will need to bring your own controllers, BIOS files, and game files. For more information, check out this guide for a similar Android TV box (the device tree you need for this device is called “g12b_s922x_beelink_gt_king”).
The NVIDIA Shield TV Pro is the most powerful Android TV box on the market today. Despite having an aging chipset (same one that’s found on the Nintendo Switch), its drivers are really well optimized and can play retro games with ease. However, it cannot run EmuELEC and so you will be stuck with the Android TV operating system and standalone apps (which isn’t a wholy terrible experience, just not as seamless as EmuELEC). That being said, this device is so powerful that it can play some GameCube games.
The Super Console X King comes with a couple faux PS2 controllers but they’re not great. If you have kids, let them use those controllers, and get something nice for yourself. Here are the controllers I prefer (in order of preference):
8bitdo Pro 2 — this controller is solidly built and can use either a built-in battery or AA batteries in a pinch. This has better mapping software than the BIGBIG Won but doesn’t have 2.4GHz USB dongle options. Here is my full review.
Backup your SD card
The microSD card that comes with the Super Console X King is generic and likely prone to failure over time. I recommend you back up the SD card contents and then flash them to a card of more reputable origin, like these:
128GB cards: SanDisk Extreme Samsung EVO Select Samsung Pro Endurance (more reliable but pricey) SanDisk Ultra 256GB cards: Samsung EVO Select SanDisk Ultra
Tips and tricks:
- When first getting oriented with this device, I recommend the following tweaks in the EmuELEC main menu:
- Main Menu > Game Collection Settings > Systems Displayed — use this to uncheck the systems you don’t want to see in the menu
- Main Menu > Games Settings > Smooth Games > OFF — this will disable the default bilinear filtering and make the games more crisp
- Main Menu > EmuELEC Settings > Show RetroArch FPS — this will allow you to see the frames per second for each game, if that’s your thing
- Main Menu > EmuELEC Settings> Always Show Boot Video — this will disable the video that plays every time you start up the console
- To delete a game from the SD card (and the EmuELEC menu), hold down the A button and select “Delete Game” when the menu pops up
- Each system needs a little bit of settings tweaks that are necessary for the best performance and quality. Here is a quick summary.
- Amiga: check out EmuChicken’s tips in this video
- Nintendo DS: enter the DraStic settings and select Change Options > Video Options > Frame skip type > none, High-resolution 3D > Yes, and Threaded 3D > Yes
- Sega Saturn: enter RetroArch Quick Menu (SELECT + X on the controller) and select Options > Resolution > 2x
- Sega Dreamcast: enter RetroArch Quick Menu (SELECT + X on the controller) and select Options > Resolution > 960×720
- Nintendo 64: enter RetroArch Quick Menu (SELECT + X on the controller) and select Options > 4:3 Resolution > 960×720
- Sony PSP: In the EmuELEC main menu, go to Games Settings > Per System Advanced Configuration > Sony PSP > Emulator > PPSSPPDL. This will enable the standalone PSP emulator, which will have the best performance. Start up a PSP game, plug in a USB keyboard, and press the ESC key to bring up the PPSSPP menu. Navigate to the Settings > Control menu and map the “Pause” function to a button on your controller (like L3). Now when you press that button you will access the PPSSPP menu without having to use a USB keyboard. For best performance, set the PSP x2 rendering and auto frameskip of 1 (frameskip = number of frames).
- When you boot into the Android OS for the first time, be sure to go into the “TV Box Settings” and change the resolution to 1080p (if you are using a 4K display). It will default to 4K but when you boot back into EmuELEC it will break the video output. Setting the Android side to 1080p will ensure that EmuELEC will work properly. This device does not have the DRM permissions necessary to stream 4K content on YouTube or Netflix anyway, nor can it play games in 4K, so I would recommend keeping it at 1080p anyway.