RG280V: Unboxing and First Impressions

RG280V: Unboxing and First Impressions

Hey everyone, I had an opportunity to unbox and spend a few minutes with the new Anbernic RG280V, which is a 2.8″ mini handheld with the same internal architecture as the RG350 devices. That means that for the most part, it will use the same emulators and have the same performance as those devices. See below for my video about the device, and expect more videos and guides soon.

Buy the device here: https://s.click.aliexpress.com/e/_9R8IeD

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Refreshing a used RG350 device

Refreshing a used RG350 device

I recently had an opportunity to take somebody’s RG350 and give it an internal makeover. Someone on the RG350 subreddit had asked for help in getting their device up and running again after several months of trial and error. So I took the project onboard and also filmed the entire process so you could see all the tricks I used to get everything back into tip-top shape.

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Super Mario 64 port for RG350 devices

Super Mario 64 port for RG350 devices

Last updated: 15NOV2020 (see Changelog for details)

If you’ve followed any of my previous video guides, you know that Nintendo 64 games don’t run well on the RG350 devices. Very few games even run at a speed that is considered “playable”, and even then, there are some major compromises in graphics and audio.

So that’s why I’m so excited to show off how to install a fully-functional beta port of Super Mario 64, and it works really well with all of the RG350 devices (plus the RG280 devices, too!). It’s not a super simple process (for example, you have to use the new beta OpenDingux firmware), but it’s a neat little project to unlock a feature most people never thought would be possible on these devices.

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Back up save files on RG350 devices

Back up save files on RG350 devices

Last updated: 05NOV2020 (see Changelog for details)

If you want to back up your save files on the RG350, RG350M, or RG350P, it usually involves finding each emulator’s default save location, which follows no standard hierarchy. Luckily, somebody recognized this inconsistency and built an app that allows you to back up save files to your external SD card, and then also restore these save files back to your internal card.

The app is called SaveSync, and it works really well for both save files and save states.

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Guide: EmulationStation on RG350 devices

Guide: EmulationStation on RG350 devices

Last updated: 12OCT2020 (see Changelog for details)

EmulationStation is a graphical and themeable emulator frontend that is designed specifically for devices that don’t have keyboards (like home theater PCs and Raspberry Pi devices). Luckily, it also works on handheld devices, and someone has kindly ported a copy over for the RG350 devices.

There are several frontends (user interfaces) available for the RG350. I’ve already created guides for SimpleMenu and 350teric (“Esoteric”), and I’ll work on more as time permits.

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XMAME 2.0 BETA released for RG350 / OpenDingux devices

XMAME 2.0 BETA released for RG350 / OpenDingux devices

04OCT2020

Hi everyone, just a quick note to let you know that a BETA version of XMAME 2.0 has been released for the RG350 devices (and other OpenDingux systems as well). This version supports three MAME engines, including XMAME v69, XMAME v84, and MAME4ALL2. It also supports installing the file system on your external SD card, which is an added bonus.

Read more about the BETA and download it yourself in my Arcade Games Installation Guide.

Guide: 350teric (Esoteric) frontend on the RG350

Guide: 350teric (Esoteric) frontend on the RG350

Last updated: 26SEP2020 (see Changelog for details)

There are several frontends (user interfaces) available for the RG350. I’ve already created a guide for SimpleMenu, and I have a couple more I’m working on right now. But today I want to show off 350teric (“Esoteric”), a frontend that largely works like the default GMenu2X interface, but with much more customization.

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Low-profile analog sticks and custom buttons for the RG350

Low-profile analog sticks and custom buttons for the RG350

Last updated 23SEP2020 (see Changelog for details)

As an affordable handheld retro gaming device, the original RG350 is almost perfect. There’s a lot to love: the device is lightweight but feels nice and sturdy, and the d-pad and face buttons punch way above its weight class. I also really like how its d-pad below the analog stick and therefore not aligned with the face buttons, because this diagonal button placement makes the unit feel more balanced in my hand. This may come from those years when the Xbox 360 was my primary home console, but either way, I prefer this placement.

But after a couple months with the device, I do have some gripes. First, I wasn’t impressed with its low-res 320×240 screen resolution, especially after getting my hands on its more successful cousin, the RG350M, who has a nice 640×480 screen. Luckily, I was able to remedy this issue by installing an RG350M screen onto my device (read my guide here). The next part are those analog sticks. They stick out (pun intended) like a sore thumb, and make the device much less pocketable than it could be. Moreover, they are covered with these small rubber nubs, which can flip off and disappear in your couch cushions for days or weeks at a time.

So today we’re going to replace the analog sticks with a low-profile that also happens to improve the gameplay experience, too. And while we’re at it, let’s swap out the face buttons with something a little more colorful, just for fun.

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New RG350 SimpleMenu “ComicBook” theme

New RG350 SimpleMenu “ComicBook” theme

Last updated 21SEP2020

Today I’m happy to share a new SimpleMenu theme that I’ve been working on. It is based on the ComicBook RetroPie theme from TMTturtleguy, which was first released a few years ago. In addition to changing the system and logo art for every system, I have made some coloring updates that blends the whole system together. I also updated the font to something that will allow for a lot of text while still being nice and legible on the screen.

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Guide: Brutal DOOM on the RG350

Guide: Brutal DOOM on the RG350

Last updated 22SEP2020 (see Changelog for details)

I recently published my Native Apps and Games guide, which includes an extensive guide and video on how to load various DOOM mods. Those instructions provide for a good portion of mods available; specifically, most “boom” or “vanilla” compatible mods (packaged as .wad files) will work with this method.

But many people familiar with the DOOM mod scene know that ZDoom (now called GZDoom) has become the most popular mod platform for DOOM-based games, and those mods (usually packaged as .pk3 files) are not compatible with my previous method. Luckily, thanks to some very helpful folks on Reddit and Facebook, I’ve created a guide that will allow you to play Brutal DOOM, one of the most popular DOOM mods of all time, on your RG350 devices.

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