Anbernic has just dropped the first official look at their upcoming Sega inspired handheld, the RG-ARC.
This Sega Saturn inspired emulation device offers something that we have not really seen in the scene. So we are pretty happy with Anbernic’s decision to pursue this rather than repeating themselves or releasing that not so exciting Windows-based device (the Win701).
As you can see in the reveal video posted today; this device is niche, specialized, and looking like a fun children’s toy. Something that we believe is a good direction for the handheld scene right now.
The Anbernic RG-ARC is very obviously inspired by the classic Sega consoles and controllers of the past. That six action button setup is something many will be familiar with if you ever had a Sega Saturn.
Companies like Retro-Bit have great third-party Saturn style controllers, and the Powkiddy A20 also played with this configuration on a handheld.
But for the most part, we see handhelds that take their inspiration from Nintendo devices and modern Sony/Microsoft controllers. The Sega configuration has been a mostly unexplored area of handheld game consoles.
Sega fans will surely be excited about this unique control setup, especially if you play a lot of 2D fighting games. And Anbernic obviously knows this is the best use for the ARC, since their promo is full of 2d fighting games.
RG-ARC Hardware Details
The RG-ARC will make use of a CPU that we’re very familiar with and have a ton of support for in 2023, the Rockchip RK3566.
It’s a capable chip that can run everything up to Nintendo 64, Nintendo DS, Playstation 1, PSP, Dreamcast and even Sega Saturn. It will do a bit of PS2 and Game Cube, but not very well. Definitely do not buy an RK3566 device in the hopes of playing a lot of those games.
The ARC will come in two distinct models, the “S” (single OS Linux) and “D” (dual OS Android/Linux).
The single OS comes in both a light grey and black colorway, and the dual OS model will come in transparent black and transparent blue.
The dual OS model can also boot into Android 11 for all of your Android based apps and games like Genshin Impact and Diablo Immortal. And that model will also have the necessary touch screen for Android.
Both models come with Bluetooth for external controllers and WIFI for game scraping and online functionality on Android.
The days of all-in-one devices that aim to fulfill the needs of any and every player are gone. We have done that. Companies like Anbernic, Powkiddy, and Miyoo have given us perfect devices that can last us multiple lifetimes for all of our 8-128 bit gaming needs.
So we really do not need a new handheld device. The only reason to continue making these things, besides for the profit, is to create more specialized devices for specific tastes.
Everybody has their wishlist handheld. “I want _____ screen with _____ control configuration to play _____ games”. That is all you see in the comments section on Twitter and in the Discord channels.
Powkiddy just released an incredible Game Boy, Neo Geo Pocket, and Pico-8 device in the ultra-niche RGB30.
Now Anbernic has developed somebody’s perfect Sega Saturn handheld in the RG-ARC. And we think they did a pretty great job. It has everything you will need for your 2d fighters and best Sega Saturn games.
Very little fluff, and we appreciate that. Good job, Anbernic. We like it.
Anthony has been a video game lover ever since he can remember. He became a fulltime nomad in 2018, living throughout most of Asia. He focused his passion in retro gaming and began creating a game for the Game Boy Color while living in Nara, Japan during the 2020 pandemic. He is now in Chiang Mai, Thailand, where he spends most of his time gaming, going on long walks and meeting as many stray dogs as possible.