Fitting somewhere in between a Game Boy Micro and a PSP is the Dingoo, a portable system only available in China. Similar to Sony’s handheld the Dingoo has an XMB interface where users can select entertainment functions like listening to music, reading eBooks or watching movies. You can even hook the Dingoo up to a TV and watch the stored movies on a big screen. But, we’re not going to talk about those since the Dingoo is primarily a gaming device.
More specifically, a multi-emulator gaming device. You can’t see this from these photos, but the Dingoo has six buttons: A, B, X, Y and two shoulder buttons. The Dingoo plays NES, GBA, Super NES, Genesis, Neo Geo, CPS1, and CPS2 games. The arcade emulation works decently and since you can hook the Dingoo up to a TV it’s a neat toy. However, there isn’t a way to connect a second Dingoo. If you want to play Street Fighter or Cadillacs & Dinosaurs you have to do it alone. Most arcade games aren’t designed for solo play so while the arcade emulation is technologically sound it isn’t as fun as being in an arcade.
The Dingoo also has a handful of original games. None of them are going to get any awards, but they are interesting and worth a look since they are free. The biggest surprise about the games is some of them are translated into English! Here’s a look at a few of them.
7 Days – The most “impressive” game on the Dingoo by far and it’s in English. 7 Days is like a mix of Resident Evil and Silent Hill with mobile phone quality 3D graphics. The protagonist is a writer trapped inside a mansion that occasionally warps him to a hellish portal. Clues from his missing housekeeper tell the player where to go next. You can turn “bloody” on and off in the menu if the game seems too violent, but I don’t think this covers up the grisly body parts lingering in the background.
Overlord Fighters – a shooter reminiscent of 1942 and the like. Pretty fun to play, but a bit slow.
Decollation Warrior – a hack and slash, loot collecting action RPG that has an English translation with only a few menus in Chinese.
A Chinese RPG – Honestly, I didn’t really play this. I just checked it out and gave up when I couldn’t leave town to fight monsters right away.
I saw Dingoos being sold for around $75 USD so it’s reasonably priced albeit gray area since the emulation features are the biggest draw. Well, 7 Days was pretty cool, but it’s hardly a “killer app”.
Photo Spencer/Siliconera. Images courtesy of Dingoo Games.