A powerful OpenSource-Handheld (Ingenic JZ4770 1 GHz MIPS) especially aimed at Retrogaming.
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NOTICE: The GCW is being produced by a small company and is not perfect. Browsing through the internet, you can find a lot of messages about bad DPads, etc.
Our devices have been fixed and tested by ourselves. The DPads are all working fine.
However, you will probably find dust on the LCD. Similar to older handhelds like the GameGear, the LCD has no sealing, so dust particles collect on it overtime. There's nothing we can do to prevent this.
So technically, it's completely fine, but it will have dust on the screen and collect even more.
As testing and fixing takes a while, we only put a few ones in stock each few days. So in case you received an email that it's available again and it's out of stock: Someone else has been faster. We still have quite a few here though and will continue to add fix / test them and put them back in stock.
The GCW Zero is an OpenSource Handheld specifically aimed at playing Retro-Games.
It could be seen of the spiritual successor of the GP2X, WIZ, Caanoo or Dingoo.
It is fast enough to play all kinds of Retrogames up to PSX and even some classic PC games.
Of course, besides that, it also runs a wide range of ported Linux games.
So it's the perfect companion for Retro-Gaming on-the-go - no hacking, jailbreaking or similar needed, and you got proper gaming controls as well.
The device is not locked down in any way. The operating system is based on OpenDingux, a Linux originally for the Dingoo.
Inside the package is the handheld itself, a pouch, an HDMI-Cable, an analogue TV Out Cable, a USB-OTG adaptor, and a USB Cable.
The technical specifications:
|CPU:||Ingenic JZ4770 1 GHz MIPS processor|
|GPU:||Vivante GC860, capable of OpenGL ES 2.0|
||3.5 inch LCD with 320x240 pixels; 4:3 aspect ratio is ideal for retro gaming|
|Operating System:||Linux 3.x (OpenDingux)|
|Memory:||512 MB DDR2|
|Internal storage:||16 GB, most of which is available for applications and data|
|External storage:||micro SDHC/SDXC up to 64|
Mini USB 2.0 OTG
|Audio:||Stereo speakers, mono microphone|
|Other:||Accelerometer (g-sensor) and vibration motors|
|Wireless:||Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n 2.4 GHz, can connect to access point or direct device-to-device|
|Dimensions:||143 * 70 * 18 mm|
|Weight:||8 oz / 225 g|
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Mixed bag, but overall not bad
GCW Zero is presenting a bit different approach than most of the third-party handhelds - instead of providing emulation (or clone) of particular portable console, or working like some sort of smarthphone/tablet with android and integrated controller, GCW Zero has especially adjusted to this device Linux, configured especially for playing with emulators (you can play in some Linux games as well, but only those in specific format, adjusted to GCW Zero).
Unfortunately, controllers are quite mediocre - D-Pad is working in quite stiffy way (also, it was covered with some white substance), very hard to remove), fortunately after some time of using it was far less troublesome, but I still have to admit, that even AtGames handhelds have better d-pads. The same issue I had about A and B buttons. Controller stick is a bit odd and I didn't use it too much.
The device itself has quite pleasant and intuitive main menu and even some Linux games preinstalled (amongst them really nice clone of Doom). Unfortunately, you need to install emulators on your own (as well as copy some roms) and it's a bit troublesome process. You need to use additional application and properly configure connection, which is sometimes really painful (I had sometimes to make several attempts to establish proper connection between handheld and PC). And you need to copy every single file separately. Which is not a big deal if you're copying single roms, but if you would like to copy some DOS game (GCW Zero can use DosBox) and it has plenty of sub-folders and files inside, prepare for very painful process with re-creating of sub-folders and copying single files. And don't forget, that due to the fact that you're working with specially adjusted Linux, you have to copy files to specific folders, because some of them are literally "invisible" for GCW's system.
And now the most important thing - emulation. First of all, GCW Zero can use only specially adjusted applications (and games), and emulators are no exception. Basing on my experience, emulators of Mega Drive, SNES or NGPC are working perfectly (I've got to admit that due to lack of backlight on NGPC I prefer to play in games from that system on GCW Zero). On the other hand GBA emulator had problems with some of my roms, which didn't have any other emulator I've used. I'm disappointed with the fact that in theory GCW Zero is providing emulation for Sega CD and 32X (the same emulator as Mega Drive), but games from both these systems are unplayable, due to very low framerate and "shattered" sound.
Very interesting feature is mentioned DosBox - but again, limits of device (or maybe some lacks of DosBox version adjusted to GCW Zero?) are causing, that some games are unplayable. While less demanding titles as Commander Keen (1-5), Champ Kong or first Duke Nukem are working nice, games like Mortal Kombat or Death Rally are unplayable.
And for dessert - linux games. Well, at least those which were ported and adjusted to format suitable for GCW Zero). There you have to count on the team responsible for making specific titles, but most of them are working quite nice (I had serious problem with sound in OpenSonic, but other games were working fine).
Small size of device is for sure big advantage, but keep in mind that it's making playing in some games virtually impossible (don't try to play in such games as M.A.X. (turn-based strategy) on DosBox, because even if you'll deal with the specific control of cursor, all descriptions and buttons are far too small to be useful).
GCW Zero is really uneven device. I like the concept, small size, the variety of possible to emulate systems is relatively good (I wasn't counting for emulation of PS1 or Dreamcast). But mediocre controllers, complicated way to copy files on device and lack of "juice" to deal with more demanding DOS games and 32X titles are major flaws. Especially for such price. I'm guessing that people with some knowledge about Linux and specific of system installed on GCW Zero could deal easly with some issues I've mentioned, but it's still not something I could highly recommend. Especially nowadays with such devices as GPD XD - which has really nice battery life (for android-based handheld) and bigger possibilities than GCW Zero. Don't get me wrong, it's not bad, and I'm up to this day playing on GCW Zero in some games (especially Mega Drive and NGPC titles). But if you're ready to spend bigger amount of money and want something with really good quality, big variety of possible to emulated games and you wish to have it all in one device- better choose GPD XD.