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GP2X WIZ and A320 DINGOO emulation consoles


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#1 SegaShooters OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Mar 5, 2011 9:40 AM

I'm new to these emulation handheld consoles but can anyone in the know advise me whether either of these units allow for direct transfer of files (ROMS) via USB port from the PC or must you use SD cards?

Thank you.

#2 goldenegg OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Mar 5, 2011 10:50 AM

For the Wiz, you must use SD cards. The Dingoo A320 has built-in memory, so you can install emulators and copy ROMs without an SD card. The A320 is better with an SD card, as you can install Dingux (a custom Linux port), which has a lot more software available for it.

If I were to recommend an open-source console for emulation purposes, I'd say to buy a GPH Caanoo. Like the Wiz, it requires an SD card.

#3 SegaShooters OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Mar 5, 2011 12:28 PM

For the Wiz, you must use SD cards. The Dingoo A320 has built-in memory, so you can install emulators and copy ROMs without an SD card. The A320 is better with an SD card, as you can install Dingux (a custom Linux port), which has a lot more software available for it.

If I were to recommend an open-source console for emulation purposes, I'd say to buy a GPH Caanoo. Like the Wiz, it requires an SD card.


Thanks for the response, goldenegg.
It's hard finding in-depth info for these systems other than the specs that they list on seller's websites.
The Dingoo A320 is selling for $80 but I read it may be discontinued soon. The d-pad on it looks closest to the 16-bit systems d-pads, unlike the other units.

#4 theloon ONLINE  

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Posted Sat Mar 5, 2011 12:49 PM

The Caanoo seems to be a good choice but I haven't heard enough from people who have it. The Dingoo 330 with wireless controller could have rocked but the emulators were slowunstable. That's my new word for the day: slowunstable.

Dingoo products are at their best when you install Dinugux onto a flash card and run Dingux emulators. Trouble is, TV out and even installing Dingux is not a perfect process..

#5 Tifany OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Mar 5, 2011 5:29 PM

I got a Caanoo for X-mas and I really like it! The atari emus work very well! As does the colecovision and NES emus and the SEGA one seems to be really smooth. The SNES emu only kinda works, and at least with mine you have to turn the sound off or it makes a horrible noise. The biggest problem I have with it is the analog joystick, it can be hard to push it in the right directions sometimes and some games like missle command are quite difficult to play. But the Caanoo also plays AVI movies, Mp3s, and has a few dowloadable apps (which i havent messed with yet.) Its a little pricey at $150 bucks, but its a pretty cool little gadget. Also, you can get an optional cable to hook it up to a TV so you can game on a bigger screen! Cool points for that! lol As for the SD card, its not that big of a deal to load everything up and then stick it in there and forget about it. The caanoo also lets you load stuff (such as videos) from a usb stick.

Tif

#6 ClassicGMR OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Mar 5, 2011 5:34 PM

It's hard finding in-depth info for these systems other than the specs that they list on seller's websites.

http://www.gp32x.com/board/ is the best resource for these handhelds. I'm personally holding out for the Pandora. :)

Edited by ClassicGMR, Sat Mar 5, 2011 5:36 PM.


#7 SegaShooters OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Mar 5, 2011 8:51 PM

Thanks for the posts guys, and the links.

I spent some time looking for some tutorial sites since I have no idea how these machines function and came across a nice one for the gp2x Wiz...

http://gp2xwiz.info/gp2x-wiz-emulators.asp

ThinkGeek has the gp2x Wiz for $100 and the Caanoo for $150.

http://www.thinkgeek.com/electronics/bfc7/
http://www.thinkgeek...ro-gaming/e5ef/


The gp2x Wiz seems to be very established in terms of emulators and documentation on the web.
I'd like to get them both but that's not possible for a while :P

#8 darryl1970 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Mar 5, 2011 9:41 PM

Thanks for the posts guys, and the links.

I spent some time looking for some tutorial sites since I have no idea how these machines function and came across a nice one for the gp2x Wiz...

http://gp2xwiz.info/gp2x-wiz-emulators.asp

ThinkGeek has the gp2x Wiz for $100 and the Caanoo for $150.

http://www.thinkgeek.com/electronics/bfc7/
http://www.thinkgeek...ro-gaming/e5ef/


The gp2x Wiz seems to be very established in terms of emulators and documentation on the web.
I'd like to get them both but that's not possible for a while :P


I have an old-school gp2x. I have the original and the gp2x with the touch-screen. They are very good as far as emulation goes. Back in that day, it seemed like somebody was developing a new emulator every week (or an update to an existing). That's why I chose that model. When the WIZ was announced, I pre-ordered one. I was impressed with the 533mhz processor speed and built-in rechargeable batteries. My assumption was, if the gp2x could do such a great job at 8-bit, Genesis, SegaCD, Arcade (struggles some on more than two-processor games), and almost emulate the GBA at a decent rate, at 200-240mhz, the Wiz should only be better. I canceled my pre-order, because I was concerned that the support for the systems was dwindling, and too many "like" competitors were being released. However, it seems the dust has settled a little.

With that said, I can say I have not had a quality issue with the gp2x. From what I have seen online, the WIZ has many of the same emulators available, ported from the gp2x. Where my gp2x would stutter at anything over an 8-bit system, it seems the Wiz can handle it, per the online videos (many to find on you tube). However, the Wiz has been replaced by the Caanoo. It appears to have a good selection of emulaltors. I just wanted to let you know, but I have not compared best prices nor the differences. I just remember checking them out one night.

Both the Wiz and Caanoo claim to have a 3d graphics chip. I am not sure if anything takes advantage of them. From a snapshot, the Wiz and Caanoo seem to have the advantage of allowing larger SD cards and ability to play many online FLASH games (actionscript 2.0). That's kind of cool.

Something to look out for if you decide between the Wiz and Caanoo: I am not sure if any of the programs take advantage of the analog stick or tilt sensor. I know very few programs took advantage of the touch screen on my gp2x. Before they could perfect the firmware, they moved onto the Wiz. Although I like the brighter screen, the gp2x 200 (touch screen) was just a blurb that never seemed to catch on.

I hope this made some sense. I took a break from homework and wanted to try to help out some. It is kind of rushed though.. Here is a cool video comparison I found before going back to homework... lol.. Good luck. Let me know what you chose and how you like it.. :cool:

Edited by darryl1970, Sat Mar 5, 2011 9:51 PM.


#9 SegaShooters OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Mar 6, 2011 11:44 AM

Forgot to ask if any of these handheld consoles allow saving of game status (RPG's, etc.).
Thanks.

#10 darryl1970 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Mar 6, 2011 4:12 PM

Forgot to ask if any of these handheld consoles allow saving of game status (RPG's, etc.).
Thanks.

My experience is that it's like all other emulation -- it depends on the emulator. The GBA emu looks just like the gp2x, and it does. Others are hit and miss.

#11 wongojack ONLINE  

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Posted Fri Apr 29, 2011 12:45 PM

Forgot to ask if any of these handheld consoles allow saving of game status (RPG's, etc.).
Thanks.



Old thread but I have a GP2x Wiz and I love it. Most of the emulators for it allow the in-game saves to work. Pretty much every other one that I've tried (except MAME) allows save states

Original question
You CAN write to the on board memory on the Wiz. There isn't much space there and its slow, but you can do it. I leave it alone and use an SD card. You do not need a seperate SD card reader as you can access the SD card through the USB cable that attaches directly to the Wiz.

More comments
SNES emulation works at almost 100% Frames per Sec on the Wiz, the SNES emulators on the Caanoo will get there, but its a different team of developers working on that one, so its a different emulator (last time I checked).

Also, the last time I checked there was no Amiga emulator ported over to Caanoo but the Wiz has this and it works pretty great.

Personally I don't really think the Wiz or Caanoo are very expensive considering all the things that you can do with them for free.

One major downside to the Wiz is that the OLED screen (while it looks great) has had what seems to be a fairly high rate of failure. Users report that spotting begins developping over time and eventually blocks out the whole screen. However, I've had mine for about 9 months and it shows no sign of this. The Caanoo uses an LCD that is not as 'fragile' and doesn't seem to have this same problem.

#12 S1500 OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Apr 29, 2011 8:27 PM

Most of the emulators I found on the Dingoo do have save states. Some have 10 per game. I should have used it on that one level on Chip's Challenge(Lynx)

#13 samshaw946 OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon May 2, 2011 6:29 PM

After following the homebrew handheld scene for quite some time, I took the plunge and finally ordered a Dingoo A330. There are plenty of cheaper machines that barely handle emulation of some hacked NES games alongside some iffy MP3/PMP functions, but as many know there are also some slightly pricier, but more serious, alternatives out there that have proved to be more viable development platforms for the homebrew community. The original Dingoo A320 was one of these and although significantly less powerful than the competitors like the GP2X Wiz, Caanoo, or the rare troubled Pandora, it came in at around half the price of the cheapest alternative.

The reason these type of consoles first caught my attention is not only are they an excellent mobile solution for retro-gamers, they are also now coming in at a price that makes them viable hacking platforms for compact arcade projects (a scene I am heavily involved in). I could go into detail about the history of the console and all the additional features etc., but as my A330 was bought to test it as a viable mini-arcade project core, I've done a video review that mainly details the emulator performance and user-friendliness as these are the most important points to consider if it is to be a viable 'brain' for such a project.

It's taken a while to get a review done but as there is little in the way of A330 support or advice (I certainly struggled when first looking at this platform as much of the development and support is based on the A320), I felt it was wise to 'break in' the controls first and get chance to test the various native and Dingux software solutions available before giving my review. It's not as lengthy as others but I've chosen to focus on the real aspect of the actual gaming, which is cutting to the chase for avid gamers like me rather than the gadget freaks or development-minded users.

The audio is a bit quiet so I've added notes where necessary, but if you've also been contemplating one of these devices for a compact arcade build or simply for a mobile retro gaming fix, then please take the time to view it below:

A330 (DT-A330) Video Review

Obviously I've got no basis for comparison with the A320, but I can say that aside from a minor SD card compatibility issue as my first stumbling block, 95% of the stuff available for the A320 works on the A330 (sometimes better from what I've read up on), and while many like to bring up the Dingoo branching out of the company and argue over supposed software rights etc., as a user I'm happy that buying and usng the A330 is not he minefield of hit-and-miss luck that buying an A320 is with the various versions and re-branded consoles out there.

Overall, I've found the Dingoo A330 to be a very competent gaming platform with plenty of community support and coming in at the right price. Many will already be getting their mobile gaming fix by way of their iphone, PSP, Android device or some other means by now, but the only direct comparable competitor is the PSP. PSP's may now be cheap second-hand but arcade emulation is not great on them and the software installation is better suited to mobile use. As mentioned there are better devices out there but cost will always be a factor and at over 100 for the competition, the Dingoo is certainly the best value and close at least to the power of the Wiz. I've yet to take the console apart to see what would be possible in terms of joypad hacking, but at least with native TV-out and a supplied RCA cable, connectivity would be easier and certainly be more compact than using a small profile PC like a thin client or Pico ITX motherboard, which would be costlier and require more 'add-ons' to work as well.

I'd recommend anyone considering a compact project give these a try, or indeed their A320 predecessor (if you can find them as they're now out of production). I am currently working on a couple of tiny arcade builds and with the wireless joypad addition for this console, it may even be possible to keep the system fully intact so it can be installed for static use and still completely removed to take away and play on the go!

Any thoughts/suggestions welcome.

#14 OldSchoolRetroGamer OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon May 2, 2011 6:35 PM

More comments

Also, the last time I checked there was no Amiga emulator ported over to Caanoo but the Wiz has this and it works pretty great.


That's changed, I just found out and I am pretty happy about it! :D




#15 wongojack ONLINE  

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Posted Thu May 5, 2011 12:56 PM

Thanks for the update OldSchool!

BTW, on the Wiz UAE4All lets you map a button for jump - helpful for games like Another World

#16 deadmeow OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat May 7, 2011 11:30 PM

I have both a Wiz and Dingoo A330. Both are nice little machines. If you buy a Dingoo, in order to get the most out of it, you have to install Dingux, but after that it has many great emulators. The native emulators on the Dingoo are good to below average, but Dingux fixes this issue. The controls on the Dingoo, especially the direction button, is very cheap, so you have to push it more exact and be careful. There are no volume control buttons, this is done through the software. If the Dingoo crashes, you must use a needle to push inside a pinhole to reset the machine, as you cannot turn it off, or press any buttons. It is a cheaper machine, and can run every emulator decent enough.

The Wiz costs a little more, but seems much sturdier. All the emulators I have tried seemed to run full speed, with the exception of PSX emu, which doesn't fully function. The volume controls come in handy, and SNES emulation is much better on the Wiz compared to the Dingoo. The Wiz doesn't seem to crash as much as the Dingoo, if it does, you just turn it off, and back on, no big deal.

I use both of them to play mostly Atari2600, Genesis, Mame, NES, and sometimes Atari800, and a few others. If you can fit the Wiz in your budget it is the better machine, but if not, you can be just as happy with the Dingoo.

#17 qbertaddict OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jun 7, 2011 12:10 PM

More comments
SNES emulation works at almost 100% Frames per Sec on the Wiz, the SNES emulators on the Caanoo will get there, but its a different team of developers working on that one, so its a different emulator (last time I checked).

Also, the last time I checked there was no Amiga emulator ported over to Caanoo but the Wiz has this and it works pretty great.

Personally I don't really think the Wiz or Caanoo are very expensive considering all the things that you can do with them for free.

One major downside to the Wiz is that the OLED screen (while it looks great) has had what seems to be a fairly high rate of failure. Users report that spotting begins developping over time and eventually blocks out the whole screen. However, I've had mine for about 9 months and it shows no sign of this. The Caanoo uses an LCD that is not as 'fragile' and doesn't seem to have this same problem.



SNES emulation on the CAANOO is now on par and in some cases better thanks to a new version of POCKETSNES that came out. The new one is based off of 1.7. I also have a WIZ and DINGOO A320 but my WIZ got the dreaded screen rot. The DINGOO A320 has been getting a lot of native firmware love lately. The C64 emulator is great and POCKETSNES was ported as well. SNES emulation on the DINGOO native OS is really great it even beats SNES9X4D on the Dingux side of things. I love my CAANOO but for some reason I always find myself coming back to the DINGOO. This might change if a decent C64 emu comes out for the CAANOO. The Amiga emu released last month is really nice as well.

#18 ClassicGMR OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Dec 26, 2011 4:26 AM

I know I'm pulling a mad necro on this topic but need some opinions -

I used a GP2X F100 for a long time as an emulation machine(plus the homebrew was very good). I sold it a few years ago... because I'm stupid.
I have a PSP that emulates a lot of things well. Doesn't get me anywhere though with homebrew and MAME sucks(although I admit UQM has been pretty good on it).

I jumped on a Caanoo a few days ago figuring it's a GPH product so it'll be great. I've spent a few days on the gp32x.com forums and I have to say - the more I read up on emulators the more I wonder if I made a mistake. There seems to be little active support for the machine and not much runs 100%. Is everyone already jumped on the Pandora bandwagon abandoning the Caanoo? Should I have gone with the Wiz even though it's a slower system? (I'm not sold on the design either.)

I'm mainly an emulator user so I like them all to run close to or at 100%. SNES, NES, 2600, 5200, 7800, CV, GBA, SMS, Genesis, MAME, etc...

Just as an aside - I can't afford a Pandora until I get my annual bonus in April but I will have that eventually.

#19 goldenegg OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Dec 26, 2011 7:51 PM

What do you really mean by having an emulator run at 100%? With the limited hardware resources on devices like this, it's pretty much impossible to get full cycle-accurate emulation. That's even something that can be difficult on PCs.

Bottom line about the Caanoo is that you have extremely good emulation for most of the systems you've listed. NES, 2600, 5200, 7800, CV, GBA, SMS, Genesis and MAME are all fantastic. SNES isn't great, but the system simply doesn't have enough horsepower to do SNES justice. On top of these systems, you can also get great emulation for C64, ZX Spectrum, PCE/TG16, GB/GBC, Neo Geo and more.

Don't bother with the Pandora. I own one and I'll tell you that my Caanoo gets much more use. The Pandora project is an absolute mess and has driven many of the devs away. In multiple cases, the emulators on the Caanoo are better than the Pandora. It's definitely not worth the money.

#20 ClassicGMR OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Dec 27, 2011 4:55 AM

What do you really mean by having an emulator run at 100%? With the limited hardware resources on devices like this, it's pretty much impossible to get full cycle-accurate emulation. That's even something that can be difficult on PCs.

Bottom line about the Caanoo is that you have extremely good emulation for most of the systems you've listed. NES, 2600, 5200, 7800, CV, GBA, SMS, Genesis and MAME are all fantastic. SNES isn't great, but the system simply doesn't have enough horsepower to do SNES justice. On top of these systems, you can also get great emulation for C64, ZX Spectrum, PCE/TG16, GB/GBC, Neo Geo and more.


As a user when I say 100% I mean I see a minimum of slowdown in the system and minimal sound issues. I'm not looking for 100% perfection the way a developer would.

I also don't understand what you mean when you say the Caanoo doesn't have the HP to do SNES correctly. The GP2X has a beautiful SNES emulator - Squidge I think it was. I understand the Wiz does as well. I know my PSP does a great SNES emulation with layers. How does it not have the HP to do what the others can? Sounds more like it hasn't been explored by a dev(since I'm not a dev I am not complaining - can't put my money where my mouth is :) ).

Don't bother with the Pandora. I own one and I'll tell you that my Caanoo gets much more use. The Pandora project is an absolute mess and has driven many of the devs away. In multiple cases, the emulators on the Caanoo are better than the Pandora. It's definitely not worth the money.


Good to know. I'm not looking at the Pandora until May/June anyway so maybe that'll start working out by then.

#21 goldenegg OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Dec 27, 2011 10:19 AM

I also don't understand what you mean when you say the Caanoo doesn't have the HP to do SNES correctly. The GP2X has a beautiful SNES emulator - Squidge I think it was.


SNES emulation on the Wiz is nowhere near perfect. The latest SNES emulator for the Caanoo runs at pretty much the same speed. Keep in mind that both need to use frameskip to provide anything close to smooth gameplay. I am personally against using frameskip on emulators, so I don't touch it.

SNES emulation requires a hefty amount of processing power to do properly. BSNES is pretty much the gold standard for SNES emulation. You need a Core2Duo or higher to get a proper framerate across the SNES catalog. This is not due to the emulator being unoptimized, but rather the system requiring a lot of resources to emulate.

The Pandora is extremely underpowered for what you pay for. There are also a ton of issues which continue to plague the screen and controls. You really aren't going to gain much for getting a Pandora over the Caanoo. You'll get better SNES emulation and slightly playable N64 and PSX, but is that worth hundreds of dollars to you? Also, keep in mind that there are many people who pre-ordered ages ago who still don't have their unit. Unless you're willing to pony up the dough for an expedited system, you most likely will never receive it.

#22 ls650 OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Dec 27, 2011 2:37 PM

In my experience, an open PSP does a much better job of emulation than the Dingoo.

#23 akator OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Dec 27, 2011 3:43 PM

In my experience, an open PSP does a much better job of emulation than the Dingoo.


That's my experience as well.

In addition, IMO the PSP does as well with emulation as the Wiz and Canoo. While the Wiz and Canoo have faster CPUs, the PSP has a FPU which makes up most (if not all) of the difference. I also found that emulator setup on the Wiz and Canoo to be just as much trouble, and sometimes even more difficult than a CFW PSP.

PS1 emulation is part of the PSP's OS, and it is significantly better than what I have experienced on the Wiz and Canoo. However, I think MAME4ALL generally runs better on the Wiz and Canoo than on the PSP.

I'm not saying anything against the Wiz or Canoo, just that because I thought they had faster CPUs and were built with the intention of being open source that they would be overall better-faster-easier than emulation on a PSP.

At this point I find myself playing a CFW PSP significantly more often than my Wiz and Canoo. I can fire up any number of emulators and play for hours, then switch to a native PSP game and enjoy something more modern...

#24 Rex Dart OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Dec 27, 2011 3:55 PM

Just be sure you don't get a 1001 / first model PSP; their d-pads are worthless.




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