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Is there an affordable handheld with a backlit screen?

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I'm looking for an affordable (under 100 bucks) handheld that has a backlit screen, uses normal batteries such as AA or AAA, has a D-pad and buttons, and hopefully has more than one game built in.

 

Next time the lights and water go out for days, it would be nice to have something to do.

 

 

Thanks.

 

 

Update:

 

I had a black Game Boy Advance SP, but I sold it to Gamestop 4 to 6 years ago when I needed food money. The few cartridges I had for it weren't that great anyway. I never could find any affordable used games that I was happy with. I also never could find something like chess or Othello.

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Gameboy Advance SP AGS-101. I have two of them, paid $40 total probably. Has a Li-ion battery but the full charge lasts a long, long time. Even the non-backlit GBA SP's look perfect in the pitch dark.

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I've got those and love them. Nintendo DS Lites I've seen for $50 to $75. They're backlit too and have rechargable batteries. They play DS and GBA games. And have flash carts you can buy.

Edited by thegamezmaster

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The Game Gear. But you're not going to be getting much out of your AA batteries. Better off dealing with the l-ion batteries and going with a GBA SP. The true backlit model, especially.

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Gameboy Advance SP AGS-101. I have two of them, paid $40 total probably. Has a Li-ion battery but the full charge lasts a long, long time. Even the non-backlit GBA SP's look perfect in the pitch dark.

 

I bought the Onyx one a few years back and I love it. I rarely have to charge it unlike my DS Lite.

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Second here for the GBA SP, either variation works great but the AGS-101 has a clearer screen.

Definitely better than a DS/DSLite because in my opinion, it's better to have a backwards compatibility with GB and GBC games then it is to have the ability to play DS games.

In my opinion, there are more good games on GB/GBC than there are on the DS.

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How about Portable Sega Genesis from AtGames http://www.atgames.net/front/bin/ptdetail.phtml?Part=GP1025MD

I got one at SamsClub for $38.88, it's not perfect but it works and it got 80 games plus you can add mor on SD card.

 

Thanks. I just checked Amazon for it and it actually comes with a chess game:

 

At Games Ultimate Portable Game Player

 

Too bad it doesn't use AA or AAA batteries.

 

 

Thanks to everyone else for the Gameboy Advance SP suggestions, but I already had one and never could find any good used carts for it.

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Thanks to everyone else for the Gameboy Advance SP suggestions, but I already had one and never could find any good used carts for it.

 

It's all about the EZ Flash IV. :D

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It's all about the EZ Flash IV. :D

 

I've heard "technically" that uses a lot more battery than normal carts? Never bothered to test that theory myself.

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Flash carts typically suck the batteries dry in a hurry; I know my SuperCard does.

 

If you're looking for a device for emulation, a used PSP is probably your best bet. Systems run from $30 to $60 these days so it shouldn't do too much damage to your wallet. You'll need to hack it to get the most use out of it, but that's a fifteen minute process. It's got lots of games and it emulates the original Playstation beautifully on top of that. There should be more than enough for you to play.

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I'm pretty happy with my gp2x f200. It has many emulators for various systems and plenty of homebrew. Can find it on ePay for less than $100.

 

Other than that a GB Boy Colour with flash cart is awesome. Of course, you're limited to Gameboy and Gameboy Color games but the battery life is better.

 

UPDATE: If this is for power outages instead of portability then I'd suggest a USB power pack, a low power/kids projector and a Dingoo. You'll also need a USB power to PSP cable for the projector.

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I second the PSP. Running games off a Memory Stick can double the battery life, I usually get 7-8 hours on moderate volume. Keeping a second charged battery around should extend gaming through a longer than usual power outage.

 

A Game Gear with LED mod (replacing the original battery hungry fluorescent) easily extends battery life to 8-10 hours with regular alkaline AA batteries. Throw in some new high tech batteries and you should get even more out of it.

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Speaking of stuff you have to charge, does anyone know anything about the Kindle Fire HD 7" Tablet? It's just a little bit over 100 bucks. Can you play games on it if you are not connected to the Internet? It seems to have about the same amount of battery life as Game Boy Advance SP (10 hours). I like the idea of having a bigger screen, but I don't like the idea of rubbing my finger all over it. One review says "WARNING!!! BATTERY IS AWFUL AND DIES IN LESS THAN YEAR!!!", so maybe it's not something I'd want to buy.

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If you're looking for a device for emulation, a used PSP is probably your best bet. Systems run from $30 to $60 these days so it shouldn't do too much damage to your wallet. You'll need to hack it to get the most use out of it, but that's a fifteen minute process. It's got lots of games and it emulates the original Playstation beautifully on top of that. There should be more than enough for you to play.

 

I second the PSP. Running games off a Memory Stick can double the battery life, I usually get 7-8 hours on moderate volume. Keeping a second charged battery around should extend gaming through a longer than usual power outage.

 

A Game Gear with LED mod (replacing the original battery hungry fluorescent) easily extends battery life to 8-10 hours with regular alkaline AA batteries. Throw in some new high tech batteries and you should get even more out of it.

The PlayStation Portable 3000 is only 104 bucks (new), so if I have to go with something that charges, at least it has a D-pad and buttons. I'd probably screw something up if I tried to hack it, though. When I go to YouTube there seems to be a bunch of videos that say "just click here to download a virus, oops, I mean firmware for your hack."

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Speaking of stuff you have to charge, does anyone know anything about the Kindle Fire HD 7" Tablet? It's just a little bit over 100 bucks. Can you play games on it if you are not connected to the Internet? It seems to have about the same amount of battery life as Game Boy Advance SP (10 hours). I like the idea of having a bigger screen, but I don't like the idea of rubbing my finger all over it. One review says "WARNING!!! BATTERY IS AWFUL AND DIES IN LESS THAN YEAR!!!", so maybe it's not something I'd want to buy.

 

Don't get a Kindle Fire for games. Touchscreen games are trash. Pick up a DS Lite or GBA SP 101 and a flash cart.

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I've had good luck with the retro clone handhelds. I have nes famicom and snes and all seem to go for a good long time on batteries. I don't know if any of the SNES clones take AA/AAA cells, but the 8-bitters tend to. SNES ones tend to support flash cards.

 

This famicom unit which is sold out where I bought it from has served me well. It's got the standard 77 games built in. It takes 4 aaa cells which seem insanely cheap lately ($20 for 100 from ebay, etc). It seems to have pretty decent support for real games--about all I use it for is parodius on the can and I don't recall ever changing batteries on it. It's not perfect, but what it is, is $25.

 

I struggle to think of a console with better game variety than GBA, however--especially given the genres mentioned. One very excellent game I recall in the card/board game genre was Ultimate Card Games by telegames, which is hands down the best computerized card game I've ever played. I can't recommend the AGS-101 over the micro, however. Somebody once told me why I shouldn't like them, but I won't repeat it here because it cannot be unseen.

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The PlayStation Portable 3000 is only 104 bucks (new), so if I have to go with something that charges, at least it has a D-pad and buttons. I'd probably screw something up if I tried to hack it, though. When I go to YouTube there seems to be a bunch of videos that say "just click here to download a virus, oops, I mean firmware for your hack."

 

The PSP 2000 is better for jailbreaking and homebrew support. Cheaper too. You can get AA battery PSP chargers as well.

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I will say this: touchscreen devices aren't totally hopeless for gaming. More developers are starting to offer support for gamepads, and a standard USB controller and a special device called an on-the-go adapter are usually good enough for most Android games with gamepad support. The OTG adapter is five bucks or less. You probably already own a USB controller. Problem solved!

 

Some Android games offer support for pads and some don't. I can tell you that they make Asphalt 8 and Shadowgun a whole lot more appealing. Your mileage may vary, though. Crazy Taxi lets you play with a game pad but the buttons aren't customizable, which is... frustrating.

 

Kindles and Nooks can be used as tablets, but you'll have to hack them to get around their closed environments. The Nexus is your best option for a cheap Android tablet; no hacking is required and they're better geared for gaming than most. On the down side, they're costly. Even a 2012 Nexus will cost more than $100; the 2013 model is double that.

 

By the way, have you tried QJ.net for PSP hacking? That should get you started.

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QJ.net and wololo.net are the best for PSP homebrew needs. Just use a browser with heavy javascript lockdown on QJ.net. I suggest Firefox with NoScript.

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By the way, have you tried QJ.net for PSP hacking? That should get you started.

QJ.net and wololo.net are the best for PSP homebrew needs. Just use a browser with heavy javascript lockdown on QJ.net. I suggest Firefox with NoScript.

 

Nope, I've never been to QJ.net. Thanks for the link.

 

Thread Drift to a New Idea:

I've been thinking and there is something else I could do. I have a small handheld TV that no longer gets in channels (thanks to the switch to HD TV). It uses AA batteries. I know there are battery operated game systems that plug into a TV, so I could use an adapter and plug one into my little TV and skip the whole handheld thing and hacks.

 

Does anyone know of a good plug and play battery operated system that is loaded with games that isn't a total piece of crap? These are the only ones I could find at Amazon that didn't have a ton of complaints:

 

SENARIO 101 Games in 1 Plug & Play (Uses 4 "AAA" size batteries) [Holy crap! This thing is almost 200 bucks!]

 

At Games Arcade Gamer with 30 Built-In SEGA Games (Requires 4 AA Batteries)

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If somebody knows of the best YouTube video that shows how to hack a PSP 2000, I can supposedly get a refurbished PSP 2000 for 70 bucks at Gamestop. That's probably better than some plug & play thing that might break in a month.

 

Please post your favorite PSP 2000 hacking videos here.

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The Game Gear handheld is megacrap in my opinion. It looks like it's using a passive matrix display, resulting in graphics that are muddy and indistinct. Honestly, the Capsule and Tablet handhelds are better, even if they only have three licensed games on them (and a whole lot of junk).

 

I want to get one of those Genesis handhelds with the cartridge slot on the top, but I've heard too many complaints about RedKid's emulation to spend that kind of cash on them. Can't be any worse than the Sega No-nads, though.

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The PSP 2000 is better for jailbreaking and homebrew support. Cheaper too. You can get AA battery PSP chargers as well.

The PSP is just as easy to hack(3 steps) and you get better battery life,a better screen and it feels better(IMO).And as for the battery operated game system thing,why get one of those where it comes with 30-40 games and you can't change/add more games when you can get a PSP hook it up to the TV via AV cable and have access to thousands of classic games plus PSP games.That to me seems like a better deal.

Edited by xDragonWarrior

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The GBA-SP was my favorite for a long time until the 3DS XL came out. The larger screen make a big difference for me, and the use of the 2 screens is often utilized very well. Battery life lasts a long time too. I typically do not use the 3D capability but I do use it sometimes. The street pass features and puzzle pieces are kinda fun too. I can also watch Netflix movies on it which is pretty cool. The PSP 3000 comes in a very close 2nd as the screen on that is just beautiful though not as large as the 3DS XL. Each of the 3DS and the PSP 3000 is better than the other depending on certain game types. I tend to like the PSP more for driving type games and of course it can download much of the PS1 library. I recently got the GCWZero which is supposed to be able to play games from many consoles including the PC. Just haven't been able to really spend any time configuring it or loading anything on it. Maybe someday...

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