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Intellinate

Is this the best handheld for Intellivision?

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This is the PowKiddy V90.

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I got this little guy a little over 2 weeks ago now. I bought it for my kids so they could play some of the "good stuff" while we are on the go but it has quickly become my favorite handheld device. The form factor is awesome. It's really close to being exactly like the Gameboy Advance SP. You can close it up, throw it in a bag or pocket and not have to worry about it being damaged. They can be purchased between $35 and $40 normally and sometimes go on sale for less.

 

I'm using a custom firmware on my V90. It uses the jzintv emulator for Intellivision emulation and it works very well. The system maps the d-pad to the intv disc, A is the enter key, B is the top side buttons, X is the bottom right side button, Y is the bottom left side button. Start switches the controller to second player (you get a "player 2 controls" in the upper left when you do this). R1 brings up the keypad and L1 brings up the keyboard. Finally, select brings up the emulator menu.

 

In the emulator menu you can turn on or off sound, custom overlays, and transparency. You can change the position of the keypad/keyboard. You can look at the control layout, unfortunately you can not edit them. Reset the currently loaded rom and exit the emulator.

 

Some of the fancier things you can do are add your own custom game art for when you highlight a rom in the main menu. You can also add custom overlays for the in game keypad. I added art for Treasure of Tarmin and Astrosmash and an overlay for Astrosmash.

 

It does take a little bit of work to add Intellivision to this device but once it set-up I think it's very well worth it. You can remove the SD cad and put it in a card reader connected to a PC or Mac and everything is drag and drop from there. I really like that feature because it makes it easy to add roms and emulators and also to make a back-up of your system.

 

I wouldn’t buy this just to play Intellivision but if you’re invested in playing systems from the 16-bit era and before then this would be a great option for you! 

 

I made a video of the game play on this device. You can check it out here. 

 

 

If you want a more in-depth review, you can check it out here. 

 

If you don't care for the form factor of this device but you like the way it operates then there are other options that will work the same as far as the system and emulation are concerned. They are the PowKiddy Q90, The PocketGo v1, and Bittboy.

 

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@Intellinate Do you use yours to run MAME? I like arcade games from the 70s and 80s and am wondering if this would be decent for that. 

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I haven’t tried any Arcade games on there yet but I could load some up and see how they work. Do you have any in particular that you’d like to me to try?


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12 hours ago, Intellinate said:

I haven’t tried any Arcade games on there yet but I could load some up and see how they work. Do you have any in particular that you’d like to me to try?

Basic stuff like Asteroids, Moon Patrol, BurgerTime, Jr. Pac-Man, Pole Position, that kind of thing. Thanks for giving it a try.

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Posted (edited)
On 5/20/2021 at 10:02 AM, mthompson said:

Basic stuff like Asteroids, Moon Patrol, BurgerTime, Jr. Pac-Man, Pole Position, that kind of thing. Thanks for giving it a try.

Wow, been really busy this past week but I finally found some time here. I tried out several arcade games and overall they worked pretty good. There was a little bit of sound crackle in some games that I couldn't get to go away but fine otherwise. I can't say that games that run in a vertical orientation look the best but definitely good enough to play. The one game that did give me real issues was pole position because of the key mapping. It uses the dpad for steering, gas and brake and I was unable to change it. 

 

Here's some pictures of the games running. What do you think?

 

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Edited by Intellinate
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Posted (edited)

Pardon me if i interrupt

Quote

I wouldn’t buy this just to play Intellivision but if you’re invested in playing systems from the 16-bit era and before then this would be a great option for you! 

Cough - i would exclusively for the Intellivision, what else should i play, NES? SEGA? nah, certainly not (certainly yes but really i don't have many favorites on this consoles, my Master System i trashed over two decades ago (what a fault) and one of my SNES' i lend to a friend only to play Mario Cart, the other i left with my ex).

While as one can see it is designed for this purpose and leaks a bit of buttons for a good Intellivised play.

But still it is what one will like - yes.

Quote

It uses the dpad for steering, gas and brake and I was unable to change it.

As usual for old racing games.

At least you don't have to let the disc off like for the INTV "Pole Position" which is a good conversion for the Intellivision but the steering system which differs so much from what is common confuses me totally and i frenetically press always down to break until i realize i have to leave off the disc to break else i will only keep the speed.

 

A portable A500 that is what i would use it for except to emulate the Inty.

And of course MAME.

Edited by Gernot

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1 hour ago, Intellinate said:

Here's some pictures of the games running. What do you think?

Great! Thanks for the update. I didn't really expect Pole Position to be a great experience. It really requires a spinner or trackball.

 

I went ahead and ordered one earlier this week and should have it in a few days. Seems like most people feel this is a decent little device, and there are lots of online resources.

 

Setting up a Raspberry Pi is a pain, but getting jzIntv to run on this should be a snap. You gotta love drag and drop.

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Posted (edited)
21 hours ago, Gernot said:

A portable A500 that is what i would use it for except to emulate the Inty.

I was able to get workbench 1.3 running on it, along with Lemmings and Secret of Monkey Island.

 

21 hours ago, mthompson said:

Setting up a Raspberry Pi is a pain, but getting jzIntv to run on this should be a snap. You gotta love drag and drop.

Yeah, it's pretty easy using drag and drop. The only catch is that bios, overlays and .cfg files go in a hidden folder but it's in the root directory so it's easy to find once you know. I also think you have to run jzintv once before the hidden folder is created. I would definitely recommend using the custom firmware.

Edited by Intellinate
added the part about jzintv first run

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I wish there would be an INTV release for the Switch. These type of systems are fine, but as I get older, the size of the screen I need seems to only get bigger.  🙂

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On 5/28/2021 at 1:47 PM, Intellinate said:

Yeah, it's pretty easy using drag and drop. The only catch is that bios, overlays and .cfg files go in a hidden folder but it's in the root directory so it's easy to find once you know. I also think you have to run jzintv once before the hidden folder is created. I would definitely recommend using the custom firmware.

I was able to install jzIntv pretty quickly and copy over the bios files. It works very well, but how did you get Intellivoice (and ECS) working? I don't see any config files in the directory. Do I need to create one?

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Never mind. I figured out how to edit the emulator parameters and insert the -v1 flag. 

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It's actually easy to do, as you just prepare a new micro SD card and put your ROMs on it. Do a Google search for "PowKiddy V90 Custom Firmware" and you'll get links for how to do it and where to get the firmware. (You'll need to use Windows software to configure the card's partitions.) If you've ever set up EmulationStation on a Raspberry Pi, this is a snap by comparison.

 

jzIntv software: https://github.com/salvacam/jzintv/releases/tag/2021-02-22

It's based on an older version of the emulator, so it doesn't have the latest features and fixes, but it otherwise gets the job done.

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So I took the plunge and purchased the PowKiddy V90 and also the Anbernic RG351M and installed custom firmware on both (Miyoo on the PK and 351Elec on the RG351M). The PK uses Jzintv for the Intellivision emulator, while the RG351M uses Freeintv.

 

I like them both, but the RG351M blows away the PK. The bigger screen plus having the analog sticks on top of the dpad is great. I never imagined I could play a complex game like Advanced D&D on a handheld and I have to say that the experience playing it with the RG351M is pretty awesome. I was also able to load and play some home brews like Super Chef BT, D2K, Ms Night Stalker and they all play fine. The only one that I couldnt make work is Ms Pac-Man.

 

I really recommend the Abernic RG351M for Inty fans. 

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