Author Topic: Are Dingux-like Chinese handhelds slowly becoming unnecessary?  (Read 7613 times)

Meneer Jansen (OP)

  • Posts: 511
This topic title may be a bombshell for some of the Dingoo (and other Chinese handhelds like the Gemei's and the Letcool's) lovers like me. I want to buy a classic (read: 2D, emulator) gaming handheld for in my coat-pocket. For those boring moments in a train, a waiting room, during commercial breaks on TV etc. etc. [1].

So you might think: a Dingoo with Dingux on it is perfect for that. Atari 2600, Mame, Snes, Megadrive, PDF reader: the lot! However, the Dingoo is from a time, not so long ago, when devices like that were quite expensive. The $85 it, and its equivalents, cost (and I'm not even starting about shipping costs or arrival time) are getting closer and closer to the price of 2nd hand PSP's and smartphones (read: Android!!) [2]. Those devices can do a lot of "Dindoo things" and they're getting cheaper and cheaper. Not to mention that now-a-days friends and employers are slowly starting to expect from you that you simply own a smartphone.

Android is based on an Linux just like Dingux, so it might be very hackable too. And some Android devices, like the Archos micro tablets/mp3-players, can even dual boot into Linux! Just like a Dingoo boots into Dingux.

Apart from the fact that a Dingoo-like device has many buttons for gaming (a smartphone hasn't): what's tha added value of a Chinese Gemei/Letcool/Dingoo today? Bear in mind that only the Dingoo (and the ?ber expensive gp2x Wiz) can emulate all platforms as well as a PSP and only Dingux has all those nifty extra apps like a pfd reader, text editor, etc. etc.

In my opinion the only way our beloved Dingoo(-like) devices will survive is if the Chinese manufacturers make their tech specs open and if the community makes Dingux-like operating systems for them! In my opinion the manufacturers let us wait too long for the devices themselves (vapourware! A380!) or for a proper set of emu's (i.e.: NO Dingux yet for any device other than the Dingoo itself)

The Gemei A330 seems like a nice follow up to the Dingoo. It's build quality is better and it's cheap. But: no Dingux, no glory! And Dingoo A320 production has stopped already a while ago. They started again, but for how long? Just like the MP3 player has been obsoleted by cheap mobile phones w/ micro-sd cards I fear that the Dingoo's time will be over pretty soon...

What's your opinion: should we forget about the Dingoo era just like the (dingux-community) developers have? Or is there still a future?
 



Footnotes:
[1] After frying my first Dingoo, I lost my 2nd which I just repaired/re-soldered because of the bad build quality. Aaaarghhh. Bye bye beloved Dingoo. :'(
[2] Example: the all new and improved Samsung Galaxy Gio w/ Android 2.1. Costs about ?140 (prepaid). Or for free w/ certain cheap mobile provider subscriptions.
Finally got me a new Dingoo after I Kentucky ~~::fried::~~ the other one. Yippee! [edit] And lost it!

mrkingoo

  • Posts: 258
Re: Are Dingux-like Chinese handhelds slowly becoming unnecessary?
« Reply #1 on: May 29, 2011, 05:30:08 pm »
Quote
Apart from the fact that a Dingoo-like device has many buttons for gaming (a smartphone hasn't): what's tha added value of a Chinese Gemei/Letcool/Dingoo today?

Well the gaming controls a very significant sellingpoint to me. Doesn't matter how capable a portable gaming-machine is if the controls are rubbish (like virtual onscreen touch buttons)

Pollux

  • Posts: 155
Re: Are Dingux-like Chinese handhelds slowly becoming unnecessary?
« Reply #2 on: May 29, 2011, 06:16:15 pm »
I bought a dingoo A320 recently (about 1 month ago) because I couldn't run properly the good old games in other platforms (mobile, NDS, etc).
I know I can play all those games in my PC but that's not a handheld. :P

In my experience, it's quite annoying to play Genesis, MAME or SNES in a Nokia E52 or Nokia X6 (my cell phones).
I have ScummVM installed in my Nokia X6 and it's a big pain in the ass to play it with touchscreen.
A few days ago I put ScummVm in my Dingux to play "Sam & Max: Hit the road" and it was really enjoyable and easy to play. ;)

I don't knowif PSP plays all this stuff in good conditions but NDS doesn't. I've found Dingoo trying to get better emulators for NDS... and I happy with both now. ;D
 

Frank_fjs

  • Posts: 705
    • My simple Dingoo web site
Re: Are Dingux-like Chinese handhelds slowly becoming unnecessary?
« Reply #3 on: May 29, 2011, 06:29:42 pm »
The Dingoo A320 is still worthwhile to me. As suggested already by others, as a classic gaming nut I need a d-pad and nice gaming buttons, something mobile phones have yet to offer.

It really is the easiest and simplest way of running emulators. I know there are other handhelds like the PSP, DS etc that can perform similar tasks, but they need to be hacked or exploited and often the emulation quality isn't very high. There also isn't any unity in the software, it is very disorganised.

On top of the nice emulation, I am able to hook my Dingoo up to my TV, play games and watch movies with it, listen to the radio or my own MP3's; I seriously use it for any one of these tasks on a daily basis.

Sadly though, the A320 appears to be a fluke, a one off. It was cheap and packed impressive features out of the box, that for the most part worked very well. The software available for it is extensive and still being developed to this very day. I love the native operating system and the unity of it all.

I will say that I am disappointed with the lack of advancement with the Chinese PMP's though. I thought the A320 was going to start something big, and that subsequent versions would offer vast improvements, but I've yet to see this happen. It seems the Dingoo devices are taking one step forwards and three steps backwards nowadays.

1wiierdguy

  • Posts: 218
Re: Are Dingux-like Chinese handhelds slowly becoming unnecessary?
« Reply #4 on: May 30, 2011, 09:28:36 am »
 I think Dingoo like devices will always have a niche audience. People that like their old school games want a dpad and buttons. And while Psp prices have fallen, and the Psp has some advantages. The biggest problem is that it's not really pocketable. If someone released something the same size as the A320, with better shoulder buttons and a spec bump sufficient to emulate Psx. I would get it without hesitation.

Meneer Jansen (OP)

  • Posts: 511
Re: Are Dingux-like Chinese handhelds slowly becoming unnecessary?
« Reply #5 on: May 30, 2011, 10:53:24 am »
Okay. So mainly because of the fact that smartphones have no proper buttons for gaming and because of its portable friendly format our beloved Dingoo (and some of its Chinese friends) still has a lovely future to look forward too.  :) Too bad the shoulder buttons break so fast and that the D-pad seems to hang every now and then.

By the way, aren't all the "4all" emu's (like snes4all etc.) ports of PSX emu's?
Finally got me a new Dingoo after I Kentucky ~~::fried::~~ the other one. Yippee! [edit] And lost it!

Solstice

  • Posts: 367
Re: Are Dingux-like Chinese handhelds slowly becoming unnecessary?
« Reply #6 on: May 30, 2011, 02:39:13 pm »
I think Dingoo like devices will always have a niche audience. People that like their old school games want a dpad and buttons. And while Psp prices have fallen, and the Psp has some advantages. The biggest problem is that it's not really pocketable. If someone released something the same size as the A320, with better shoulder buttons and a spec bump sufficient to emulate Psx. I would get it without hesitation.
Thats what im waiting for to, the shell on the a320 is perfect, all it needs is a bit better cpu power and better quality shoulder and start/select buttons
Dingoo A320 stock 1.2 + Gmenu

PSP slim 2002 Gen 5.50 D3 Prom4

lemmywinks

  • Posts: 2795
Re: Are Dingux-like Chinese handhelds slowly becoming unnecessary?
« Reply #7 on: May 30, 2011, 09:21:43 pm »
Well the Dingoo does a lot of things right, it's a cheap device geared towards playing games up to 16bit era.

I've been playing games on my phone for years, it only really got decent when i got an Android phone when they first came out (G1/Dream). That was great for emulation as it had a decent qwerty keyboard that was actually suitable for games. In fact i made sure the phone that replaced it had one too (X10 Mini Pro) because i liked emulation on the go so much.

However even with a qwerty keyboard it's just not as good. For decent portable emulation you need a good D pad, 4 distinct face buttons, 2 seconary (start/select/pause etc.) buttons and two or more shoulder buttons. Unless a phone has those things then it's just not comparable, unless it's slower paced games like FF where accuracy doesn't matter.

Tbh i think touch screen only phones are awful for emulation (and games in general), i think you need the tactile feel of proper controls.
Handhelds:
GPD Win, GPD XD 64gb, RS-97, RS-90, 3DS XL, DSi XL, GBA SP, GBBC Clone, Gameboy Pocket, PSP Go
PC:
Medion Erazer, Toshiba Z20t, Dell Mini 9, Psion 5MX
Tons of other old laptops and tablets.....

Meneer Jansen (OP)

  • Posts: 511
Re: Are Dingux-like Chinese handhelds slowly becoming unnecessary?
« Reply #8 on: May 31, 2011, 02:33:32 pm »
Tbh i think touch screen only phones are awful for emulation (and games in general), i think you need the tactile feel of proper controls.
I agree! What do you think of 2nd hand PSP's? Their build quality is quite good I think. Might that be a dangerous concurrent for Dingoo-likes? Apart from the larger form factor I mean.
Finally got me a new Dingoo after I Kentucky ~~::fried::~~ the other one. Yippee! [edit] And lost it!

lemmywinks

  • Posts: 2795
Re: Are Dingux-like Chinese handhelds slowly becoming unnecessary?
« Reply #9 on: May 31, 2011, 10:06:58 pm »
I agree! What do you think of 2nd hand PSP's? Their build quality is quite good I think. Might that be a dangerous concurrent for Dingoo-likes? Apart from the larger form factor I mean.

I bought a used PSP (the 3000 slim/light) with 5 games for ?15 a few months ago, didn't really want one but that was too cheap to pass up! So far i haven't hacked it as i don't need anything more than Dingoo really, PSX emulation would be nice though but i only really want to play SOTN and i have Dracula X Chronicles for PSP anyway. I may hack it soon as i quite fancy playing through Silent Hill again.
It's well built but rarely gets played because i can't stand the loading times. DS, GBA and Dingoo get miles more use.

I think a smaller PSP would be a great design for a pocket emulator, in fact i really like the PSPGo and Xperia Play slide designs in that respect too. The original case is comfortable but big and ugly IMO.


I guess what we all really want is a proper successor to the Dingoo and not some half-baked similar spec machine ike the ones we've seen so far. Like Frand_fjs said, A320 looks like a one-off at the moment, PMP development seems to have gone a bit limp
Handhelds:
GPD Win, GPD XD 64gb, RS-97, RS-90, 3DS XL, DSi XL, GBA SP, GBBC Clone, Gameboy Pocket, PSP Go
PC:
Medion Erazer, Toshiba Z20t, Dell Mini 9, Psion 5MX
Tons of other old laptops and tablets.....

Meneer Jansen (OP)

  • Posts: 511
Re: Are Dingux-like Chinese handhelds slowly becoming unnecessary?
« Reply #10 on: June 01, 2011, 11:49:04 am »
@LemmyWinks: thank you for sharing your experiences w/ the PSP with us. Since you own both the Dingoo and the PSP your opinion is quite interesting for this forum.

I take it that you bought a PSP "1000" (that is: the first incarnation)? Because after a while the 3000 came out: smaller and w/ TV out. That's the one I have my eye on. Furthermore: I agree that the small form factor and light weight makes the Dingoo more tempting to take with you in your pocket. And yes, the fact that there is a large, old, active topic here called "Anybody else disappointed w/ the Gemei A330?" says a lot about the 'one off-ness' of the Dingoo.

P.S. Some say that there's an SDK for the A330: lets hope developers make apps for it and lets hope Dingux/Linux can be ported to it. (Because its build quality seems to be better...)
Finally got me a new Dingoo after I Kentucky ~~::fried::~~ the other one. Yippee! [edit] And lost it!

Kryptofacist

  • Posts: 217
Re: Are Dingux-like Chinese handhelds slowly becoming unnecessary?
« Reply #11 on: June 01, 2011, 12:06:31 pm »
And yes, the fact that there is a large, old, active topic here called "Anybody else disappointed w/ the Gemei A330?" says a lot about the 'one off-ness' of the Dingoo.

P.S. Some say that there's an SDK for the A330: lets hope developers make apps for it and lets hope Dingux/Linux can be ported to it. (Because its build quality seems to be better...)

That thread has pretty much gone completely offtopic now and is more about trying to find devs for the GA330. Recently Hitchhikr posted in it and says he is working on developing a framework for porting new emulators. By the sound of things, he's making progress.
The SDK is linked on Booboo's blog. Hopefully this news means that there will be some homebrew soon!
"The problem with internet quotes and statistics is that often times, they're wrongfully believed to be real."
- Abraham Lincoln

lemmywinks

  • Posts: 2795
Re: Are Dingux-like Chinese handhelds slowly becoming unnecessary?
« Reply #12 on: June 01, 2011, 10:35:28 pm »
I take it that you bought a PSP "1000" (that is: the first incarnation)? Because after a while the 3000 came out: smaller and w/ TV out. That's the one I have my eye on. can be ported to it. (Because its build quality seems to be better...)

I actually just checked under the battery cover and mine is the 2003 model (2000 series). It's a slim/lite one without the bulky bits either side and is slimmer overall. It does have the TV out and the 64mb ram/internal storage same as the 3000, just doesn't have the newer screen of the 3000. It also has an improved UMD drawer mechanism which is much simpler and less fragile.
So a 2000 or 3000 series PSP are the improved designs i think.

Worth noting that even the slim/lite PSP is still a bulky, heavy console. Well built but still feels more delicate that a GBA SP/Micro, DS or Dingoo. The big, exposed screen means that you need to put it in a hardfoam case.
Not the sort of thing that you can just put in your pocket and leave the house with either. Again it's the Dingoo that i take everywhere, it pretty much follows me around all the time!

Like i said i've not hacked my PSP (yet) so my experience of it is limited really. Looked into it briefly but on all the sites i went on it seemed quite a convoluted process compared to homebrew/custom firmware on a GBA/DS/Wii/Dingoo
Handhelds:
GPD Win, GPD XD 64gb, RS-97, RS-90, 3DS XL, DSi XL, GBA SP, GBBC Clone, Gameboy Pocket, PSP Go
PC:
Medion Erazer, Toshiba Z20t, Dell Mini 9, Psion 5MX
Tons of other old laptops and tablets.....

Kryptofacist

  • Posts: 217
Re: Are Dingux-like Chinese handhelds slowly becoming unnecessary?
« Reply #13 on: June 02, 2011, 12:53:52 pm »
Like i said i've not hacked my PSP (yet) so my experience of it is limited really. Looked into it briefly but on all the sites i went on it seemed quite a convoluted process compared to homebrew/custom firmware on a GBA/DS/Wii/Dingoo

I was doing some research on this a little while back and I found this.
http://forums.dashhacks.com/f133/the-ultimate-guide-to-hacking-upgrading-your-hacked-t247791/
It seems pretty comprehensive; with a flowchart that covers PSP 1000, 2000 and 3000 along with firmware versions.
When you find the solution that will work for you, it gives you a bunch of links for what you need and detailed video instructions of each step. Apparently it's a bit old, but it's a place to start.

I wanted to hack my brothers' PSP 1000, but he said no. :(
« Last Edit: June 02, 2011, 12:56:21 pm by Kryptofacist »
"The problem with internet quotes and statistics is that often times, they're wrongfully believed to be real."
- Abraham Lincoln

Meneer Jansen (OP)

  • Posts: 511
Re: Are Dingux-like Chinese handhelds slowly becoming unnecessary?
« Reply #14 on: June 02, 2011, 01:42:33 pm »
Worth noting that even the slim/lite PSP is still a bulky, heavy console. Well built but still feels more delicate that a GBA SP/Micro, DS or Dingoo. The big, exposed screen means that you need to put it in a hardfoam case.
Not the sort of thing that you can just put in your pocket and leave the house with either. Again it's the Dingoo that i take everywhere, it pretty much follows me around all the time!
Thank you for that info! I think that I may know what you mean by 'big and exposed' and 'hard foam'. I own a beautiful little handheld computer/organizer dinosaur called: the Hewlett Packard Jornada 720. It is a super portable machine that after 10 years (!) still has no proper successor. But it is very very heavy compared to modern machines. It can totally break under it s own weight if it falls from a height of more than 20 cm. So I have to carry it around in a bulky protective case or padded sleeve with a zipper. This in turn makes the machine less portable. I find myself leaving the thing at home even though it is the only schedule I own (my mobile phone is from the stone ages too, just like my gaming preferences). Some story I think as the PSP Slim and the Dingoo.

So yet another reason why the Dingoo is not yet unnecessary. :)
Finally got me a new Dingoo after I Kentucky ~~::fried::~~ the other one. Yippee! [edit] And lost it!

lemmywinks

  • Posts: 2795
Re: Are Dingux-like Chinese handhelds slowly becoming unnecessary?
« Reply #15 on: June 02, 2011, 08:36:21 pm »
Cheers for the link Kryptofascist, i'll check that out properly when i get time. Just had an urge to play through Alundra so i ay be hacking the PSP sooner rather than later!


@ Meneer jansen, i was looking at the Journada series a while ago as i have a thing for impressive legacy tech, i still run an old Fujitsu Lifebook, a Toshiba Portege and also use a Psion Series 5. The Psions are great, well ahead of their time. Tiny little things but with an excellent keyboard, full office suite and loads of extras. Take CF cards too and there's quite a bit of software for them.
Handhelds:
GPD Win, GPD XD 64gb, RS-97, RS-90, 3DS XL, DSi XL, GBA SP, GBBC Clone, Gameboy Pocket, PSP Go
PC:
Medion Erazer, Toshiba Z20t, Dell Mini 9, Psion 5MX
Tons of other old laptops and tablets.....

Meneer Jansen (OP)

  • Posts: 511
Re: Are Dingux-like Chinese handhelds slowly becoming unnecessary?
« Reply #16 on: June 10, 2011, 04:57:00 pm »
There appears to be a new model of LCD screen in the Dingoo. The so-called ILI9338 version. This means that the two kernels (i.e. zImage files) that have been compiled for the "old" two possible LCD screen models do not work anymore.

That means that new kernels need to be compiled for the dingoo. Bear in mind that Sience's Dingux/Linux kernels contained important fixes for TV-out and over-clocking etc. Those are not (yet) implemented in the Dingux kernel that is available for the ILI9338 Dingoo's.

Yet another reason for the Dingoo to lose a bit of its appeal?
Finally got me a new Dingoo after I Kentucky ~~::fried::~~ the other one. Yippee! [edit] And lost it!

sebosnia

  • Guest
Re: Are Dingux-like Chinese handhelds slowly becoming unnecessary?
« Reply #17 on: June 18, 2011, 10:25:24 pm »
Before getting my dingoo I also considered an used PSP. The main reason I chose the Dingoo was the PSP it's really hard to hack. I mean, it's easy if you got the right motherboard, the right firmware and the right battery, but as you can see, there are a loto of factor involved in a succesfully hack. And with hack i'm not necessary refering to play hacked psp games, i'm talking about emulation.

I have an Android smartphone as well. The LG P500. It's awesome, but it's not really meant to be an portable gaming device. I do play a lot of it, but mostly games made for touchscreens (ie Plants vs Zombies, what a delightful little game). The buttons are not a minor theme in emulating old consoles. Some games on Android tries to replace the buttons with "virtual" buttons on the screen, but it sucks. It's really unplayable and it's no fun at all.

So, for me, the Dingoo stills holds a strong position in this new scenario. What it does (emulating old consoles and awesome dos games like doom), nobody does it better. My smartphone has a 600mhz arm v6 processor with 512mb of ram, but the Dingoo emulates better the snes games, for example.

 

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