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Author Topic: The land before the RS-97?  (Read 632 times)

ElTopo (OP)

  • Posts: 10
The land before the RS-97?
« on: January 24, 2021, 02:53:44 pm »
I was looking for a thread that explained this but I couldn't find anything. I'm trying to understand what the landscape looked like just before the RS-97 hit the market as I wanna make a video about my unit :]

It comes to my understanding that the industry of chinese/emulation handheld consoles was in the brink of extinction as way more expensive devices such as the GCW Zero (and others that i don't remember) weren't able to compete against readily available android emulation of the time. But it was the RS-97 that almost single handedly revitalized the industry of affordable chinese consoles. Is this statement wrong? There has to be more to it than that, right?

Or in other words: Is the RS-97 as disruptive as I think it was? Or was it just another one of the bunch?
Devices:
RS-97 v2.1 (modded)

Also, if you're into Genesis stuff, check out my music!
www.youtube.com/sparkster7744

LauweLoempia

  • Posts: 138
Re: The land before the RS-97?
« Reply #1 on: January 24, 2021, 03:38:30 pm »
Although I can't directly answer your question, for me the opensource handheld scene did went through some phases. I have  most opensource handhelds since the GP32 blu around 2002. In those days these handhelds were expensive: around the same price or even more than their triple A counterparts. So eventhough the GP32 was more expensive than a GBA, it could do a whole lot more! This situation changed with the GP2X as the PSP was quickly hacked and  could also run emulators. I'm not sure but I think the GPWiz and Cannoo sold even worse and hence GPH stoppen making opensource handhelds altogether.

The situation with chinese handheldanufacturers is different, handhelds needed to be cheap so to my knowledge there were mostly NES on a chip handheld and GB hardware clones... until the Dingoo A320. And also this handheld was not marketet as an opensource handheld but a multimedia device (hence the FM recover, MP3 playback etc). Howerve this handheld did sparc a lot of dingux projects, like this website and eventually resulted in OpenDingux. Later chinese handhelds like the Dingoo A330, A380 and gemei a330 proved to be compatible so some extend with these projects. The GCW zero was a very exciting project which would change this: a high end opensource handheld with all the bells and whistles requested by the Dingoonity community and fully capable to run OpenDingux. I won't go into the drama that followed but most who did got the device loved it. I already did and I find it very sad that the drama surrounding the project also seemed to result in a stop/slowdown of the OpenDingux project.

However, both the original Dingoo a320 and the GCW Zero used the Ingenic MIPS CPU and the GCW Zero and OpenDingux project did result in a lot of freely available knowledge on how to build a OpenDingux handheld. And this resulted in the RS97.  I think the success of the console was unsure during development, as it used the shell of the RevoK101 (a GBA hardware clone).

The succes of the RS97 sparked a avalanche of cheap dingux based handhelds (like the LDK and RS07, RS99, RS90 etc). Often these were not running OpenDingux bit with little effort could run a derivative of the OpenDingux firmware. Proven there was market for these handhelds and seing users wanted OpenDingux on these device Ambernic release the RH350 and the Bitboy team the PocketGo2. These devices were essentially GCW Zero clones with some upgrades/changes (second analogue stick, better screens, etc). These devices were expensive for chinese handheld standards but had the more powerful CPU and memory the GCW Zero also employed.

For me personally it WAS the RS97 which re-egnited my interest in opensource handhelds but I must admit I bought it together with the RS90, so I'm not sure which one came first...

Good luck with the video, I would love a in-depth analysis of the history of opensource handhelds.

Sent from my Mi 9 Lite using Tapatalk


LauweLoempia

  • Posts: 138
Re: The land before the RS-97?
« Reply #2 on: January 24, 2021, 03:39:46 pm »
Sorry for the typos but I'm too lazy to fix

Sent from my Mi 9 Lite using Tapatalk


LauweLoempia

  • Posts: 138
Re: The land before the RS-97?
« Reply #3 on: January 24, 2021, 03:44:13 pm »
Also it might be worth it to dig through the obscurehandhelds post (use the way back machine as it seems the site is down atm)

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pcercuei

  • Posts: 1702
    • My devblog
Re: The land before the RS-97?
« Reply #4 on: January 25, 2021, 11:32:26 am »
I was looking for a thread that explained this but I couldn't find anything. I'm trying to understand what the landscape looked like just before the RS-97 hit the market as I wanna make a video about my unit :]

It comes to my understanding that the industry of chinese/emulation handheld consoles was in the brink of extinction as way more expensive devices such as the GCW Zero (and others that i don't remember) weren't able to compete against readily available android emulation of the time. But it was the RS-97 that almost single handedly revitalized the industry of affordable chinese consoles. Is this statement wrong? There has to be more to it than that, right?

Or in other words: Is the RS-97 as disruptive as I think it was? Or was it just another one of the bunch?

The fact that you saw an explosion of the number and variety of Chinese consoles by the time the RS-97 was released is unrelated to the RS-97 itself. In 2015 China's ban on video-games was lifted (https://www.theverge.com/2015/7/25/9039995/china-ends-ban-on-video-game-consoles) which created a huge market that was soon flooded with countless devices. That's the reason for the revitalization of the industry, as the market for Chinese consoles is primarily China.

To me (OpenDingux author, for the record) the RS-97 was just another one of the bunch. What made it special to some people is that it already ran some old-flavored version of Linux, with security turned off (e.g. you can log as "root" on the serial port), so it was hacked in no time. So it had a bit of a scene, but nothing compared to the scene that the Dingoo A320 created.

The Dingoo A320 was the disruptive one. Chinese handhelds weren't much of a thing back then (~2010), and the few that came out were marketed as media devices (to bypass the ban). When it got hacked, it was the first time a cheap (~$60 IIRC) chinese handheld could run community code. This created a big scene, of newcomers, but also veterans of the GP2X scene who bought one to wait for the Pandora.

LauweLoempia

  • Posts: 138
Re: The land before the RS-97?
« Reply #5 on: January 25, 2021, 12:02:21 pm »
I was looking for a thread that explained this but I couldn't find anything. I'm trying to understand what the landscape looked like just before the RS-97 hit the market as I wanna make a video about my unit :]

It comes to my understanding that the industry of chinese/emulation handheld consoles was in the brink of extinction as way more expensive devices such as the GCW Zero (and others that i don't remember) weren't able to compete against readily available android emulation of the time. But it was the RS-97 that almost single handedly revitalized the industry of affordable chinese consoles. Is this statement wrong? There has to be more to it than that, right?

Or in other words: Is the RS-97 as disruptive as I think it was? Or was it just another one of the bunch?

The fact that you saw an explosion of the number and variety of Chinese consoles by the time the RS-97 was released is unrelated to the RS-97 itself. In 2015 China's ban on video-games was lifted (https://www.theverge.com/2015/7/25/9039995/china-ends-ban-on-video-game-consoles) which created a huge market that was soon flooded with countless devices. That's the reason for the revitalization of the industry, as the market for Chinese consoles is primarily China.

To me (OpenDingux author, for the record) the RS-97 was just another one of the bunch. What made it special to some people is that it already ran some old-flavored version of Linux, with security turned off (e.g. you can log as "root" on the serial port), so it was hacked in no time. So it had a bit of a scene, but nothing compared to the scene that the Dingoo A320 created.

The Dingoo A320 was the disruptive one. Chinese handhelds weren't much of a thing back then (~2010), and the few that came out were marketed as media devices (to bypass the ban). When it got hacked, it was the first time a cheap (~$60 IIRC) chinese handheld could run community code. This created a big scene, of newcomers, but also veterans of the GP2X scene who bought one to wait for the Pandora.
Ah, that explains a lot! I did not know there was a ban on video game systems. Do you also know what happened to companies like Dingoo Digital and Gemei?

I followed the OpenDingux developments from the sideline and was amazed how good the GCW Zero was compared to the Dingoo A320 and always contributed this to the OpenDingux project. I noticed there are nightly builds now but is there also a page on what the changes are and what is means to mere mortal end-users?

Thanks for all the effort to make these devices so much more fun!

Sent from my Mi 9 Lite using Tapatalk


ElTopo (OP)

  • Posts: 10
Re: The land before the RS-97?
« Reply #6 on: January 25, 2021, 11:05:21 pm »
The fact that you saw an explosion of the number and variety of Chinese consoles by the time the RS-97 was released is unrelated to the RS-97 itself. In 2015 China's ban on video-games was lifted

That makes SO much more sense from what I had originally thought! A cheap handheld that came at the right time, which gained traction in the west for its familiarity with Linux. Now that I think about it, the community didn't linger for too long on the RS-97 (due to its weak specs I assume) and moved along pretty quickly as soon as new devices came into the market :b
Devices:
RS-97 v2.1 (modded)

Also, if you're into Genesis stuff, check out my music!
www.youtube.com/sparkster7744

lemmywinks

  • Posts: 2878
Re: The land before the RS-97?
« Reply #7 on: January 26, 2021, 06:48:46 pm »
Yeah before the RS97 (or more accurately the Pap KIII Plus as that came first) there was nothing aside from Android handhelds, the GCW was long gone and the Dingoo even more so. Was nice to see a resurgence tbh, the RS97 was a nice little handheld which had some unfortunate screen idiosyncrasies which affected performance. Was also good to see these devices back to the sort of price they should be instead of the crazy GCW prices.
Handhelds:
GPD Win, GPD XD 64gb, PlayGo, RS-90, 3DS XL, DSi XL, GBA SP, GBBC Clone, Gameboy Pocket c/w screen mod, PSP Go
PC:
Medion Erazer, Toshiba Z20t, Dell Mini 9, Psion 5MX
Tons of other old laptops and tablets.....

 

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