When I mentioned that I wanted an “open” portable gaming console that played PSP games, Enrique mentioned the Dingoo. Not that it actually plays PSP games, but it’s indeed an “open” console, cheap and with a number of “extras”. So I wondered if playing PSP games was so important for me. Not that it wouldn’t be awesome playing God of War, Katamari Damacy, Patapon, LocoRoco or Echochrome on the train/plane, but the main point was having games, music and the possibility of watching films on a portable device. After a couple of weeks pondering, I decided “screw Sony” and ordered the Dingoo.

So, what does the Dingoo have to offer? Well, it’s a nice and small portable gaming console that apart from games, it plays music, video and radio, and has a simple picture viewer and a basic plain text reader (with features like bookmarking). On the gaming side, it has its own game format (it comes loaded with around 30 games) and emulators for quite a bunch of different machines, so you can play games from NES, Super NES, Neo Geo, Mega Drive, Game Boy Advance, and the arcade machines CPS1 and CPS2. I don’t have words to say how awesome that is. The Dingoo has an internal memory of 4Gib and supports one external MiniSD card, so you have more than enough space for a lot of games, some music and even a couple of films.

In general, I have to say that both the emulation and the video playing works very well. A handful of games can’t be played (they crash or behave funny) and other games can be played but are too slow/annoying to play (e.g. Super Mario World for Super NES), but in general there aren’t any problems. I have a couple of minor complaints though:

  • I find some of the button conventions confusing (e.g. for menu navigation). It doesn’t help that different consoles have different conventions on which buttons to use for which actions.
  • The Mega Drive emulator doesn’t seem to support the .bin format, which is slightly annoying.
  • There are a lot of video formats supported (the console comes with several sample videos), but the first video I tried to copy and watch wasn’t recognised :-( I hope that won’t happen often.

All in all, I think it’s a great console and it’s quite cheap, so I’m very happy I bought it. If you’re curious about how it looks and works, have a look at this video review: