Opendingux Console

(Kevin) #1

I don’t always dingux, but when I do, I prefer it to be open.

It runs quake :joy:

What are your feelings on something like this as compared to Arduboy?

(Shawn) #2

I view the two approaches as completely different, serving different goals. The arduboy is about the “homebrew” like community of game programming under limitations that foster creativity with learning to code as a big facet, while open source emu consoles like this are more geared to running commercial games obviously and focusing on higher level software stuff. Two different (though sometimes intersecting) approaches, userbases, and goals. Both valid and interesting.

(Kevin) #3

I think both are interesting, but I think bespoke hardware is more interesting because it adds something new to the world. The downside is that they may struggle to gain a significant following enough to justify the actual production of the hardware.

So I think that is kind of interesting for the emulator world, is mostly a question of how do you execute the implementation of the emulator. They all run the same games, but how does it look? How do the buttons feel? And it’s very interesting that these products seem to somehow always find a market.

Or do they? That is something I wonder about. I think a vast majority of these emulator consoles are the result of any given factory or company trying to capitalize on the existing catalogs of games, and are convinced that if their hardware can become popular the potential market is huge. I think it is an internal sales pitch that actually causes these products to come into existence, instead of any actual desire or need from the customer.

My rational behind this, is most of these hardware exist for a few years and then the company just fades into the dust. This is extremely common for Chinese companies in general but I really don’t think any of these emulators hardware end up being very successful in the long run.

There are of course exceptions to the rule. There are some really high quality market leading console emulators. Obviously the officially branded ones have done fairly well at least for generating brand awareness. But even if you look at the NES classic and such, they were in very high demand, and continue to sell very well but they are just a drop in the bucket when you compare it to the sales of the Switch.

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(Pharap) #4

TL;DR: Ok, but how you program it?

Thoughts in no particular order:

  • The screen has a very nice aspect ratio.
  • I don’t like the shell, it looks awkward to hold.
  • MIPS is a strange architecture, it doesn’t have a status register.
  • 10 buttons is a very good number
  • Cave Story!
  • Quake is awkward without a mouse

I agree with this. It’s apples to oranges.

With a spec like that you might as well just write software for a phone or desktop.

Personally I just plug in my Xbox 360 controller and run the emulator on my desktop. :P

Aside from portability, a handheld wouldn’t offer me any advantage.

(At that price I wouldn’t be playing it on the go anyway,
someone might mistake it for a phone and try to steal it or mug me,
or at the very least it could get dropped and broken.)

Going off on a tangent…

I’m glad he mentioned Cave Story.
(Or Dokutsu Monogatari to give it its original title.)
It’s a really good game and an excellent example of a game made by a single person over a long period of time.

(Stephane Hockenhull) #5

MIPS is a terrible architecture for emulation. It runs native code with 32/64bits data sets fine but ARM is slightly better at running native real-world tasks. And MIPS really struggles with 1, 2, 4, 8 and 16 bits data masking and shifting.

The simple architecture is really good for C/C++ compilers which makes it so that there’s often nothing to gain by rewriting code in assembly on MIPS …

And then making a native game at 600Mhz, 128MB, 16GB SD and 320x240 display…
I’d just rather make a game for PC for the same effort. And I have 3 ongoing game projects on PC already…

It’s smack in the middle of the no-fun zone for me :neutral_face:

Arduboy and Uzebox have some nice limitations that puts a clear end to a side-project.

(Kevin) #6

A short learning curve and a clear end… game… #avengers


Mine coincidentally arrived today. I liked the design and Iwill probably just play a few classic games on it. Definitely not going to do any programming for it. The screen is good. Buttons feel a bit weak and the shoulder buttons a bit too firm. But in general I’m pleased with it.


This reminds me of the GP32 and GP2X, a series of open source handhelds made through the 2000s by a company called GamePark. They had very similar specs to this OpenDingux, but used ARM instead of MIPS. The SDK was freely available (rare for console hardware), which helped build a nice community around both original homebrew and emulation. @bateske called it though, the company dissolved when smartphones started to catch on…

One thing I noticed was that with each hardware upgrade, there seemed to be fewer original projects and more straight-from-PC ports. Those were great fun, but I’m sure fewer people gave original games a try, and even fewer bothered to make any. All these new Arduino systems are a breath of fresh air, and I think them being microcontroller-class instead of smartphone-class is a big reason why, it keeps them focused and less generic :slight_smile:

(Kevin) #9

I think adding IOT chipset to the mix is a good upgrade, without having to develop on a system big enough that starts needing RTOS and such.

(Nicole Birgel) #10

I bought this device day one. (i did two youtube reviews) and really like it. I still use stock firmware and can use 20 emulators with an overall good experience out of the box. It has a nice screen, battery life is ok (no indicator when battery runs low while playing is somewhat problematic), the form factor is more comfortable than it looks. What i love most is that i can buy a lot of new games for old systems to play them on the go (like tanglewood or twin dragons).
I don’t compare it with arduboy though, that’s a whole different thing for me. I love the arduboy because of the very unique games made from people who want to try what is possible and have dreams come true. I appreciate this way to make games.
As i like and collect handheld consoles in general i can recommend the ldk for the price. Only thing that really annoys me is, that the plastic lens and the screen are too near to each other and sometimes (with only usig minor pressure e.g. by cleaning the surface) you get a „bubble“ where both parts stick together.


Crazy that I just saw this thread, because I ordered this a few nights ago. It’s nice having devices like this, but I don’t know where to start to program on it. I want to at least get something compiled for it before mine arrives. I’ve asked around the retro game handheld discord in the ldk channel about developing for ldk/rs-97 but nobody was able to help.

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Mine just came and it’s pretty good overall once retrofw is installed. Only exception for me being that Pokémon mini emulation was sluggish. But it’s a pretty device and the buttons feel nice. Screen is nicer than a game gear one (of course).

(Miloslav Číž) #13

Is this legit? Seems pretty awesome and cheap at the same time, so it’s suspicious.

How “open” is it really? Can you install other distros than OpenDingux on it? Can you easily install regular GNU/Linux programs on it? I’d be only interested in running completely free games like Freedoom.

Very tempted to buy :slight_smile:


@Turtle @Nicole_Birgel @Mr.Blinky – anyone bought it from the site linked? It looks a bit weird. Wouldn’t wanna get scammed :slight_smile:

(Gavin Atkin) #14

I really like my pocket sprite because it lets me play pokemon on my keychain lol. And it has quite the novelty factor being so tiny. I’m a sucker for miniature stuff. The Arduboy is special in that it’s so easy to program, and has a clear end to a project (you run out of space). I definitely wouldn’t mind an upgrade to something like 128kb instead of the 32kb just for those times I want to really push the overworld to the max! But I don’t have the time for side projects these days anyway :weary:

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(Kevin) #15

More memory is coming! Everyone seems more busy these days! I think Arduboy first came onto the scene when the world was a little bit bored.

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Bought it from Aliexpress for $49.99 and arrived withing 2 weeks in retail box.

soon push it to the max you can <(-_-)> :smile:


For those interested, here’s a teardown of the LDK Game

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(Nicole Birgel) #17

I bought mine on
How „open“ the console might be - i don’t know exactly…

(Kevin) #18

I think we all had our fun getting our dinguxes out but I’m gonna hide the thread now as to not distract from the general browsings of the site.

(Kevin) unlisted #19