The GPD XD has got to be the best handheld gaming device for emulation.
Yes I know that’s a bold statement.
This is coming from a guy who has played all sorts of handheld consoles from the Gameboy Advance, Sony PSP, and Nintendo Switch.
Let me tell you, this much accessibility in the palm of my hands was something I’d never experienced before.
My PSP is now sadly no longer functional so I went looking for another one to do the same thing but instead I discovered that there is a whole new level to handheld emulation and I want to share that with you guys.
What is the GPD XD?
The GPD XD is a handheld game console running android OS and has pre-installed apps that enable it to play games from other systems.
It was brought to life by a Chinese company called Game Pad Digital.
I had never heard of them before and probably wouldn’t have if they were not able to pull off such an ambitious console.
At a quick glance it looks a lot like a Nintendo DS as it has the same clam shell design but the bottom section has buttons instead of a touch screen.
This thing is a beast and can emulate games from the 8-bit NES all the way up to the Sega Dreamcast.
Yes, the Sega Dreamcast on the go.
Those of you who know me will know the Dreamcast is my all time favourite console, so to have those games on the go completely blows my mind.
On top of this it has a built in HDMI port so you can connect the darn thing to your tv and pick up your handheld games where you left off with a controller.
The GPD XD is packing the following:
- 2.1 GHz + 1.7Ghz CPU
- 3.8 6000 mAh Battery (10 hours playtime)
- 4GB RAM
- Vulkan Engine (helps PSP games run)
- PowerVR GPU
- Android OS 7.0
- 32GB / 64GB Storage options
Here in the UK it’s currently going for around a couple hundred pounds for the 32GB version and a little more for the 64GB which I think for what you’re getting its well worth the price tag.
There are also more advanced models such as their GPD Win 2 model which is a full windows PC in the palm of your hands!
However the GPD XD model is focused on the games only and that makes it more up my ally but I will definitely do a post on their windows devices at some point.
And no GPD are not sponsoring this me 😉
So How do I use it?
The console is quite simple to use, once you boot it up it takes you straight to a selection screen where you can see all the different consoles you can emulate and from you here simply select a game.
It can be a little daunting working through all the different apps that each can potentially store hundreds of games (especially if you’re rockin the 64GB version) but you will get the hang of it eventually.
You can also search online within the device for new games and some of the built in apps like “Happy Chick” will help you do this.
The console has four shoulder buttons and two analog thumb sticks so games from the Playstation, PSP, N64 and Dreamcast are all covered.
You’re probably wondering what the performance is like well there are a tonne of Youtubers talking about this thing and it is quite popular.
The best video I’ve seen for it is by IzzyNobre, check it out!
Thanks to the GPD you could be playing Metal Gear Solid from the Playstation on a bus one minute and then plug the GPD XD into your tv through HDMI sit back and continue on the big screen at home.
Sounds like a great alternative to the Nintendo Switch wouldn’t you agree?
I have to applaud the guys at GPD.
On paper this was a very ambitous project, to create a handheld device that can play pretty much everything all the way to the Sega Dreamcast on the go and via HDMI is crazy but it seems they have done just that.
I think the GPD XD is perfect for anyone who is serious about retro gaming and emulation.
For years I thought the PSP was the only way to go for retro games on the go but this really is how to push it to the next level.
I really believe that this is an important step in emulator history and even if GPD fades from existence this device will definitely be remembered.
That’s all I wanted to say on the GPD XD, please share this post with any friends you think would dig this and subscribe for more from the Lowdown.
Thank you so much for reading!