Sega Arcade Classic and Arcade Ultimate Portable Review: An Armchair Arcade Exclusive Video Review

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Bill Loguidice's picture

In this video, I take an exclusive early look at the Sega Arcade Classic wireless game console and Sega Arcade Ultimate Portable handheld player from AtGames, both of which will be released in the US in time for the holidays. This is part 1. Part 2, which will be released a week or so after, will feature more live footage to get an even better sense of the quality of the systems and their capabilities.

Download the video here.

Disclosure: I provided unpaid consulting services to AtGames during the creation of these products. This consulting was related to product performance and marketing feedback, but did not involve anything related specifically to its engineering or production. All review units were provided by AtGames.

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Bill Loguidice
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Rowdy Rob wrote:

The new Atgames console accepts wired joysticks and carts, but if I'm understanding your video correctly, it doesn't accept SD cards/ROMS. That'd be a deal-breaker for me, since I don't have a collection of Genesis carts, and don't intend to go out hunting for them. That having been said, it appears that one can still find a fair selection of Genesis carts at specialty video game shops, flea markets, and pawn shops.

The old Atgames device apparently didn't emulate the Genesis sound chip correctly, although I, lacking Genesis experience, didn't notice. Has this been improved in the new devices? The lack of stereo doesn't bother me (unlike Matt), especially if I get the portable version, but I would like reasonably accurate sound emulation.

Yes, the console does everything except SD cards. I don't have an Everdrive to test on it, either.

Sound and smoothness were always a problem for these. It's been nailed this time, though if you do a 1:1 comparison, you may notice a slight sound difference. Even the best software emus struggle with that though. You can hear it for real in part two and see if you notice anything.

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Bill Loguidice
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Part two

Sorry guys, looks like I'll be recording on Thursday. There won't be many edits, so it's possible it will go up very late Thursday night, but late Friday night worst case.

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Bill Loguidice
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When I said, "maximum

When I said, "maximum composite video quality," I meant that that's the best connection it provides. Composite is merely adequate, obviously, particularly in this day and age. There's nothing wrong with it though other than being composite, which is just one step above RF...

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Rowdy Rob
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Portable screen size?

According to Amazon, the Atgames Sega Portable will be available on November 13. I'm going to keep my open to see if it's on the local store shelves before then.

I'm quite interested in the "Arcade Ultimate Portable," but I'm actually concerned about the screen size. Bill, was the screen large enough to see what's going on in the games? I'm imagining a postage-stamp-sized screen. I'm hoping it's big enough for most games to be reasonably playable.

Bill Loguidice
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No, I think you'll be quite

No, I think you'll be quite pleased with the screen size. No real concessions there.

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clok1966
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Noticed the FAMILY DOLLARS

Noticed the FAMILY DOLLARS around here have the 2600 one.. I would guess they will have the Gen one too when it comes out.. I think I will grab one if they do.

Rowdy Rob
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Bought the Atgames Portable at Dollar General for $40

All three of Bill's recently-reviewed Atgames products (the "Sega Genesis Classic," "Sega Ultimate Portable," and the "Atari Flashback 4") were being prominently displayed at my local "Dollar General" store. Learning online that "Dollar General" was selling these things, I sought out my local Dollar General, and left with the Sega Portable! It was an even $40, not including tax.

I've been breathlessly waiting for this thing to be released ever since Bill posted his videos about it! My first impression is that it’s pretty much what I expected, based on Bill’s informative review. Still, there's nothing like actually holding one in your hands. Here's some thoughts:

1) The screen is large enough for the games to be playable; no more, no less. I was expecting to have to squint to play the games, but that turns out not to be the case. The screen is bright, clear, and colorful.

2) The sound through the internal speaker is barely tolerable. It's worse than a cheap cell phone. Everything sounds "tinny." Plugging in some headphones (via the headphone jack) is recommended.

3) The controls seem pretty comfortable and responsive. So far I have no complaints in that department.

4) The forty included "Sega classic" games are primarily fighting and platforming oriented. There’s one horizontally scrolling SHMUP called “Arrow Flash,” but I’ll need to add more via SD card to get my SHMUP fix. Most of the other included classics are quite familiar to Sega enthusiasts (Street Fighter, Columns, Sonic, Alex Kidd, Streets of Rage, Altered Beast, etc.).

5) The forty "other" games are, as Bill intimated, simple cheapo games that are curiosities at best, although there are a few that seem to be worth giving a try. "Fish Story" seems to be the stand-out so far (to me), although even that one's a simple time-waster.

6) Although there's an "A/V Out" jack on the device (to connect to a TV), the AV cable is not included, and I'll be doggoned if I can figure out what sort of AV cable this needs. It's NOT an RCA jack. I thought I was familiar with typical AV cables, but this one mystifies me! It looks like a standard headphone jack, but obviously it's not.

7) The unit can be recharged via the included USB cable. No need to purchase batteries for this thing. Yay!

8) I'm not really familiar with most Genesis games, but it's obvious that something's wrong with the sound emulation. I couldn't tell you what it is; it's just that something's not right. It's not that anything sounds awful, but... I dunno how to describe it. Nothing "wows," audio-wise, particularly the game music. It all sounds kind of "dull," or even out of tune. I know the original Genesis sounded better than this!

****

Oh well, overall, I think the Atgames "Sega Genesis Ultimate Portable" is a very solid purchase at $40, especially if you take into account the SD card ability. It's a shame that Atgames still can't get the audio emulation right; the hardcore Sega geeks are really mad about this aspect. Still, the games aren't going to sound great on the crappy internal speaker anyway, and everything else seems good if you're playing on the go.

You're getting a portable Genesis system with 40 classic games, TV out capability, and the ability to add more games via SD card, all for $40. That's amazing!

I can't wait to play some proper shmups on this thing.

Cmatta (not verified)
where?

Was wondering where to down load extra sega games from.
Plz email me!

Bill Loguidice
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Easy to find
Cmatta wrote:

Was wondering where to down load extra sega games from.
Plz email me!

I hate when other people say it, but Google is your friend. These aren't secrets and are posted everywhere. The handheld uses standard .bin files.

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