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First off, I should start off by saying I have a good-paying job, but I'm soooooo not rich and am in fact in a heap of debt, but...every Christmas I get myself an expensive Christmas present. A few years ago, for example, I told my loved ones, when asked what I want for birthday/Christmas, I said, "Just Guitar Center gift cards." I amassed a ton and got myself a nice amplifier. Last year I asked the same thing, but Apple Store gift cards...again, amassed a ton and bought a new MacBook Pro (didn't have nearly enough to cover the balance, but it was definitely a good chunk, and I financed the rest and paid it off in just a few months).


This year....my expensive Christmas present to myself was actually one of the least expensive "expensive Christmas presents" I got myself: the GPD-XD.


if you're not in the know, the GPD-XD is essentially a small quad-core Android tablet rigged up with a video game controller: two (analog?) thumb sticks, a D-pad on the left side, and standard four buttons on the right, as if it were, say, a PSX/Xbox controller. Also contains two shoulder buttons on each side. The unit I got has 32 gigs internal storage, and there's a microSD slot so you can add more. The purpose of its existence is to be a handheld gaming device, and I got it because I wanted some kind of handheld that would emulate a huge variety of systems at full speed and that I could take with me on my commutes to work, flights, etc.


I just want to say I hate the Android OS...always did..just so clunky to navigate...but...as a whole, I'm really, really digging this GPD-XD. It comes pre-loaded with a couple of emulators and, I imagine, some ROMs that are either freely distributable or so freaking obscure that nobody would care. Personally, I downloaded MAME4droid, an NES emulator (forgot which one!), an N64 emulator (again, forgot!), a SNES emulator (again, don't remember which one!), and an Atari 2600 emulator (forgot which one again, but there are TONS), all from the Google Play store. I also tried out an Atari 7800 emulator that I couldn't figure out how to get working. :/


A few observations:

- I find that I really love the "Kart" games...Mario Kart 64 and Diddy Kong Kart on the N64 are fun and very usable on the device.

- Not the best emulator if you're playing games that depend on a 4-way joystick...like, the Pac-Man games in MAME are a bit touchy; Donkey Kong, too.

- GOOD LORD, THERE ARE SO MANY EFFING MAH JONGG GAMES FOR THE SNES!!! (And some for the N64, which itself has a much smaller library.) And a surprisingly huge number of pachinko games, too!

- The screen is sharp but it's very sensitive to your skin's natural oil. IIRC, the device actually comes with screen protectors; I'll have to look into using 'em. (As it's an Android tablet, it's a touch screen.)

- Only NES game I have on it: the original The Legend of Zelda...which I suck at.

- Really cool -- yet simple -- outer packaging. The front of the box has a drawing of some kid with a caption that has both English and Kanji writing. The English writing says, "When you smile, he's happy. When you laugh, he's scared." (or something....this is from memory so it's not necessarily exact.) I...don't know what that's supposed to mean! And I don't know what the Kanji writing says. Probably the same, but I don't know how to read Kanji, so I can't say for sure!

- Holy cow, this thing gets a BUTT TON of battery life!!!! I've had the thing for, what? two, three weeks? I think I had to fully charge it once.


Anyway, yeah...I think I paid $170-ish for it...came with a case and some Mario decals (that I don't plan to use, btw -- if anybody needs Mario decals, just drop me a line and I'll get 'em in the mail for you!) to put on the case...definitely a worthwhile investment!

Supernatural, perhaps...baloney, perhaps not.

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