GCW Zero explained

If a good name is anything to go by, then the GCW Zero is a great fit for this console. I’m not being mean or unfair, it’s a great console but not for the kids who just expect to buy a game and plop it in an ready to play, so before we begin buying one online, let’s know what it is.


The the OUYA and GCW Zero both came out in 2013, they proclaimed open source gaming goodness and they both delivered, but not in the form that everyone expected. Lazy gamers and nit-pickers pointed flaws and doom to said devices in the real world. However it wasn’t so, they thrive and slowly grow. Now the GCW Zero itself is a smaller project due to the fact that it was designed to play emulators and home-brew games and it doesn’t have the backing support of a commercially funded company, unlike the OUYA.

Most support for this console comes from the forums, fellow gamers and hackers post tips and newest software for the GCW Zero here http://boards.dingoonity.org/gcw-releases

The GCW, has an impressive spec sheet for a cheap hand-held console. From it’s conception it was designed to be an emulator and open platform for game developers to make games on. Built from the ground up as a “Linux game-boy” loaded with a full d-pad and REAL buttons is a fall back from touch screen cellphones that can also play emulators, but not this guy. It has the feel of a real portable.


The crystal clear 320×240 screen fits retro games like it was born for it, Super Nintendo never looked better. 512 DDR2 ram is more than most computers back in 2005 had. An impressive 1Gzh processor with 16GB of built in storage space makes it look like a great device. But is it in real life? Yes it is. And it has even more potential to be unlocked.

One of the few shortcomings of this console is that it simply is not finished yet, you may say it’s a half baked console but it’s actually ready, software needs to be written for it and features added. Typical open source stuff and if that’s the price we pay for things like this, then that’s what we’ll put up with, at least until we learn how to code then we’ll be complaining about other things, like crummy SDKs.

dingoo a-380

Back in the day the dingoo was the emulator device sold in flea markets and sometimes even Walmart as pretty much a knock-ff PSP. maybe because it looked like one, but despite it’s cheap plastic and lack of native games for this device, we stop to think about the emulators and roms available and realize, this little thing is designed for this. It wasn’t meant to compete with he big boys Nintendo and Sony. It’s it’s own little thing for us retro gamers.

However there is a bit of elbow room needed to get games loaded up on there and roms working, especially the old dos games that don’t let you remap the keys, but it’s fun and worth the hassle to get your good old games playing again.

You ever fancy having every Gameboy advance game you could possibly imagine inside your pocket? the GCW is cheaper than a hacked Nintendo DS with an R4 card, plays more emulators and is much smaller.

Emulators that work on this console.

  • Sega
  • Nintendo NES
  • Super Nintendo
  • Gameboy and Gameboy Advance
  • MSX
  • MAME, (Soon)
  • DOS games.
  • and probably more that I don’t know about

Some sites advertise this console to be able to play Playstation games, but it doesn’t and probably never will. The graphics on PSP and Playstation are still a bit too much for a single core 1GZ. My OUYA has enough trouble with Playstation games so it’s really just a matter of time until a the next version of this “Linux Gameboy” can support this.

With a bigger battery than previous version this GCW Zero lasts all day long and enough to keep most children satisfied. This console does use a Linux file system and it’s to be expected to have some familiarity with Wifi shares and FTP if you want to transfer files to the internal storage. The important thing to remember is that the /apps folder in the root directory of your GCW will hold the applications, that are like .exe’s and they execute. If transferring while through a share on the network of FTP rest assured you can still use your GCW and play with it while it’s uploading/downloading games, a hint that it really is a Linux based micro computer.

Have fun.


About Zerin

But can you show me the source code?

Posted on February 26, 2014, in Linux Stuff, Video Games and Stuff and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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