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ZPG announces A1 Unicorn retro handheld with square display

The ZPG A1 unicorn has a 1:1 aspect ratio display. (Image via RetroCN)
The ZPG A1 unicorn has a 1:1 aspect ratio display. (Image via RetroCN)
ZPG unveiled a new retro handheld console today, dubbed the A1 Unicorn. The small handheld features a square 4-inch display with a 720x720 resolution and controls typical for a modern-day retro-focused handheld. Conspicuously absent is any mention of the CPU or price.

The retro handheld scene has no shortage of options, although most choice have either a 16:9 or 4:3 aspect ratio display. The Anbernic RGB30 hit the market recently with a square 1:1 screen. ZPG announced another square-displayed handheld recently, the A1 Unicorn, and it aims to fill the same niche as the RGB30.

In that vein, the most striking aspect of the A1 Unicorn is its uncanny resemblance to the RGB30. This is largely due to the similar 4-inch 720x720 display used in both handhelds. The screen takes center stage in the middle of the case and is flanked by dual analog joysticks, a circular directional pad (a lá the Sega Genesis), four face buttons, and a trio of menu buttons. There are four shoulder buttons along the top for R1/R2/L1/L2 functions. These shoulder buttons are set in a line (as opposed to stacked, like those on the Nintendo Switch).

ZPG announced the A1 Unicorn in a promo video posted to RetroCN's X (formerly known as Twitter) page. While the video shows the handheld playing games from a bevy of retro platforms, the company has yet to announce the internal hardware (including the CPU and GPU) that will be in the final retail unit. The pre-recorded gameplay included PlayStation 2 games like God of War, a notoriously difficult to emulate title, and Resident Evil 4. The video also showed off gameplay from some 3DS titles, which is another hurdle for most handhelds. 

That said, this gameplay footage should be taken with a massive grain of salt. As mentioned, the A1 Unicorn's CPU and other internal hardware is currently unknown. Also unknown is the handheld's price. 

The end of the video states a release date of 12/31, which puts the A1 Unicorn's launch on the last day of the year. There is no word on pricing yet. For comparison, the RGB30 retails for between US$90-110, so pricing may be around those numbers. The RGB30 is powered by a Rockchip RK3566, which tops out at about the Nintendo 64 and Sega Dreamcast for emulation. If the A1 Unicorn packs more powerful hardware, expect the price to be higher. 

Buy the Powkiddy RGB30 on Amazon.

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> Expert Reviews and News on Laptops, Smartphones and Tech Innovations > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2023 11 > ZPG announces A1 Unicorn retro handheld with square display
Sam Medley, 2023-11-27 (Update: 2023-11-27)