The Best Emulation Handheld In The World Is In Your Closet

The emulation handheld scene has become a hot market for anyone still into handheld gaming. Since the demise of the Nintendo DS and the Sony PSP, there has been an appetite for handheld gaming.

Take a look at the wildly successful Analogue Pocket, and you will see that the appetite is still there. Sadly, though, the only mainstream options we have are the Switch Lite and the Steam Deck.

Both of which are massive handhelds that are not only expensive, but also very portable. What happened to the days where you could throw a handheld console in your pocket and enjoy it on your lunch break?

Well, emulation handhelds have been scratching that itch for a few years now. These miraculous devices can play most consoles all the way up to the PS1 and cost you a little bit of nothing.

I myself own a Pocket Go S30, which is packed to the gills with everything from Neo Geo MVS titles to the entire Game Boy, GBC, and GBA library. Heck, right now I’ve been playing Shining Force CD on it.

But did you know there is a great emulation handheld, and it’s one that you probably own? This handheld might have been in your closet for a few years, and it's time to dust it off.

The handheld question is the Nintendo DS Lite.

Yes, that old DS Lite that you probably still haven’t played since 2008 is well worth restoring, and it won’t cost very much. It doesn’t take much effort to homebrew the Nintendo DS Lite at all.

In fact, it is as simple as ordering an R4 chip off of Amazon. The R4 chip not only enables your DS Lite to play roms, but also runs various emulators on your DS console.

Ever wanted to have the entire Sega Genesis collection on your Nintendo DS? Well, with an R4 chip you can. The setup is fairly simple, just pop it into your DS console and everything is up and running.

There are a few emulators that you’ll want to get, such as nesDS. You will simply copy the NES rom files to the same folder as the nesDS emulator is in and you can play the entire NES collection in your pocket.

The same goes for Genesis emulation, SNES, GBC, and GBA games run natively on the console with the perfect aspect ratio and everything. You won’t get these specs for the same price in an emulation handheld.

Want to bring your DS Lite into the new age? Well, take that old shell off and install a new custom shell. There are so many options, and your DS Lite will look brand new.

I chose the translucent shell for my most recent modification. The console looks so good it almost reminds me of the Funtastic N64 colors. The Nintendo DS Lite has so much potential, and restoration is perfect.

Even if you don’t end up running emulation on your DS Lite you can still transform the exterior with a new case. For about $13 bucks, you could take that old DS and transform it into something new.

Everyone is getting back into the retro gaming scene, but purchasing an emulation handheld can be costly. Why spend the extra money when you already probably have a capable handheld laying around?

The DS Lite has a great pair of screens, the buttons feel nice, and the ability to play the entire DS library with the R4 card is a nice feeling. If you are considering one of the new emulation consoles I recommend rehabbing your old Nintendo DS Lite.



Bylines in Taste of Home Magazine, @Superjump, Lifewire, NewsBreak and more. I am the Arkie Traveler! CEO Red Dog Cleaning LLC. YouTuber — Podcaster.

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Cameron Eittreim

Bylines in Taste of Home Magazine, @Superjump, Lifewire, NewsBreak and more. I am the Arkie Traveler! CEO Red Dog Cleaning LLC. YouTuber — Podcaster.