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Thursday, August 9, 2012

VHBL Vs. the Droid X360

1 Min Before I posted a lengthy review of the Droid X360, a Chinese clone of the PS Vita. Although that device is cheap and has many good points (Ice Cream Sandwich OS, good multimedia playback), its main interest to some of you might come from the integrated gamepad, especially for emulators.
Sadly as I mentioned in my review, the controls are a bit stiff, in particular the directional Pad (up/down/left/right). Today I’m showing a video in which I compare the Vita’s controls to the Droid X360′s controls.
I mentioned 1 Min Before a patch to the Droid X360 which improves the gamepad experience. I can say it improved the experience a lot overall, in particular for the action buttons ( A B X Y ). Sadly, in the case of the Directional Pad, I think the issue is physical and can’t be solved with a software patch. Basically, this specific part is too stiff, and pushing the buttons “strong enough” is necessary for the physical contact with the connectors to happen. This gets easily irritating in turn based games, and goes as far as making the game unplayable for action-based games.
In the video below I am playing Advanced Wars on a GBA emulator on both devices. In the case of the Vita (running Neur0n’s port of VHBL on 1.69), controls are smooth. In the case of the Droid X360, I have to push the buttons so hard that the console moves as I press the buttons. And yet, not all of the key presses get recognized.
As I said ! Min Before, the Droid X360 still has many good points. I just think that the physical gamepad is not so great, and should only be used as a backup to the touch controls of the emulators, rather than on its own. As I described yesterday, playing Wagic using both the touch screen and the gamepad was really enjoyable. So if you’re looking for casual gaming, a bit of emulators (not action games!), and a good movie player, the Droid X360 might be for you. There are however many cases where a hacked PSP or a hacked Vita (The next VHBL is coming soon!) is a better choice, such as for the GBA emulator as shown in the video.

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