In a market hungry for new consoles with x86 hardware, we find the Lichee Pocket 4A, which is the first console to use the RISC-V architecture. Specifically, this portable console competes with many others based on the Arm architecture, forcing it to run very simple games.
As a result, this console will focus on playing mobile games and, of course, emulating old gaming consoles. The reasons for this are its power, as well as its ability to run Android and Linux operating systems. However, there is a noticeable lack of performance compared to, for example, an ASUS ROG Ally. That said, the price difference is significant. While its official price has not yet been announced, it is reasonable to assume that it may cost between 5 to 6 times less than the ASUS console, which currently hovers around 600 euros.
Specifications of the Lichee Pocket 4A, the first console with a RISC-V chip:
The Lichee Pocket 4A is a console manufactured by Sipped, built around a 7-inch LCD panel with a resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels. The display is powered by an Alibaba T-Head TH1520 processor, fabricated at 12 nm lithography. It has four XuanTie C910 cores based on the RISC-V architecture, accompanied by Imagination Technologies’ BXM-4-64 graphics and a 4 TOPs NPU for AI acceleration. This GPU is compatible with OpenGL 3.2, OpenCL 2.0, and Vulkan 1.2 APIs, delivering 50.7 GFLOPs of performance.
This chip is coupled with 8 or 16 GB of LPDDR4X RAM. For storage, users can choose between 32 or 128 GB of eMMC 5.1 capacity, which can be expanded via a microSD card. The main specifications are rounded out with 1x USB-C + 2x USB 3.0 ports, Wi-Fi 6 + Bluetooth 5.4 wireless connectivity, and even a Gigabit Ethernet port. Additionally, there is a 3.5 mm headphone jack.
More information about the console:
The Lichee Pocket 4A measures 250 x 110 x 30 mm in thickness, with a design similar to the Nintendo Switch, where the controllers can be removed for wireless use. This results in a weight of 630 grams, which is surprisingly heavy considering it is almost the same weight as an ASUS ROG Ally.
The device also features a 5-megapixel rear camera with an OmniVision OV5693 sensor, stereo speakers, and an integrated microphone. In terms of performance, it is primarily designed for game emulation, making it ideal for playing Game Boy, Game Boy Advanced, PlayStation 4, PSP, or Nintendo DS games. All this is powered by a 5,000mAh battery, which should provide many hours of gameplay.
Important details, such as the price, have not yet been announced by the company. Additionally, there is only one image of the console available, showing the front view. Ultimately, there is nothing particularly special about the Lichee Pocket 4A, aside from being the first portable console based on RISC-V. It will likely compete with other consoles featuring Arm SoC.