This fun, future gaming handheld comes with a surprise "twist"

There's something a bit different about the Small Universe X Sugar Cube (apart from the name)

Small Universe X Sugar Cubes gaming handheld
(Image credit: bilibili)

There are plenty of retro gaming handhelds on the market today, in form factors that are generally inspired by a Nintendo machine, such as the Switch or classic Game Boy, so it'd take something rather special to stick out from the crowd.

However, there's a new one coming that does just that – not simply because it comes in a variety of fun colours, nor that it's name is that odd but charming, Small Universe X Sugar Cube, but because it has a rather unique and surprising "twist". Literally.

The display on the Small Universe handheld can be rotated to suit different types of games. Many classic titles run in 4:3, but there are also quite a few arcade machines (such as Pac-Man and 1942) that favour a vertical aspect ratio.

Small Universe X Sugar Cubes gaming handheld

(Image credit: bilibili)

This is something the Evercade EXP offers too, although in that case you rotate the entire handheld and use an additional pair of action buttons. By rotating just the screen instead, you don't have to change your grip.

It also means you'll have all of the buttons, D-pad and thumbsticks at your disposal. Indeed, the Small Universe (which we assume is the name of the Chinese-made device) looks similar to the Powkiddy RGB20S, complete with smiley face-style Start and Select buttons, so it's likely that it'll be as comfortable and fun to use.

In terms of specifications, leaker Bilibili (via Retro Dodo) claims that the console will have a 3.9-inch rotating OLED display with a resolution of 1240 x 1080. He also says that it'll run on a Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 processor.

Small Universe X Sugar Cubes gaming handheld

(Image credit: bilibili)

We don't know yet what operating system it'll use – possibly Android considering the internal hardware – but you can bet it'll run a whole stack of emulators for SNES, Mega Drive/Genesis, arcade machines (MAME) and many more. And, like rival machines from the likes of Anbernic and Powkiddy, we'd be surprised if it didn't ship with a microSD card packed with game ROMs of questionable origin.

It's certainly one to look out for though, not least because each Small Universe handheld will come in an aluminium casing, making it feel even more premium.

We don't know how much it'll cost yet though, of course.

Rik Henderson
News Editor

Rik is T3’s news editor, which means he looks after the news team and the up-to-the-minute coverage of all the hottest gadgets and products you’ll definitely want to read about. And, with more than 35 years of experience in tech and entertainment journalism, including editing and writing for numerous websites, magazines, and newspapers, he’s always got an eye on the next big thing.

Rik also has extensive knowledge of AV, TV streaming and smart home kit, plus just about everything to do with games since the late 80s. Prior to T3, he spent 13 years at Pocket-lint heading up its news team, and was a TV producer and presenter on such shows as Channel 4's GamesMaster, plus Sky's Games World, Game Over, and Virtual World of Sport.