This Beautiful Transparent Handheld Can Play PlayStation 2 Games

With grips and an asymmetric joystick layout, the RG556 could be Anbernic’s best handheld for playing retro games yet.

Originally Published: 
Anbernic's RG556 horizontal handheld capable of emulating PlayStation 2 games like Half-Life 2
Anbernic / YouTube

Another week, another new Anbernic handheld. The boutique handheld maker is starting 2024 strong with a teaser for its latest gaming handheld called the RG556, which is shaping up to be one of its most premium options yet.

With only the teaser video to go off of, we can see that Anbernic is going with a chunky grip design that’s unlike most of its rectangular brick handhelds. The RG556 appears capable of running Android and PlayStation 2 titles smoothly, with a bigger screen to boot.

We don’t have all the details yet, but we can see that Anbernic put a lot more thought into the ergonomics of the RG556. Even just comparing it to the smaller RG35XX H handheld that was announced a few weeks ago, it looks like the RG556 will be a lot comfier in your hands thanks to actual grips.

Perfect for Revisiting PS2 Classics (And 3D Android Games)

The short teaser gives us a lot of hope for the power behind the RG556 since the demos with games like Genshin Impact and the Devil May Cry series show smooth performance. Anbernic has confirmed the CPU (octa-core Unisoc T820 processor), GPU (quad-core Mali G57 850MHz), RAM (8GB LPDDR4X), and storage (128GB or 256GB). With these specs, the RG556 is definitely powerful enough to run GameCube games. In terms of software, the Anbernic RG556 runs Android 13.

Other RG556 specs include “high fidelity dual speakers” which we take to mean stereo, a microSD card slot that takes memory cards up to 2TB in capacity, a 5,500 mAh battery, wireless screen casting, USB-C video output at 1080p resolution, and haptic feedback.

Purported image of the Anbernic RG55G from all angles.


Anbernic has confirmed the RG556 has a 5.5-inch AMOLED display with 1080p resolution, which makes it one of the larger displays in the Anbernic lineup. Previously, the company put out the RG505, which has a 5-inch OLED display and 8 hours of battery life. While that handheld didn’t see rave reviews, the RG556 looks to be a modernized version of that handheld that came out in 2022.

Few Anbernic handhelds have asymmetric joystick layouts, too. Most of the company’s devices have the D-pad and ABXY buttons up top and joysticks below them, which can make for an awkward grip. Only the RG405M and RG350 have had them, but it looks like Anbernic is ready to branch out with hall joysticks and triggers.

Of course, there’s a transparent colorway for the RG556.

Anbernic / YouTube

RG556 Release Date and Price

Anbernic operates within the more affordable, budget-oriented segment of the handheld market, so the price tag of the RG556 isn’t as expensive as more premium options like the Steam Deck OLED or the MSI Claw. Instead, at $199.99 (discounted to $189.99 at the time of publishing), the RG556 is competitively priced against something like the Retroid Pocket 4, which starts at $149.

It comes in black or transparent blue. Anbernic says the RG556 will be shipped after March 5. Any handhelds that ship before that date will automatically get a $10 discount to $189.99.

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