This Handheld is a Metal Game Boy Clone With Joysticks and a Rotating Screen

Let’s see your retro handheld do this.

Originally Published: 
Small Universe X Sugar Cubes gaming handheld with a rotating display
Nittrx / YouTube

We’re seeing a real resurgence in gaming handhelds as of late, so it’s getting much harder for entrants to stand out — but not impossible.

This addition, the Small Universe X Sugar Cubes, introduces a rotating display to the growing field of Game Boy remakes. The company teased its upcoming vertical handheld on Chinese social media platforms, as first reported by RetroDodo.

So, why a rotating display? There is an actual use case for the Small Universe X Sugar Cubes since you can play retro arcade games that were originally designed to be run in a vertical orientation. We’ve already seen some workarounds for this, which include physically turning your gaming handheld 90 degrees, but this handheld gets rid of that awkward tilting with an actual hardware feature.

It may be a small difference, but you’ll notice it when you play retro arcade games that were designed vertically.

Nittrx / YouTube

Unnecessary or Innovative?

To be fair, the screen isn’t a perfect square so there is a difference when you do rotate it. The nearly four-inch OLED display can go from its default 1,240 x 1,080 resolution in a 10:9 aspect ratio to a 9:10 aspect ratio. This should make for a better gaming experience when you’re playing classic arcade games like Space Invaders since you won’t get those distracting black bars on the sides.

The Small Universe X Sugar Cubes handheld will also come in a metal shell, giving it more of a solid feel than the old, plasticky Game Boy. This isn’t new since other handheld makers have been doing metal shells, like the Retroid Pocket 3+ Metal Edition, but it still adds a level of polish to an old-school form factor.

Inside, the handheld will run off a Snapdragon 888 processor that’s comparable to the chipset found in other devices like the Ayn Odin 2 and the Razer Edge. That should let the Small Universe X Sugar Cubes run more than just Game Boy games.

The bold colors of the Small Universe X Sugar Cubes handhelds remind us of the Analogue Pocket.

Nittrx / YouTube

Solid Idea, No Price

We haven’t been able to find any pricing or release details about the Small Universe X Sugar Cubes handheld. It doesn’t help that the company doesn’t seem to have much of a track record, so we’re skeptical of this handheld even coming to the market, though the concept is definitely an interesting one — you have to admire that unique display design, as unnecessary as it may seem.

This article was originally published on

Related Tags