There exist things in this world that when you see them, they make you furrow your brow, shake your head, and go, “Hmm.” And no, I am not talking about the song “Things That Make You Go Hmm” by C+C Music Factory. Though, this does have to do with someone in the music industry. DeAndre Cortez Way, also known as Soulja Boy, has started trying to sell his own “original” video game consoles and handhelds. But really, even considering getting one of these is probably not the best idea. Here’s why.
Soulja Boy has a SouljaWatch website , at which he sells a number of products that mostly seem to consist of things he have gotten from other distributors, then placed his name on. As in, if you browse a site like Alibaba or Amazon, you could probably find almost all of these products at a fraction of the price. In early December 2018, he “rocked” the gaming world with the SouljaBoy Console and SouljaBoy Handheld. The former is $211.98 and comes with 800 pre-installed games. The latter is $113.58, with 3,000 pre-installed games.
Later in the month, the SouljaGame Fuze and Retro SouljaBoy Mini showed up. It is difficult to tell how many games are pre-installed on the former, but it seems like it is less than 70. The latter has 508 games. Both of these are on “sale,” with the handheld going for $99.99 instead of $133.98 and console costing $399.99 instead of the normal price of $639.99. Crazy, right?
So, the first reason you should please avoid these is because each one is an emulator box. You know when you walk around the electronics section in Walmart or Target, you’ll see those knock-off consoles and handhelds that claim to have 100, 200, or even 500 games on them? And of those, maybe 20 are old NES or SNES games the company got the rights to use to help sell it. Except these plug-and-play systems are the sort where things weren’t authorized. The games on there are there without the permission of companies like Nintendo, Sega, Activision, or Ubisoft.
This means the build quality could be rather poor. On the website, Soulja Boy notes that ANBERNIC is the maker of the products. It is not like paying $79.99 for a 2DS, $199 for an Xbox One, or $299 for a Switch and knowing it is a well-made device with a warranty you can rely on. It is not like the SouljaWatch website has a contact page on it or one that offers information on the return policy. Is paying $400 for a SouljaGame Fuze worth that risk, when you could put that toward a Xbox One X or PS4 Pro instead? For a console that might not have legal authorization to be sold with the games it might have on it?
There is also that markup. The SouljaGame Fuze is a Cdragon FUZE basic version, with the images on SouljaWatch taken right from Alibaba . It is $319.99 there, by the way. That just over $200 SouljaBoy Console is the $79.49 Retro Mini Video Game Console . The $114 SouljaBoy Console is the $59.99 Retro Game there. That Retro SouljaBoy Mini? It is as low as $20 on AliExpress . It is at the point where okay, if you do want to go ahead and toss money at one of these emulator boxes that may or may not do what you hope and expect, at least do it at a source where you aren’t paying extra money for it.
These sorts of consoles and handhelds exist. We know that. But if you are even going to consider getting one of them, please be smart about it. Don’t go for a version that is marked up. Watch some reviews. Do some research. And, instead of taking a chance, maybe go ahead and get a reliable, used 2DS or console instead.