This $50 small gaming console may not be as powerful, but it’s extremely fun!

The Powkiddy Q90: A Budget-Friendly Portal to Classic Gaming

Though the Powkiddy Q90 looks much like a smaller version of Nintendo’s Switch Lite, it lacks the capability to run most of the games from the last 25 years. Nevertheless, this small gaming console offers an excellent and budget-friendly option for playing 8 and 16-bit games from the NES, SNES, and Sega generation.

Quick Read

  • The Powkiddy Q90 is a budget-friendly portable gaming device designed for playing classic games.
  • It effectively simulates NES, SNES, Sega Genesis, and other classic games.
  • The design of the console draws inspiration from the Nintendo Switch Lite.
  • The Q90 is unable to effectively emulate PlayStation games because of its hardware constraints.
  • The high-quality construction and user-friendly interface enhance its attractiveness.

Performance and Limitations

The Powkiddy Q90 is equipped with the Allwinner F1C100S, which runs on an ARM926-EJS processor and has only 32MB of RAM. When compared to handheld devices like the RG350, which features 512MB of RAM, the Q90 is less powerful. While the console does support an emulator for the original PlayStation, gameplay is often hindered by low frame rates and unsynchronized audio, making it nearly unplayable.

Despite these drawbacks, the Q90 offers good performance for games from consoles that came before the original PlayStation. It comes with pre-installed emulators that allow users to adjust various settings to enhance a game’s performance.

Construction and Craftsmanship

The Powkiddy Q90 features a sleek design that takes cues from the Nintendo Switch Lite. The directional pad is ideal for playing retro games, as are the action buttons. The Select and Start buttons are conveniently placed next to each other for easy access. Additionally, the Q90 is equipped with a 3-inch, 320×240-pixel LCD display, and ‘+’ and ‘-‘ buttons that allow quick access to the settings menus of the various emulators pre-installed on the device.

The console also boasts a USB-C port for charging, an analog volume control, and a microSD card slot to expand the internal 16GB storage. A headphone jack is conveniently located on the bottom edge, enhancing the handheld experience.

Game Access and User Interface

The Q90 utilizes the Linux-based NXHope OS, which offers functional but not visually appealing interface. Nevertheless, because of its open-source hardware, there are more visually attractive third-party OS options available.

For a handheld emulator such as the Powkiddy Q90, games need to be available as ROM files on a memory card. If you’re not at ease with finding these files and transferring them to the Q90, considering handheld devices like the authentic Nintendo Switch Lite might be a better option for you.

General Suggestion and Options

Priced at $50, the Powkiddy Q90 is more affordable than several other options if your primary focus is on emulating 8- and 16-bit games. A comparable option to the Q90 is the Bittboy Pocket-Go, which is equipped with the same processor but features a smaller screen and lacks an analog joystick. Priced at $33, it provides a better deal unless you can get the Q90 at a lower price.


The Powkiddy Q90 is an affordable portable gaming device perfect for fans of classic 8-bit and 16-bit games. While its dated processor struggles with PlayStation emulation, it offers strong performance for other retro games, attractive design, and durable construction, making it a valuable choice for retro gaming lovers.


Q: Which games can the Powkiddy Q90 run efficiently?
A: The Q90 runs 8-bit and 16-bit games from platforms like the NES, SNES, Sega Genesis, and other vintage consoles effectively.

Q: Is the Powkiddy Q90 capable of emulating PlayStation games?
A: While the device includes a PlayStation emulator, the performance is typically subpar and nearly unplayable because of hardware restrictions.

Q: How is the design and construction quality of the Powkiddy Q90?
A: The Q90 features a minimalist design reminiscent of the Nintendo Switch Lite, with a commendable build quality, including a reliable directional pad and responsive action buttons.

Q: Are there any other options similar to the Powkiddy Q90?
A: The Bittboy Pocket-Go is a close alternative to the Q90. It employs the same processor but is more affordable, owing to its smaller screen and the absence of an analog joystick.