What better way to send off the trainwreck that was 2018 than with the following, impossibly stupid sentence: DeAndre Cortez Way – better known as Soulja Boy, the rapper behind the hit 2007 song ‘Crank That’ – is now selling emulation video game consoles. The SouljaGame Console and the SouljaGame Handheld are available for $150 and $100 respectively on the rapper’s official store, SouljaWatch. Both are ostensibly on sale from their regular price of $200.
The SouljaGame Console allegedly comes with 800 built-in games, putting it squarely in the ranks of the innumerable ‘plug-n-play’ systems that flooded the ’80s and ’90s. The console’s listing doesn’t say what games are included, but it does say it was made for PlayStation, Neo Geo, PC, SEGA (Genesis, maybe?), Game Boy Advance, and NES games. Curiously, it also features art from Square Enix’s Tomb Raider reboot and one of Bandai Namco’s newer Tekken games, which I’m pretty sure weren’t available on those systems on account of them being 20 years apart.
The SouljaGame Console is said to run using a Linux OS and support up to 32GB TF cards. Its store page boasts of 4K HDMI support, but in the same breath mentions both AV output and 720p game resolution. On top of that, the system allegedly delivers “perfect and fluent” frame rates, whatever that means.
Meanwhile, the SouljaGame Handheld is said to come with a whopping 3,000 built-in games, allegedly plucked from the libraries of the Nintendo Switch, 3DS, PS Vita, Neo Geo, Game Boy Color, Game Boy, and Game Boy Advance. Again, a full game list is not available. And again, art from modern games is on display despite the console’s alleged retro library. The handheld’s listing also says it has download support, just in case you need even more questionably obtained ROMs. And while it only sports a modest 3″ screen, you can apparently connect the handheld to your TV via AVI and other cables.
Way announced both systems on Twitter this morning, and almost immediately users noticed that they’re available cheaper directly from their manufacturer, Anbernic, via retailer Aliexpress. You can get the console for $106, and the handheld goes for $73. The handheld is also available on Amazon for $60. Strangely, the product descriptions for these systems vary wildly between retailers: the Amazon handheld page boasts of ebook functionality, and the Aliexpress console page makes no mention of several systems listed on the Soulja Boy store.
It’s unclear whether the Soulja Boy store is just reselling these systems at a dramatic markup, or if Way worked out some sort of arrangement with Anbernic. It’s also unclear what these systems actually are, why the hell they even exist, and why 2018 was allowed to reach this point.
Looking for a retro console that wasn’t forged in some unknowable circle of hell? Check out our list of the best retro consoles.