Friday, October 13, 2017

Unboxing & Review: Budget-Friendly Nyko Portable Docking Kit for the Nintendo Switch

In this video we unbox and review the Nyko Portable Dock designed for the Nintendo Switch and available for nearly half the cost of the standard dock available from Nintendo.

The Nintendo Switch has pretty much taken the gaming world by storm, even more so than the Wii. Being able to play console-quality games on the go with 720P graphics and solid controls has really hit a cord. One downside to this is when you do want to dock it and play on the TV you have to have a dedicated dock. That normally meant shelling out $90 for the official Nintendo dock. Well popular accessory manufacturer Nyko announced a portable dock that promised to do everything the stock dock did, minus potentially scratching your display, and do it for only $49.99. Too good to be true? No, not really!

From the box the Nyko Portable Switch Dock is really well put together in-terms of packaging and included accessories. Nyko could have omitted both an AC power cable and HDMI cord to keep their costs down and margins up but both are thankfully included. They could have gone with a Micro USB connector, again to keep costs down and margins up but instead they included a robust power brick with USB-C connector. For $50 you're getting quite a lot.

Setup is super easy; simply slide the backstop out from the storage slot in the bottom of the dock and lock it into place on the top of the unit. Connect the power and HDMI and you're ready to play with portable power on the big screen in no-time.

During game play the system felt exactly the same as if I had been using the official dock from Nintendo. There wasn't any noticeable lag, latency or graphic reduction by using this 3rd party accessory. As weird as it may sound it was a bit awkward getting the Switch lined up in the dock since there it no-longer is aligned by itself like on the stock Nintendo unit. It just took a little extra eyeballing and I had it connected.

Please note that the reason why the game play for Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is smaller compared to Double Dragon 4 and Sonic Mania is due to a copyright claim against my original upload which had Mario Kart in the large portion of the video. This was my work-around solution to that issue.

After testing I cannot endorse the Nyko Portable Dock for the Nintendo Switch highly enough. It works as designed for nearly 1/2 the cost of the OEM Nintendo dock. It has all the ports, all the capabilities, all the video quality for only 50-bucks. This has found a permanent home in my collection due to the fact it makes it so easy to play my Switch in a second room now. If you're looking for a second dock for your Nintendo Switch and don't want to shell out $89.99 the Nyko Dock will do what you need and save you money doing it.

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Thursday, October 12, 2017

Review & Unboxing - Should You Buy the Nyko Super Miniboss Wireless Controller for the SNES Classic?

In this video we unbox, discuss and review the Nyko Super Miniboss wireless controller for the Super NES Mini Classic Edition.

The Super NES Classic Edition mini 16-bit home console is an amazing piece of hardware. It provides a great retro gaming experience and you don't need to build anything! One of the minor shortcomings of the system, in my view, is the corded controller. Yes, they feel amazing to use, but they're corded and, to that end, the cord is just too short. That's where accessory maker Nyko is trying to fix the issue with their successor to their NES Classic controller with the Wireless Super Miniboss.

While inspired by the SNES controller, the Super Miniboss definitely marches to the beat of its own drum. The A/B/X/Y buttons are slightly more spread out on the face of the controller and the L/R buttons are thicker too. The D-Pad is overall larger and the start/select buttons have been relocated to accommodate the Turbo button. Not only with the SNES Classic and Super Miniboss are you playing with Super Power, you're playing with Super Turbo Power.

The Super MIniboss includes the controller itself, the receiver dongle and a USB charging cable. From the box the Super Miniboss is not paired to the dongle so you'll need to do this before you can play, but you can't do this following the instruction sheet as they are incorrect. The manual claims the controller will auto-pair to the dongle where in reality you need to hold down the select button for a few moments after you power the controller on to initiate the pairing process. Annoying to say the least. This isn't the only incorrect item in the manual as the process to get back to the main menu is incorrectly stated in the manual too. The manual calls for you to hold the turbo button and tap select when in realty you need to hold both for 3-seconds to get back home.

Game play is ok but not great. The larger D-pad hindered things a bit, especially since I didn't feel like I was getting full range-of-motion out while trying complicated movements like in Super Street Fighter II. I could hit my moves occasionally, but not nearly as precisely as on the stock controller or the 8bitdo SNES 30 controller. Platformers seemed to measure up better, Super Mario World and Donkey Kong Country for example and F-Zero was playable.

Shifting to my NES Classic with Hackchi2 I tested out NES, Famicom, SNES and Genesis games. This is where I noticed the worst problems as with games like Punch Out I was late consistently with my button presses. I got taken to Round 2 with Glass Joe for crying out loud!

The turbo button continued to work well here, especially in games like Metroid and Contra where hitting the fire button repeatedly was made much easier. Regardless of what I played, however, I always felt just a bit more disconnected from the game play as compared to the 8bitdo or stock controller.

In the end this isn't a great option for wireless play on the SNES or NES Classic Editions. The lag and latency are pretty noticeable across the board and that hurts the fun. For a second or backup controller it would be ok but there are definitely better options out there. You can find some of those options by visiting, a supporter of the channel, and by using promo code RoX10 you can save 10% off your next order.

Why The Nyko Super Miniboss RoX
- Wireless for $20
- RF and not WiFi
- Programmable Turbo Functionallity

What Could Be Improved?
- Controller and dongle do not come out of the box paired
- Errors in instruction manual prevent you from being able to use the controller unless you search Google for a solution
- Lag/Latency was definitely noticeable
- I didn't care for the placement of the Turbo/Start/Select Buttons
- Range of motion on the D-Pad hindered game play

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Should You Buy a Nintendo Super NES Classic mini 16-bit Retro Video Game System? A RoXolid Review

In this video we test and review the Super Nintendo Entertainment System Classic Edition, discuss the features and see how it stacks up against the NES Classic and the original Super NES 16-bit system.

Perhaps one of the worst kept secrets after last year's wildly popular NES Classic Edition was that Nintendo would eventually give the same "Mini" treatment to the successor, the 16-Bit Super Nintendo Entertainment System. The SNES was an amazing machine when it was originally released, from the audio chip designed by Sony of all companies, Mode 7 Graphics, an amazingly designed controller (which, if you didn't realize is STILL the inspiration to the latest PS4 controller) the SNES was perhaps the best experience in home console gaming ever. Cramming that into a small package is no easy task, but Nintendo has set out to do just that with the 2017 Super Nintendo Entertainment System Classic Edition.

Like the NES Classic the year before the SNES Classic comes preloaded with 21 games from a variety of genres. From perhaps the greatest platformer of all time in Super Mario World, the run-and-gun classic Contra 3, the best Castlevania game ever in Super Castlevania IV and the best action adventure game in The Legend of Zelda - a Link to the Past, the games lineup is extremely good, if a bit limited.

The SNES Classic has everything you need to get hooked up and playing right in the box. Two controllers, that's right, 2 controllers come with the system and are perfect clones of their OG counterparts. Learning from one of the biggest criticisms of the NES Classic the controller cord length is longer, however it's still not as long as it could/should be. The good news is that the connector is the same as the NES Classic so if you have any of the extension cables from that machine you can repurpose them with the SNES Classic.

Once connected to your TV setup is simple. You progress through the basic setup menus, select your language, etc and are delivered to the main menu. From here you can see all 20 games you can play immediately, however Star Fox 2 cannot be played right away. Don't worry, all you need to do is complete the first level of the first Star Fox and Star Fox 2 becomes playable.

Bouncing around from one game to the next to the next is a bit of a chore due to the lack of a home button or any button press shortcut. If you press L/R/Start/Select you reset the current game you are playing however you need to go to the console itself and flick the reset button to get back to the main menu. So let me get this straight , I can reset with a button combo but not get back to the main menu? That's a fail. Wait, no, that's a Phail.

Game emulation feels great, just like the NES Classic. I need to play more to see if there is a latency issue like the NES Classic had, my initial feeling is there is as I don't remember being as bad at Super Street Fighter 2 Turbo as I ended up being. Audio is spot on, and between CRT, Pixel Perfect and 4:3 ratios the video looks spot on.

I'm a little underwhelmed by the games lineup as there are some notable titles missing. First of all there isn't a single sports title on the system, and no, Super Punch Out is NOT a sports game. The NES Classic had Tecmo Bowl, an amazing game, but no Madden, NBA Jam, nothing. Sure, the Genesis was THE home for sports games in the 16-bit era but there were some great titles.

I'm also a bit shocked that other titles are absent. Chrono Trigger is a well-regarded title and it is missing. Pilotwings, a launch title and cult classic is not here. Earthworm Jim, Turtles in Time, UN Squadron, Mortal Kombat, Super R-Type, Gradius 3, Harvest Moon, Dr. Mario/Tetris, Killer Instinct, Super Star Wars, I could go on but you get the point. I know these games take up more space than an NES game storage-wise but as an act of contrition for screwing up the NES Classic availability having more games would have been a nice start from Nintendo.

I'll admit, I do love this little machine, however there was potential to be so much more. I think the lineup of games is good, not great but good. I think the molding and design is spot-on. The controllers feel great, with albeit short cords, the system itself looks spot-on and the software is proven. There are ways it can be improved, and I hope Hackchi2 and 8BitDo have solutions at the ready to make this good system great.

Why it RoX:
- Increased supply means you can actually get one!
- SNES Games in HD with HDMI Output
- Molding is spot on
- 2 Controllers
- Emulation is very good
- While limited the games here are classics
- Cheaper than buying the games individually
- You can play an official release of Star Fox 2

What could be improved:
- No way to get back to the home screen from the controller
- The controller door is way too difficult to open
- Only 21 games
- Controller Cord is still too short
- Star Fox 2 really doesn't seem that good IMO
- Some lag/latency felt initially
- Lack of sports games
- Some games feel like filler if you're not fans of certain genres (RPGs, I have no use for them)

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Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Subscribe to Enter to win a Retro-Bit RES + 8-bit HDMI Equipped NES Clone System Giveaway from RoXolid Productions

In this video we cover our upcoming thank you to our subscribers as we hit the 500-subscriber mark with a giveaway of a Retro-Bit RES + 8-bit HDMI Equipped NES Clone system.

This channel, RoXolid Productions, has always been about you, our viewers, fans, community and subscribers. As we close in on 500 YouTube channel subscribers I have decided to thank you for your support and fandom. Once we hit 500 subscribers we will draw one eligible subscriber at random to receive a Retro-Bit RES + 8-bit HDMI Equipped NES Clone system. Not only will you win a RES+, you'll win OUR RES+! Thats right, we're giving away the actual RES+ that we used in our unboxing and review video. To be eligible you simply need to subscribe to our YouTube Channel and live in and have a shipping address in the lower-48 continuous states.

This giveaway is not sponsored by or endorsed by YouTube or Retro-Bit. The system that will be given away will be shipped via USPS or UPS, which ever method is less expensive. No insurance will be provided , however the standard $50 insurance will cover the cost of the unit. The console was purchased from Fry's Electronics at a value of $34.99 plus tax. No warranty is provided or implied with this unit. Upon the request of the winner the unit may be autographed before shipping.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Should You Buy a Xiaomi Mi Box Review 4K Android TV Streaming Box - A RoXolid Review

In this video we review and ask if you  Should You Buy a Xiaomi Mi Box Review 4K Android TV Streaming Box?

Media streaming boxes, Fire TV boxes, Kodi Boxes, whatever you want to call them boxes seem to be popping up everywhere. Google's entry into the fray, Android TV, is much like their phone operating system in that it is open source and available for third parties to implement on different hardware. One of the most popular manufacturers of Android Devices in China has been Xiaomi (pronounced jau-me) and, while you could import them in via eBay in the past, they have started to ship their products to retailers here in the USA. One of their first products, the Mi Box, is a 4K streaming box designed to help you cut the cord and gain access to services such as Netflix, Amazon Video, Hulu, Kodi and others.

The Mi Box is pretty simple in its design. It's a small box with 1 HDMI port, 1 USB port and a power input. With only one input there's not much you can hook up to the MI box without the use of a USB hub. The AC input uses a barrel-type connector, cheap to produce I am sure but a bummer because you can't use a Micro USB or USB Type-C connector. This is a Wi-Fi only device too as there isn't a port on it for a network cable. If you don't have a decent router you're going to have issues.

The remote control is nice, with dedicated power button and volume rocker button in addition to the home button, back button, microphone button and the up/down/left/right rocker around the home button. One issue that cropped up at an annoying frequency was that the remote would frequently come unpaired from the system. I would have to walk over to the system and hit the home and back buttons to re-pair it to the console probably once a day.

When I fired up the system it started to download an update about as soon as it was connected to my Wi-Fi. It took a few minutes to download and install. Signing into the system, apps, etc was quick and easy. The Operating system takes up 2.9GB of 8GB total on the system, definitely a limiting factor in the potential of the device.

Watching video content was largely hit and miss. Plex videos, such as those I recorded using my Plex Pass DVR, often broke up, pixelated or had buffering issues. I could not use this as a serer for Plex either. The 3x2 CPU setup simply wasn't up to snuff for complex transcoding. Other services such as Netflix, Vudu or Amazon TV worked ok, but also occasionally buffered.

Gaming was another aspect of Android TV where the Mi Box just doesn't come through and perform. Input lag via Bluetooth controllers was terrible. I'd hit a button on my 8Bitdo controller and it took an eternity for the character on-screen to respond. It made NBA Jam, Super Mario World, Star Fox and Donkey Kong Country unplayable.

Should You Buy a Mi Box?
My hopes were very high going into this review but the Mi Box just didn't measure up. From lag, pixelated images, small storage, no hard-wired network support and a remote which would frequently come unpaired from the system the Mi Box just doesn't measure up. For the money you can do better, from Roku, Amazon Fire TV and other systems. I would definitely look elsewhere for a streaming solution as the MI Box comes up pretty short.

Why it RoX
- Low Price
- Nice remote
- Full access to Android TV apps

What Could Be Improved
- Holy Lagtastic Batman!
- Remote would frequently come un-paired
- Input lag on bluetooth game controllers
- Colors look washed out
- Cannot run Plex Media Server
- No hardwired network support
- Only 8GB on-board storage

Friday, September 15, 2017

Should You Buy a Nintendo Switch Hybrid Portable Home Console - 6-Months Later - A RoXolid Review

In this video we look at how the Nintendo Switch has fared 6-months after it launched.

The Nintendo Switch really has helped redefine Nintendo as a hardware manufacturer. Games, games have always been their strong suit but hardware, well they've had some recent misses. The Wii U, while a system I own and loved, never found the success of its predecessor. But Nintendo has found lightning in a bottle with systems such as the Wii, 3DS and other systems as well. The Nintendo Switch really is something different, but as the Wii U and Virtual Boy both proved, different doesn't always mean better.
The Nintendo Switch can be best defined as a hybrid console, able to connect to your home TV via a dock and be played like a traditional home console but also undocked and played on the go like the 3DS. The hardware was developed between both Nintendo and nVidia, makers of the powerful nVidia Shield tablet and Shield TV. The system is capable of displaying visuals in 720P in handheld mode and 1080P when docked. For media the Switch uses both digitally downloaded content and physical cartridges, similar to the 3DS here too. The controllers, or Joy Cons as they are called, connect to the side of the main Switch Console itself or can be detached and used as separate controllers or slid into the Joy Con Grip to use as a more traditional controller.
The Nintendo Switch didn't come out of the gate with a ton of games back in March but what it did launch with was Zelda - Breath of the Wild. Many have called this a masterpiece while, personally, I think it is highly over-rated. As time went on there was a bit of a drought for quality games. We got a re-release of Super Mario Kart 8 with all the DLC already available, a version of Tetris and a sequel to a great new IP from the Wii U in Splatoon 2. The lineup is getting stronger, 3rd party developers are jumping on board and independent developers have truly found a home on the Switch. While an ok lineup I have to say 6-months in there's still not a ton there that is compelling. That should change soon with the release of Super Mario Odyssey.
A big strike against the Switch currently is the complete lack of any sort of Virtual Console what-so-ever. I mean even the Wii had downloadable NES games shortly after launch and the Switch still doesn't? That's grade-A ball-droppage right there. The expense of accessories is another major bummer as extra Joy Cons, the Pro Controller and extra docks are all stupid expensive. Think about this, at $90 Nintendo is saying nearly 1/3rd of the cost of the Switch is tied to the dock! That's craziness!
The Swich is full of potential right now, but isn't that what we've been saying about many Nintendo hardware releases for years? I like the ability to have console-quality gaming on the go but generally when I am on the go I'm the one driving. I rarely play in handheld mode but when I do it's a good experience. The controls work well, they're comfortable and intuitive. There are pieces missing from the Switch that I hope Nintendo fixes soon but until then there's the SNES Classic that I'll be enjoying soon too.
Why it RoX:
- It's a portable system you can play on your TV
- Nintendo first-party titles are always top notch
- Ports of Wii U games for better exposure/controls to a new audience
- Amiibo support
- Pro controller is great

What could be improved:
- A cool system needs cool games and the library is very limited currently
- No 4K option at this time
- Accessories are way over-priced
- No Virtual Console
- Online chat...via phone app? Seems like an afterthought
- While critically heralded I was not a fan of Zelda: BotW
- Small on-board storage

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Unboxing the Xiaomi Mi Box Android TV 4K HDR Streaming Box

In this video we unbox the Xiaomi Mi Box Android TV 4K HDR Streaming Box.

More and more content is delivered via the internet, whether we're talking about video, pay tv, Netflix, Hulu, music or even games. Xiaomi is well known as a discount manufacturer of devices, from smartphones and tablets to laptops. They have expanded their reach into the world of set-top boxes with their Android TV-powered Mi Box 4K HDR Streaming Box.

Coming in at a low, low $69.99 price tag the Mi Box definitely undercuts the competition in-terms of cost, but thinking of the Mi Box as "cheap" versus inexpensive may or may not be accurate.

From the box the Mi Box includes the Mi Box itself, an HDMI cable, power cord, 2-AAA batteries and a bluetooth-equipped remote control. In our box we also got coupons for free Sling TV service, discounts on other services along with the manuals and quickstart guides.

Make sure to subscribe to our channel here as we have our initial setup video filmed and will be posting soon. We're also conducting our tests and will also be posting our full-blown review soon, along with a "Which is Better" video between the Xiaomi Mi Box and the nVidia Shield TV 16GB 2017 edition.

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