Anbernic is making the Sega Saturn handheld I’ve been waiting for a reality

Anbernic Sega Saturn handheld with Street Fighter 2 gameplay on screen
(Image credit: Anbernic)

I’ve been waiting for, let’s say, around 15 years for a Sega Saturn handheld, and console makers Anbernic just revealed that they’re on the case. A fresh demonstration of an engineering sample showcases the portable’s Saturn-inspired shape, buttons, and colorways, as well as some gameplay that’s sure to delight fans of the PlayStation’s ‘90s rival.

Anbernic isn’t a stranger to the best gaming handheld battlefield, and the company knows its stuff when it comes to emulation devices. Many manufacturers catering to the retro scene normally stick with a Gameboy-inspired design, which admittedly gets a bit samey after a while. Don’t get me wrong, I love me some grey, rectangular plastic, but you’re more likely to catch my attention these days by turning one of my favorite controllers into a standalone console. And that’s exactly what Anbernic is about to do with its next project, so you’ll want to stick with us if that gives you ‘shut up and take my money’ vibes. 

Over on Anbernic’s YouTube channel, the company shows off the RG ARC, an “Android+Linux dual system” that comes in a few familiar colors. The clip kicks things off by revealing a design based on the Japanese White Sega Saturn, complete with its colorful buttons and iconic maroon triggers. Additional colorways include the translucent version of the console and a more conservative black edition that looks closer to the system you’d have picked up in the West. 

Being an Android device, the handheld will also be able to handle various other emulated platforms, with Anbernic listing the Dreamcast, Nintendo 64, and Arcade systems as examples. In theory, it should be able to handle original PlayStation games just fine too, which is amusing considering its rival shape. 

We’ll be keeping a close eye on the Anbernic RG ARC, so stay tuned for release date and price information when it becomes available. From what we can tell, playing classics like Capcom vs Street Fighter on this handheld’s four-inch IPS display is going to be a pure joy, and it might save me getting the original console out every time I’m itching to throw a few punches in my favorite 90’s fighting romps.

In the meantime, if you're looking for a handheld that takes newly released cartridges, you'll want to keep an eye out for our upcoming Super Pocket review, as we'll soon be revealing our thoughts on the next Evercade console. We're also already looking for our Black Friday Steam Deck deals ahead of the November sale, so swing by our hub for some decent early offers.

Got Valve's portable powerhouse? Check out our best Steam Deck dock picks for our favorite add-ons. If you'd rather play PC games on the go, make sure to peek at our Black Friday gaming laptop deals page for some early offers.

Phil Hayton
Hardware Editor

I’ve been messing around with PCs, video game consoles, and tech since before I could speak. Don’t get me wrong, I kickstarted my relationship with technology by jamming a Hot Wheels double-decker bus into my parent’s VCR, but we all have to start somewhere. I even somehow managed to become a walking, talking buyer’s guide at my teenage supermarket job, which helped me accept my career fate. So, rather than try to realise my musician dreams, or see out my University degree, I started running my own retro pop culture site and writing about video games and tech for the likes of TechRadar, The Daily Star, and the BBC before eventually ending up with a job covering graphics card shenanigans at PCGamesN. Now, I’m your friendly neighbourhood Hardware Editor at GamesRadar, and it’s my job to make sure you can kick butt in all your favourite games using the best gaming hardware, whether you’re a sucker for handhelds like the Steam Deck and Nintendo Switch or a hardcore gaming PC enthusiast.