American rapper Soulja Boy, whose attempts to crack the game console market with his own-brand devices have so far met with failure, is having another go – although his promised “all-new” Soulja Game Console looks eerily similar to hardware that’s already out in the wild – and from brands that are a little more established.
On Twitter, the recently created Soulja Game Console account promises that the brand is “building a new console from scratch” with an “all-new design”. However, images posted on Instagram show a device that bears a striking resemblance to an Xbox One X, next to a controller that’s reminiscent of a PlayStation DualShock.
Some commenters have also pointed out that the device also looks very much like an existing emulation device – the Anbernic retro console, pictured below. While the internal hardware could be different, the front, top and side views of both consoles look practically identical, from the vents to the USB port placements to the square light in the power button.
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‘Let’s make history’
Right now, there are no details on when Soulja Boy’s newest console will be released beyond a broad “coming soon”, and no games have been announced – though if the new Soulja Game Console and the aforementioned emulator end up sharing more than just design similarities, users can expect a device that can run Game Boy, PSone, and NeoGeo games among others.
If that turns out to be the case, history could be about to repeat itself for the rapper. His 2018 console and handheld became infamous during their short month on sale, attracting criticism for being similar to existing emulators before being canceled, apparently due to an impending lawsuit from Nintendo for including copyrighted games.
Emulation is a legally complicated subject, rife with gray areas – this great PC Gamer piece explains the ins and outs of it.