3A have had a long line of history with their Pandora Box products, creating one of the first arcade boxes that played games at a satisfying level. These boxes started to “get good” only when 3A/3H entered the market many years ago, concreting their company name as the “official” Pandora’s box product.
Having entering the “Pandora Jungle” with a Pandora Games 3D, we were a little confused as to why their products received so much praise. Trying out a 9, 9D, then a DX, it was difficult to see what customers were actually seeing. Some games were outright unplayable due to a mixture of both the stretched screen, and atrocious screen tearing. Simple games, such as “Wonder Boy” gave me levels of nausea only seen in long VR gaming sessions.
Enter the Pandora Box EX.
Screen tearing is a thing of the past. Stretched screen? Still present. For the most part, this is fine if you used a 4:3 monitor- but the only place you’d EVER see one of these is in an Arcade1up, or an LGR video.
Arcade (MAME 0.78 / FBA2012), NES, SNES, Megadrive, PlayStation games are all present.
New systems have been added. Dreamcast, PSP, and N64.
From the new systems, we can only add games to PSP, which there are multiple games already on the box. For Dreamcast, only “Marvel Vs. Capcom 2” is present, as are N64 editions of “Killer Instinct” and “Mario Kart 64”. MvC2 plays well, KIGold plays like arse.
PSP games and vertical arcade games display at a correct aspect ratio on a 16.9 display. On the Arcade1Up? Sorry. It will look like trash.
This system has an Amlogic s905X2 @ 2.0GHz. Unfortunately, there is no way we can currently test that it actually is clocked at this speeds, so all we have to go on are the spec sheets from the manufacturer. From the specs choice alone, we should be looking at similar emulation speeds to the RetroStation 14k or Super Console X Max.
Pet peeves such as controls, scanlines, and terrible PlayStation game choices (taking up far too many GBs of space). All still here. Copy, paste from the older boxes. Lazy…
Input latency was not present, never an issue of the 3A boxes.
USB controllers? According to the early version of the EX manual we received, nearly 80-90% of USB controllers are compatible. The DX was extremely compatible, but with the EX? Oh boy. We found that over 90% did NOT work. Using this as a controller for PS3 / PC? Nothing. Has ANYTHING been tested at 3A?
Arcade USB Trackball? It will work, barely. Mouse input is far too slow, and a mouse pointer hovers over the whole game area. A well known Android 4 bug, which tells us that the software may be far older than we previously thought.
Honestly, I don’t want to sound overly negative. But this product is nothing but a pure insult to those that have purchased from, and continue to purchase 3A products. Whilst the hardware HAS improved, it seems that 3A have done nothing in regards to their software, and have lazily ported their DX software to another platform.
So is it any good?
That depends. If you have a 4:3 display, or something like an Arcade1Up arcade cab- This would be an improvement over any previous 3A product (due to low screen tearing, and an easy low cost upgrade. Playing MvC2 alone may be a factor. You already have a DX? Then we suggest using PandoryDX to increase usability tenfold. Fixes screen-tearing on VGA/HDMI, removes the bilinear filtering, aspect ratio switching, plus a few more tricks.
For all other users, this is not the box you’re looking for.
See our video on YouTube for more on this.
Here’s the entire gameslist of all 3300 titles.
There are plenty of other Pandora Boxes available which do a much better job. Pandora Games 3D, Pandory Saga EX, the Pandora SAGA 4188 (with Pandory fox fixes- excellent!), or even the Super Console X series.
Pandora Box EX: https://s.click.aliexpress.com/e/_A6FbMq
SAGA 4188: https://s.click.aliexpress.com/e/_A03Xty
SCX Cube: https://s.click.aliexpress.com/e/_9H2JZg
SCX PC Mini: https://s.click.aliexpress.com/e/_AdZVGY
SCX PC Lite: https://s.click.aliexpress.com/e/_AfEu48