Aquaplus P/ECE - forgotten Japanese handheld

The P/ECE was a Japan-only handheld/mobile gaming console released in late-2001. Similar to Playdate it allowed users to create their own games or side-load games created by other developers. In this blog post I look at a handful of P/ECE games and compare specs and capabilities with Playdate to see what benefits are afforded by releasing 20 years later!

  • history and overview
  • Specs comparison with Playdate

Plus game reviews:

  • spout
  • fencer
  • interground
  • Barrage Reactor
  • Speed Barricade
  • Re: W32/Badtrance

And further posts of game reviews:

  • Delta Star ~Complete Version~ (re-released August 2021!)
  • Speed Barricade LIVE
  • Majang Project
  • Delivery Bird
  • Norito
1 Like

I thought I knew about all the various handhelds but I’ve never heard of this. It looks rad but I can’t find any on eBay so no idea on the cost. Do you have one @matt?

Yes, I have one. Though I only got it this month from Suruga-ya via FromJapan. See the importing thread.

TBH I’ve played more games using the emulator over the last few years than I ever will on the hardware itself, but I just had to use one IRL to get the full impression. It’s 20 year old technology, so it’s not as enjoyable to play as modern devices: screen (ghosting), buttons (clicky/poor), storage capacity (loading new games gets old fast), battery life (going through lots of AA cells gives me nightmares) are all showing their age. Emulator with joypad is much more enjoyable for me.

Since my blog post went live all-bar-one of the other devices that were on sale are now sold, so there are a few people who have bought them since. Only one person has reached out to me about buying, so I guess the rest have been bought by collectors.

People who ordered after reading my blog post have started to receive their devices.

And there’s an effort underway to uncover and preserve as many games as possible, a joint effort between Japanese and Western fans.



Glad to see Matt dive into the hardware and homebrew games. I ordered one last summer but what arrived was an empty box!

Haven’t gotten around to buying another one yet so it’s been interesting seeing a lot of software I didn’t know existed! Also had no idea it was so capable, even if it came at the expense of battery life.

I wonder if the mini games that pair with Aquaplus’ own eroge titles were any good? I think the original Utawarerumono supports it