Soulja Boy - the US rapper who found international fame with his 2007 single 'Crank That (Soulja Boy)' - has turned his longstanding love of video games into something he hopes will be more lucrative, by launching his own handheld and home consoles.
Soulja Boy - real name DeAndre Cortez Way - tweeted about his new line of gaming hardware, alongside plugs for Soulja-brand watches, phones and earbuds. As of right now, the SouljaGame Handheld is selling for $99.99, and the under-the-TV model is at $149.99.
Sure seems like a bargain, right? Except, no, obviously, it's not. What Soulja Boy is hawking here - and we take nothing away from his wonderful enthusiasm in doing so - is a couple of already available emulator systems.
And they're systems that can be bought elsewhere online for significantly cheaper than the rapper is flogging them for. IGN reports that the handheld console can be bought for $73, and the home console for $106.
The Soulja Console promises 800 built-in games - quite the improvement on the PlayStation Classic, to be fair - and the Handheld a staggering 3,000 titles. But precisely what these games are isn't stated - and while artwork for the products features Tomb Raider and Tekken imagery, it's unlikely that Square Enix or Bandai Namco provided licenses for its use. The handheld claims to include Nintendo, Sega and Neo Geo games but, again, we'll believe it when we see it. (Spoiler: we will never see it.)
Soulja Boy Console
So what is going on here, exactly? Polygon helps to clear things up, writing that these systems are identical to, or very close to identical to, pre-existing models manufactured by Anbernic, and sold on Chinese website AliExpress. They are not all-new games consoles. Rather, they are cheap pieces of tat, likely loaded with shovelware and a bunch of unlicensed games, that don't even seem to feature any Soulja Boy branding at all.
Nevertheless, the Boy is happy, and we don't want to crush his dreams. So, sure. If you want to buy an overpriced lump of plastic crap from the guy, go ahead. He appreciates it. It's your money. Do what you want with it.