The original system is a fine, if you consider it a discount system. The games are largely available on other platforms. There are exceptions, but they are rare. The most valuable games are on the Namco Collection 2 and Renovation Collection 1 cartridges.
Firmware updates are simple and are only getting easier. With the old system, you need a computer, in order to update the system. I show how to do it here. The newer systems have their own operating system with network capabilities, nullifying these processes:
The inexpensive nature of the system really helps get retro games into the hands of newer players and us old folks. I admire how a company was able to release a console, in this environment that focuses so heavily on PlayStation, Switch and Xbox. With the release of the Evercade VS and Evercade XP, the company has evolved into a full-fledged system manufacturer. I look forward to see what they do next, but I implore them to make the buttons 100% mappable.