Analogue arguably makes some of the best retro consoles today, with their ability to resize game screens for modern displays, work with retro cartridges, and even run ROMs with a little tinkering. And we’ve long wondered when they will bring the same tech to handheld cartridges. That, apparently, happens now with the Analogue Pocket.
Designed to run cartridges from various legacy mobile game devices, the handheld console lets you play nearly every popular handheld title from the 80s and 90s, allowing you to relive the on-the-go gaming predilections of your youth. Whether you spent those years hunched over a Game Boy, Game Boy Color, Game Boy Advance, Sega Game Gear, Atari Lynx, or Neo Geo Pocket Color, this thing has the muscle to run all the games you’ve managed to save up over the last couple decades or so.
The Analogue Pocket is a handheld game console with a 3.5-inch color LCD that shows your old games in 1600 x 1440 resolution – ten times the resolution of the original Game Boy. Granted, it won’t magically transform the heavily-pixelated visuals of those games into smooth modern graphics, but with this screen, the games should look as good as they can ever get. It comes with a D-pad and four action buttons, just like many of the handheld consoles of yesteryear, so you should be able to play games with a similar experience to how they were meant to feel. And yes, all buttons can be remapped, allowing you to tailor controls exactly to your liking.
Out back, it has a cartridge slot that can accommodate Game Boy, Game Boy Color, and Game Boy Advance cartridges out of the box, so you can simply insert your old games to start playing them on this thing. If you want to play any of your Sega Game Gear, Atari Lynx, or Neo Geo Pocket Color cartridges, you’ll need to purchase separate adapters, which the outfit is also selling.
Just like the outfit’s previous consoles, the Analogue Pocket uses an FPGA chip instead of mere software emulation. In this case, they’re doing the emulation at a hardware level, essentially programming the chip to function just like the innards of the original consoles they’re copying. That means, it results in graphics, sound, and gameplay that should better mirror those from the original, compared to the more common software-based solutions. It actually comes with two FPGA chips – one that’s pre-programmed to emulate those six aforementioned consoles and a second one that developers can program themselves. That way, you don’t need to mess with the programming on the original chip to get this to do more things than it does out of the box.
Features include built-in stereo speakers, a 3.5mm headphones slot, a rechargeable battery, and a microSD slot. Heck, they even threw in a built-in DAW called Nanoloop, in case you want a handheld music-making machine. It also comes with the Analogue Dock, a device that plugs to your TV via HDMI, so you can use the Pocket as a home console. This doc comes with two USB inputs for wired controllers and Bluetooth for pairing with wireless gamepads.
The Analogue Pocket comes out in 2020, priced at $199.