If you’re like me, you probably have an old-school Game Boy gathering dust in a drawer somewhere. Its chonky frame and hefty weight (especially when factoring in the 4 AA batteries) and super-small odd-colored viewing screen are as laughably inefficient as they are nostalgic. A new bit of portable tech is here to put some life back into that ancient gaming device, courtesy of Analogue.
The new Analogue Pocket, due out next year for right around $200, isn’t a ROM file player or an emulator; it’s a physical device that plays physical legacy cartridges. That’s all well and good as long as your existing cartridges are in good shape–including their internal battery that’s needed to save progress; looking at you, Pokémon Gold–but the real trick here is that the Pocket will play games from a variety of platforms. Sure, some will need an adapter (which are still in the works), but much like the dedicated Nintendo Switch’s mobile unit and its docking system, the Pocket will also feature a dock sometime soon to bring the mini mobile games to the big screen.
Introducing Analogue Pocket.
A multi-video-game-system portable handheld. A digital audio workstation with a built-in synthesizer and sequencer.
— Analogue (@analogue) October 16, 2019
Here are the pertinent FAQs, as provided by Analogue:
When will Analogue Pocket be released?
- 2020. Follow our newsletter to be notified the moment it is available.
Does Analogue Pocket play rom files?
- Analogue Pocket does not play rom files, Analogue Pocket plays the original legacy game cartridges.
How does FPGA development on Analogue Pocket work?
- Analogue Pocket supports the use of 3rd party FPGA cores. Developers will have access to Analogue’s hardware and proprietary scalers. With developer access to Analogue Pocket’s hardware slot, developers will be capable of making cartridge adapters and more.
Is the Analogue Dock included with Analogue Pocket?
- Analogue Dock is sold separately, pricing TBA.
What game cartridges does Analogue Pocket support out of the box?
- Analogue Pocket plays Game Boy, Game Boy Color and Game Boy Advance game cartridges.
What game cartridges will Analogue Pocket support with cartridge adapters?
- Sega Game Gear, Neo Geo Pocket/Color, and Atari Lynx are currently planned.
Is Analogue DAC compatible with Analogue Dock with Pocket?
- Yes, with Analogue DAC + Analogue Dock, you will be able to play Pocket on PVM’s and CRTs.
Does the Pocket really have two FPGAs?
- Yes, Pocket is built with one Altera Cyclone V FPGA and one Cyclone 10. This implementation is to support 3rd party FPGA development.
Are the buttons on Pocket labeled B A X Y?
- All buttons on Pocket hardware are unlabeled on the physical hardware except for the home button which features an Analogue logo mark. The user interface offers an intuitive labeling system for all buttons and functionality.
How does scaling work on Pocket for each system’s unique resolution?
- Pocket beautifully displays non-integer scaling due to the displays high 615ppi and our control over the display directly. This feature allows for every system’s unique resolution to populate the screen without compromising visual quality and maintaining sharp pixels.