This article is based on an article from the Japanese edition of Engadget and was created using the translation tool Deepl.
It has been announced that pre-orders for Analogue Pocket, a handheld game console that can play more than 2,780 ROM cartridges for the original Game Boy and Game Boy Color to Game Boy Advance, will open at 8 a.m. (PST) on August 3, 2020.
It will be priced at $199 and is available in two color variants, black and white. Shipping has been postponed from the previous "release date within 2020" to May 2021, but details on features and a number of peripherals sold separately have been revealed.
Pocket pre-orders will open August 3rd, 2020 8am PST. Pocket is shipping May 2021. Limit 2 per order.— Analogue (@analogue) July 27, 2020
Head to https://t.co/AHl6AiJr5Y for unannounced features & details, new accessories, small design changes, pricing & an FPGA developer program.
MANY announcements below: pic.twitter.com/mCK6FYxzCS
The design looks exactly like a black Game Boy, but it boasts a 3.5-inch LCD screen (1600 x 1440 resolution, 615 ppi) with "professional-level color accuracy" according to Analogue, and 10 times the resolution of the original. The display is protected by Gorilla Glass, has stereo speakers, the familiar cross-keys and LR button, a 3.5mm headphone jack and a microSD slot.
Like the Mega SG, the mega-drive compatible device that provided an exceptionally high level of compatibility, the Pocket uses an FPGA chip that replicates the hardware itself, allowing the original ROM cartridge to be used in its entirety, so you can expect to go beyond software emulation.
There's also an "Original Display Mode" feature that takes advantage of the extra resolution compared to past consoles. It is said to accurately reproduce each console's original display characteristics, down to the backlighting, pixel grid patterns and LCD sub-pixel patterns. This means you'll be able to reunite with the Game Boy's blurry LCD blotches and afterimages.
The company also announced an optional adapter for playing cartridges other than the Game Boy series. The adapters for the Game Gear, Atari Lynx, and Neo Geo Pocket Color are all listed at $29.99, but only the Game Gear can be pre-ordered at the same time as the unit. The others are said to be "to be released soon".
The Analogue Pocket unit contains a 4300mAh lithium-ion battery that will provide 6-10 hours of play time. Even for titles that don't have a pause save feature, pressing the power button will put the device into a "low-power sleep mode" that can be restarted by turning it back on. It also supports high-speed USB-C charging, which should allow you to quickly refill the battery.
Unfortunately, there is no support for Bluetooth interconnection. Instead, a communication cable (sold separately for $15.99), which is compatible with all Game Boy generations, will be available for Pokémon and other communication play.
The company also announced the Analogue Dock, a special dock that allows for HDMI output and Bluetooth controller connection. In addition to connecting to a large external display, you can also connect up to four Bluetooth controllers and two wired USB gamepads for multiplayer.
But with the smaller displays on handheld consoles, "look into one screen and play at the same time" is almost non-existent. That's probably why a game development kit is included with this console. It's also intended to be a platform for indie game developers to create their own dedicated games and port software for other consoles.
Another addition is the inclusion of the Nanoloop app, known as the composition tool on the Game Boy. An iOS version has already been released, but it looks like you'll be able to enjoy creating and playing sounds with Game Boy instruments here as well.
Since the Mega Sg was also available for purchase from Japan (shipping is around $50), this unit should be promising as well. Those of you who want to take your nostalgic handheld games out of the house and play them on the beautiful screen should check the official site often.
This article is based on an article from the Japanese edition of Engadget and was created using the translation tool Deepl. The Japanese edition of Engadget does not guarantee the accuracy or reliability of this article.