Get your tech brains on guys; we’re about to cover all analogue pocket openfpga cores available right now that we’ve discovered on our travels through the internet.
The announcement and subsequent launch of the Analogue Pocket was met with both excitement and frustration.
Excitement, because the console was freakin’ gorgeous and held massive potential for FPGA ’emulation’.
Frustration because of pandemic related delays, supply shortages, and the fact that we were not able to play games from the SD card on launch.
This was intentional, of course. Analogue did not want to blatantly advertise emulation, like some of our favorite Chinese companies.
Well, when we discovered that the analogue pocket can now run ROMs back in July 2022, it allowed for the Analogue version of retro game preservation… aka “emulation”, but we can’t call it that, because we legally have to pretend that we don’t support it.
Yes, the new openFPGA feature meant that anybody could create a console core, allowing game ROMs to run right from the SD card slot.
It’s emulation. And emulation in the best way possible, because FPGA is hardware level console emulation. Most users won’t know the difference, but it actually is different.
We launched our article on How To Install Cores Onto Your Analogue Pocket to hopefully make updating your own Analogue Pocket easy.
And it really is pretty easy. You download a core package, load it to your SD card and it’s ready to go.
Since July of 2022, we’ve seen a bunch of console cores launched. So we thought it would be useful to keep a running list of every core we know about.
So here it is: All Analogue Pocket openFPGA Cores that we know of to date!
Some of you may be asking yourself “what the heck is Arduboy?!”
Well, we can’t blame you for not knowing about it, but we did touch on the topic a little bit in our article about the 8 Best Mini Retro Handhelds Of 2022.
Arduboy is a line of miniature game consoles that are based on the Arduino C/C++ programming language.
And there’s a large community of people in the Arduino scene who have created a ton of programs… including games.
Most of these games are small and simple, and often remixes of existing game titles (like Tetris, Snake or Pacman).
What’s cool about the Arduboy game scene is you have a bunch of cool little games to discover, if you take the time to look for them. It’s kind of a fun rabbit hole to explore and just see what can be found.
Heck, you might find your next favorite game to play at a coffee shop or on the train.
Developer agg23 released the Arduboy core earlier this month (September 2022). And this is not the last we will see from agg23. They have been busy creating a ton of our favorite cores, such as…
2. Nintendo Entertainment System (NES)
Yup, agg23 also brought us one of our most wanted cores for the Analogue Pocket: the NES.
We were so excited when it launched, we wrote a dedicated article about it: NES Core For Analogue Pocket.
Straight to the point, I know!
Just released yesterday (September 26, 2022), the NES core is still in development and has a few known bugs. But it is playable now, and you might not notice any issues.
It’s pretty exciting to have the complete Nintendo console line on the Analogue Pocket.
Oh, you didn’t know that we had other Nintendo home consoles available? Well, get ready to thank agg23 again!
3. Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES)
Agg23 strikes again. Well, technically he struck earlier with this one.
The SNES core was released last week (September 2022) and kind of went under the radar for a lot of people (me included).
But the SNES is easily one of my favorite retro consoles (maybe number one?), and definitely high on the wish list of cores for the Analogue Pocket.
To now have the ability to play games like Super Mario World or Secret of Mana on the Analogue Pocket is a thing of dreams.
But, if there’s any core I’d rank higher than the SNES for a must have on the Pocket, it would have to be the entry coming up next.
4. Nintendo Game Boy / Game Boy Color
Kind of an obvious one, as the Game Boy is one of the primary functions of the Analogue Pocket. But now we can play it using ROMs without the need for extra game carts in our bag.
In an act that is of legend now, mysterious user spiritualized1997 emerged from a beam of light and dropped the Game Boy openFPGA cores on the undeserving world just hours after the release of the new feature on the Pocket.
WULFF DEN suggested that “spiritualized1997” is actually just the people behind Analogue releasing their existing FPGA cores using a burner account.
I actually do not think that is the case.
People in the game media (including Wulff Den) get early access to gaming content in order to review and prepare articles.
And developers also get the same early access so that, at the time of launch, there’s actually supporting content.
Whoever “spiritualized1997” actually is, they obviously knew that openFPGA was coming and had time to develop these cores.
Oh, and they didn’t just stop at first and second gen Game Boy.
5. Nintendo Game Boy Advance
That’s right; core-god spiritualized1997 also had the Game Boy Advance core locked and loaded for the openFPGA launch day back in July 2022.
Only hours after we had openFPGA for the Pocket, we had working Game Boy and Game Boy Advance cores ready to go.
By the time most people even heard about “cores”, they were already able to play all of their favorite Game Boy titles via the SD card… exactly what they always wanted.
But. spiritualized1997 didn’t just stop at Nintendo.
6. Sega SG-1000
Man, we really need to send spiritualized1997 a thank you card.
In August 2022, they also dropped a Sega SG-1000 core.
Not particularly our favorite console of all time, but we did talk about it in our article about All Sega Consoles & Handhelds and it certainly held a very important place in gaming history as Sega’s first game console.
Its popularity has grown over the years and we might even see the release of a SG-1000 Mini Console.
Or… just play it on the Analogue Pocket, I guess.
7. Sega Game Gear
Yet another important console for the Analogue Pocket; spiritualized1997 also released the Sega Game Gear core in August 2022.
This certainly gives us a much more pleasing gaming experience than the Game Gear Micro or even the original Game Gear. Mostly speaking of the difference in screen quality.
No better time to check out our list of the 20 Best Sega Game Gear Games Of All Time and give them all a try.
8. Sega Genesis / Mega Drive
My personal favorite Sega console of all time, and certainly one that gamers have been itching to get on the Analogue Pocket.
The Sega Genesis and Mega Drive core was dropped just last week (September 2022).
You know we were pretty excited. And we released our Analogue Pocket Sega Genesis/Mega Drive Support article even before it was officially available to the public.
But it’s out now, and it’s everything you hope it would be, definitely one of the most beautiful ways to play the Best Sega Genesis Games in portable form.
The Sega Genesis core was released by EricLewis, a newcomer to our list but not new to the openFPGA core scene.
Eric has also released a bunch of individual game cores including Asteroids, Dominos, Lunar Lander, Space Race and Super Breakout.
It’s awesome to see him take a step up and deliver something as epic as the Genesis core.
We salute you, Eric!
9. Sega Master System
Okay, we do have one Sega console left for the Analogue Pocket to complete the set, and it’s the Sega Master System.
We don’t imagine we will see any more Sega consoles as they are realistically all beyond what the Pocket (and it’s buttons) can handle.
But again, our mans spiritualized1997 (though it could be a womans) blessed us with the Master System core in August 2022.
They are really doing god’s work and we appreciate them.
Check out our list of the 25 Best Master System Games Of All Time for some inspiration.
10. SNK Neo Geo
There’s one really important brand of consoles we haven’t seen on our list yet, and that is SNK.
It’s a bit surprising, as the Neo Geo Pocket and Neo Geo Pocket Color were a part of the original Analogue Pocket launch.
But still no word on those cores.
What we did get was an awesome Neo Geo home console core from developer Mazamars312
back in August 2022.
We imagine it’s only a matter of time before them or somebody else drops the Neo Geo Pocket core.
And when they do, we will be ready for it… ROMs locked and loaded.
Other Analogue Pocket Cores
There have also been a ton of odds-and-ends random single game cores that have dropped in the past few months.
They are not quite as exciting as a new console to play with, but if they happen to be some of your favorite game titles, this might be of interest to you.
|Atari Pong||agg23||September 2022||agg23/analogue-pong|
|Dig Dug||opengateware||September 2022||opengateware/arcade-digdug|
|Lunar Lander||ericlewis||September 2022||ericlewis/openfpga-lunarlander|
|PDP-1 (Spacewar!)||spacemen3||August 2022||spacemen3/PDP-1|
|Space Race||ericlewis||September 2022||ericlewis/openfpga-spacerace|
|Super Breakout||ericlewis||September 2022||ericlewis/openfpga-superbreakout|
Anthony has been a video game lover ever since he can remember. He became a fulltime nomad in 2018, living throughout most of Asia. He focused his passion in retro gaming and began creating a game for the Game Boy Color while living in Nara, Japan during the 2020 pandemic. He is now in Chiang Mai, Thailand, where he spends most of his time gaming, going on long walks and meeting as many stray dogs as possible.