The Analogue Pocket has finally been revealed, even though there was lots of rumours floating around over the last few months, I don’t think anyone quite planned for what they were about to announce. For those of you new to Analogue they’re a company who like to reinvent the old consoles, for example the Sega Mega Drive Mini and now the beloved Gameboy.
The Analogue Pocket is a multi video game system, that’s portable. Out of the box the Analogue Pocket is compatible with 2,780 Gameboy, Gameboy Color and Gameboy Advance games. If you pick up their adapter (no price as of yet) you can also play other handheld systems such as the Game Gear, Neo Geo Pocket Atari Lynx and more. It uses not one but two FPGA’s so you’ll find no emulation here. But many of the community have managed to hack previous Analogue products so expect this to be hacked within months of its release in 2020.
The Analogue Pocket is made from a durable metal, which already sets it apart from its competitors like the Retro Game 350 and Bittboy Pocket Go V2 but its $200 price tag might turn people away quite quickly. Seeing the response to the announcement from Analogue has opened our eyes to many handheld lovers thoughts on this device. Some are saying it’s perfect where a lot of people are saying that Analogue are putting crazy price tags on their products just because they’re the only guys doing it like this. We’re on the fence, yes, $200 is an insane amount, but then again nobody is doing it, so if you want it, you’re gonna have to pay for it. We’re just waiting to get hold of one so that we can test it and see if it’s really worth the $200.
The Analogue Pocket comes with a 3.5″ LCD screen with a resolution of 1600×1440 and 615ppi. This is a serious screen, and one specs that’s unheard of in a 3.5″ display. This is impressive, that’s 10x the resolution of the original Gameboy. The face of the handheld has a minimalist look to it, not overwhelmed with buttons but everything you need from a handheld. It features three buttons in the bottom right corner of the face which is most likely the start/select and home buttons.
Towards the bottom you’re greeted with a micro USB-C port, HDMI and a headphone jack. On the side, your power button and volume wheel. On the back you’ll get two triggers so that you can play your Gameboy Advance games without a problem. The size of the Analogue Pocket will be incredibly similar to the Gameboy Pocket, thick on the bottom, and thin on top towards the cartridge slot. We’re still not sure how the adapter will look in this thing, most likely incredibly bulky, but we’ll have to wait and see.
Not only is this device a handheld gaming device, it’s also a handheld music making device. And odd thing to add to a Gameboy but we’ll take it? The Pocket has a digital audio workstation built in called the Nanoloop. It’s a synthesiser and a sequencer which is design for music creators to making pieces of content. You can shape, stretch and morph sounds all from the face of the Analogue Pocket. Below is a video showcasing what the Nanoloop looks like when used on the Pocket. We’re not sure what to think, but let us know if you’re a musician and if you think it’s cool.
And that’s not it, one of our favourite parts about the Analogue Pocket is the ability to dock it your TV just like a Nintendo Switch. Analogue will be releasing a dock alongside the device to allow gamers to play their cartridges on the big screen. Simply plug the dock into the HDMI port, bluetooth a controller to your Pocket and you’re ready to play on your 4K TV. Again, Analogue being Analogue this doesn’t come free, and rumours are stating it will be between $50-$100 just for the dock. We would have liked to see this in with the Analogue Pocket’s original price seeing as it’s so high but we’ll be picking one up either way, because Pokemon on the big screen… yes please.
The Analogue Pocket is shipping in 2020 for $199, nobody knows if this is early 2020 or late 2020, but the best way to find out is by following us on Twitter @retro_dodo for all of the updates. So should you buy what could be one of the best retro handhelds of 2020? Yes, if you have a collection of cartridges, probably not if you’re only lying on a scratched up Pokemon Yellow with no working batter. This is aimed at the collectors out there, the nostalgic hunters who have an arsenal of boxed games. Yes consumers will buy it, but they’ll need to go out and buy games alongside it, which this day in age doesn’t come cheap!