In 2015, Analogue released their Analogue Nt aftermarket Nintendo Entertainment System console to market and took retro video game collectors by storm. The complex technology could be boiled down to an idea that was very simple: providing a no-fuss way to accurately play their classic game cartridges on a HDTV set, without resorting to any often low-quality emulation solutions.
They were of course met with great success and acclaim. Within only a few years they had also released the Super Nt (Super Nintendo) and Mega Sg (SEGA Mega Drive, Master System and Game Gear) for the more 16-Bit inclined gamers amongst us. Now it’s time for the handhelds.
NOW YOU’RE PLAYING WITH POWER, PORTABLE POWER!
Described by the developer as a tribute to portable gaming, the Analogue Pocket handheld will work with the full library of 2,780+ Game Boy, Game Boy Colour and Game Boy Advance titles right out of the box via. two FPGA chipsets.
Housing a 3.5 inch full colour LCD screen with a 1600×1440 resolution, the Pocket has 10x the resolution of an original Game Boy. Long gone are the days of panicked saves in the middle of a long Pokémon session as the console will also include a rechargeable lithium ion battery that will take in power via the now basically industry standard USB-C cable.
A 3.5mm headphone jack, Micro SD card support, remappable buttons and legacy support for original Game Boy link cables truly make it the most advanced Game Boy ever released.
SWITCHIN’ IT UP
Around the time of launch, shoppers interested will also be able to purchase Game Gear, Neo Geo Pocket Colour and Atari Lynx cartridge adapters for the system, showing that the console wars of days gone by are truly over as players can look forward to playing Super Mario Land 2, Sonic Triple Trouble, Tetris and Columns on the same machine.
Analogue Pocket will also allow players to upgrade the little handheld that could into a full on hybrid console like the Nintendo Switch. Doing so will require the additional purchase of a dock and a compatible 8BitDo controller, but you’ll be able to play your entire collection on the TV should you really want to.
This makes the device a very viable alternative to Nintendo’s own Super Game Boy or Game Boy Player console attachments, or even other aftermarket alternatives like Hyperkin’s Retron line of emulation driven multi-consoles and DIY console mod projects like Woozle and Game-Tech’s GBA Consolizer kit.
MUSIC TO MY EARS
Also included with every Analogue Pocket is a copy of Nanoloop, an audio creation software first developed back in the late 1990s at the University of Fine Arts of Hamburg. Both a synthesiser and a sequencer, the software creates raw 4-bit rectangular wave forms as generated by the Game Boy’s audio chip and then lets the user stretch, shape or morph sounds as they would like.
On Analogue’s website it says that they ‘make products to celebrate and explore the history of video games with the respect it deserves’ and at this point it looks like they’ve hit their own gold standard yet again.
If I could make one suggestion for a future revision? A wireless replacement for the link cable.
Analogue Pocket releases worldwide via their website in 2020.