It’s the portable console of your dreams.
Even as the titans of previous console generations like Nintendo and Sega move on to bigger and better things, there will always be an audience for legacy software. The problem is that unless you still have your old Game Boy Color, it’s really hard to play these old games (legally, anyway). It is here we step into the realm of Analogue, a hardware company that has spent the last few years cutting its teeth on creating dream machines specifically designed to play old games with modern sensibilities. Their latest creation, the Analogue Pocket, will not only play your favorite classic handheld games, but recreate the entire experience with a few modern quality of life tweaks.
The Analogue Pocket may seem like a trimmed-down Game Boy, but there’s some impressive muscle under the hood. The Pocket can run cartridges from the Game Boy, Game Boy Color, and Game Boy Advance families, and using its special “original display modes,” it can completely recreate the look of each of those consoles, right down to weird scan lines, if you’re into that. With separately-sold adapters, you can even play games from the Sega Game Gear, Atari Lynx, and Neo Geo Pocket Color. Just to reiterate, though, this is not an emulation console. You need the physical cartridges.
Speaking of hardware, there’s lots of cool add-ons you can get besides the cartridge adapters. There are different kinds of link cables you can use to connect two Pockets, there’s a dock you can plug a Pocket into to play on a TV, and you can even hook it up to a computer and synthesizer to make music with Analogue’s own Nanoloop software. The console itself is also built quite tough, with a display made of super-strong Gorilla Glass, which it’ll definitely need if it wants to endure the horrors every Game Boy in the 90s dealt with. Though, thankfully, with its 4,300 mAh battery, you won’t have to worry about battery crust from leaving a game on. Not that that would be a problem anyway, since the Pocket features a built-in sleep function that lets you suspend and resume a game at your leisure.
Pre-orders for the Pocket open next week on August 3. You can reserve one for $199.99, and they’re slated to ship around May 2021. They were originally going to come out sooner but, y’know, pandemic. It’s fine, though; I have a feeling this thing will be worth waiting for.