There’s been a huge resurgence of retro gaming these last few years. That explosion in popularity of these retro mini-consoles has certainly helped a new generation of gamers take a trip back to the past. And with the advent of the Switch, Nintendo games in particular have enjoyed their own small renaissance. Now, there’s a new competitor in the game, with the upcoming release of the Analogue Pocket, a whole host of portable retro games from Game Boy and other lines will be all available in one handy package. This method is preferable to direct emulation for a few reasons, mostly as this system is as close to playing on original hardware as you can get while also improving the experience with increased resolution. Anyone running the Analogue Pocket isn’t likely to run into the graphical and audio glitches which are still common with emulation through collections like the RetroPie.
So if you’re one of those obsessive collectors who still loves the feel of older hardware, but definitely doesn’t love the lack of a backlight or other quality-of-life features, the Analogue Pocket might just be for you. That’s because not only does it grant access to thousands of portable titles, it also includes a bunch of improvements that modern gamers need to enjoy the experience. The one thing that might spoil the experience for some though, is that there’s no digital downloads or emulations on this thing. You’ll need the physical cartridge to play the games, but the platform can run any of the thousands of games from multiple retro handheld consoles. There is a way around this limitaton though, as many different Flash Cart options exist, which allow you to load thousands of games onto an SD card and play them on original hardware, or in this case, an Analogue Pocket.
The Analogue Pocket will play games from Nintendo Game Boy line, Sega Game Gear, SNK Neo Geo Pocket Colour, and Atari Lynx, but won’t use digital downloads or emulations of the classic titles. That’s thousands of titles by the way. But thousands of games aren’t the only thing being offered with this package. The system also includes a twist in the from of an onboard digital audio workstation called Nanoloop. This comes pre-loaded with a quirky synthesiser and sequencer that will allow audiophiles to have a little fun too.
The hardware itself features a high definition display that is ten times as bright and as bold as the original Game Boy. The sound and graphical fidelity are massively improved, and battery life is several hours long, as it should be in the 21st century. The USB-C charge port will work with pretty much any power cable, and the lithium-ion battery pack should offer plenty of life.
So all in all, if you’re looking for a way to capture multiple retro experiences in a single package, this might be the perfect choice for you. There’s no confirmed release date or price points yet though, so we may be waiting a while for this one piece of hardware to drop.