Retro handheld gaming is experiencing a bit of a renaissance right now, between low-cost open-source handhelds from China and high-end modding of genuine hardware. If you’re looking for the ultimate blend of the two, check out the Analog pocket. This is what would happen if you designed the Game Boy with 2020 technology and aesthetics.
You might recognize Analogue as the maker of super premium updates to classic home consoles, like Analogue NT (NES), Super NT, (SNES) Mega SG (Genesis). The Pocket is the same principles applied to a portable gaming machine from the 1990s. Not to be confused with modern emulator and ROM based alarm clocks, the Pocket runs original Game Boy, Game Boy Color, and Game Boy Advance cartridges. .
But it does so with a great deal of modern style and high-end materials. The Pocket uses a modern 3.5-inch display with ten times the original Game Boy resolution, full backling and Gorilla glass cover, USB-C charging, and up to 10 hours on a single charge. The system is also compatible with adapter cards for cartridges from other consoles: SEGA Game Gear, Atari Lynx, Neo Geo Pocket and Pocket Color. It even supports old-fashioned link cables for multiplayer.
The system can remap buttons through its internal operating system, emulate the old look of some games with pixel and sub-pixel grids, and load homebrew games through its MicroSD card. For a bit of modern convenience, the system can go into sleep mode so it doesn’t activate in your pocket when paused.
But wait, there’s more: slip the Analogue Pocket into its separately sold docking station, and you can play all of these games on your TV with HDMI output and compatibility with up to four wireless controllers. It also functions as its own MIDI music station, via the built-in Nanoloop synthesizer / sequencer or connected to external MIDI hardware via an adapter cable.
How much will all of this cost you? $ 200 for the analog pocket, $ 100 for the HDMI docking station and an undetermined price for other adapters and accessories. Considering the cost of high-end Game Boy mods, this is pretty reasonable.
The sad news is that Analogue will not ship this magnificent material until May 2021. Pre-orders increase on Monday August 3rd. If promotional images are anything to go by, it will be worth the wait.