Analogue Pocket Coming In 2020, Compatible With Your Old Game Boy Games

Old-school portable gaming gets the Analogue treatment in 2020.

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Analogue's track record of releasing high-end old-school consoles is second to none, and in 2020, the company will expand its business into the portable space. The Analogue Pocket is a handheld system that is designed for playing original Game Boy, Game Boy Color, and Game Boy Advance games out of the box, as well as Game Gear, Neo Geo Pocket Color, Atari Lynx, and more unannounced game libraries with the use of cartridge adapters in the future. It's a $200 device (before tax, shipping, and handling), and as far as Analogue is concerned, the Pocket packs one of the best-looking screens around.

The Pocket's 3.5-inch LTPS LCD screen is the most expensive component in the device "by a long shot" according to Analogue head, Christopher Taber. Claims of "pro level color accuracy, dynamic range, and brightness" tell some of the story, but more critical is the fact that the screen delivers 615 ppi at 1600x1440. This means the Pocket's screen will allow for exact 10x scaling of Game Boy, Game Boy Color, and Game Gear games' native 160x144 resolution, and allow for plenty of wiggle room when scaling games at other resolutions. "Pocket beautifully displays non-integer scaling due to the displays high 615 ppi and our control over the display directly," said Taber. "This feature allows for every system's unique resolution to populate the screen without compromising visual quality and maintaining sharp pixels. In other words, at non integer scaling Pocket will not see the notorious issues you'll see on most other displays when scaling at non-integers."

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The other big hardware-related Pocket detail is the inclusion of two FPGAs--the chips that serve as the basis for Analogue's authentic hardware simulations. The handheld includes both Intel Cyclone V and Cyclone 10 FPGAs (Taber and Analogue aren't saying which versions quite yet), and Analogue states that the additional FPGA is there strictly for third-party support. Taber told GameSpot that Analogue is working with other developers behind the scenes to support their Pocket-related creations, and press materials also directly mention the Mister platform as an example of what customers can expect when envisioning the benefits of this extra hardware. Mister is an FPGA-centric project that's rallied a community of developers to recreate vintage gaming hardware on an-off-the shelf system designed for makers and educators, and it saw a flood of new releases in 2018 and 2019.

Analogue is going out of its way to make the Pocket a versatile device, and that extends outside of gaming and into the world of music creation--a realm that also goes hand in hand with vintage Game Boys. Having partnered with Nanoloop and Oliver Wittchow, Analogue will effectively deliver a robust sequencer and synthesizer in each Pocket, to be based on Nanoloop 2 but with a modified Pocket-friendly user interface.

Also in 2020 but for an undisclosed price, Analogue plans to release a dock for the Pocket designed to display portable games on your TV, either natively over HDMI or on a CRT via Analogue's $80 DAC. The dock will support both wired and bluetooth controllers.

Analogue still has a lot to divulge regarding the Pocket, but early details paint a promising picture of what's to come. For a look at the company's most recent products, check out our reviews of the Super Nt and Mega Sg, two consoles that impressed us with their attention to detail, inside and out.

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BasketballFan

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This device still uses emulation at the level of the fpga chip, since it runs the simple emulators required to run the "simple" games.

Im sorry the claim "no emulation" is false. Sure you designed your own emulator on the chip itself, but its still software, and its still an emulator. It just can never be changed.

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BasketballFan

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rip off. build your own there are tons of quality raspberry pi cases

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Chubby170

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@basketballfan: Not that can be used on the go...

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BasketballFan

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Edited By BasketballFan

@chubby170: Wrong. Dead wrong. There are plenty of mock Gameboy\etc cases you can build this exact same thing but with SoCs and emulators. Look at the Retroflag Gpi, and for gods sake do some research before speaking.

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Chubby170

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@basketballfan: Or I simply wasnt aware of such products.

Settle down numbnuts.

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BasketballFan

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@chubby170: Its common sense. The whole point of the Rasp Pi is being able to do things like this. I mean when I say plenty of cases there are probably 10000 different types of portable case.

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Chubby170

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@basketballfan: Lol, ive been dealing with the Pi for years now and havent seen a good portable case until now. And even that one istn supported for the good models of Pi, only the zero it seems.

I never had it in my head that the point of the Pi was to do things portable with it. Its original intention is to teach kids to program.

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BasketballFan

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@chubby170: What? Do you like...only go to a couple websites or something? Especially if you have "been dealing with the Pi for years" did you miss all the battery packs, button kits, small lcds? Literally right there when you buy one? The thing wouldnt have continued to exist without this.

I dont believe you have been "dealing with the Pi" because its impossible to miss.

PS: Pi was originally developed for developing countries as an inexpensive way to teach basic computer science. It was never meant to teach programming only open up the possibility.

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Chubby170

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@basketballfan: Ummnn, I have never seen these before. You can believe what you want lol Not a big deal.

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Wilddog73

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Edited By Wilddog73

I'm a little sad it's not coming in a Gameboy SP form factor. It was the most beautiful console aesthetically in my opinion.

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Litchie

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Looks really cool. Bit expensive though.

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50cratez

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If only if it came out in the 80s

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BasketballFan

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@50cratez: All the way to Pokemon this thing would have had me begging back then.

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pmanden

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Cute little thing, but the screen is far too small for my liking. I'd rather play retro games on my 10 inch tablet.

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BasketballFan

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@pmanden: Most definitely. I wont settle for anything less than a 10 inch screen.

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DoomsdayHell01

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Edited By DoomsdayHell01

@basketballfan: a 10 inch screen with that power that they putting into that thing it will most likely go for $500 and above. a 5 to 5.8 inch screen would have been perfectly fine. The standard screen size for small devises is 4 inch screens. Apple's Ipod touch devises from the 5th generation till the 7th generation have 4 inch screens. So i'm really surprise that they would not even go with a 4 inch screen in this thing.

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DoomsdayHell01

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3.5 inch screen is just way too small for my liking. Give me at least 4 inch. People with vision problems are gonna have a hard time buying this thing with that tiny screen

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Crazy_sahara

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It's nice, but it's irrelevant, it's like adding Tim Cook with Steve Jobs spouses meaning irrelevant.

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xantufrog

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xantufrog  Moderator

This looks pretty darn sweet...

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Gonkerz

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Edited By Gonkerz

Does anyone know if this will support GB/GBC/GBA link cables/accessories? If it won't, doesn't that destroy the point of games like Pokémon?

EDIT: Made an account just to ask this question. So if someone knows, or might offer insight, yeah that'd be great.

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pyro1245

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Very cool!

It's good to see them supporting many platforms with this product.

I love the Super NT, but I've always wished they would provide support for other platforms.

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King_Pazuzu

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The real question is....

Can you load ROMs on it?

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BasketballFan

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@King_Pazuzu: Totally DOA because of this.

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King_Pazuzu

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@basketballfan: yup

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waltdawg443

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Ooo, I'm officially intrigued. I've got a ton of old GB and GBA games that I can't play at all anymore since my systems no longer hold a charge, and the GameCube crapped out long ago so can't use the GB player. $200 feels a little steep for me personally, but no doubt it's a quality product. I'll have to keep an eye out for this.

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CrimsonBrute

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CrimsonBrute  Moderator

Obligatory "Shut up and take my money!" comment.

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gargungulunk

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Considering a used GBA-101 can go for near $130, this is a pretty good deal at $200.

Can't wait to see more of the sharp screen in action

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chisoxrule

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This sounds pretty enticing. Problem is that the batteries in my old gameboy games that I still have are likely dead.

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Sound_Demon

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@chisoxrule: wouldn't it be cool if they made a device that could charge those? Probably impossible due to the circuit board connections

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Archangel3371

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Very cool. Very cool indeed. I want one.

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SystemOverload

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Analogue makes high quality products so it is going to be expensive, not for casual gamers.

My guess is $150 to $200.

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TrueLink

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@systemoverload: It says right in the article that it costs $200.

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Sound_Demon

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@TrueLink: Oh you actually read the articles? Weird.

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tocool340

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Edited By tocool340

Well, if it doesn't cost over a $100, I'm all over it. I used to play my old GBA games on the my DS phat, but since the hinge broke on it, I haven't been able to play none of my old Gameboy games. I have an original GBA, but I just refuse to go back to that non-backlit screen that gave me all types of problems trying to find good lighting to play it...

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Zander80

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@tocool340:It says it will cost $200.

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tocool340

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Edited By tocool340

@zander80: Yep, I missed that part. Guess I'll be steering clear then....

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GirlUSoCrazy

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Nice. I was just playing my GBC today and thought the reflectiveness of the screen makes it a bit annoying even in good lighting.

At the same time though I kinda missed the shitty GB LCD, I was playing Link's Awakening and I have fonder memories of it on the OG GB than the DX version on GBC.

Thinking of these different screen types, I wonder if the Analog will have different filters to mimic some of the ideosyncracies of the different LCDs. The GB, GBC, GG all look very different, and NGPC similar to GBC (never tried the NGP). The high PPI and color accuracy could allow for some nice blur effects simulating the OG GB, and also the GG's unique sub pixel arrangement and lighting.

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doc-brown

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doc-brown  Staff

@girlusocrazy: I asked about that, and Analogue was vague:

"Q: Are there any filter options, such as scanlines, or more appropriately, a grid and/or motion blur to mimic the look and feel of the original Game Boy screens?

A: Users can expect the same attention to detail on a system by system basis that is found in all Analogue products."

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GirlUSoCrazy

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Edited By GirlUSoCrazy

@doc-brown: Thanks! I'm looking forward to this more than I have any of their other systems.

If they even get the shadow of the GB's pixels on the reflective back... that'd be awesome.

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phili878

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@doc-brown: safe to say we can actually finally see things without too much eye strain.

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realguitarhero5

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!hype!

that screen looks great

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ScreamingSatori

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All of the handheld systems this unit supports are old enough to be considered vintage, so I bet it'll be hard to track down cartridges, and many of them will probably have a hefty price tag. I would guess that most of the people buying this will be older gamers looking for a little nostalgia, so they should have made the screen bigger for those aging eyes.

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gargungulunk

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Edited By gargungulunk

@screamingsatori:

I'll go through retro-fits a couple times a year; and typically find the GB/GBC/GBA games on Ebay are fairly well priced. ...$1-$10 for mediocre games worth taking a shot on, and $10-$20 for better known games.

...sure there's the league of carts that sell well above $20 but not as many as one might think.

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