My kids grew up with a Game Boy in every room of the house. I’m serious. I’ve been an avid collector for decades, and from the massive DMG to import-only fare like the Game Boy Light to the various incarnations of the Game Boy Advance, Nintendo’s groundbreaking portable line has long been a veritable fixture in our home.
I restore Game Boys and I mod Game Boys and all of us—the entire family—play Game Boys.
Obviously, I try and keep an ear to the ground regarding any new developments concerning the Game Boy and its enthusiast community, but considering that the Game Boy Micro, the final iteration of the GBA, was discontinued in 2008, it’s rare that anything truly makes waves. That’s exactly why I was thrilled with this week’s reveal of the upcoming Analogue Pocket.
Bespoke retro console maker Analogue is already well known for its high-end throwback systems like the Mega Sg (Sega Genesis, Mega Drive, and Master System) and the Super Nt (SNES and Super Famicom), each offering lag-free, high-compatibility gaming that doesn’t resort to the kinds of simple, messy software emulation found in more pedestrian systems. This quality, of course, comes at a price, and the Pocket is no different. When it arrives—at a still indeterminate point in 2020—this slick little handheld will retail for $199.99.
Do I need a boutique Game Boy system that costs as much as the newly released Nintendo Switch Lite? Certainly not. Will I but one anyone? Probably. Why? Simply put, it packs an amazing amount of technology into its diminutive frame.
Rather than emulate existing hardware, the Analogue Pocket was built from the ground up with two specialty FPGA chips to faithfully reproduce the Game Boy, Game Boy Color, and Game Boy Advance gameplay with more than 2700 compatible cartridges. Moreover, it does so at an astounding 1600×1440 resolution on its 3.5″, 615 PPI LCD—10 times the resolution of the original Game Boy.
Add to this a lithium-ion battery (rechargeable via USB-C), mappable face and shoulder buttons, microSD support, stereo speakers with 3.5mm output, and a functional classic Game Link port, and you’re looking at a device like no other. But there’s more: an upcoming Analogue Dock will allow you to output your Pocket to HDMI and game on your television using wired USB or Bluetooth controllers. And in a nod to the chiptune community, a copy of the Nanoloop audio workstation will come preloaded on every Pocket.
If this piques your interest, definitely head to the Analogue product page for more details. You can even sign up for their mailing list and be alerted when the Pocket is available for purchase. Which you’ll want to do because, trust me, this thing is sure to sell out!