After several delays, the Analogue Pocket handheld game console is finally set to begin shipping to customers on December 13, as promised. But that’s just for customers who have already pre-ordered one for $200.

Analogue has now announced that folks who didn’t get in on the first round of pre-orders will get another chance starting on December 14th. But they’ll have to pay a little more and wait a little (or maybe a lot) longer for their orders to ship.

The Analogue Pocket is a handheld game console that combines a classic Game Boy-style design with modern elements. For example it has a D-Pad and just a small number of buttons on the front, and a 3.5 inch display.

But it has a 1600 x 1440 pixel LCD display panel with ten times the resolution of the original Game Boy, a 4300 mAh rechargeable lithium ion battery for up to 10 hours of battery life, a USB-C port for charging, a microSD card reader for storage and stereo speakers plus a 3.5mm audio jack.

The Analogue Pocket can also play classic console games without any software emulation thanks to two FPGAs that can be programmed to work like classic game consoles. Out of the box you get support for Game Boy, Game Boy Color, and Game Boy Advance games – and you can even use the original cartridges with the Pocket. But you can also pay $30 each for a set of adapters that will let you play Sega Game Gear, Neo Geo Pocket, Atari Lynx, or TurboGrafx-16 games.

Originally priced at $200, Analogue is raising the price to $219 with the next round of orders due to global supply chain price increases. As for how long you’ll have to wait for the company to deliver a game console if you place an order starting next week, Analogue says orders will be fulfilled on a first-come, first-served basis… but there will be three batches scheduled:

  • Group A will ship in Q1, 2022.
  • Group B will ship in Q4, 2022.
  • Group C will ship sometime in 2023.

So if you’re interested in an Analogue Pocket and don’t feel like waiting a year for delivery, you might want to get your order in soon.

 

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14 replies on “Analogue Pocket handheld game system pre-orders open again December 14”

  1. I’ve done some more reading on this device, and I’ve decided to skip this product completely. It doesn’t appear to be as community-friendly as I hoped, in terms of being open for developers. The creators are interviewing and selecting developers that will be allowed to work on community cores.

    Also it doesn’t appear that it offers nearly enough performance to actually achieve much beyond what they are officially supporting. Gameboy Advance might be near the upper limit of the chip.

    Despite the fact that the GBA is more powerful than the SNES, it appears that SNES might not be possible on this device.

    The more capable of the two FPGA chips on this device has 49,000 logic elements. To compare this to the MiSTer, which has 110,000 logic elements. Developers working on the MiSTer have commented that the SNES required nearly all of the logic elements. The reason is because the SNES has more individual processors and more complex components, such as a dedicated sound processor, and some games having their own discrete graphics chips onboard.

    However, that’s not to say that more powerful (but architecturally simpler) systems might be possible. I don’t know enough about it, I guess only time will tell. Unfortunately the complexity of replicating hardware with FPGA isn’t as intuitive as comparing performance output to the size of the FPGA chip. It seems it has much more to do with physical complexity of the original system.

    Another unusual aspect of the Analogue Pocket is that, compared to other FPGA projects, it does not contain it’s own Hard CPU or memory controller. So this means that it won’t be likely that the community will be able to port or create any other operating systems to this device. The Analogue Pocket has a separate FPGA for the purpose of running its proprietary OS, and it seems that chip isn’t going to be open to the community.

    Looks like a cool product, but the ambiguity of what might end up being possible is a gamble. Buy it if you find value in its official features, don’t hold your breath for anything above that unless you have intimate knowledge of FPGA development.

    1. Yes the fgpa is half the size of the one in mister. The only reason that mister’s snes core is as large as it is is because it implements all of the “special chips” that occur in carts in hardware. And they are all on the fpga at the same time. There is no “unloading” or anything.

      Keep in mind that the cyclone V in the Pocket is the exact same size as Analogue’s own Super Nt snes clone so obviously the analogue fpga snes core fits on it. The Super Nt jailbreak does not support as many special chips as the mister core though — either for space or because it can’t implement the extra ram busses accurately. Notably, Super FX is absent afaik.

      The presumption was that the Pocekt scaler + framework would all be on the small and fast cyclone 10 for the Pocket. We figured this was to appease the GPL gods. That way you would write your cores to run on the cyclone v and the input/roms/etc would be passed to your core from the cyclone 10 and your core would send video and audio back.

      A number of mister devs feel that a “goal” of the pocket was to move devs over to their platform and away from opensource platforms. And that if you make cores for the Pocket then you’re helping make Analogue money with your opensource code… but Analogue won’t contribute their code to open source.

      So like, you can port the gpl mister NES/SNES/Genesis/TG16 cores to the Pocket. But Analogue will never release code for their own cores. So why help them sell their product.

      Other devs don’t care. They’re just happy to see some cool hardware and hope for the best.

      1. Thanks for your reply, good to hear some comments from someone who is familiar with FPGA gaming.

        Although, I’m not convinced about the fact that Analogue’s use of the same FPGA chip on their SNES device will prove that the Analogue Pocket will also be capable of SNES.

        Some of the SNES’s ICs and components (like the Super FX chip) were actually contained inside the game cartridges themselves. Meaning that Analogue’s Super NT probably didn’t need to replicate those components in the FPGA chip, because the Super NT required games to be played from original cartridges.

        So if we’re talking about loading SNES roms from an SD card on the Pocket, it sounds impossible to fully support SNES on this FPGA chip without the original cartridges.

        So I guess it sounds like SNES support might be partially possible on the Analogue Pocket (in theory), for a specific group of games only.

        But whether or not Analogue allows that kind of freedom to developers is my doubt. They’re saying they are hand-picking developers to be allowed to make cores.

        1. Well mister has a larger fpga as you know. The way they did it there is all of the special chips are implemented in the core taking up space. And the mister core would be too big to fit on the analogue pocket’s fpga. So it is an issue.

          On the Super Nt, kevtris did release the jailbreak that implemented some special chips on the fpga to play roms. He could not do them all. He said the hardware couldn’t implement the extra ram bus needed for the Super FX chip for example. But he said nothing about space on the fpga so there is no way to know how full it was on the SuperNt.

          But if devs are allowed to port whatever cores they want to…
          And the open source snes core with some special chips fits — which it will because people have cut it down already to fit on smaller platforms like the mist
          Then there is no reason you wouldn’t have a SNES core with most or all special chips. Although you may have to have several builds of the core where each builds only supports some of the special chips.

          But all of this is premature. We don’t actually know what devs are allowed to do because they did applications and NDAs. So we don’t know how open it will be.

          Can you make a core that competes with an Analogue core?

          Do all cores have to be hosted/distributed in an official Analogue store?

          If so, will cores be able to play roms at all for legal reasons?

          Many people thought that there would be a dev kit that was freely available and then anyone could write what they wanted. If so, there will be…everything available… eventually, if it exists on other platforms already.

          So right now, it’s wait and see to see how open it really is. There is no jailbreak as of this moment to play roms btw. Until it appears, even playing gameboy/gba roms is not certain.

  2. I really like the idea of FPGA systems like this, but Gameboy cartridges are starting to age out.

    I don’t really want to buy a $200 system, and then only succeed in finding original cartridges for 4 or 5 of the many games I want to play.

    The choice to not allow roms to load from the sd slot was unfortunate.

    I’m looking forward to seeing a more open alternative.

    1. Most likely people will figure out a way to bypass that and let roms load from the micro SD. The question is how soon.

      1. I think the more obvious solution will be a cartridge that loads roms from its own internal SD card, like an Everdrive.

        It just feels stupid that I’d pay $200 for device like this, and have to resort to a solution like that.

        1. It’s targeting the hipster gamer crowd. Just get something actually worth the money.

          1. The trouble is that this device is the best example around for FPGA gaming, and perhaps the only portable option.

            I have more than enough devices for emulation, but FPGA gaming presents a much more unique option.

            I did some more reading in the FPGA gaming community, and it seems that the dual FPGA chips in the device are going to allow the community to make their own cores, and it’s being suggested that community support for roms on SD card is inevitable.

          2. For those that don’t know, every previous Analogue console has had an official or unofficial (but still created by the main dev) jailbreak firmaware that allowed them to run roms off an SD card. This is despite saying that they “only play games from carts” officially.

            Also, there are now good open source FPGA cores for all common systems pre-PlayStation with open source playstation/saturn cores well into development. And they will have some sort of dev kit available to help people port cores to it. The ram setup in the Pocket may not allow some cores to be ported. And the FPGA that the devs have access to may not be big enough for some open source cores. But it will be suficient to for most.

            So it’s reasonable to expect this to run snes/genesis/pce, many arcade games, and a lot of older console games straight from roms on the SD card. Eventually anyway.

  3. too fat , no 2 joystick, short working time
    sorry but cheap emulator (old Dingoo or other west programers) are better

    1. To be honest, you aren’t the target audience. This isn’t the same as a powkiddy or other software emulation device. This is designed for enthusiast/ music creators, with perfect game console replication on the hardware front. There are more compatible and flexible “systems” out there, but try finding one that actually plays the cartridges directly, not dumping them to memory

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