The $200 Analogue Pocket wants to be the best Game Boy ever made
Coming in 2020, it plays Game Boy, Game Boy Color and Game Boy Advance cartridges, plus Game Gear, Atari Lynx and Neo-Geo games with an adapter. And it has a TV dock.
Scott SteinEditor at Large
I started with CNET reviewing laptops in 2009. Now I explore wearable tech, VR/AR, tablets, gaming and future/emerging trends in our changing world. Other obsessions include magic, immersive theater, puzzles, board games, cooking, improv and the New York Jets. My background includes an MFA in theater which I apply to thinking about immersive experiences of the future.
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The Nintendo Game Boy is 30 years old this year. Nintendo stopped making Game Boys a long time ago, but retro game specialist Analogue is working on the ultimate Game Boy and it's coming in 2020. It plays Game Boy, Game Boy Advance, and Game Boy Color games. The Analogue Pocket can play Sega Game Gear, Atari Lynx and Neo-Geo games with an adapter. It has USB-C. It has a TV dock. It costs $200.
And damn, I want one.
I have a bunch of old Game Boy games somewhere, and sometimes I dream of a perfect system to play them on. I have a pile of Game Gear games, too, and I can't even count all the old Game Boys I've sold or discarded since summer camp. The Analogue Pocket is a way to play those games again and have them look better than ever. It won me over from the first photos I saw in the company's press release: I love the sleek black-and-white design, the minimalism and the bright color screen. It has a feel similar to the equally retro Playdate, a hand-crank-equipped indie-focused handheld that's also coming in 2020.
The Analogue Pocket is a super-Walkman for those old cartridges, not a handheld to play emulations -- it won't play ROMs even though it has a Micro SD card slot. Much like Analogue's other lovingly constructed retro gaming consoles (the Mega Sg is a 1080p-upscaled Sega Genesis console, and the Super NT plays Super Nintendo games), the Pocket is meant to be a way to do the original cartridge games justice.
Analogue, based in Seattle, is also aiming to woo indie games to the Pocket. And it's more than just a gaming handheld: The Pocket has an onboard music synthesizer and sequencer, called Nanoloop, for "music creation and live performance."
The Analogue Pocket has a 3.5-inch 1,600x1,440-pixel LTPS LCD screen (with "10x the resolution" of the original Game Boy), USB-C charging and a lithium-ion battery, a standard headphone jack and stereo speakers. The separately sold dock will connect it to TVs and work with wireless 8bitdo controllers or USB-connected controllers. I want it. I want to play games on it. 2020 can't come soon enough.