Mon. Sep 26th, 2022

If you know the name Analogue, you know the company’s reputation for the somewhat pricey but authentic and beautiful HDMI-compatible FPGA (field-programmable gate array) reconstructions of classic game consoles. Today, the company announces it will expand that line to the portable market next year with the Analogue Pocket, a $199 FPGA handheld that is fully compatible with literally thousands of original cartridges for the Game Boy, Game Boy Color, and Game Boy Advance. (and other portable devices such as Lynx, Game Gear, and Neo Geo Pocket Color via planned cartridge adapters).

The Pocket’s 3.5-inch, 1600×1440 resolution, 615 pi LTPS LCD screen honestly seems a bit overkill, considering the Game Boy Advance at 240×160 and around 100 ppi. But Analogue’s Christopher Taber tells Ars that the Analogue Pocket will have the same Altera Cyclone V FPGA as his previous Super Nt and Mega Sg, plus a second Cyclone 10 FPGA “just for developers to develop and port their own cores.”

That means it should be trivial for hackers to add aftermarket firmware to the Pocket via the system’s microSD card slot, as they have done for other analog products in the past. So don’t be surprised if the Pocket gets “unofficial” support for the same NES, Super NES, and Genesis FPGA cores built into previous analog products, as well as homebrew cores that support classic systems, from the Atari 2600 to the Sega Master System.

While analog marketing material and Taber both insist that the Pocket “doesn’t support playback of ROM files,” previous homemade, jailbroken analog firmware has been able to load ROMs stored on SD cards, and even dump ROM files from original cartridges for full. digital playback (Taber also told Ars to expect “other useful features” accessible via the microSD card slot to be announced in the future).

Analogue, perhaps with a nod to the Nintendo Switch, Analogue is designing the Pocket to work on HDTVs via an optional HDMI dock, which supports wired USB and wireless Bluetooth controllers (the price for this dock has yet to be announced). For disconnected play, the system will have stereo speakers and a standard 3.5mm headphone jack (eat your heart out, Game Boy Advance SP). The Pocket also has a rechargeable USB-C lithium-ion battery (Taber tells Ars, “I can assure you, everyone will be very happy with the battery life”) and an “original style left plug” if you wish. play multiplayer Tetris like it’s 1989.

The Analogue Pocket also comes preloaded with Nanoloop, a popular Game Boy sequencer/synthesizer that has been helping chiptune musicians for decades with original Game Boy hardware and a mobile app.

While there have been cheaper and/or more versatile Game Boy clones in the past, we look forward to seeing Analogue’s impeccable design chops apply to the portable retro market when we get our hands on the Analogue Portable next year. .

By akfire1

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