Depending on your age, you may have played Game Boy during your childhood and / or teen years (Yes, the), Game Gear, Game Boy Advance and many more. Maybe you still have your bullets Metro Fusion, Zelda: The Awakening of the Link And other cult titles carefully stored in a box.
Each of these games has been revived by inserting Analog’s new retro portable console into the pocket ($ 220). The latter has a beautiful color LCD screen, all the buttons needed to work with Game Boy Advance games and adapters for Atari Links and game gear cartridges. There is also a separate docking station, which is connected to the TV and allows you to play with wireless games just like you would with a switch. The Final Game Boy? Absolutely!
The final portable console? This is a different story. In fact, in a world where we assume that all high-tech devices will be connected to Wi-Fi, Pocket is surprisingly offline. It reads regular cartridges and has a microSD card slot, but is only used to upgrade the card operating system. Of course, download from PC.
For $ 220, you have some alternatives that have an amazing game library like the Nintendo Switch Lite, but you can not play the old Game Boy or Game Boy Advance games, except for the reprinted games in the digital version. To date, the analog pocket has been the best time machine in Game Boy time.
Game Boy has never been so sophisticated
Pocket is a cutting edge case for a game boy. The 3.5-inch 1600 x 1400 pixel (615 ppi) LCD display is bright and crisp, And Game Boy, Game Boy Advance and Game Gear games have never been better.
The audio is also of good quality, but it is best to use headphones. The pocket does not support Bluetooth audio, but it does have a 3.5mm headphone jack. The buttons are comfortable and provide solid, spring feedback worthy of the NES controller.
The controls are similar to those found on the Nintendo 3DS or Switch Joy-Cons, similar to those on the Nintendo or Super Nintendo Compact. The T-Pad is the same size as the navigation buttons on the Super Nintendo controller, but the four front buttons are smaller, roughly the size of the A and B buttons on the Gameboy pocket. . On the back, there are a couple of buttons for Game Boy Advance games.
Pocket is all about cartridge games. It can play Sega Game Gear, Atari Links and Neo-Geo pocket games using Game Boy, Game Boy Color and Game Boy Advance titles, as well as adapters sold separately.
It can also play some game files created directly by the developers using software called GB Studio.
Display modes and analog OS capability
Analog attributes the quality of performance of games on its console to FPGA (Field Programmable Gate Array) power. It is a chip designed to accurately simulate other hardware. This means that the packet is 100% compatible with the retro console’s game library, with no software emulation errors.
If the pocket is designed for games to run properly, Its operating system offers the opportunity to choose their appearance. For example, the GameBoy Advance Camille Pop and Pocket simulate the awkwardly weak LCD screen of the original GPA, with desaturated colors and a thin “grid” shape to reflect the appearance of visible pixels on a low-resolution screen. . If you like the Game Boy Advance SP screen, there is a bright mode to simulate it in the pocket. If you do not like any of these methods, you can adjust the concentration and sharpness as you wish and change them manually.
It also offers some different display modes for each console that Pocket supports. So, we can have a very sharp monochrome display like dark green screen or game boy pocket like the original game boy. There is even one in blue that reflects the backlight of the Japan exclusive Game Boy Pocket Light.
Finally, there is a new option: pinball neon matrix. To simulate the display boards of older pinball machines, this method converts the screen into a high contrast of black and red colors..
It is this kind of capability that makes the analog OS of the Pocket operating system so interesting. Analog promises that future updates will add more color palettes and display modes, as well as support for IPS patches that allow you to play Game Hacks, Mots and Fan translations using real cartridges. Theoretically, a future update would import a copy of the Japanese exclusive Mother 3 and run it in English using a fan-created translation. This is so amazing.
However, the OS was removed for its boot. It can play games and provide the aforementioned filters.
Console conversion options
In the pocket is a separate docking station ($ 100), which is inserted into the TV. If you have a compatible wireless or USB controller, you can play on the big screen. We tried it, and the controllers are hard to sync and the size of a large screen portable console games can sometimes be different.
There is a music card in the pocket, which converts it into a retro MIDI compatible synthesizer and sequencer. A program called Nanoloop is already installed on the console, but until you read its manual it will be difficult to figure out how to control its functions. A MIDI cable (not supplied) allows you to connect the pocket to other devices.
If you have more than one pocket, You can also use Game Boy connection cables to play multiplayer games. Analog sells these cables, but the original cables are said to work as well.
Game Resurrected Gear
We also tried the game gear adapter and it was a lot of fun. Most games work, especially Sonic, Fantasy Zone And Fortress of illusions With Mickey Mouse. However, the adapter seemed brittle and sometimes had difficulty attaching to the back of the pocket. The cam gear extends from the cartridge console, which is not conducive to nomads.
Pocket is not for everyone. For starters, you have to have classic game cartridges to play it, which already significantly controls things. This is not a prototype: it does not read ROMs and does not have a digital store. If you have cartridges of old games that you want to play again, this is the perfect gadget. For others, it’s good to be in the present. There are enough games for a lifetime on any Nintendo Switch or any phone or tablet.
But for fans of retrocomming, Pocket offers a loyal high-end experience to the original versions.
Image: Scott Stein, Sean Buckley / CNET
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