First announced back in October of 2019, it took another whole year (and then some) before the Analogue Pocket started shipping to those who preordered the console in August of 2020, due to the ongoing pandemic. But the wait was definitely worth it.
A steady stream of handheld consoles continues to flow out of China. While those devices can play classic games from countless retro systems, including the NES, Genesis, and SNES, they rely on software emulation, which is often fraught with performance issues and bugs that result in less than ideal gameplay. The Analogue Pocket takes an entirely different approach with a custom Field-Programmable Gate Array chip that’s programmed to function exactly like the Game Boy, Game Boy Color, Game Boy Advance, Sega Game Gear, and several other retro handhelds did.
The result is a handheld that plays games from all of those systems absolutely flawlessly without skipped frames, graphical errors, or audio sync issues. The Analogue Pocket’s FPGA is paired with a beautiful 3.5-inch LCD display packing more pixels per inch than even the iPhone 13 Pro’s display. The screen not only makes classic handheld games look amazing, it can also perfectly emulate how these games all appeared on their original systems with the limits of ‘80s and ‘90s display technology. It’s the perfect Game Boy—but good luck getting your hands on one. —Andrew Liszewski