Over the last couple of days Analogue, a company well known for producing products that allow people to play retro games on modern monitors, has announced their latest piece of hardware, the Analogue Pocket. The device allows for a plethora of cartridge games to be played on a high-fidelity screen, but will also be a huge step forward in the realms of games preservation.
The Analogue Pocket is a brand new device, launching in 2020. The device has been built around a first in class, 3.5 inch, 615 ppi, LCD, which looks phenomenal in the promotional images. The screen’s resolution is 1600 x 1440, which is way more than enough to play the types of games it’s designed for. In fact, the device has ten times the resolution of the original GameBoy, so you can imagine just how good those games will look.
Not only is the screen brilliant, but Analogue Pocket is capable of playing GameBoy, GameBoy Colour, and GameBoy Advance games right out of the box. The device also works with adaptors for other devices, meaning it can also play games that were originally released for Game Gear, Neo Geo Pocket Colour, Atari Lynx, and way more on top of that. For the device to be able to do this is incredible by itself, but it’s important that we remember exactly why a device like Analogue Pocket is so important.
We live in an age where consumers expect a product to be in their hands the moment they purchase it, particularly with games. It’s becoming increasingly common for games to be purchased digitally, which means that there are steadily less physical copies of games available for people to hold onto. Part of the issue is the growing trend for digital purchases, but another is the fact that it’s actively encouraged for people to throw things away if they don’t use them. Most people won’t now bother with selling their old games, they’ll just bin them, which is a travesty for preservation.
Some games would be gone forever if not for the work of people trying to preserve games. P.T. for example, has been pulled from all digital storefronts, meaning they only way to play it is to purchase a Playstation 4 console with it already installed, a very expensive way of getting it. But P.T. is just one example of a game that’s close to extinction. With newer consoles providing so many games, there’s no reason to hold onto your original GameBoy or the games for it, so they’re also being thrown in the bin.
Analogue Pocket makes the job of games preservation a lot easier though. It may be incredibly difficult to get your hands on a working Atari Lynx, but it’s not as hard to buy copies of games for it. With Analogue Pocket you can play those games, without needing to spend loads of money on a console that may or may not work. Thanks to this new device, the gaming audience of 2020, which will be bigger than it is now, will be able to enjoy these games from the ancient history of the industry.
Nintendo Switch for the GameBoy Era
It’s no small stretch to call the Analogue Pocket the Nintendo Switch of the GameBoy era. The company behind the device, Analogue, has said that they’re planning on releasing a dock for the device, allowing these older games to be played on modern screens. Not only that, but the dock opens up a whole new angle for games preservation. With a dock and monitor, it’s possible to record the signal being sent between the two, meaning YouTube can be filled with playthroughs of these titles from handheld gaming’s golden age. A whole new generation of streamers can play these games for millions of people to watch online, bringing them back from the brink.
As an older gamer, I love that I’ll be able to play GameBoy games on a modern screen, and a modern monitor in the future. I’m a big supporter of games preservation, and I hope to see the device being put to good use for the cause when it launches next year.
Let me know if you’re excited to play these games in 2020 in the comments.