Launch Analogue Pocket Thoughts & Impressions

After a year and a half, my Analogue Pocket finally arrived. I am stoked to have yet another way to play Game Boy games at high-fidelity, a pursuit I have been on for over 15 years. It’s not the end-all-be-all of course, but it is another tool in my video game console tool belt.

I wanted to whip up some initial impressions, instead of reviewing it full stop. Let’s use that to segue into the first takeaway.

The Pocket has uncashed checks. At launch, there are no third-party cores, major features are pending on AnalogueOS 1.1, and Analogue’s own promised core support via adapters. The future, like a modern console (or game) is contingent on software support. I’m confident it will be delivered. Heck, the jailbreak could be dropping any day now. It’s still early, but after two years of hype, I was hopeful for more at launch.

This also applies to the Dock. I was shocked to find out the Dock does not support Analogue’s own DAC on day one. There are no Display Modes on the Dock. Settings feel like the bare minimum. I know the Dock was supposed to launch after the Pocket released. It’s safe to assume the delays allowed Analogue to launch them simultaneously, but the Dock feels unfinished. It performs as advertised, but it’s a far cry from Analogue’s usual baseline.

Why is there no Game Boy link cable support while docked? Maybe it can come someday via UBS. I tried using a USB-C extension cable, but all it did was charge the Pocket. Someone on reddit claims they got one to work, but haven’t shared which cable or shown proof. All I want is the Tingle Tuner in 1080p to capture it…

My last complaint at launch is why no Phil Fish boot sequence? The home consoles from Analogue all have neat boot animations with a pleasing tune. I really wish there was more than a white Analogue logo. I miss the Game Boy boot as well, but I understand why that can’t be officially included for copyright reasons. Maybe with the jailbreak I can get my chime back.

I’ll throw out one specific praise of the console: the Display Modes absolutely deliver. I learned from My Life in Gaming’s review that due to the displays high pixel density, Analogue is able to use the pixels and sub-pixels to create these modes. It’s not a mask or filter. I’m truly floored by their performance. I do wish we could tweak them or create our own. Maybe that comes someday with software.

The display truly is unlike anything else. You really couldn’t ask for a better display, especially in the current market of replacement IPS panels.

The Pocket is solid hardware that is now living under the cloud of future software to truly unlock its full potential. With orders backed into 2023, we’ll see what kind of experience those owners will have on their own launch of the console.

Pocket Available for Purchase Next Week

Pocket will be available to purchase on December 14th at 8am PST.

Due to industry wide component price increases, the price of Pocket is now $219. All other Pocket accessories will remain the same price.

There are three fulfillment groups which have the following estimated ship dates. Everyone who wants a Pocket will be able to secure an order.

Analogue is opening the Pocket back up for order on December 14 at 8:00 AM PST / 11:00 AM EST. The orders won’t close down, instead just having orders be grouped up into chunks ranging between Q1 2022, Q4 2022, and 2023.

Existing orders begin shipping the same day and have been upgraded to 2-day FedEx shipping.

Pocket accessories will also be going up for order, but it is unclear if the Lynx, TurboGrafx-16, and Neo Geo Color adapters will be available.

Analogue Pocket Shipping Notices are Being Sent Out

Analogue Pocket pre-orders will begin shipping on December 13th. Due to unprecedented shipping congestion, your order will ship and be delivered between December 14th – December 30th.

Finally.

Analogue is offering holds for people that may be out of town during this window of time. Those holds can be requested until November 28 and will begin shipping on January 3, 2022. If you do not need to change your address or request a hold, your Pocket is supposed to start shipping in the coming weeks.

Analogue OS Preview

Last weekend on October 16, 2021, Analogue revealed a new product. Actually, Analogue has revealed something on October 16 for the past 4 years (2017 – Super NT, 2018 – Mega SG, 2019 – Pocket, 2020 – Duo). Time to put that in my calendar for next year. For the fifth annual announcement, Analogue revealed not hardware, but software dubbed Analogue OS.

Being an operating system, I think Analogue OS is the company’s first truly unique offering. Other companies offer playing old game cartridges on modern displays, albeit technically poor, like a Retron console. Open-source platforms like MiSTer provide the same, if not better, level of FPGA-based emulation for multiple consoles, instead of one like the Super NT and Mega SG. Just like macOS is tailor-made for Mac computers or Android is made for Google’s Pixel, Analogue OS appears to be the software backbone of Analogue’s hardware going forward.

Analogue dumped a lot of screenshots and information about what the OS can and will be able to do. It will launch first on the Pocket, which is (hopefully) no later than 71 days away as of this writing based off the most recent delay. While far more difficult to fully gauge from words and images than actually using the OS, I wanted to dig in to the announcement and promise of Analogue OS. So, let’s start with Analogue’s previous software offerings and what they have previously shown off on the Pocket.

Continue reading “Analogue OS Preview”

Fancy Game Boy Analogue Pocket Pre-Order: The Kotaku Review

Fancy Game Boy Analogue Pocket Pre-Order: The Kotaku Review by Alexandra Hall for Kotaku

But even if the Pocket misses its would-be October birthday I will not despair. Truth is, over the past 368 days, I’ve enjoyed my pre-order immensely. So enough with all this glass-half-empty woe-is-me talk about “actual video game systems” I can’t currently touch with my “actual human hands.” Let’s talk about what I do have. Besides, obviously, disposable income and weird ideas for articles.

One thing I have is an order confirmation email. It is dated August 3, 2020, and has a timestamp of 8:03 a.m. I remember, just over a year ago today, how excited I was to see this email arrive in my inbox. I felt like I had won a lottery.

Speaking of the Analogue Pocket, this was a real funny article, especially as someone fortunate enough to have a pre-order as well. It’s a knee-slapper regardless, I think.

Analogue Restocking Super NT, Mega SG, and DAC Next Week

Super Nt, Mega Sg and DAC are restocked.
Available Mon Aug 9, 2021 at 8am PDT.
Limit 2 per customer per console.
All orders will ship by the end of the week.

Analogue via email announcement

Hopefully their ordering system can sustain the demand. No word on quantity, so I expect they’ll sell out rather quick. After being out of stock since January 2021 and a small restock, hopefully these stay up for a smidgen longer.

If you want any other these devices, I’d prepare for Monday. Personally, I love my Super NT and DAC. I hope this is a good sign that the Analogue Pocket will hit the October 2021 delivery window, after being delayed out of May 2021 and late 2020.

Super NT Restock Happening Tomorrow

Analogue made the long awaited announcement via Twitter

Super Nt will be restocked in Classic, SF, and Black.
Available April 9, 2021 at 8am PDT.
Limit 2 per customer.

This is no different than the Pocket pre-order structure. I’m curious if it too will sell out in 10 minutes. Hopefully, Analogue’s recent openness about their supply chain and ordering process will turn into action as these restocks happen before Pocket’s launch in October.

Analogue Pocket Delayed to October 2021

Pocket is delayed once more.

Pocket is delayed and shipping in October 2021.

The current global state of affairs continues to create supply chain challenges outside of our control.

There have been sudden and severe electrical component shortages as well as logistical issues leading to a domino effect of challenges for nearly everyone in the industry.

We’re working hard to get Pocket out as fast as possible and we appreciate your understanding and patience. An email is being sent to everyone who pre-ordered Pocket. If you have any questions about your pre-order or would like to cancel at anytime for a full refund, please contact Analogue Support at support.analogue.co or by email at support@analogue.co.

Unsurprising given the chip shortages around the world. It is such a shame this delay happened just one month before the previous target month of May 2021. I just talked about its impending launch with Cameron Hawkins on my new podcast, since we both snagged a pre-order.

I can’t possibly see the Analogue Duo hitting 2021 now either. Analogue has reassured that the Super NT will be restocked next month, with the DAC and Mega SG following afterward.

I am really glad I went ahead and assembled a MiSTer now too. Now we wait for October…

Analogue Talks Pocket, Bots, Shipping, and Definitions

2021: Pocket, Bots, Scalpers, Limited Quantities vs Limited Editions and Customer Support – 2/22/21 – Analogue

The current global state of affairs has resulted in consequences that have affected the worldwide supply chain and this has temporarily slowed our ability to keep many of our products in stock (Super Nt, Mega Sg) and reduced production capacity for Pocket. We are aware that many users are frustrated that Pocket pre-orders sold out quickly and both Super Nt and Mega Sg are currently unavailable.

Pocket is not a Limited Edition product.  See below for a description of all terminology Analogue products are presented in. More Pockets will be available for purchase in 2021. With all things considered, we will be doing our best to keep Pocket in stock in 2021. Please sign up for a Stock Notification at analogue.co/store and you will be sent an email when Pocket will be available to purchase.

Analogue went all out with communication with their audience and being more transparent. It seems the company has heard the cries about the rough Pocket pre-order process and the their stock of other consoles being low/limited. This news comes as a positive sign that Analogue may be more open in the future. They still shared this information just months away from the restock of the Super NT, Mega SG, and DAC and the release of the Pocket, but some communication is better than none!

Between the restock, (hopefully) steady supply of Pocket consoles, and the launch of the Duo, Analogue is shaping up to have a solid 2021.

Analogue Console Restock Incoming

Super Nt, Mega Sg and DAC restocks incoming asap. Super Nt in March/April. Mega Sg and DAC soon after. There will be a heads up before live on the store. As always, sign up for stock notifications to be notified the instant they are back in stock: https://www.analogue.co/store

Analogue via Twitter

By the time the restocks come to fruition, the everything will have been out-of-stock for 3-4 months. The Super NT has been flickering out of stock since early 2020, while the Mega SG finally went out after Christmas 2020 along with the DAC. It is great to see Analogue restocking the consoles, especially the Super NT. We also just crossed the sub-100 days left until the end of May 2021, which is the current release window for the Pocket. The Duo is also supposed to be releasing this year. It seems Analogue’s production is kicking back up, but we have to see if it can keep up with demand.

Analogue Consoles Entirely Out of Stock

Analogue Store

I had a feeling that this was going to happen soon. I kept look at the Mega SG consoles, noticing that the stock was limited to the USA and JPN variant. The Super NT has been out of stock throughout 2020. The Analogue Pocket famously sold out in 10 minutes. The Analogue DAC is also out of stock, ending the second run of the niche digital-to-analog converter.

Those fortunate enough with an Analogue Pocket pre-order should expect the console in May 2021. Analogue is also launching a PC-Engine/Turbografx console dubbed the Analogue Duo this year. I imagine pre-orders will sell out immediately.

In fact, as of this writing, the only Analogue product in stock is a triple pack of Mega SG cartridge adapters for $49.99, plus $20~ in shipping. Hopefully Analogue can resupply all of their non-exclusive variant consoles and make some new ones (like an affordable NES console). They do rock solid work and I love my Super NT and DAC. I cannot wait for my Pocket to arrive to test and play it to no end. I just wish Analogue’s products were more widely available for folks.

Analogue Nt mini Noir: RGB321 – My Life in Gaming

Analogue Nt mini Noir – The Ultimate NES FPGA console? :: RGB321 / MY LIFE IN GAMING – YouTube

Nothing quite like a brand new MLiG video to kick off the weekend. Coury and Try go over every perceivable inch of the revised Nt mini Noir from Analogue, which no one can buy.

Maybe I should have gotten one of these instead of a PS5…Kidding aside, I always love MLiG’s videos and find them satisfying and oddly soothing. It is definitely worth the watch whether you copped a Nt mini Noir or passed.

Seeing the tech inside the Nt mini Noir reminds me that the Pocket is only supposed to be five months away. I am eagerly anticipating my own Pocket console and the newly announced Analogue Duo. I really should dig into that one soon.

Analogue Pocket Sells Out in 10 Minutes

Phew. What a stressful morning. I did manage to snag a black Analogue Pocket system along with a Dock, Sega Game Gear adapter, a link cable, and a case.

As for all the other Pocket consoles, the entire first-run sold out within 10 minutes. The high demand led to slamming Analogue’s store and plenty of customers—including myself—got stuck at the “select shipping” part of checkout. The loading wheel just kept on spinning. I managed to get through on my phone over LTE first before my computer loaded shipping options. Once the shipping options loaded for many, the items in their cart were suddenlyout of stock.”

Pocket pre-orders are sold out. We will be producing more and do our best to meet demand during this unfortunate global state of affairs.

Signup at http://analogue.co/store to be notified by email when we are able to make Pocket + accessories available again.

Analogue via Twitter

Now all that is left is to wait for May 2021. If you were lucky like myself or just want to read as much as possible about the Pocket, I’ve written two in-depth previews about the system. My first preview was back in April, detailing all we knew since its announcement in October 2019. The when Analogue announced today’s pre-orders, I wrote all about the new changes, accessories, and features.

Analogue Pocket Pre-Orders Go Live on August 3

Analogue has come forward and shared all the latest details surrounding their hotly anticipated console — Pocket. After a tease last week, Analogue has announced that pre-orders for the Pocket will begin next Monday, August 3, 2020 at 8:00 AM PST. Most of Pocket’s accessories will also go up for pre-order at the same time. There is a limit of two Pocket consoles per order, presumably to help mitigate demand.

The hardware itself has gotten some tweaks and clarifications as well. The “start,” “select,” and “home” buttons have been moved from the lower right corner to the bottom middle. The super high-resolution display retains its incredible specs and is now confirmed to be made out of Gorilla Glass. Another super snazzy feature is what Analogue dubs “Original Display Modes.” These allow users to mimic Game Boy, Game Boy Color, and Game Boy Advance screen properties—think scan lines for Game Boy systems. I wonder how far this kind of feature can and will go. The Pocket will support Game Boy and Game Gear (I think, but more on that in a bit) right away. Could features like mimicking Atari Lynx or Sega Game Gear screens become a reality? What about just the diverse screen types within the Game Boy line itself? Could I chose between a regular GBA, a frontlit GBA SP, a backlit GBA SP, and a Game Boy Micro? What about the DS screen? There is plenty of potential for this kind of feature and I wonder how far Analogue will take it.

There is also a sleep/wake feature built into the hardware; simply pressing the power button will put the Pocket to sleep and suspend gameplay. The Pocket has a 4300 mAh battery that can support 10+ hours of sleep time and 6-10 hours of game time. Recharging happens over USB-C and folks may use an 18W fast charger if they’d like. 

I found the biggest surprise from today’s announcements to be the plethora of accessories for the Pocket. The Dock got its time in the spotlight with its own improvements. Now there is a small recession to provide better stability for the Pocket itself. The Dock comes in at $99 and goes up for order the same day and time as the Pocket. It has two USB-A ports for wired controllers and supports both Bluetooth and 2.4g wireless controllers for up to four controllers at once. As someone who just bought a 2.4g 8BitDo controller, I am super stoked for its inclusion.

Besides all of the Game Boy games, Pocket will support Sega Game Gear, Neo Geo Pocket, and Atari Lynx. These adapters take their design language from Analogue’s Mega SG adapters and the DAC. The slick transparent design is right up my alley. Based off the images, the adapters appear to sit flush with the bottom half of the console. These adapters are $29.99 a pop and only the Game Gear adapter will be up for pre-order next week. I assume this is because Analogue already has the core for it thanks to the Mega SG. Since says that the Game Gear adapter will also ship in May 2021, I assume that the Pocket will also have Game Gear support out of the box, if you have the adapter. The other adapters only have a date of 2021.

There are cables out the wazoo for the Pocket. Besides a traditional style link cable, there are cables for connecting the Pocket to various music devices thanks to the inclusion of Nanoloop music software. There is a MIDI-IN cable, analog sync, and USB-A. All of these connect to the Pocket through the link cable port, just like one would use Nanoloop on a real Game Boy. I wonder if it would be possible to route it through the USB-C port though. I doubt it is a question of hardware, but rather software. It’d be nice to see this as an option down the line, instead of through a older port. All of the cables are $19.99, except for the traditional link cable and a USB-C to USB-C cable, both of which run for $15.99.

The Pocket has a few other odds and ends as far as accessories go. There is a clear plastic hard-shell case ($29.99) that also doubles are a vertical stand for the console. You can buy a tempered glass screen protector for $15.99 and a fast charging USB-C Power Supply for $19.99.

Analogue came out of with more than just hardware announcements today. They also announced two developer initiatives. First, Analogue has partnered with GB Studio to let people make Game Boy games and run them on the Pocket. GB Studio pitches itself as an “easy to use drag and drop retro game creator.” Analogue has also opened up a developer form for folks to apply for an Analogue Pocket FPGA dev kit so that developers can create their own cores before the system’s release next summer.

The Pocket feels like the end-all be-all for Analogue. It is more than just an FPGA console for the Game Boy, but this amalgamation of games, music, and development. I can’t wait to actually get my hands on one just to see how it feels and plays. I want to push its limits and explore the legacy that Pocket actually provides access to.

If you want to read more about the Pocket, I wrote a whole preview back in April based on everything Analogue publicly talked about. I compared the price to the competition, whipped up charts comparing resolutions, and broke down the software design.

Analogue Teases Pocket News

Jul. 27, 2020

8am PST

Analogue via Twitter

After roughly nine months of silence, Analogue has teased some sort of Pocket update. This could be preorders or just an update for the ambitious handheld device. Back in April, I whipped up a preview that went in to detail on everything we know about the Pocket.

Monday is going to be exciting.

Update: I reached out to Analogue and they seem very excited about the Pocket.