2021 could possibly be an important 12 months for different consoles

Analogue Pocket

At first look, the Analogue Pocket appears to be like like a brand new model of Nintendo’s iconic Recreation Boy Pocket from the mid-90s. And it’s, form of. The hand held accepts unique Recreation Boy cartridges, but in addition these launched for the Recreation Boy Coloration and Recreation Boy Advance. Meaning you possibly can bounce between Pokémon Pink, The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons and Advance Wars on the identical bus journey. Analogue can also be planning $30 adapters that can allow you to play Recreation Gear, Neo Geo Pocket Coloration, Atari Lynx, TurboGrafx-16/PC Engine and SuperGrafx video games.

Analogue Pocket


The Analogue Pocket is greater than a ‘play all the pieces’ machine, although. The hand held improves upon the unique Recreation Boy design with two additional face buttons, twin shoulder buttons on both aspect of the cartridge slot, and three small system buttons. There’s additionally stereo audio system, a headphone jack and a 4,300 mAh battery that expenses over USB-C. The three.5-inch show has a 1,600 x 1,440 decision, too, that ought to supply superior brightness and shade replica. Lastly, the corporate will promote a $99 dock that permits you to play cartridge-based video games on a TV.

The Pocket will even assist Nanoloop, an utility that musicians use to create chiptune music. The performance might assist justify the Pocket’s steep sticker value. At $199.99, it’s costlier than Nintendo’s Swap Lite handheld. Some will argue that’s a steal, although, contemplating the display screen and inner {hardware} required to run so many cartridge varieties. The primary items are anticipated to ship in Might 2021. Shopping for one could possibly be a problem, although: Analogue opened pre-orders final August and bought out inside minutes, upsetting many hopeful clients.

Analogue Duo

The Pocket isn’t the one Analogue machine to assist TurboGrafx-16 cartridges. Analogue can also be engaged on a house console known as the Duo. Because the identify implies, it has two slots for bodily media. The one on the left is for HuCard cartridges — the format that the TurboGrafx-16 and PC Engine launched with — whereas the proper accepts discs that had been designed for the TurboGrafx-CD add-on. As well as, the Duo will assist titles developed for the PC Engine SuperGrafx, a successor to the TurboGrafx-16 that was solely launched in France and Japan.

Analogue Duo


Just like the Pocket, Analogue is utilizing field-programmable gate array (FPGA) chips to learn the unique TurboGrafx-16, PC Engine and SuperGrafx video games. Meaning the Duo acts like the unique {hardware} and doesn’t depend on any software program emulation or ROM information to work. There’s just one draw back: Analogue hasn’t developed a chip to emulate the PC-FX simply but. If you wish to play video games from that specific system, you’ll have to look elsewhere. Nonetheless, it’s a phenomenal console aimed toward a small however passionate a part of the neighborhood. (How many individuals acquire TurboGrafx-16 video games?) Analogue says the Duo will come out someday subsequent 12 months for $199.


Panic’s Playdate is a unusual little factor. It has a monochrome display screen, in contrast to the Analogue Pocket, and a fold-out crank on the right-hand aspect. The latter isn’t there to energy the gadget, fortunately. It’s a real management technique, identical to the D-pad and twin face buttons. Teenage Engineering, the corporate that designed the OP-1 synthesizer and Capcom-themed pocket synths, helped Panic dream up the undeniably cute {hardware}. It measures 74×76×9mm, which is smaller than the Recreation Boy Pocket and, due to this fact, way more moveable than the Nintendo Swap and Swap Lite.

Panic Playdate


Panic is greatest recognized for its developer-focused Mac and iOS software program, resembling Nova and Transmit. The corporate has additionally revealed the occasional online game, together with Firewatch and Untitled Goose Recreation. As Panic’s Greg Maletic informed Engadget final 12 months, the Playdate is supposed to be a religious successor to Nintendo’s iconic Recreation & Watch sequence. It’s since morphed into one thing that sits between these units and a extra subtle handheld. Each Playdate is a devkit, as an example, and homeowners will have the ability to set up third-party video games instantly on the system. “[Developers] gained’t have to undergo us,” Panic confirmed in a weblog put up final October.

The Playdate prices $149 and is predicted to ship early subsequent 12 months. For that value, you get a ‘season’ of free video games which can be unlocked on a weekly foundation. It was initially going to be 12, however the console’s protracted growth has allowed Panic “to fee much more Season One video games from extra builders,” in line with a weblog put up. A spread of builders together with Keita Takahashi, the creator of Katamari Damacy and Wattam, have confirmed that they’re engaged on Playdate titles. Panic has additionally shared a bunch of neighborhood prototypes together with a Doom port.

Atari VCS

Atari isn’t the online game behemoth that it was. The corporate, greatest recognized for the Atari 2600 and traditional titles resembling Pong, was most influential within the Seventies and ‘80s. Since then, the enduring model has been bought a number of occasions and struggled via chapter. What stays of Atari hasn’t given up, although. The corporate is getting ready an all-new system known as the Atari VCS. The design is definitely Atari-like, with lengthy idents alongside the highest and, for not less than one mannequin known as the VCS 800, a fake walnut end on the entrance. The corporate has additionally made a retro joystick to accompany its tackle a contemporary controller. Longtime Atari followers will even respect the Vault, a set of classics that features Asteroids, Breakout and Centipede.

Atari VCS


The Atari VCS is greater than a retro console, although. It’s a “fully-functional mini-PC,” in line with Atari COO Michael Arzt, powered by an AMD Ryzen R1606G processor with built-in Vega graphics. By default, the console will run Atari OS, a model of Linux designed for the lounge. You’ll have the ability to use “PC Mode,” nevertheless, to put in and boot different working methods resembling Home windows,Chrome OS and Valve’s Steam OS. Atari believes this mannequin units the console aside from cheaper Android-based options. The VCS 800 could be a easy sport console for the lounge, however it may also be a semi-decent PC for shopping the net and accessing fundamental apps.

An Atari VCS 800 All-in Bundle, which features a console, joystick and customary controller, will be pre-ordered for $389.99. That’s costly: for $10 additional, you might purchase a PlayStation 5 Digital Version. The console was first revealed because the Ataribox at E3 2017. It was renamed in March 2018 after which crowdfunded on Indiegogo a few months later. Atari hopes to ship backer items and a small variety of pre-orders earlier than the top of the 12 months. Full retail manufacturing gained’t occur till January 2021, nevertheless. The VCS has been a very long time coming and a few persons are understandably skeptical about Atari’s means to ship. The corporate is tiny, in spite of everything, and dealing on eyebrow-raising initiatives resembling cryptocurrency and Atari-themed inns.

Intellivision Amico

Atari isn’t the one retro model trying a comeback. A staff led by Tommy Tallarico, an business veteran that’s labored on over 300 video games, is making a brand new Intellivision system. The Amico is supposed to be a less complicated system that anybody can play, no matter their age or expertise with video video games. It comes with two controllers which have discs as a substitute of D-pads, 4 shoulder buttons, a small touchscreen and all the pieces required for fundamental movement controls. The console will include six video games and a bunch of downloadable extras that price between $2.99 and $9.99, together with an unique sequel to the beloved Earthworm Jim platformers.

The Intellivision staff believes the informal market is woefully underserved in the mean time. Trendy video games are too difficult, in line with Tallarico, and don’t encourage individuals to play in the identical room. The Amico will clear up this with a sport library that doesn’t embrace any violence, unhealthy language or sexual content material. There gained’t be any loot bins or microtransactions, both, so dad and mom can have full confidence in what their kids are enjoying. That’s the concept, anyway.

Intellivision Amico


Just like the VCS, the Amico is pricey. The tray-shaped system will price round $249 at launch, which is simply $50 in need of the Nintendo Swap and Xbox Sequence S. (You can additionally argue that the Swap serves an identical want for family-friendly gaming.) Nonetheless, there’s a bunch of people that grew up within the Nineteen Eighties and bear in mind the Intellivision identify with fondness. For these individuals, the curated library and simplistic controllers could be sufficient to justify the asking value. Tallarico’s staff was initially focusing on an October 2020 launch, however that date has since been pushed to subsequent Might. If the timing traces up, we might have an Atari and Intellivision rematch on our palms.

Swap Professional

We will’t finish this record with out giving the long-rumoured Swap Professional a point out. To be clear, Nintendo has by no means confirmed the console’s existence. Bloomberg reported in August that the corporate was planning to launch an upgraded Swap subsequent 12 months, although. In response to unnamed sources, the corporate has thought-about a extra highly effective mannequin that may assist 4K visuals. It might substitute the usual Swap — which has already acquired a minor revision, upping the battery life barely — or sit alongside it. There’s no assure {that a} Swap Professional will occur, although. Nintendo has carried out extremely properly in the course of the pandemic and bought a staggering variety of consoles over the past three quarters. Nonetheless, a Swap sequel might assist preserve that unimaginable momentum subsequent 12 months.

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