The Pocket, the handheld version of the retro console, is finally opening up for pre-orders soon. That’s the good news. The bad news is that it won’t be shipping until 2021, ostensibly because the coronavirus is making supplies a little scarce.
We first discovered the Pocket last year — for those who don’t know, it’s a retro-styled handheld capable of playing Game Boy cartridges of all three varieties. With adapters, the Pocket can also play cartridges from the Game Gear, the NeoGeo Pocket Color, and the Atari Lynx. Eventually the plan, according to Analogue, is to sell it alongside a dock by which you can play your games on a TV, just like the Nintendo Switch. You can pre-order a few other items for the pocket, including the TV dock, the aforementioned adapters and a hard plastic protector case — none of which were available when last I saw the device.
I admit, I was rather intrigued by this item when I first discovered it existed. There are a number of games I loved on my old handhelds that never got remasters (though if the developers of Spyro are looking for a free idea, there was a trio of awesome games on the Game Boy Advance… hint hint). Their cartridge form is the only playable one. The Pocket fixes one of the fundamental problems I have with retro consoles: namely, that they don’t make use of the existing physical media, just emulates a few of them. So it’s possible the Pocket might have more of a shelf-life, so to speak, than say the NES or SNES Classics.
Unfortunately, it appears that shipping is going to take quite some time — according to the company’s update on Instagram, the pandemic has put the squeeze on supply lines. Shipping’s not expected to start until May 2021, due to “the unfortunate global state of affairs and supply chain challenges outside of our control.” No word on whether these supply difficulties will effect the availability of the accessories.
Pre-orders open August 3 and can be made from the company’s website. It comes in black and white forms and will sell for $199.99.