There’s still no firm release date for the delayed Analogue Pocket (outside of the broader “December 2021” window that the company last provided in September), but Analogue is looking to whet players’ appetites with the next best thing: a deep look at AnalogueOS, the new custom software that will power the Pocket whenever it does actually arrive.
As one might expect for a retro gaming device, AnalogueOS features a minimal, pixel-art style design that’s meant to get you into games as easily as possible.
But Analogue is taking its goal of making the ultimate retro gaming device seriously. There’s a new “Library” feature, with a massive database that the company has built from the ground up with the goal of serving as a comprehensive historical archive for retro gaming. Players will be able to browse around and explore the history of classic games and developers, sorted by region, system, publisher, and more. The Library will also let players pull in box art or title screens for games that they’re playing and even read physical cartridges to identify the exact revision and version of a game. There’s also playlist support, too, for creating custom lists of favorites.
But one of the most interesting features is what Pocket calls “Memories,” which should allow players to capture and load save states directly to and from a cartridge and even share them with other players to load onto their cartridges — something the company says has never been done before. Memories will also allow for players to save and share screenshots, too — a staple of modern consoles that it’s looking to bring to older games.
Lastly, AnalogueOS will offer a variety of tools for tracking gameplay, including logging how long and when you played specific games. AnalogueOS is also meant to be a stepping stone for the company — one that will (eventually) be available for other Analogue products, too.
And while all that sounds very neat, there are a lot of caveats in Analogue’s announcement here. For example, while the Library, Memories, and Tracking features all sound great, they won’t be available on the initial AnalogueOS 1.0 — rather, they’ll be coming later “on AnalogueOS 1.1 and beyond.”
Additionally, when the Library feature does arrive, it’ll only support Game Boy Advance, Game Boy Color, Game Boy, and Game Gear games. Neo Geo Pocket Color, Neo Geo Pocket, TurboGrafx-16 and Atari Lynx support will come alongside the cartridge adapters in the future.
The first Pocket Analogue consoles are expected to ship “at the latest in December.”