Analogue Pocket announced; can play a variety of handheld systems' games through FPGA

Discussion in 'GBAtemp & Scene News' started by Chary, Oct 16, 2019.

  1. genxor

    genxor Advanced Member

    Jan 14, 2006
    I wonder how warm it could get. Looks nice!
  2. Rahkeesh

    Rahkeesh GBAtemp Maniac

    Apr 3, 2018
    United States
    3DS has a comparatively trash screen that can't be well scaled to, and it has to emulate GB/GBC rather than playing "natively" like GBA, meaning additional input lag and incompatibilities.
    Last edited by Rahkeesh, Oct 17, 2019
  3. Bullseye

    Bullseye GBAtemp Fan

    Feb 22, 2016
    Agreed that the screen is not the best (it never was with the original GB and GBC) but how much input lag are we talking about between VC and original?
  4. cearp

    cearp 瓜老外

    May 26, 2008
    Some people spend close to that to mod their gameboys as it is.
    Get a custom metal housing, backlight, rechargable battery... that all adds up.
    Plus the labor $ that you pay if you want someone to do it for you/buy premodded?
    Have a look at these ebay items: - £120 - £160 - $215 - AU$350 - $468

    Now, this brand new device Analogue are selling is fantastic value.
    (Fantastic value to the right person! If you are not into gameboys, or gaming for that matter, sure, it's dumb to spend your money on it.)
    - it plays all gameboy games virtually perfectly due to the guy/team reverse engineering the real hardware
    - it accepts real carts
    - a real link port
    - rechargable battery
    - amazing screen
    - it has not 1 but 2 FPGAs. I'm not sure which ones, but FPGAs are not cheap chips due to their nature. With the 2nd one they are letting us do what we want with, e.g. supporting some other game consoles virtually perfectly as well!
    If you buy the separate dock, you can even connect it to your tv, and it has a DAC so you can get perfect audio out of your games/synthesizers.
    It's really a phenomenal system, and 'sad to say' but I know that Nintendo wouldn't have made a 'Gameboy Classic' as cool or as good as this. You can't even play carts in the SNES Classic... it's really just a fun little cash grab.
    But Analogue make things for the enthusiasts.
    Last edited by cearp, Oct 17, 2019
  5. zxr750j

    zxr750j GBAtemp Regular

    Sep 29, 2003
    I've got a really nice FPGA lying around, my passme
    cearp likes this.
  6. Xalusc

    Xalusc Advanced Member

    Apr 7, 2013
    That's cool and all, but how about WonderSwan?
  7. SuperDan

    SuperDan Im Aware ... Im Unaware

    Aug 17, 2016
    United States
    Londoner , Living In Louisiana ...
    $200 .. No chance .. I'm out
  8. FAST6191

    FAST6191 Techromancer

    pip Reporter
    Nov 21, 2005
    United Kingdom
    For most purposes and most games until you hit speedrun territory (possibly even tool assisted speedrun) I imagine it would be good enough, give or take the screen scaling and general quality. The GBA is reasonably potent compared to the older consoles with similar looking games but at the same time not all that tricky to emulate -- unlike many other systems of the time there is only one core in one CPU to emulate, the memory handling is fairly basic, and cartridges themselves don't add anything to the mix, or if you prefer there is a reasonable chance you could play the entire GBA library more than well enough to say you did with the emulator made about the time the GBA hit North America (the pre Japanese release emulators might be a bigger ask).

    I don't really have too many games to stress test this sort of thing though (at least not in the style of and ).
    Most times we are more concerned with anti piracy and similar such things ( ). Still the Golden Sun audio is a fairly notable torture test for emulators, and the game called payback can tax emulators fairly heavily. If you want to try to find some of the old GBA slot supercard compatibility lists you might get something that struggles with low speed devices (the main one went offline years ago and is limited. has a few for another similarly tricky cart), and the supercard DSTwo GBA emulator list might be of interest here as well ( ). has a few interesting articles which might yield some games with some quirks you can test.
    Bullseye likes this.
  9. PatrickD85

    PatrickD85 GBAtemp Advanced Fan

    Jul 4, 2012
    in front of a screen...
    Cool little device though but ... well I am pretty content with all the available options already.
    Sure wish though that Nintendo would do something when it comes to their GB, GBC, GBA library on Nintendo Switch Online. But that is a story for a different day / time I guess...
  10. cearp

    cearp 瓜老外

    May 26, 2008
    possible theoretically, but I don't see a wonderswan fpga core, so I don't think anyone has made it.
    but if it was made, and it worked with the analogue pocket's fpga, sure, that's exactly the sort of thing analogue want us to do :)
  11. SG854

    SG854 If It Bleeds, We Can Kill It

    Feb 17, 2017
    Are they really? I prefer using the Higan Cycle Accurate Emulator over the Nintendo Switch's Emulator. Run that in retroarch's with it's run ahead feature and you can have input lag that's better then original hardware.

    Right now FPGA's are expensive and I would consider them a viable option for myself when the price goes down. I can see them as the future for Nintendo's mini series of consoles. That's the route Nintendo should go down when they become cheaper. But there is no difference between hardware simulation and software emulation. It depends on how good the developer is for both solutions.
  12. azoreseuropa

    azoreseuropa GBAtemp Guru

    Nov 6, 2002
    United States
    No thanks. I will stick with homebrew on the go with Switch. It is priceless to me!
  13. sarkwalvein

    sarkwalvein There's hope for a Xenosaga port.

    GBAtemp Patron
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    Jun 29, 2007
    If hackable (hoping someday) to be honest the Switch Lite looks like a perfect portable emulation machine to be honest.
    And that is also $200.

    PS: it seems obvious that I am not such a perfect-emulation 0-lag advocate.
  14. cybrian

    cybrian GBAtemp Regular

    Sep 14, 2009
    United States
    The one thing that’s sexiest to me about this is the screen. It sounds too good to be true and until I see one it is, but Analogue has made pretty hard-to-believe things in the past.

    It probably sounds too high a resolution to be useful, but I can argue that its super high DPI and large area are perfect for recreating the subpixel layouts of specific screens. Like, the actual geometry and layout of the pixels in the screen of a Game Boy, or a Game Boy Color, or what have you. You can draw gaps in between the pixels. A filter can do all this in hardware on the FPGA.

    Hell, you could easily even emulate some dust and scratches on the lens if you’re on the crazy side and want something a little too authentic.

    Is this useful? Well, Analogue’s traditionally marketed themselves based on the accuracy of their products as a niche for the sort of hardcore retro gamers that might collect Sony CRTs.

    Personally, I think that at this DPI, with appropriate filtering and scaling a GBC screen will look better than it could on virtually anything else. I might buy one, even if it costs the same as an Xbox One, because if nothing else it’s an insanely high resolution screen that fits in my pocket.
    SpiffyJUNIOR and Sophie-bear like this.
  15. the_randomizer

    the_randomizer The Temp's official fox whisperer

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    Our Patreon
    Apr 29, 2011
    United States
    Dr. Wahwee's castle
    Yes because emulators are illegal. Oh wait, not they're not, look up copyright law please, like Sony v. Connectix and Sony v. Bleem! where Sony lost on all lawsuits.
    FPGA is an approximation of hardware, not emulation, so yeah, Nintendo can't do jack.
  16. darkdev

    darkdev Newbie

    Oct 18, 2019
    It just lacks the HuCard support.
    I wonder if the Master System adapter (Master Gear) will work out of the box.
  17. J-Machine

    J-Machine Self proclaimed Pog champion

    Aug 25, 2011
    A concrete Igloo
    it will need a cartridge adaptor for anything not GB/gbc/gba. these things get a jail broken firmware fast though possibly in a month after release it will
  18. darkdev

    darkdev Newbie

    Oct 18, 2019
    Indeed I'm talking about the "master system - game gear adapter" on its game gear cartridge adapter
  19. Godofcheese

    Godofcheese Insane

    Dec 31, 2016
    Shivering Isles
    What, I never said that they were.
    Fucking hell man
  20. chaoskagami

    chaoskagami G̷̘̫̍̈́̊̓̈l̴̙͔̞͠i̵̳͊ţ̸̙͇͒̓c̵̬̪̯̥̳͒͌̚h̵̹̭͛̒̊̽̚

    pip Developer
    Mar 26, 2016
    United States
    Sold. I needed something to replace my dead DE0-nano with. I wonder what FPGA it uses, though. Because, you know? I. Hate. VHDL. Verilog or death.