The Analogue Pocket handheld device has been delayed. Those who were excited about the all-in-one Game Boy playing console will have to wait a bit longer, as component shortages have caused a rather significant delay for the handheld.
Pre-orders went live for the Analogue Pocket last year, an item that was marketed as the ultimate retro handheld device. The portable gaming console costs $200 and plays Game Boy, Game Boy Color, and Game Boy Advance games on a 3.5" LCD screen that is capable of a 1600 x 1440 resolution. The excitement level was high for the portable console, but Analogue Pocket has taken a bit of a blow with this recent delay.
Instead of the initially planned shipping date of May 2021 for the Analogue Pocket, the delay has pushed the shipping all the way to October 2021; an additional five months. According to the tweet and update from Analogue Support, this is because of logistical issues and severe electrical component shortages that were out of the control of the company. Although not mentioned, many gaming conferences, devices, and games have been delayed by COVID-19, and it is possible that the logistical issues and component shortages had to do with the pandemic.
As far as those who pre-ordered the Analogue Pocket, it is possible to cancel and get a complete refund. The additional five-month wait may be enough of a turn-off for some, and Analogue is being kind enough to refund anyone who is unhappy based on the unfortunate news. The Analogue Pocket pre-orders sold-out almost immediately last year when sales went live, as the interest in the product was extremely high, and likely still is even with this hiccup.
Although the news about the delay is discouraging, the demand for the Analogue Pocket is real. Analogue has promised to make more Pockets and get as many portable handhelds to its fans as possible. While the component shortage puts a delay to the process in general, the team will likely be doing its best to meet the high demand.
There is a nostalgia for the handheld gaming days of the 90s and 2000s. The Game Boy era, in particular, is one that so many video game fans remember fondly. Analogue looks to have tapped into that with the Pocket in a very interesting way. Unfortunately, it is off to a bit of a bumpy start. But as long as it gets back on track quickly, the Analogue Pocket has the opportunity to be a big success.
Long before consoles like the Nintendo Switch allowed people to resume their quests at a moment's notice in a waiting room or airport terminal, gamers were introduced to the concept of portable gaming through the Game Boy, Nintendo's 8-bit handheld console, first released in 1989. Though many subsequent additions followed, including the Game Boy Color and Game Boy Pocket, kids of a certain generation have strong associations with that first unit and the memorable loading screen that appeared when the system was turned on.
Some titles and accessories for the Game Boy have held up better than others (it's unlikely too many people are still using the Game Boy Camera these days), and the black-and-white graphics seem archaic by today's standards. However, there are a few games that can still get players excited.
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