Some of the most exciting features promised for the Analogue Pocket didn’t make it when the console finally shipped late last year, but in a short blog post today, the company revealed that Pocket OS v1.1 will be officially available from July. though initially as a public beta for those who like to live dangerously.
The Analogue Pocket sets it apart from other handheld consoles that can play retro games by using custom hardware that almost perfectly replicates the electronics found in classic handhelds like the Nintendo Game Boy, Game Boy Advance, and Sega Game Gear. Emulation can be notoriously buggy and imperfect, but the Pocket offers not only a flawless gaming experience, but one that makes retro games look better than ever, with a high-resolution screen that mimics even the look of older screens.
As with many highly anticipated devices in recent years, the Pocket was repeatedly delayed due to supply chain issues related to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, but Analogue kept those who pre-ordered the console sated with a handful of revelations from unannounced features that would be made available through future software updates. Originally expected to be released earlier this year shortly after the Pocket started shipping, the v1.1 update for Pocket OS will now arrive in July and bring with it three highly anticipated features.
Library turns the Analogue Pocket into the “end-all science database for the entire history of video games”, with a new database that provides detailed information about handheld games, including details about multi-version games such as The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening, which has 18 different variants. The Pocket will let users know exactly which version of a game cartridge they are playing when inserted, which is a feature that will also come in handy for cartridge testing to confirm whether they are authentic or fake.
The v1.1 update will also include tools for developers looking to take advantage of Analogue Pocket’s second but currently unused FPGA chip, potentially expanding what other console games can be played on the handheld. There will also be a feature called Memories: an advanced way to save a player’s progress at any time or anywhere in a game, and then let players share those saves with other gamers. Memories also make it easier to take and share screenshots, and we’re keeping our fingers crossed that as promised before, v1.1 will finally also provide an easy way for Game Boy Camera fans to get their snapshots of the accessory via the Pocket’s microSD memory card slot.