Some of the most interesting features promised for the Analogue Pocket didn’t make the cut when the console finally shipped late last year, but in a short blog post today, the company revealed that Pocket OS v1.1 will officially be available starting in July, although initially as a public beta for those who like to live dangerously.
The Analogue Pocket set itself apart from other handheld consoles capable of playing retro games through the use of 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 they ever did, with a high-res screen that even recreates the look of older displays.
As with many highly anticipated devices over the past couple of years, the Pocket was repeatedly delayed as a result of supply chain issues related to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, but Analogue kept those who’d pre-ordered the console satiated with a handful of reveals of 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 to Pocket OS will now arrive in July, and will bring with it three highly-anticipated features.
Library will turn the Analogue Pocket into the “end-all scholarly database for all of video game history,” with a new database providing detailed information on handheld games, including specifics on games with multiple versions, such as The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening, which has 18 different variants. The Pocket will let users know exactly what version of a game cartridge they’re playing when inserted, which is a feature that will also be useful for testing cartridges to confirm if they’re authentic or fake.
The v1.1 update will also include tools for developers wishing to take advantage of the 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 of saving a players’ progress at anytime or anywhere in a game, then letting players share those saves with other gamers. Memories will also make it easier to snap and share screenshots, and we’re keeping our fingers crossed that, as previously promised, v1.1 will also finally provide an easy way for Game Boy Camera fans to get their snapshots off the accessory through the Pocket’s microSD memory card slot.