Analogue Pocket, continued: What’s worth adding to retro system’s $220 base? – Ars Technica

December 14, 2021 by No Comments

Enlarge / Time to unwrap this slew of Analogue Pocket add-on boxes and judge what’s inside.

Sam Machkovech

As a dedicated, Game Boy-like handheld, Analogue Pocket offers plenty of self-contained fun for $219. So much fun, in fact, that I was able to write 8,000 words about it earlier this week.

Shortly after I finished that review, a box of Analogue-produced Pocket add-ons arrived at my doorstep. While its contents range from imperative to forgettable, they’re all worth minding for prospective Pocket owners, as Analogue has never produced so many system-specific accessories before. Since they all return to Analogue’s exclusive online store shortly after this article goes live (Tuesday, December 14, at 11 am EST, to be specific), consider this a checklist for how much to add to your frantic retro-gaming shopping cart.

Analogue Dock: Is that a Switch in your (Analogue) Pocket, or… ?

Enlarge / Analogue Pocket (left), Analogue Dock (right).

Sam Machkovech

The most intriguing add-on in the system’s launch window is a Pocket-specific TV dock. Its sales pitch is a combination of immediate features and teased perks for the near-future.

In the here and now, at least, this $99 add-on (mostly) turns your Pocket into a combination Super Game Boy and Game Boy Player. Pocket includes a USB Type-C port on its bottom, and Analogue Dock accepts the portable system by connecting to this port in Switch-like fashion.

Enlarge / Analogue Dock ports: HDMI (1), USB Type-A (2), USB Type-C for power (1).

Sam Machkovech

Once inserted, Pocket begins sending its video signal through Dock’s HDMI cable, and the results max out at 1080p resolution. Moments later, a single dot on Pocket’s front face begins flashing, which confirms that the system is in controller pairing mode. Either put a gamepad in its Bluetooth sync mode or connect a gamepad via either of Dock’s two USB Type-A ports, and you can expect compatible gamepads to pair. (Select 8BitDo gamepads can natively connect to Dock with their built-in 2.4 GHz protocols without any additional USB hubs plugged in, which is a nice touch if you like what 8BitDo makes. Generally, I’m a fan.)

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If you’re wondering: no, Analogue Pocket does not work with Switch docks, even if you remove their plastic cases and expose their USB Type-C ports. And a Switch won’t work with Analogue Dock; even if it did, you’d have to completely disassemble Analogue Dock to get Switch’s body to fit into the port.

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