Analogue, the company making the highly anticipated Pocket portable gaming console has announced the device is delayed, and will now only be shipping in October 2021. The company broke the news to fans — many of whom scrambled to put down deposits for the $199 handheld and fend off bots when bookings opened — via Twitter on Wednesday. It also posted a longer announcement to its website. The cause of the delay? The component shortage that’s affecting everyone from smartphone brands to automakers.
Same statement, more words — The company’s official statement linked to in its tweet is moderately longer, but no less saddening:
The current global state of affairs continues to create supply chain challenges outside of our control.
There have been sudden and severe electrical component shortages as well as logistical issues leading to a domino effect of challenges for nearly everyone in the industry.
We're working hard to get Pocket out as fast as possible and we appreciate your understanding and patience. An email is being sent to everyone who pre-ordered Pocket. If you have any questions about your pre-order or would like to cancel at anytime for a full refund, please contact Analogue Support at support.analogue.co or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Considering the Suez Canal, responsible for approximately 12 percent of global sea freight movement, was blocked for nearly a week and the ongoing pandemic has hurt global supply chains and affected everyone from Apple to Peloton, the news isn’t exactly surprising. Nonetheless, some buyers have expressed their rage of Twitter, with some asking whether the company intends to send them a console or was, instead, merely looking for a zero percent loan.
More than a Gameboy clone — As we wrote last August, the Pocket is much more than a mere clone of Nintendo’s iconic Gameboy. The handheld is an FPGA (field-programmable gate array), which means it can emulate all sorts of classic consoles perfectly, including its design hero, the original Game Boy, as well as successors the Game Boy Color and Game Boy Advance, and rival offerings like Sega's Game Gear and Atari's Lynx.
The console will also support a range of classic, physical game cartridges, and its clearing playing ROMs on it will be a cinch. Built-in Bluetooth, 2.4GHz support, and USB ports mean users will be able to play with plug-in controllers or 8bitdo’s excellent wireless ones, too. And there’s even a custom digital audio workstation (DAW) with an 8-bit synthesizer and sequencer built-in for realizing one’s latent 8bit musical dreams. So you can understand why buyers who were expecting to receive their Pockets in May are disappointed they now have to wait until October.
Hurry up and wait — The Pocket was originally announced in October 2019, which means it’ll be two years after we were first teased with its impressive spec list and feature set before we’ll be able to get our hands on it. That’s still better than the seven years between the announcement of Cyberpunk 2077 and its release. Here’s hoping it’s significantly less disappointing when it eventually arrives. Considering Analogue’s superb roster of existing devices, we have no doubt it will be. But that doesn’t make us any less impatient.