Upon its release, the Analogue Pocket emerged as a niche device boasting an impressive screen. Its allure lay in the ability to relive old cartridge-based games and the promise of seamless connectivity to a dock. Similar to many devices in this community, the Pocket flourished due to its devoted and supportive user base.
Following a firmware update that unlocked the FPGA, the Pocket saw an influx of support for ports and cores. Notably, one standout feature is the flexibility to tweak display settings while playing games. For instance, inserting a GBA game into the Pocket now offers choices like the enhanced Analogue GBA Filter, the Original GBA LCD, or the Original GBA SP 101 filter. Options for GB, GBC, and GG are also available. However, these filters were initially inaccessible without using a cartridge or uploading to GB Studio first.
Analogue has been on a roll lately with multiple new color options for their Pocket, news about their take on the N64, and somewhat troublesome preorders. Continuing this streak, Analogue recently rolled out firmware update 2.0 for the Analogue Pocket just in time for the holidays on Christmas Eve. Checking Analogue’s website reveals the following changelog:
- Added custom palette support with new APGB format palettes.
- Framework version updated to 2.0.
- Added support for Original Display Modes and introduced the new CRT Trinitron mode. The Pocket will automatically unlock the CRT Trinitron Original Display Mode for suitable cores that don’t specify any modes. Other modes need enabling by the core author.
- Cores can now have different video aspect ratios when docked.
- Added new Host command [00B8 OS Notify: Display Mode].
- Modified Host command [0090 Real-time Clock Data] to send day-of-week.
- Added support for 8BitDo M30 2.4G dongle.
- Fixed video issues with some openFPGA cores and resolutions.
This update is a boon for Analogue Pocket owners worldwide! The long-awaited ability to utilize display filters on open FPGA cores has been unlocked, accompanied by the addition of a captivating CRT Filter. Updating your device is a breeze—simply visit Analogue’s website, download the new firmware, and transfer it to your SD card. However, implementing the filters may require additional steps. To streamline this process, Matt Panella has developed a fantastic Pocket updater compatible with Mac, Windows, and Linux devices, complete with clear instructions available on their GitHub page.
Once your Analogue Pocket is updated, the newfound display filters enhance the gaming experience significantly; playing a classic Arcade game on the Neo Geo with a CRT Filter adds an immersive touch. Navigating through the filters is easy as well: just hold the Analogue button and use the D-pad to cycle through different options. Alternatively, access them through the menu under core settings and navigate to display modes. Fancy applying the GBA 101 display filter to your NES titles? Go right ahead! The Pocket now doubles as your experimental playground.
There have, however, been reports of certain filters not seamlessly integrating with every core. For instance, using the red Pinball Neon Matrix display on the NeoGeo core resulted in a black screen in my experience. Some cores have yet to receive updates as well, notably the absence of the DMG filter for GB games. Additionally, there’s still no RTC support for the open FPGA cores, which is VERY disappointing for Pokemon enthusiasts. This has led to a new GB/GBC core created by bubdude2 on GitHub. This core is still in the early stages, but includes the DMG filter, fast forward, and RTC. The notes on the github also suggest save states as well.
Nevertheless, as with most devices, the community continues to innovate and provide exceptional support for this device. The recent changes are a welcome sight to all current and prospective Pocket owners. Hopefully the momentum the company has had lately continues into the the future, which looks incredibly promising for Analogue and their products’ users.
Interested in the AP? Check out our review for more info and insight!
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