Since the last time we featured the Analogue Pocket on our front page, a variety of utilities, cores, and firmware updates have been released that have refined and expanded its capabilities:
Spiritualized1997, the developer behind some of the first cores released for the Pocket, released another seventeen cores yesterday. While the big dump yesterday is mostly older niche platforms, their repository now contains a lot of 8 and 16-bit heavy hitters like the NES, Sega’s platforms from the SG-1000 up through the Genesis, Atari 2600/7800, and more. While many of these cores were available on previous Analogue platforms (ie, the Nt Mini Noir), it is interesting to see Super Game Boy support arrive on the Pocket with support for ROMs and physical carts. One caveat to keep in mind with a lot of these cores is that some of them do require BIOS files to function, which—because of the nature of intellectual property law—cannot be distributed with these cores and are occasionally difficult for end users to source.
agg23, who we covered when they originally ported srg320’s SNES MiSTer core to the Pocket, has continued to work on their existing ports while adding a few more. Arduboy, NES, SNES, PCEngine/Turbografx16/SuperGrafx, and the Pokémon Mini are just some of their ports so far, and they are all are very usable. The SNES port has received some really impressive improvements since the last time we covered it, supporting the majority of special chip games in its current release.
Eric Lewis has contributed a bunch of arcade and console cores to the OpenFPGA ecosystem, including some arcade heavy hitters like Donkey Kong, Q*bert, and the fpgagen Genesis core.
Sorry if I missed any developers or cores, but if you’re ever looking for an exhaustive list of what is out there currently you can always check out Joshua Campbell’s list that we covered a while back.
Analogue continues to release new v1.1 beta firmwares, with the most up to date release as of this article being Beta 6. While the updates feel like they’ve been focussed on providing more functionality for developers, this has led to some new user-facing features that have been indispensable (e.g., control remapping). The latest update even includes keyboard and mouse support, which could pave the way for some exciting new cores.
As more cores get released for the Pocket it becomes more and more of an involved process to keep everything organized and up to date. Fortunately, there are a few applications that seem to be doing a decent job keeping Pockets up to date while also archiving your settings and game saves:
RetroDriven’s Pocket Updater (Windows)
Mat Pannella’s Pocket Updater Utility (Windows, Mac OS, Linux)