Games

Evercade crams retro games onto handheld/home console hybrid

Evercade crams retro games ont...
The Evercade is a new handheld retro console
The Evercade is a new handheld retro console
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The Evercade is a new handheld retro console
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The Evercade is a new handheld retro console
The Evercade runs games from the 8-bit and 16-bit eras, spanning the days of the arcade and early home consoles
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The Evercade runs games from the 8-bit and 16-bit eras, spanning the days of the arcade and early home consoles

As advanced as modern games get, sometimes it’s nice to chill out with something simple and familiar, so it’s no surprise that retro games are still as popular as ever. The Evercade is a handheld console dedicated to these classics, letting them be played on the go or on a TV. And now pre-orders have opened up.

The Evercade is about the size of a large smartphone, and comes equipped with a 4.3-in screen, a directional pad, and a familiar array of buttons. The device can play 8-bit and 16-bit games, meaning they span more than a decade from the arcade era to early home consoles.

Those games come on small but chunky cartridges that slot into the back, and each cartridge includes between six and 20 games. They’re bundled by publisher, with the likes of Atari, Interplay, Namco Museum, Data East, Mega Cat Studios and Piko lending their libraries to the Evercade. In total, there are 115 titles available at launch for the console, including Pac-Man, Asteroids, Centipede, Missile Command, Dig Dug, Burger Time, and Earthworm Jim. That list is supposed to expand in future, too.

The Evercade runs games from the 8-bit and 16-bit eras, spanning the days of the arcade and early home consoles
The Evercade runs games from the 8-bit and 16-bit eras, spanning the days of the arcade and early home consoles

Maybe the most interesting feature though is one that seems borrowed from the Nintendo Switch. The Evercade can play games either on its built-in screen as a handheld device, or on a TV by plugging in an HDMI cable. In the latter case, the visuals are apparently upscaled to “HD.”

Other modern concessions include save states that let you pick up wherever you left off, which could come in handy for some of those notoriously tricky classics. Games can be played in the original 4:3 ratio or stretched to fill a modern widescreen format, but in videos the latter looks a bit weird.

On the technical side, battery life is claimed to be four to five hours, and thankfully the Evercade can still be played while it’s charging. There’s a 3.5 mm headphone port, which are starting to feel old-fashioned in this day of Bluetooth-only phones. And there’s no internet needed or even possible, which is a nice change of pace from constant software updates and connection woes.

The Evercade is due to launch March 20 next year, and pre-orders have just opened. A standard edition will cost US$79.99 including one cartridge, while a premium edition with three cartridges will cost $99.99.

Check it out in action in the video below.

Product page: Evercade

Evercade Preview Trailer

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