A few weeks ago, we reported on the mysterious Evercade handheld console. Not a whole lot was known then, but in recent days the manufacturer has started releasing new information via email and social media.
Straight up, we actually know what the Evercade looks like now. While there are no photos of a real working prototype, a selection of renders has made their way around the internet giving us an idea about the button layout, the form factor and most importantly, the cartridges. There isn’t a thumbstick – which isn’t too surprising since it will focus on the 8 and 16-bit generations, but there is a directional pad, four action buttons as well as two triggers around the rear.
The game cartridges resemble those that inserted into the Game Gear, and that’s the second big piece of news that’s been released. Evercade has announced a partnership with Atari, and the first cartridge will consist of 20 officially licenced 2600 games. While having Atari onboard is cool, they’re not the hardest to licence compared to other big players on the field. So, with more publishers to be announced (supposedly another two in the next few weeks) it will be interesting to see who bites.
While the 2600’s game library may not be the most exciting to some, games included on this first cartridge are quite tight. There are your favourites such as Centipede, Asteroids, Missile Command and Tempest, but also a few off-beat titles such as Night Driver and Ninja Golf. If subsequent cartridges build on this, Evercade may have a winner of their hands. It’s definitely a strong start.
Otherwise, we now know that there will be separate 4:3 and 16:9 aspect ratio modes. While a simple design features, many retro consoles in the past have opted for 16:9 only which annoys many. It will be interesting to see if future games playable on the system will make use of 16:9, but in the meantime, 4:3 is what you’ll want for 2600 games.
The last piece of information released is the price. There’s a ‘standard’ price that includes one cartridge, and that will cost £59.99, €69.99 or $79.99 depending on where you’re situated. Alternatively, a ‘premium’ package that includes three cartridges will cost £79.99, €89.99 or $99.99. No word yet on how expensive individual cartridges will be, though.
Regardless, the wheels of progress do seem to be turning for the Evercade, but let’s hope it doesn’t get delayed, delayed again, and then eventually forgotten about like many ‘new’ retro consoles that have preceded it in recent years. Considering we don’t even have a photo of the real deal yet is a bit concerning since they’re promising a release of this year, but you can now at least stay up to date through social media as well as their website.