Analogue's Pocket handheld won't arrive until late this year, but the company is betting that its software will be worth the wait. TechCrunch notes the company has detailed AnalogueOS, the platform the Pocket and future Analogue devices will run — and it's pitched as nothing less than the "definitive" OS for retro games, a way to showcase classics that haven't always received the kindest treatment.
Rather than simply play cartridge games, the Pocket and future hardware will tap into a library that provides all the useful data surrounding a game, ranging from box art and publisher data to guides. Pop in a cartridge and you'll learn about that particular version of a game. You might know if you scored a Nintendo World Championship cart or a bootleg, for instance. That database, in turn, will help you browse your library and even create "playlists" to share with fellow nostalgic gamers (who can buy the same cartridges, that is).
AnalogueOS will also track your play time and let you remap controls or enable Bluetooth gamepads. The Pocket will enable save states for cartridge games, which can be helpful if you're trying to recreate a thandheld's original experience.
This approach is meant for a particular variety of retro gamer focused on physical copies and authenticity. It's not as convenient as the digital downloads of, say, the Switch Online Expansion Pack. If it succeeds, though, it could shake up the category. Much of the information for vintage games is scattered across websites, code and even books. Analogue could put all that knowledge in a central location, albeit one limited to the most devoted players.
Introducing Analogue OS.— Analogue (@analogue) October 16, 2021
Analogue OS is the start of something big. At its heart, Analogue OS is purpose built for exploring and celebrating all of video game history. Designed to be the definitive, scholarly operating system for playing and experiencing the entire medium. pic.twitter.com/1YOvgij2V6