Author Topic: The Official "Oh ****, I forgot to preorder the Analogue Pocket" thread.  (Read 8900 times)

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Offline pokepal148

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Well, guess I'll just order the part of my GBA solution that we aren't allowed to talk about on the forums bc it's against the rules instead.

Offline Adrock

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I refreshed the page at 10:59 AM EST and the preorder button was up. I got stuck on shipping calculating for several minutes. Once I got through and entered my credit card info around 11:07 AM, it sold out (left the dock and screen protector in my cart so that’s cool).

I’m modding the screen of some GBAs so that’ll hold me over while I wait for the Analogue Pocket to be available again (in 2022). I mainly wanted it for the dock. Hopefully, I’ll snag one on the second run.

Offline RABicle

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We're allowed to talk about the Afterburner here!

Yeah I was bingeing Star Trek TNG in bed and totally forgot.
« Last Edit: August 06, 2020, 12:28:39 AM by RABicle »
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Offline Ian Sane

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I feel kind of guilty for some reason but I managed to get a pre-order for the system, dock and Game Gear adapter.  I got the shipping calculator spinning thing that most people got.  I had entered my shipping address the prior night, though I had no idea it would save.  I wanted to get some idea of what the shipping to Canada would be and had put their Sega Genesis product in the cart to calculate that and then removed it.  When I saw that the shipping calculator was taking its sweet time my developer instincts kicked in and I suspected that maybe it had not properly sent the shipping address and thus was spinning indefinitely.  So I went back to "edit" my shipping address but didn't actually change anything and saved and that appeared to wake it up because it then figured it out very quickly.

Of course requiring people to think of developer tricks to get websites working isn't really fair.  I wish this had been an open pre-order to determine the quantities needed to produce.  But with covid-19 messing manufacturing up and Analogue being a small company I can understand that they might already have a fixed number of items because that's all the factory would allocate for them.  But their products in the past have also had limited runs so it appears to be part of the way they do business which sucks from a consumer perspective.

The Neo Geo Pocket and Lynx adapters aren't available yet and that creates another hurdle for me as those were part of the whole point of me buying this.  I want to have one system to handle all of those handhelds at once and display on a TV so I can collect the games but not fuss with old systems that need caps and screens replaced.  Am I going to have to be extremely lucky to land those as well?

Analogue appears to be a luxury brand but I don't really want a luxury product.  I want something in between where the quality of their FPGA hardware is there but the rest of the product is of typical quality for a mass-market consumer item.  Like their NES had an aluminum shell.  I don't need that, I'm in the market for a FPGA NES clone that runs both NES and Famicom games and connects to HDMI with no lag.  That in itself is a specialist product but it doesn't need any other expensive bells and whistles and doesn't need to ship priority only.  They need a budget line.

Offline Stratos

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Bummer they potentially won't make more, hopefully the stink about preorder issues means they will prep for another run down the road.
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Offline Adrock

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Bummer they potentially won't make more, hopefully the stink about preorder issues means they will prep for another run down the road.
Oof, is there more recent info on this? Analogue previously announced on Twitter it’s making more. In a statement to IGN, Analogue said:
Quote
Shopify's shipping calculator was slowed down by immense traffic - we'll have a solution in the future. We apologize to those who experienced this issue.
That sounds like it’s referring strictly to traffic. Chances are there will be shortages in future runs as long as Coronavirus is still a thing so if Analogue wants to prevent another debacle, it should, at the very least, make adding items to a cart reserve them for 15 minutes like many ticket sites. I’m on the fence on limiting one per customer as I feel most people only ordered one anyway. However, I don’t know how else to deter scalpers. Listings with clownfuck mark ups were on eBay within minutes of selling out. eBay took them down, but still.
« Last Edit: August 05, 2020, 02:37:05 PM by Adrock »

Offline Lemonade

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I hope this doesn't happen the other other niche handheld console coming eventually, the Playdate. I want one of those.

Offline Adrock

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I hope this doesn't happen the other other niche handheld console coming eventually, the Playdate. I want one of those.
Yeah, I definitely want the Playdate more. I hope Panic saw how the Analogue Pocket played out and decided to put more safeguards in place. Considering the Playdate is a new console with exclusive games, I think it should be one per customer.

Offline Adrock

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2021: Pocket, Bots, Scalpers, Limited Quantities vs Limited Editions and Customer Support - 2/22/21

For interested parties.

The short version:
  • Analogue will be implementing “robust bot protection” on its store during product launches. All orders placed by bots will be canceled.
  • Analogue will be monitoring reselling sites like eBay and reporting such listings to eBay as this is against eBay policies. All preorder listed for resale will be canceled.
  • Clarification on various terminology. I don’t want to type all that out. The important bit is the Analogue Pocket much like most of the company’s other products, is NOT a limited edition release. It will have more Pockets available in 2021 and will do its best to keep it in stock. The phrasing is a little vague here, but I presume this is more than the canceled pre-orders from bots and resellers.
Kind of feel like Analogue should have had those measures in place before the Pocket debacle though I’m glad it addressed them at all. It could have just as easily told us to go hang. For these retro releases, there aren’t better options currently. While it would have been nice to have gotten in during the first batch, I’m not in a huge rush. I want the black model, dock, screen protector, and probably the case. I don’t need any of the adapters.

Offline Ian Sane

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I'm glad that at the very least Analogue has acknowledged that there were problems and has said they're going to address them.  Can't change the past but you can improve for the future.

Since the Pocket pre-order I've bought a few Game Gear games which is somewhat silly since I currently have no way to play them and if any of them were defective I won't be able to confirm that until well after the point where I could get a refund.  But I don't see Game Gear games every time I got to a retro game store so I have to take advantage of the situation, right?  I have not bought anything over 10 bucks so I have shown some restraint at least.  I got Shinobi, a few Sonics and some of the Disney games that I heard were good.

Offline MASB

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Re: The Official "Oh ****, I forgot to preorder the Analogue Pocket" thread.
« Reply #10 on: February 27, 2021, 01:51:28 AM »
Hopefully, these measures will be effective. I don't think the Intellivison Amico needs to worry however. it may need the bot sales as there may not be enough of the non-bot customers to sustain Tommy Tallarico's dream.

Ian: When you do get the Analogue Pocket, I hope you give some impressions of the Game Gear games you bought. It was no Game Boy, but it had some real gems. Though looking back, I wonder if the number of good Game Boy games and good Game Gear games aren't too far off from each other.

Offline Stratos

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Re: The Official "Oh ****, I forgot to preorder the Analogue Pocket" thread.
« Reply #11 on: February 28, 2021, 07:58:31 PM »
I'm happy to hear more will come, this means that scalper demand should het slashed and so long as there is demand they will be making more. I'm content to wait it out until I can hop on there and buy one myself without waiting for preorders or rushing.
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Offline pokepal148

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I will admit that I've kind of lost interest in the Analog Pocket now that I've dug into DS homebrew. The problem is the DS is capable of running an extremely competent GB/GBC emulator off of a DS flashcard and between that and the difficulty of acquiring a unit it has become difficult to justify getting the pocket. Hell, it's even possible to use a DS flash cart to force the DS into GBA mode so I could just use a DS phat or lite with a flash cart in one slot and Warioware Twisted in the other to have an all in one game playing solution for the DS-GB lines, and a DS lite can be had for a quarter of the price of a pocket.

Offline RABicle

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Yeah I think I just want a GBA with an IPS screen, a flashcard and be done with it.
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Offline pokepal148

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I'm testing it out and the GB emulator for DS can actually use the rumble pack in Warioware Twisted for Pokémon Pinball.

Offline Adrock

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Re: The Official "Oh ****, I forgot to preorder the Analogue Pocket" thread.
« Reply #15 on: December 27, 2021, 03:01:00 AM »
I snagged a Group A preorder on 12/14/2021, order #89xxx. 🥳 Based on some Reddit posts, it seems pre-orders started around #85xxx and the Group A cutoff for the actual Pocket was #92xxx.

I pre-ordered the Pocket, Dock, screen protector, and case. I kind of regret the case as it seems more for show than utility, but I'll live.

To Analogue's credit, it put additional safeguards in place as it said it would. The order page handled the onslaught of site traffic pretty well this time. There was a waiting screen with a note NOT to refresh. I was extra prepared by saving some of my info the night before pre-orders opened again so I didn’t have to enter it again in the morning. I completed my order at 11:03 AM, and I was still 4000 orders after the earliest known order number.

While I was pretty tilted about the August 2020 pre-order flustercuck, I don't mind not getting one of the initial units in hindsight. Analogue finally started shipping Pocket earlier this month after THREE delays and has been dealing with some bugs. There have been a few reported lemons with some crummy hardware issues. I’m hoping these are ironed out by the time I (presumably) receive mine in a few months. Additionally, the jailbreak has not been released yet. While I have most of the games I wanted to play, I’m missing a few. Since there isn't a better way to try certain games, I'll have to settle for a CRIME ROM.

I'm actively trying to pick up some Neo Geo Pocket Color games for when the adapter is up for preorder. No, it isn't going well.

My initial thoughts with the final unit being shipped out (and admittedly, NOT using one myself yet):
  • I don't like the Menu button placement. I'm absolutely going to press that by accident. I would have preferred Analogue make Start and Select longer and raised like the respective Game Boy buttons and the Menu button recessed if it even needed to be placed between Start and Select. I would have preferred right below the screen. Still, I mostly plan on playing while Docked so this may be less of a problem for me.
  • The power button is too close to the volume rocker. Power will likely to be pressed frequently due to the sleep functionality so it a little baffling why Analogue made this design choice.
  • The volume rocker is weirdly small though I don't often futz with the sound once I've set it.
  • The shoulder buttons look uncomfortable as they flank the cartridge slot. I would have preferred they were placed in a bump-out like the Joy Cons though that wouldn’t be as aesthetically pleasing or portable. Analogue Pocket is larger than it looks in screenshots so I question it’s “pocketability” to begin with.
  • There appear to be some issues with the cartridge slot. Some impressions so far have shown the games crashing when tapped. When Pocket was revealed, I thought this might be a problem as cartridges looked less secure than on Nintendo’s original hardware. It's obvious Analogue designed this with a form-before-function mentality.
  • Despite getting delayed by like a year, the system software is unacceptably incomplete. I understand Analogue OS was only announced in October; the company never should have shipped in the state the software was in.

Has anyone else pre-ordered this recently? Has anyone received their unit? I think Ian said he snagged a preorder back in August 2020 though he checks into this forum less than I do.
« Last Edit: December 27, 2021, 12:21:39 PM by Adrock »

Offline Ian Sane

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Well I did get my Pocket when they first shipped in December.  It seems like life is much busier now than it was when I pre-ordered so I haven't had as much time to play it as I would like.  Gee, I guess that can happen if something gets delayed a year.  But I recently got Kirby and the Amazing Mirror for the GBA and that seems as good of an excuse as any to play it.

This is my first Analogue product and it feels like a quality product in your hand.  It has a bit of weight to it, not in a way that would affect portability but just that it doesn't feel cheap.  The screen is the most impressive part.  It's very clear and bright.  It has different display modes to simulate different system models and they're fun to experiment with.  By default you can play a pixel perfect mode but there also modes to make it look like the old green Game Boy screen where the pixels are just slightly separated.  I usually try out scan lines and such on retro style devices but this is probably the most authentic looking display options I've ever seen.

I also got the dock and the Game Gear Adapter.  The dock is not a impressive as I would have liked.  Those cool display modes are not enabled for a TV screen, so you only have the pixel perfect mode.  It appears to always send some sort of signal through the HDMI connection.  I have an auto-switch for my TV to have multiple devices connected but this doesn't work with it because the TV always thinks the dock is sending something.  That's a very specific issue with my set up though.  I'm also concerned about how the Pocket connects to the dock as it connects to a port at the bottom but otherwise just sits in a little pit with a brace behind it.  What if someone knocked it with their hand?  It doesn't snap in so I fear it would bend the connector.

The Game Gear Adapter is very nice though.  Usually when using cartridge connectors, like the Super Game Boy, there can be challenges with connections because you need to connect twice.  But I find this works like a charm.  I had to give my Game Gear games a good cleaning first but after a round of that everything has been consistent.

There were some bugs I initially encountered but they were all fixed by updating the firmware.  The Metroid GBA games had a horrible distorted sound in their intros for the spaceship engine.  Castle of Illusion for the Game Gear did a weird thing where the screen viewed seemed zoomed in with the edges getting cut off.  The Game Gear hardware is really just an extension of the Sega Master System and many games released for the GG here were SMS games in other parts of the world.  I wonder if Castle of Illusion's code is literally identical between the two and displays in a different mode depending on what system is running it.  So maybe it initially thought it was running on an SMS and displayed a TV resolution in a handheld sized screen?  Anyway, that was fixed by the firmware.  Though one note with the firmware is that the Pocket uses a micro SD card to update firmware but the dock uses a USB stick.  So you need two different storage devices to update what is essentially two parts of the same product?

I haven't played a game that really relied on the L&R buttons so I don't really know if those are an issue or not.  I played a race or two in F-Zero and was fine.  The cartridge slot doesn't hold the games as tight as a real Game Boy but it isn't like if you tipped the system upside down the cart would fall out.  I haven't had any issues with a cart loosening during gameplay.

So far I like it.  Is it worth the money?  Eh, not sure on that one.  I think for me it will be once the other systems get cartridge connectors and then I've got one mega-handheld.  If you have no way to play GBA games otherwise though, yeah this is a must own.