In August last year, many of us missed pre-ordering a Pocket, the beautiful all-in-one handheld console from Seattle-based hardware maker Analogue. With a recovery now confirmed for 2021
Many problems with the first pre-orders of Pocket had to do with demand; the servers simply could not keep track of the number of people trying to purchase a system, which led to the checkout hanging on to the shipping calculations. Analogue says it has identified the problem and will “implement measures to ensure our box is optimized for large traffic spikes” when Pocket returns to sales.
That said, the Pocket launch, like many in-demand products, was also plagued by bots and scalpers that both came out faster than a regular human and with the intention of reselling at marked prices instead of enjoying the product itself. Analog’s solution here is twofold: implement “robust” bot protection and monitor the resale situation.
“All orders placed using bots will be canceled and their inventory will be allocated to real users,” Analogue’s announcement reader. Analog will monitor resale sites such as eBay to report scalps that resell pre-orders (resale of Analog products not owned by the seller). This is against eBay’s policy, and we will report these listings directly to eBay. All pre-orders found to be listed for resale will be canceled. ”
Pocket is a very interesting device, because instead of mimicking classic games via software, the handheld uses two field programmable gate array (FPGA) chips that can be configured to support Game Boy, Game Boy Color, Game Boy Advance, Sega Game Gear, SNK Neo Geo Pocket, and Atari Lynx hardware-level cartridges. Add to that a groundbreaking 1600×1440 screen and an optional dock to display the handheld games on a TV, and you get a uniquely impressive machine it has created enough hype to turn scalping into a lucrative business venture.
Analog has not yet given a date for the first Pocket rebuild, but the company assures that the powerful handheld was never intended to be available for a limited time. As in many other areas, the covid-19 pandemic has thrown a wrench in Analogue’s supply chain, slowing down the ability to keep products on digital shelves. Unless Analogue announces a delay, will Initial Pocket pre-orders are still sat in May.
“All things considered, we will do our best to keep Pocket in stock by 2021,” Analogue said.