Some of the finest racing games from the 1990s are about to be playable in 4K, legally, across regions and without emulation. The Analogue 3D will arrive at some point in 2024 to offer just that.
The Seattle company has built up the good graces of gamers with its modern interpretation of the Game Boy, the Analogue Pocket. That portable device can play original Game Boy, Game Boy Color and Game Boy Advance games, and with adapters Atari Lynx, Neo Geo Pocket and Sega Game Gear. There’s also the option of HD monitor output via a dock.
Next on the list will be the Nintendo 64, a 1996 console that spearheaded the Japanese gaming giant’s pushing into 3D environments following the Nintendo Entertainment System (Family Computer) and Super Nintendo Entertainment System (Super Famicom).
The new console will run a custom Analogue OS before booting into the N64 titles, outputting them in glorious 4K resolution through what the Analogue calls “reference quality recreations of specific model CRT’s and PVM’s.”
It also touts that it will be the first N64-style device not from Nintendo that will support all three game regions of the USA, the EU and Japan. To be clear, the games are not emulated, you use original cartridges to play. eBay sellers of old N64 games, strap in – you’re about to become even more worthwhile.
It will feature four controller ports to presumably support original devices, but there’s also a new Bluetooth controller with the distinctive 8BitDo logo on one of the buttons. The controller manufacturer makes a range of third-party devices, such as the Micro – a diminutive gamepad for Android and Switch – and the Pro 2, which is Traxion’s preferred Switch input.
It’s this latter device the teaser image most resembles, and it’s worth noting that 8BitDo does have prior experience with the N64, already offering a mod kit for N64 controllers to add wireless and rechargeable capabilities.
The sequel to the Pocket will take the fight to the Polymega, an existing retro gaming machine that plays physical media. Its base unit is disc-based, playing the likes of the first PlayStation, TurboGrafx-CD, Sega CD, Neo Geo CD and Sega Saturn.
An EM05 Module has been announced that will play N64 cartridges, although it is still in development.
Meanwhile, if you’re keen to get your fix of some N64 racing games, the Nintendo Switch Online Expansion Pack has Mario Kart 64, Wave Race 64 and F-Zero X available to play now for subscribers – but of course, a separate device will provide access to a greater library, provided you can find copies of your favourite releases.
The Analogue 3D has not yet been shown, nor has the price, but expect a lengthy waiting list come the 2024 launch.