a company most famous for its Neo-Geo arcade hardware (and, to a lesser
extent, the home version), and
certainly were not associated with the hand-held market dominated
by Nintendo. This was to change in 1999, with the release of a monochrome
handheld - the Neo-Geo Pocket - swiftly followed by the Neo-Geo Pocket
Color (incidently, the former was never released outside of Japan).
superior to the Game Boy and Game Boy Color, the NGPC can display
more colours, more sprites, and even perform basic tasks such as providing
a horoscope when no cartridge is inserted. SNK soon set about porting
many of its most popular franchises over, such as The King Of Fighters,
Metal Slug, Fatal Fury, and The Last Blade, with
3rd parties like Namco (Pac-Man), Sega (Sonic the Hedgehog)
and Taito (Bust-A-Move/Puzzle Bobble) also joining in. Soon
a large and high-quality library emerged, with most games bilingual
between English and Japanese. (Like the Neo-Geo arcade and home systems,
the NGPC is completely region-free).
dark clouds loomed over SNK, and the plucky little handheld was withdrawn
from shelves by mid-2000. Although occaisonally popping up in stores
such as Electronics Boutique, and always available through importers
(might I recommend play-asia.com?),
it is no longer available on general release, and most of today's
gamers continue to associate hand-held gaming with The Big N.
As said earlier, there was a monochrome (black-and-white) model available,
but to everyone outside of Japan, the only model was the colour model.
Available in six stylish colour schemes (no gaudy flouescant pink
here), with six more for the monochrome version, it looked quite nice,
and was ever-so-slightly remeniscant of older handhelds like the Lynx
or Game Gear (especially in black Anthracite).
CPU: A 16-bit Toshiba TLCS900H at 6.144Mhz provided the brains of
the operation, with a Z80 @ 3.072Mhz for sound.
RAM: 12k for the CPU, 4k for the Z80
Screen resolution: 160x152
Total colours: 4,096
Maximum on-screen colours: 146 (Maximum per sprite: 4)
Batteries: 2 AA class, plus one lithium battery to store system settings.
Mains adaptor also available (hurrah!).
Many were planned, some were canned, but I'll be damned, these ones...
cable: Used to connect one NGPC to another for multiplayer joy. Many
of the games were made for this game, so don't disappoint us. Only
problem might be finding someone else who's got an NGPC...
Dreamcast Link Cable: Oh, you lucky, lucky Americans and Japanese.
You got the Dreamcast King of Fighters games, plus a couple
of others, that were capable of linking up with the Neo-Geo Pocket
in order to unlock additional features. Ok, not very useful, but very
Wireless Link: Available only to games with the language set to Japanese,
and never released outside of Japan, but this peripheral is undeniably
cool. It's like having a 16-bit Nintendo DS, only with one screen
and no stylus. Win!