SNK were 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).

Technically 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).

However, dark clouds loomed over SNK, and the plucky little handheld was withdrawn from shelves by mid-2000.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).

Technical Specifications
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... weren't.

Link 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 cool.
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!