HAVE A VIDEO YOU WANT TO FEATURE ON OUR PAGE?

Submit Video

To make sure you never miss out on your favourite NEW stories, we're happy to send you some reminders

Click 'OK' then 'Allow' to enable notifications

Not now
OK
Advert
Advert
Advert

Evercade Announces New EXP Console, Flips Handheld Gaming On Its Side

Mike Diver

Published 
| Last updated 

Evercade Announces New EXP Console, Flips Handheld Gaming On Its Side

Featured Image Credit: Blaze Entertainment

Blaze Entertainment, makers of the Evercade handheld retro gaming console and its home multiplayer version the VS, have announced a brand-new portable system, and it looks very attractive indeed.

Advert

The original Evercade console was released in 2020 and immediately appealed to a niche of retro-game-loving players who saw terrific appeal in collecting Actual Cartridges for a new device. In our review we called it “a neat new platform” of “play-anywhere convenience”. Supported by compilations from the likes of Data East, Atari, Namco, Technos, Piko Interactive, Interplay and Codemasters, the Evercade audience grew steadily until, in late 2021, its home version was released. The VS was another impressive machine, and ushered in arcade-quality games from Galeco, Atari and more. In our review, we called the VS a console that “​​cherry picks from the past to make the retro-gaming present a much more fun place to be”.

And now comes something altogether slicker and, dare I say it, stylish than either Evercade before it: the EXP handheld console. Check out the trailer below.

Loading…

Advert

Looks pretty neat, doesn’t it? But what’s it all about, exactly? Well, for starters, the EXP has a vastly improved 800x480 IPS screen compared to the original Evercade handheld, which keeps the image crisp and bright even if you’re not looking at it head on. It has built-in WiFi, which the previous model didn’t; USB-C charging, which will help keep leads stuck into your walls to a minimum; and the console has 4GB of internal memory, meaning that… Well, in theory it should be able to store games without them needing to be on cartridge. In theory. We’ll find out for sure once we have hands-on with this thing. 

The EXP is powered by a 1.5Ghz processor meaning that it’ll comfortably handle just about any old-school console or arcade game you can throw at it, up to and possibly past the PlayStation and Saturn era. Those double shoulder buttons are surely not just for the look. You can connect it to the TV, as you could the older model, via mini-HDMI, and play these games in 720p (unlike the 1080p offered by the VS). The EXP also comes pre-loaded with what its makers are so far only calling “bonus content”, which will be revealed in September. Looks at 4GB of memory, looks at “bonus content”... Let the speculation commence, I guess.

The Evercade EXP / Credit: Blaze Entertainment
The Evercade EXP / Credit: Blaze Entertainment
Advert

Of this redesigned, refined model, a press release from Blaze reads: “[The EXP is] the result of all the feedback we received on our original, successful handheld. With this new product we are giving existing Evercade fans a better way to play on the move and new customers a more premium experience.”

Perhaps the neatest feature of the EXP, however, is the option to play vertical shooters with the handheld flipped 90 degrees on its end, so that it stands tall, in what those in the know call TATE mode. This isn’t something Evercade is pioneering - the Wonderswan did it back in 1999 - but I can think of plenty of throwback shooters that have come to Switch that are far better played vertically, but can’t be natively or without some notable faffing about. No such issue here: plug in the cart, choose the game, turn the screen. It’s something the desktop-sized Taito Egret II Mini did excellently earlier in 2022, and it’s fantastic to see Evercade doing the same for their new handheld.

The limited-edition EXP content / Credit: Blaze Entertainment
The limited-edition EXP content / Credit: Blaze Entertainment
Advert

The Evercade EXP will be on sale “winter 2022”, so assume Q4, priced at £129.99. The console is bundled with the new Irem Arcade 1 collection, which features games like R-Type, 10 Yard Fight, Moon Patrol, In The Hunt and Mr Heli on a single cartridge (plus full-colour manual, as is Evercade standard). A second fresh arcade collection will also be made available around the time the EXP launches: the Toaplan Arcade 1 collection features Flying Shark, Tiger-Heli, Slap Shot, Snow Bros, Zero Wing and more. What’s more, a limited-edition version of the EXP will be available to pre-order from June 1, priced at £179.99. This model is black instead of the standard white, and comes with both the Irem and Toaplan carts, a poster, art cards, a keyring, a certificate of authenticity and a hard carry case for the console. It’s exclusive to Funstock, and pre-orders begin at 5pm BST tomorrow, June 1.

You can find more info at the official Evercade website. As for all the older carts, they’ll all run on the EXP, but support for the 2020-released handheld will stop once the EXP is released, after one final update in the near future. It is, says Blaze, “an end of life product”. I know how it feels. 

Topics: Retro Gaming, Evercade

Mike Diver
More like this
Advert
Advert
Advert

Chosen for YouChosen for You

Amazon

Fallout 5 has left me with one major concern

2 days ago

Most Read StoriesMost Read