Blast from the past: Neo Geo Pocket Colour

Awe what a cute little piece of gorgeousness the Neo Geo Pocket Colour (NGPC ) was. Of all the hand-held games consoles I ever came into contact with the NGPC was easily my favourite. With that amazing little compact chassis, choice of cool colours and kick ass line up of arcade games the NGPC had everything going for it. Even those compact little games cartridges added to the quality and appeal of the console. The NGPC was well ahead of its time and unfortunately came to an end in its life prematurely.

Launched worldwide in 1999, SNK’s 16-BIT console the Neo Geo Pocket Colour was a direct competitor to Nintendo’s Gameboy Colour. Considered as one of the biggest challengers to the Gameboy, the NGPC had a faster processor and better battery life. It was available in six awesome colours at launch: Camouflage Blue, Carbon Black, Crystal White, Platinum Blue, Platinum Silver, and Stone Blue. The NGPC was different to the Gameboy Colour as it sported an analogue stick on the left and the controls were quick and sharp. Although Nintendo had a renowned backlog of games, SNK had a lot of experience in the arcade market and as such released some superb pocket editions of popular games, such as metal slug and Sonic Pocket adventure.

Unfortunately SNK was bought by a rival company in 2000 who decided to make the console exclusive to the Asian market. This coupled with a lot of competition from Nintendo and the Pokemon franchise and due to some poor marketing decision resulted in NGPC being discontinued. The console did however continue to go on sale in Japan until 2001. What I remember about the NGPC was how much better than the Gameboy Colour it was. The NGPC was able to challenge the Gameboy like no other console had been able to do before. It was therefore such a shame that this brilliant bit of kit was not able to live a full and fruitful life.

It’s not all bad news however. This year Neo Geo released an anniversary edition of the NGPC – the Neo Geo X Gold. This comes In a sweet little package with docking station and games card, analogue stick and pre-loaded with 20 games. This is the first console since the end of the Neo Geo brand in 2004. You can purchase this for about £174.99 from play.com.

With thanks to giantbomb.com and denofgeek.com

If anybody else owned a NGPC I would be please let me know what you thought.

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