Blaze's Evercade family of systems has proven to be something of a hit in the Nintendo Life office for a wide range of reasons – one of which is the fact that the system offers legitimate access to some classic NES and SNES titles via its range of physical carts.
The original handheld was joined by a home console variant last year, and today – on the second birthday of the Evercade range – manufacturer Blaze has revealed the next entry in this line of systems: the Evercade EXP.
It's a portable machine (again), but one that comes with some impressive upgrades over the original model; there's a much improved 800x480 pixel 4.3-inch IPS screen (protected by tempered glass), built-in WiFi, USB-C for charging and even a dedicated 'TATE' mode, where the console is held in portrait orientation. Two additional fire buttons allow you to play vertically-scrolling shmups to your heart's content (a similar approach was seen in some PSP games, like Star Soldier). TV-out via Mini-HDMI is still included, but has been "redesigned to help cable stability." The EXP's rechargeable battery is rated at 3000mA and will offer around 4-5 hours of playtime.
Under the hood, the EXP is on par with the Evercade VS home console in terms of specs; there's a 1.5Ghz processor and 4GB of built-in memory, which means you'll get the same experience as you would from that system, but on the move.
The Evercade EXP will come with IREM Arcade 1, a new cartridge-based collection which includes R-Type, In The Hunt, Moon Patrol, 10 Yard Fight, Battle Chopper / Mr Heli and Lightning Swords. The system will cost £129.99 / $149.99 / 149.99 Euros when it launches this winter.
Interestingly, more 'bonus content' will be included with the EXP, but Blaze is keeping tight-lipped on that until September, when pre-orders open.
In addition to this base package, an Evercade EXP Limited Edition bundle will be available via Blaze's retail partner, Funstock. It will be a completely black console, and will include an exclusive hard carry case, art cards, poster, certificate of authenticity, keyring and "other fun extras" – but most exciting of all is the inclusion of a second collection packed with classic arcade titles from Japanese company Toaplan – including Flying Shark, Alcon (Slap Shot), Tiger-Heli, Truxton, Zero Wing, Guardian, Snow Bros and Teki-Paki. This edition is limited to 5000 units. Pre-orders for this bundle open at 17:00 BST on June 1st, and it will cost £179.99.
Blaze has released this handy list which shows which games support the EXP's new TATE mode:
- Technos Arcade 1: Battle Lane Vol 5, Mania Challenge, Minky Monkey, Mysterious Stones
- Data East Arcade 1: Burger Time, Darwin 4078, Lock ‘n’ Chase
- Atari Arcade 1: Centipede, Millipede, Super Breakout
- Jaleco Arcade 1: Cybattler
- Toaplan Arcade 1: Alcon (Slap Shot), Flying Shark, Tiger-Heli, Truxton
Andrew Byatt, Managing Director of Blaze Entertainment, had this to say about the announcement of the EXP:
It has been a huge two years for Blaze. Two years into our journey with Evercade we have published 28 cartridges of iconic retro titles and launched a handheld and home console. Now we are excited to show people the Evercade EXP which 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. Alongside this we bring two more Arcade Titans in Toaplan and IREM to the system.
So what happens to the existing Evercade handheld? According to Blaze, it's going to be discontinued, but the company will still honour warranties and support requests from the purchase date of the product. There will be one more firmware update for the original console, too.
This article was originally published by nintendolife.com on Tue 31st May, 2022.
That looks loooooovely.
This might finally convincr me to buy one if the price is decent and it's eadily available in the Netherlands.
I saw the presentation. I haven’t got an Evercade yet. Some games can be found in the arcade archives range on the switch.
Still on the fence for now then. The new hardware looks awesome though. Would be tough to choose between the new handheld or the home console.
This looks really good, i have to say, good chance i will pick this one up.
I actually prefer the white handheld compared to the black. I feel like the black should have had some coloured accents to it, to make it really pop.
The new console does look great however and a massive improvement over the original. I'm not sure it having exclusive content is a good idea though as it really alienates the VS owners.
If they ever release Neo Geo physical collections of my favorte games, Metal Slug, KoF, The Last Blade, Sengoku or Fatal Fury, I'll get and evercade right away.
@jikflet I said the same thing haha!
this is pretty cool. I was mildly curious about the Evercade before. but this new model has me legitimately interested!
Erm, both those collections are amazing! Now, where did my wallet go...
I love them for putting Cybattler in the screen shots! So...how’s the emulation on these things?!
While I'm a sucker for retro games, this handheld does raise some questions for me.
1. The screen is plenty wide for the nature of the games available. Even the renders do not hide that (and I can appreciate that kind of honesty). This was also the case for the first Evercade. Is there any content that makes use of the full screen? Or could it be because it's easier to source 800x480 screens than sourcing something that has a closer aspect ratio?
2. Just how comfortable will TATE mode be? The spacing between the D-pad and the buttons is narrower than even that of the GBA SP, and on top of that, when you hold it in TATE mode, it's going to be really top-heavy.
3. Any word on how that battery life was determined? The first Evercade has a claimed battery life of 4-5 hours as well, but that one doesn't have Wi-Fi.
All that said, I'm definitely interested. I've liked the niche these guys have carved out for themselves, but the retro games they've brought over so far didn't tickle my fancy...until they announced IREM and Topalan.
Cool about having dedicated vertical mode action buttons.
That was something the WonderSwan nailed down, but sadly both the PSP and DS failed to consider. (I can't remember if the PSP actually pushed vertical mode as a feature, but the DS certainly did.)
I can remember trying to play arcade Contra on Konami Collector's Series Arcade Hits for the DS, and that was not comfortable.
I did the same on the PSP with the PS1 Classic Sonic Wings Special. (at least Sony put button remapping in their emulator, something Nintendo shockingly didn't on the Wii and 3DS.)
Two Tatsujin aka truxton arcade version nothing more is required
@KingMike The WonderSwan is such a cool system!
Nice presentation from a small company.. professional.. got me tempted, nut not really playing enough of my Evercade to upgrade..
Will be getting the toaplan collection though,, nice manual with interviews with the makers..
@farrgazer There are some recent indie games on the console that take up the whole screen.
@nilcam Gotcha. So Evercade is seemingly going on a two-prong approach of prioritizing on re-releasing older arcade titles, while also looking out for unique content.
Don't really need one, but I want one !!
It's great that the handheld is getting a decent upgrade, however:
I do hope that the design isn't finalised and they'll readd the coloured accents.
I enjoy my current Evercade hardware (the VS & handheld); I’ll be diving into the wallet for the EXP. The machines complement well my Switch and PS5. There’s an overlap of NES games in NSO & Evercade, although there’s plenty of less well known (and decent!) games on the ‘Cade to keep me interested.
Looking forward to add the EXP; just hope there’s no significant delays in shipping …
@nintendoknife I did think about obsolescence, given the handheld is only just 2 years old. I’m hoping the EXP is more of a ‘correcting version one’ model and that the current VS doesn’t get replaced next year. The existing machines can emulate up to PS1, so unless there’s more powerful machines Blaze want to emulate, they don’t need to constantly release hardware revisions …
I will be upgrading, I adore my Evercade but I do not have access to a computer to do the updates for it.
The Wi-Fi here will make this a convince.
Been eyeballing and Evercade but didn’t as there weren’t really any games that really drew me.
With the Irem & Toaplan collections, now I think I’ll cave.
Very cool Nintendo console, the Evercade.
I have an original Evercade, and some of the games are fun on it. But it still feels so much like a child's toy instead of a gaming device. And this one doesn't look any better. It looks cheap and plastic. Comparing this to even a Switch lite... It looks like garbage.
Even comparing it to cheap Chinese piracy machines it looks bad.
I love my evercades and even though some cartridges are better than others I think they are doing. Will be getting this, a new screen and WiFi were top of the list.
The emulation is superb.
I have both the original handheld and VS and can honestly say that they do an excellent job.
If you love retro gaming you should definitely consider the Evercade systems.
The 2 new collections are a no-brainer. excellent games on both!
As for the new handheld, I'm tempted, a nice upgrade over the original, especially the TATE mode, though I'm not sure how comfortable it will be. £129 is a very fair price, especially including a cart that good! I think I actually prefer the standard white version, though its annoying (and baffling) that hard case is exclusive to the limited edition set.
@Freek Thanks! I'll definitely look into this EXP version, since it has a dedicated TATE mode for shmups.
Oh wow, glad I never bought the original, this update looks a lot better.
Man I NEED this system!
❗️I'll stick to my 'BittBoy: Pocket-Go'...
I’ve become a stalwart collector of all things Evercade (and the original handheld’s screen isn’t all that great) so I probably will dip deep to get the special black one.
On the other hand… it doesn’t really go visually with the rest of Evercade’s systems… hrmmmm…
It looks cool and all but not really anything game wise I'd go for.
The annoying thing is I know I'll upgrade.
The design is a bit bland and drab compared to the fun and functional OG and VS controllers. The black just looks like an Anbernic copy of a Steam deck. The white would look fine if it had red trim, but no dice. The buttons look like low profile low travel buttons like on joycons. I loved the big gummy high travel buttons of the original as well as how they looked. The new D pad still looks good but not as good as the excellent original. I will probably buy one eventually but I am not sure about launch. If I do it will 100% be for TATE MODE!!!!
The new collections are some of the best yet, super excited for them.
Looks like a big step up from the original whilst maintaining affordability. Fantastic choice of launch games with Toaplan and Irem collections. I was on the fence before but now I’m definitely buying one of these. Without hesitation.
It it had any RPGs I'd buy it right away.
Just like, you know, I'm not going to get one, but since it now has Irem and Toplan games, is the Bitmap Bros collection Amiga versions of their games?
I think it would be good if they could add rewind functionality to the devices.
I have the original collectors edition and the collectors VS and the purple edition. I haven’t even opened all the games as I’m not too keen on the screen on the handheld and I bought the VS more as a future collectible as I rarely play consoles on the TV. I was quite divided when I heard this announced however I’m such a sucker for collectors edition so … yep I bought one . This does look to be a nice upgrade on the original handheld so I may actually play this
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