Update [Tue 30th Apr, 2024 10:45 BST]: Pre-orders for the new Evercade EXP-R and VR-R are now live.

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Original Story [Tue 16th Apr, 2024 14:00 BST]: Blaze Entertainment has announced a refresh of its Evercade hardware via the Evercade EXP-R (£99.99 | $99.99 | €119.99) and Evercade VS-R (£89.99 | $99.99 | €109.99) systems. Both launch this July and will retail for a lower price than the current Evercade EXP and Evercade VS systems, which are to be discontinued.

Pre-orders for both machines go live on April 30th.

Blaze states that this refresh "not only provides a simpler and more accessible way to get into Evercade and its physical cartridge ecosystem but also brings the price of the products down to under £100/$100. The Evercade -R range will see both the Evercade console staples get a new look, a simplified package, and one bundled cartridge."

The Evercade VS-R now sports a charcoal grey colour scheme with turquoise accents. It retains the dual cartridge slots and four USB ports and appears to be unchanged internally. However, its firmware now supports TATE mode gameplay. "If your monitor or television supports it, you can now play vertical games on a big screen to great effect," says Blaze. Also, Evercade VS-R Controllers will be available to purchase separately.

As for the handheld Evercade EXP-R, it also sports the fancy new charcoal grey and turquoise colour scheme but "sees many changes from the original Evercade EXP to help reduce the cost of the product," according to Blaze. In addition to this, a new textured grip on the rear provides "extra comfort during longer play sessions."

On the downside, the Evercade EXP-R will not contain the 18 Capcom titles that come pre-loaded on the original EXP handheld. The Mini-HDMI out has also been removed, which means you won't be able to connect the system to your TV.

Both consoles will ship with the same Evercade cartridge – which uses the newly-announced Giga Cart format – and Blaze will reveal exactly what's on that cartridge later this month.

But that's not all! Releasing alongside the Evercade EXP-R is an Evercade TATE Grip, a new peripheral that aims to make TATE gaming more comfortable. It slots onto the console and offers two prongs to grip during play, which should mean the EXP is less likely to tip out of your hands during use. Available for £17.99 / $19.99 / €19.99, it will come in grey and white, which means you won't have a mismatched setup if you already own the existing Evercade EXP.

As we've already noted, the existing Evercade hardware will now be retired:

With this retro gaming console refresh, the existing Evercade EXP and Evercade VS consoles will now enter their End of Life phase and no longer be produced. They will still be supported by firmware updates, and new and existing warranties will continue to apply to hardware purchases from authorised Evercade retailers, with the usual customer service requirements. You can still purchase these devices from Evercade retailers where stock levels allow.

Are you excited about this particular hardware refresh? Sound off in the comments section below to tell us.