The Evercade is a handheld game console developed and manufactured by UK company Blaze Entertainment. It focuses on retrogaming with ROM cartridges that each contain a number of emulated games. Development began in 2018, and the console was released in May 2020, after a few delays. Upon its launch, the console offered 10 game cartridges with a combined total of 122 games.
Arc System Works, Atari, Data East, Interplay Entertainment, Bandai Namco Entertainment and Piko Interactive have released emulated versions of their games for the Evercade. Pre-existing homebrew games have also been re-released for the console by Mega Cat Studios. The Evercade is capable of playing games originally released for the Atari 2600, the Atari 7800, the Atari Lynx, the Intellivision, the NES, the SNES, and the Sega Genesis/Mega Drive.
The Evercade has a 1.2GHz Cortex-A7 processor, and the console uses a Linux base. The Evercade is just over seven inches long. It has a horizontal 4.3-inch LCD screen, with a resolution of 480x272 pixels. The screen uses the 16:9 aspect ratio, as some of the console's games were originally released for systems – such as the Atari Lynx – that use a wider screen ratio than 4:3. The player can switch between the two aspect ratios.
Like the Nintendo Switch, the Evercade can be connected to a television, however with a using a mini-HDMI cable, apposed to a normal HDMI output. The Evercade offers a television output of 720p, and supports high-definition upscaling on all games when the console is connected to a television. The console has a rechargeable 2,000-mAh battery that lasts four to five hours. A 3.5 minijack for headphones is located on the bottom of the console, along with two volume controls. The cartridge slot, power button, and the mini-HDMI port are located on the top of the system. A MicroUSB port is used for charging the battery. Unlike modern handheld consoles, the Evercade does not have a touch screen or Wi-Fi connectivity.
Blaze Entertainment developed 20 versions of the Evercade D-pad before settling on a final version. The design is based on the D-pads featured on the Sega Genesis/Mega Drive and Sega Saturn controllers. Aside from the D-pad, the console includes four action buttons on the front and two trigger buttons on top. It also has "menu", "select" and "start" buttons. The layout of the four action buttons was determined after Blaze conducted an online poll, which found that 68 percent of people wanted a layout like those used on modern game controllers. However, this created confusion, as in-game prompts do not always match the buttons (a player may need to press "B" when prompted to press "A"). As the console launched, Blaze released a firmware update for the layout issue, requiring the user to connect the console through USB to the Evercade website.
Two-player games converted for the Evercade retain the multiplayer function, with the intention that future hardware will allow two players. The addition of Bluetooth had been considered as a way to add multiplayer, but the development team scrapped this idea because of cost and complexity, which did not go well with the console's focus. At the end of 2019, before the Evercade's release, Blaze was already working on a second version with multiplayer capability and a possible, easier alternative for connecting the console to a television.
Source: Wikipedia, "Evercade", available under the CC-BY-SA License.