Prepare for “64 bits of pleasure” as Analogue announces the 3D – an FPGA-based N64 console. The system’s due out in 2024.
GoldenEye 007. Super Mario 64. Ocarina Of Time. Sin And Punishment. The N64 doesn’t have the biggest library of games, but the ones it does have are some of the most pivotal in gaming – and they’ll soon be playable in crisp HD on your modern television.
That’s thanks to the Analogue 3D, the latest in an increasingly long line of FPGA-based clone consoles from Analogue. Like its predecessors, which provided a modern solution for owners of Sega Mega Drive and SNES cartridges, the Analogue 3D will be fully compatible with N64 consoles, and will come with wireless bluetooth controller support as well as ports that will allow you to use your original joypads.
The Analogue 3D will also output at 4K as well as original display modes, and will be compatible with all regions, so cartridges from Japan, Europe and the USA will all work on the system.
In line with Analogue’s softly-softly approach to marketing its products, the announcement only comes with almost no visual reference at all, barring a moodily-lit image of a controller and what appears to be the console’s curvaceous shell. The company’s previous retro devices are all reliably minimalist in their design approach, though, from its svelte Mega SG, which distilled down the Sega Mega Drive’s Darth Vader-esque design into a dinkier form, to the Analogue Pocket, which looks like a Game Boy Pocket stripped to its bare essentials.
Analogue’s use of FPGA (field-programmable gate array) hardware also means one-to-one accuracy with the original N64 rather than patchier emulation, so you should be pretty much guaranteed that Super Mario 64 will run exactly as you’d expect it to.
The Analogue 3D is scheduled for release in 2024; there’s no price as yet, but previous systems from the firm have cost around the $200-250 mark, so expect something roughly in that region. Analogue consoles also tend to be made in limited quantities and their pre-orders sell out quickly, so be prepared to move quickly when those pre-orders do go live.
More on Analogue’s “64 bits of pleasure” as we get it.