Released in 2020, the Evercade handheld connects to your TV via the mini HDMI port, but the 4.3-inch display proves it’s designed more for retro gaming on the go. Now there is a version of the Evercade just for your TV. It’s called the Evercade USA, and it can run retro games at 1080p, providing top-of-the-line emulation, with support for up to four wired USB controllers for in-game multiplayer. It will cost $ 99.99 when it launches on November 3, 2021 and preorders will start on May 28, 2021.
Crucially, the Evercade VS can play games with the same kind of proprietary cartridges used by the handheld, and this home console can store two at a time under the NES-like lid that opens at the top. Each cartridge takes care of save and load states in the updated user interface, and you can pick up where you left off by switching them between the Evercade VS and Evercade handheld if you own both. In terms of visual options, it supports 4: 3, “pixel perfect” or full screen, as well as the scan line filter option. The company says the handheld will receive these interface features in an update in late 2021.
Evercade will be releasing its own controller, but you can also use other USB controllers, including the Xbox Adaptive Controller, 8BitDo’s wireless controllers with USB wireless receivers, and probably many others. Even the Evercade handheld can act as a controller if you purchase a link cable. The console comes with a micro USB power cable, but not a wall adapter. It also does not include an HDMI cable.
This cross-device approach to the Evercade platform seems well thought out. Letting you get the games out of your handheld and put them in the US to play on TV is a dominant position for any kind of proprietary format, especially from a small business that pays IP holders a license fee for games it writes to the cartridge . That’s remarkable (and even laudable), but this approach has its first major problem in the jump to the home console: some of Evercade’s hottest retro titles won’t work on the US. In particular, the two Namco Museum collection cartridges are exclusively licensed for use on handhelds, so the US just can’t play Pac-Man, Dig Dug, Galaga, and the other games built into those cartridges.
Blaze Entertainment expects to have more than 280 games available to play on its Evercade ecosystem by the end of 2021, and barring other licensing conflicts prior to the US launch, all games outside of the Namco Museum cartridges will be playable on the TV console. The company is also committed to all future cartridges that support both the US and the handheld.