Not many people had Neo Geo platform from the 1990s, so now that pictures and information have emerged for the Neo Geo X it begs the question. Why bother bringing it back?
As previously rumored, the Neo Geo X will be available on December sixth at the price of $200 for the “Gold” bundle which will include the handheld device, 20 pre-installed games, a docking station that is TV ready and a joystick similar to the original console controller. The handheld unit will also be sold by itself for $130, according to the official website. http://www.neogeox.com/
The website also confirms once connected to a TV the handheld supports local multi-player. This is good since nearly all of the included games support two players. And, yes a second player will require a second joystick sold separately for a currently undetermined price.
Hardware specs revealed, for the Japanese market release are as follows. The Neo Geo X runs on Linux, screen resolution is an underwhelming 480 x 272 pixel display, and the battery is estimated to last for six hours per full charge.
Japanese buyers will receive a special “Ninja Master Game Card”, with an additional game title. It is currently unknown if any other markets will receive such bonuses.
As most video game fanatics get excited and chomp at the bit for new consoles handheld, virtual, or full size. But is there a place for a niche market item like the Neo Geo X? At this price it doesn’t appear so.
With a back-end that is Linux-based, think android, there is so much potential for a handheld. Where Linux is not exactly Android it is fairly similar in being open source. Recently seen in items like the Pocket TV and the Ouya, Android can be an extremely powerful and useful gaming console OS. The Neo Geo X might be better served by offering the games direct from SNK, but with an Android or similar OS and the ability to also run .apk files.
At a price on par with the Vita with not as much for your money, the handheld is going to sell but mostly to hardcore gamers and fans of the Neo Geo original. For a lower price this has the potential to be a hot holiday item. With 140+ official and unofficial titles in its catalog there are plenty of offerings for players of most types. The initial offering of 21 games covers 1/7 of the available games for a console that has been dead for almost 12 years.
Did SNK get it right this time, or are they beating a dead horse in a vain attempt at nostalgia.