Blaze Entertainment announced a new Evercade handheld during its anniversary stream for the retro gaming brand. Dubbed the Evercade EXP, the sleek-looking handheld will offer new features not found in the original Evercade. Most notably, the Evercade EXP will have TATE mode, which allows players to turn the handheld and play supported games with a vertical orientation.
Evercade EXP will be available in two editions: Limited and standard. The Limited Edition is an all-black handheld that comes with bonus goodies such as a carrying case, double-sided poster, art cards, keyring, and certificate of authenticity. It also comes with two new arcade cartridges, Toaplan Arcade I and Irem Arcade I. It will be available to preorder starting tomorrow, June 1, for £180 (~$227) at UK retailer Funstock. A US release for the Limited Edition hasn’t been announced, but Funstock delivers worldwide.
The standard edition will be available to preorder in September and costs $150/£130/€150. It will be available in the US at participating retailers and comes with the Irem Arcade I cartridge. The standard edition has an all-white color scheme.
The Evercade EXP will support all existing Evercade cartridges that you can currently play on the original Evercade and Evercade VS home console. For those who are unfamiliar with Evercade, it’s a cartridge-based family of systems that plays compilations of classic console and arcade games–often ones that are hard to find and super expensive nowadays. We reviewed the Evercade VS earlier this year and came away mightily impressed, and the handheld Evercade is also a lovely device.
While the EXP retains a similar form factor as the original handheld, the button layout and design is slightly different. The face buttons are now in a slightly recessed cavity and have inscribed letters rather than the translucent look of the original. The menu button is now located on the right side above the vertically oriented start and select buttons.
On the left side of the handheld, you’ll notice additional A and B buttons. Games that support TATE mode (vertical orientation) can now fill up the entire screen by turning the console 90 degrees and using the D-pad in combination with the additional A and B buttons. Blaze has also added R2 and L2 triggers–the original Evercade handheld only included a pair of shoulder buttons.
The Evercade EXP’s internals have also been upgraded to align with the Evercade VS home console. It boasts a 1.5GHz processor and 4GB of RAM. Though it retains a 4.3-inch screen, the EXP has a high-resolution IPS display with 800×480 resolution (the original Evercade was limited to 480×272). The EXP swaps the Micro USB charging port for USB-C but still has the mini-HDMI port for hooking up the handheld to a TV/monitor to play in 720p resolution.
The Evercade’s library now includes more than 30 cartridges and 300 games. The new carts–Toaplan and Irem–will add 14 arcade games to the library, including R-Type, In The Hunt, Lightning Swords, and more.
Blaze also teased “bonus content” for the EXP that will be announced in September.
Evercade EXP Limited Edition