Analogue claims long-delayed Pocket will finally ship in December
“We understand how frustrating this is. It’s very frustrating for us, too. We are excited to get these amazing devices in your hands as soon as possible.”
Analogue, in a statement about the latest delay.
Analogue’s Pocket, the Game Boy clone first announced in 2019, still hasn’t shipped to consumers. The company now says the long-awaited handheld is slated to leave the warehouse no later than December of this year.
“Unfortunately, due to new Covid restrictions with our assembly partners, their capacity to deliver within our agreed timeframe has been affected,” the company tweeted. “This has created a domino effect of delays beyond our control in what would otherwise be a seamless process.”
Analogue’s message attempts to communicate genuine empathy with would-be Pocket owners, many of whom have taken to social media in recent months to express their ongoing frustrations. But we’ve heard very similar promises from Analogue in the past, and those never came to fruition.
Delayed into the abyss — Pre-orders for the Pocket began in August 2020, which means it’s been over a year since consumers handed over $199 for a console next to no one’s had the chance to test. At the time, Analogue assured buyers they’d hear about shipping information in May 2021 at the latest.
By March of this year, thanks to the prolonged pandemic, Analogue pushed that estimated shipping date to October 2021. The company said at the time that a combination of electrical component shortages and pandemic restrictions had created a “domino effect” for its shipping timeline.
Now October is nearing and Analogue has come to realize it’s still nowhere ready to send out the finished product. Again Analogue says pandemic restrictions are to blame for the delayed timeline — problems that were beyond its control.
Stop making promises you can’t keep — Analogue is offering full refunds to pre-order customers who are fed up with the waiting. This, at least, is a small concession for frustrated early buyers, of which there are many. Even Input’s senior editor Ryan Houlihan, a self-described Analogue stan, has found himself debating whether or not the company is just plain evil.
“Unless something changes, I, a person who owns nearly everything they've ever made, can no longer recommend their products to anyone considering them,” Houlihan wrote of the company last year. He notes that this is far from the first time Analogue has broken promises around shipping estimates and product pipelines — and in most cases, there was not an ongoing pandemic to blame them on.
It’s not that we don’t sympathize with the unique struggles associated with assembling and shipping a console in 2021 — it’s more so that we, along with many other Analogue fans, think it’s time for the company to stop making promises it can’t keep.