Main Page | See live article | Alphabetical index

Neo Geo Pocket

The Neo Geo Pocket Color (or NGPC) was released in 1999 in Japan. It was a 16-bit color hand held game console designed by SNK, the makers of the Neo Geo home console and arcade machine. It came after SNK's original Neo Geo Pocket monochrome handheld, which debuted in 1998 (and was never officially released in the USA).

In 2000 following SNK's purchase by Japanese Pachinko manufacturer Aruze, the Neo Geo Pocket Color was dropped from both the United States and European markets, purportedly due to commercial failure. Remaining stock was bought back by SNK for repackaging in Asia. Before SNK was bought out, the Neo Geo Pocket Color was being advertized on US television and units were being sold nationally in Wal-Mart. As of fall 2001, SNK has gone out of business entirely, so the NGPC is now not sold retail anywhere.

The system seemed well on its way to being a success in the US. Indeed, it enjoyed a greater success than any Gameboy competitor since Sega's Game Gear. However, it was hurt by several factors, such as the US company's legendary lack of communication with third-party developers, and anticipation of the GameBoy Advance.

The system is unique in that the language is set on the handheld device, and games display text in the language selected (provided the cartridge supports that language.) Other settings can be set on the handheld such as time and date, and the system can provide customized horoscopes when one's birthdate is entered.

Cables for linking multiple systems were available, as well as a cable to connect the NGPC and the Sega Dreamcast for certain games. There was a wireless connector in the works that would have allowed several players in close proximity to play together. An MP3 audio player add-on was developed but was not released due to SNK's closure.


CPUS: Toshiba TLCS900H core (16-bit), 6.144 MHz, Z80 at 3.072 MHz for sound.
RAM: 12k for 900H, 4k for Z80
ROM: 64kb boot ROM
COMMUNICATIONS:SIO 1 channel 19200 bps, 5-pin serial port
COLORS: 16 palettes per plane, 48 palettes. 146 colors on screen out of 4096.** NEO GEO POCKET color mode, 20 colors out of 4096.
SPRITES: 64 sprites per frame, 4 colors per sprite*.
SCROLLING: 2 scrolling planes, 8x8 character tiles, 4 colors each*.
SOUND: PSG 6 tone simultaneous output. Stereo sound.
CARTRIDGES: Maximum 2 MB (16 Mbit) with 4-16Mbit flash memory.
BATTERIES: 40 hours on 2 AA batteries.
MISC: Lithium battery backed-up memory and clock