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New system at GameStop: VG Pocket


#1 xorealix   CAGiversary! CAGiversary!   84 Posts   Joined 11.8 Years Ago  

Posted 15 November 2005 - 08:18 PM

Hey guys,
A few days ago I discovered an interesting product at GameStop.com- the VG Pocket 50 Games. It was officially released today (unfortunately my local GameStop doesn't carry it) and information about it is sparse. So far I've only seen it mentioned on two other websites- B&N and J&R. Neither has any further information. From the picture, it appears to have NES-era graphics.

Does anybody have any data on this system? I was considering picking up a Power Player, but if this contains a NOAC I'll probably buy it first.

Also, it's listed as a "TV Game"- do you think the Black Friday "$5 off Plug'n'Play TV Games" coupon would work? I wonder if it can be applied online...

Thanks ahead of time for any insight into the issue. This looks like a pretty cool device to pick up as a stocking stuffer.

Oh by the way, J&R lists a "VG Pocket Max" with a 2.5 inch screen. Pelicanacc.com does not mention the device at all.

#2 nwaugh   thread killa CAGiversary!   1378 Posts   Joined 12.4 Years Ago  

Posted 15 November 2005 - 08:19 PM

I love ads.

#3 xorealix   CAGiversary! CAGiversary!   84 Posts   Joined 11.8 Years Ago  

Posted 15 November 2005 - 08:36 PM

I love ads.

Are you implying that my post was an ad for the product, or are you referring to the picture ad that got automatically added to my post?

Either way, unless somebody comes forth with information in the next 3 days, I will be forced to purchase one of these (at my second-closest GameStop) and rip it apart. Here's to hoping that it has a (good) NOAC in it.

#4 Wombat   CAGcast or nothin CAGiversary!   2350 Posts   Joined 13.6 Years Ago  

Posted 15 November 2005 - 08:37 PM

I'll admit I'm curious to know what the "classic" games are, 49 versions of solitaire probably

#5 kakomu   CAGiversary! CAGiversary!   2264 Posts   Joined 12.1 Years Ago  

Posted 15 November 2005 - 10:11 PM

I can't find any info. Even at Pelican, the supposed makers of the device.

Also, what's a NOAC?
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#6 Strell   LOBSTERS!....IN MY PANTS! CAGiversary!   26583 Posts   Joined 13.8 Years Ago  

Posted 15 November 2005 - 10:16 PM

I beleive "Nintendo-on-a-chip," which is essentially a proprietary chip bootleg companies can make to allow NES emulation. But since the patent on the NES has expired recently, apparently people can make clones all they want.

I am not by any means 100% of the information I just said, but I am reasonably sure what NOAC means.


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#7 xorealix   CAGiversary! CAGiversary!   84 Posts   Joined 11.8 Years Ago  

Posted 16 November 2005 - 01:54 AM

I beleive "Nintendo-on-a-chip," which is essentially a proprietary chip bootleg companies can make to allow NES emulation. But since the patent on the NES has expired recently, apparently people can make clones all they want.


Correct. I'm not sure about the legality. You'll get different answers depending on who you talk to. The ones that have integrated pirated games are definitely illegal.

If this unit had a NOAC, there's a chance that we could hook up a cartridge port to it, turning it into a GameAxe / Game Theory Admiral clone, but cheaper and smaller (not to mention legal).

Do any GameStop employees know if the $5 off applies to this? If it doesn't, I'll just order one or wait until my local GS gets them in.

#8 klwillis45   Tararrel CAGiversary!   2569 Posts   Joined 12.6 Years Ago  

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Posted 18 November 2005 - 06:39 PM

Game list yet anyone??

#9 alonzomourning23   all my heroes are dead CAGiversary!   7774 Posts   Joined 13.9 Years Ago  

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Posted 18 November 2005 - 07:40 PM

I'd say its legit. Pelican has been around for a while and I doubt they'd be dumb enough to produce something that's illegal.
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#10 FFMooglestar   SoCal Living. CAGiversary!   877 Posts   Joined 12.7 Years Ago  

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Posted 18 November 2005 - 08:15 PM

We got these in our store (GameCrazy) 2 or 3 days ago. I don't think that any of the games are actual NES Games or anything like that. More like 50 flash type games. I remember looking at the back and seeing a few racing games and pong/table tennis type game. I believe you can also attatch this to your TV and play it from there.

I'll get more info when I go into work later, and if nobody else posts anything before I get back, I'll let all you guys know.

#11 xorealix   CAGiversary! CAGiversary!   84 Posts   Joined 11.8 Years Ago  

Posted 20 November 2005 - 03:12 AM

I found a little more info, and have concluded that there are three models:

VG Pocket (Lite?) [some guy on another forum said he bought it at Walmart]
1.5 inch screen
30 games
$20

VG Pocket
2.0 inch screen
50 games
$30

VG Pocket Max [unreleased]
2.5 inch screen
75 games
$40

I'm going to head up to Walmart / GameStop and take pictures / purchase one of each product sometime soon.

The guy who got the one at WalMart said the website was VGPockets.com. Both VGPocket.com and VGPockets.com are registered to Pelican. No site is set up at either address.

#12 GizmoGC   I love Cheese CAGiversary!   12315 Posts   Joined 13.6 Years Ago  

Posted 20 November 2005 - 03:35 AM

I saw these at Game Crazy today...

There are 3 different versions and noted above. All the games are pretty simple, but seem pretty fun. The screen is 2" big (Maybe 2.5?) and is TFT LCD Display. They come in a vairety of colors (White, Black, Blue, Pink), and come in a plastic box (Almost like how an Alarm clock would be sold). Game Crazy only carries the $30 version (50 games).

#13 GizmoGC   I love Cheese CAGiversary!   12315 Posts   Joined 13.6 Years Ago  

Posted 20 November 2005 - 03:36 AM

Oh, they do also plug into the TV and allow you to play games on the TV.

#14 xorealix   CAGiversary! CAGiversary!   84 Posts   Joined 11.8 Years Ago  

Posted 20 November 2005 - 12:40 PM

Oh, they do also plug into the TV and allow you to play games on the TV.


Good. That means we can use the $5 off on Black Friday at GameStop.

Also, I found out that the Max version is released.

#15 RAMSTORIA   fate is inexorable CAGiversary!   11980 Posts   Joined 13.1 Years Ago  

Posted 20 November 2005 - 12:46 PM

well, most people seem to forget that copyright on a lot of nintendo stuff is expiring now, so this can totally be legit... too bad theres not more details, could be very interesting

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#16 whuzizname   CAG Veteran CAGiversary!   28 Posts   Joined 13.7 Years Ago  

whuzizname

Posted 23 November 2005 - 01:29 AM

The Max version is at Radio Shack for $60.

It's pretty cool, although many of the games are very similar to each other.

It includes an earphone jack, a speaker, and cable to connect to a TV. Runs on 3 AAA batteries with a claimed 15 hour life. Screen brightness is not adjustable, although it is very nice.

It does NOT use old Nintendo software.

Hope that helps!

#17 xorealix   CAGiversary! CAGiversary!   84 Posts   Joined 11.8 Years Ago  

Posted 23 November 2005 - 03:59 PM

The Max version is at Radio Shack for $60.

Wow, JR.com has it listed for $40.

Thanks for the info.

I just bought one (Max version) online, so I'll post as much info as I can when I get it. No luck finding the $20 version at WalMart, so it must be a YMMV thing.

#18 GuilewasNK   No gimmicks necessary. CAGiversary!   21266 Posts   Joined 13.7 Years Ago  

Posted 23 November 2005 - 04:29 PM

If the games are anywhere close to decent it could be a nice gift for a casual gamer.

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#19 Demontooth   not as cheap as I used to be CAGiversary!   1527 Posts   Joined 13.6 Years Ago  

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Posted 23 November 2005 - 06:02 PM

I love ads.


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#20 whuzizname   CAG Veteran CAGiversary!   28 Posts   Joined 13.7 Years Ago  

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Posted 24 November 2005 - 01:40 AM

Wow, JR.com has it listed for $40.

Thanks for the info.

I just bought one (Max version) online, so I'll post as much info as I can when I get it. No luck finding the $20 version at WalMart, so it must be a YMMV thing.


Did you buy it from JR.com or another online store? JR's website says it's out of stock.

BTW, I stopped at a GameStop tonight and asked about it. The two slackers working the counter never heard of it. :(

#21 xorealix   CAGiversary! CAGiversary!   84 Posts   Joined 11.8 Years Ago  

Posted 24 November 2005 - 02:59 AM

Did you buy it from JR.com or another online store? JR's website says it's out of stock.


No, I actually nabbed it off of ebay for $20. I found another store that seems to have it in stock though, click: VG Pocket MAX

BTW, I stopped at a GameStop tonight and asked about it. The two slackers working the counter never heard of it. :(


Last week I asked a GameStop employee if they had GameBoy Pockets in stock. He looked at me, and asked "you mean a GameBoy Micro?" I told him no. He walked away, and I continued to look around. He walked back 2 minutes later, Gameboy Micro box in hand, showed it to me, and said "This?!?". I wanted to punch him in the face.

Needless to say, none of my local GS employees know anything about the VG Pocket.

Edit: Just after posting that link, I realized that they mention the model number is VG-3000. JR.com has it listed as VG-2500 (which makes more sense). Who knows what's going on.

#22 whuzizname   CAG Veteran CAGiversary!   28 Posts   Joined 13.7 Years Ago  

whuzizname

Posted 24 November 2005 - 04:14 AM

No, I actually nabbed it off of ebay for $20. I found another store that seems to have it in stock though, click: VG Pocket MAX



Last week I asked a GameStop employee if they had GameBoy Pockets in stock. He looked at me, and asked "you mean a GameBoy Micro?" I told him no. He walked away, and I continued to look around. He walked back 2 minutes later, Gameboy Micro box in hand, showed it to me, and said "This?!?". I wanted to punch him in the face.

Needless to say, none of my local GS employees know anything about the VG Pocket.

Edit: Just after posting that link, I realized that they mention the model number is VG-3000. JR.com has it listed as VG-2500 (which makes more sense). Who knows what's going on.


I'm unable to find any listed on Ebay -- I figured I'd at least be able to find the listing that you had one. How did you find it? Can you share the listing number of your winning auction please? Maybe the seller has more to sell.

THanks for the link to http://baysoftgames.com/vgpocket.html

Their website doesn't make sense though. The text describes the 75 game version only, but they show photos of both the 50 and the 75 version, and no choice for which to buy. THen, when I went to buy one, the text mentioned the 75 version but showed a 50 version photo. So which is it for your $39.99????

THANKS AGAIN!

#23 NeoGutsman   CAG Backlogger CAGiversary!   1630 Posts   Joined 12.7 Years Ago  

Posted 24 November 2005 - 06:39 AM

I saw the 75 game version at E3 earlier this year. I'll put more info up tomorrow, as I'm sick right now, and the Nyquil is starting to kick in... ;)

Essentially, this was a product from Asia, Hong Kong I think. The representative there told me it was being distributed in the US, but I hadn't heard a thing about it until I checked my newsletter from BaySoft Games this evening. The screen is quite nice for a product of this type, and all the games seemed to be original. It also seemed that the system was indeed some sort of NES-on-a-chip, as the graphics were quite close to the quality of a lot of NES games.

I had fun playing with it, and I my very well pick one up later. I have pictures of the original unit, a unit with a smaller range of games (looked square with a little joypad thing directly below and in the center of the smaller screen), the product catalog from the company (I can't remember the original Asian developer of this), and a pic of their standee with more original product info.

Sorry, I'm falling asleep. Have a Happy Thanksgiving all, and I'll post more soon.

#24 xorealix   CAGiversary! CAGiversary!   84 Posts   Joined 11.8 Years Ago  

Posted 24 November 2005 - 10:33 PM

Wow, sounds great NeoGutsman, looking forward to that info. Hope you feel better soon. :D

whuzizname- I'm sending you a PM. Also, the baysoft games site is selling the Max version (75 games) for $40.

#25 analoguesque   CAG Veteran CAG Veteran   4 Posts   Joined 11.7 Years Ago  

analoguesque

Posted 29 November 2005 - 12:24 AM

I bought the VG Pocket Max (75 games) today for $40 from RadioShack.

The hardware on this is surprisingly good, but the games let it down badly. It's like a mini NES, but with one thing missing - good games. :) The problem with the hardware is that the directional pad is a bit clumsy. Not ideal, but useable. The speaker also emits an annoying buzzing sound that is not apparent while music is playing - probably because the NES square-wave sound FX drown out the buzzing.

There are no real standout games and it seems like a bunch were quickly thrown together to bring this to production. Most of the racing and shooting games are a different face on the same games, with small differences here and there. It's not that they aren't different from each other - they are, but just not enough to be believable.

As-is, it's a pretty solid little unit that could have been much, much better if different or better games were selected. Even a few old-school Space Invaders/Galaxian/Pac Man clones would have made this a much better deal.

It might be worth picking up the VG Pocket (30 games) from Wal*Mart for $20, but $40 on the 75-game version is not worth it. The games are just not good enough.

Hopefully someone will hack it and allow us all to add new/different games :)

#26 xorealix   CAGiversary! CAGiversary!   84 Posts   Joined 11.8 Years Ago  

Posted 01 December 2005 - 11:43 PM

First off, excellent review, analoguesque. I agree with you completely. I got mine yesterday, and cracked it open today. Model number is VG-3000.

As far as adding a cartridge slot goes, all I can say is "Good luck." I saw two glop tops- one for the processor, one for the games. The game chip has contact points around it- but all spread out and unlabeled. I couldn't seem to count which ones were connected to the game glop, but it looks like there are more than 50 (possibly 60? Famicom?). If I get bored with it, I'll do the necessary research and try to hook up a cartridge slot to it.

Found yet another unfinished website of theirs: here.

Posting a game list is pointless because all of the racing games are the same, and all of the shooting games are the same. On the other hand, if somebody had the game list for the 30 game and 50 game versions, we could do a comparison...

#27 asterick   CAG Veteran CAG Veteran   8 Posts   Joined 11.7 Years Ago  

asterick

Posted 02 December 2005 - 04:42 AM

First off, excellent review, analoguesque. I agree with you completely. I got mine yesterday, and cracked it open today. Model number is VG-3000.

As far as adding a cartridge slot goes, all I can say is "Good luck." I saw two glop tops- one for the processor, one for the games. The game chip has contact points around it- but all spread out and unlabeled. I couldn't seem to count which ones were connected to the game glop, but it looks like there are more than 50 (possibly 60? Famicom?). If I get bored with it, I'll do the necessary research and try to hook up a cartridge slot to it.

Found yet another unfinished website of theirs: here.

Posting a game list is pointless because all of the racing games are the same, and all of the shooting games are the same. On the other hand, if somebody had the game list for the 30 game and 50 game versions, we could do a comparison...


The game does resemble an NOAC, and yes, thit is legal to make nintendo clones, so long as they do not contain copyright material.

I quoted yours in reference to your 'two glop tops'.

Not all version contain the glop-top. The VG Pocket 50 contains a Micron 32Mb flash chip to store their programs, which I fully intend on dumping as soon as I get to work to verify that this is infact an NOAC.

If it is, there are two minor issues with the system which would prevent any real gameplay. Those problems being start and select.

Oh, and as far as wiring up a cartridge connector to it... there is another problem with that. This system uses TTL level logic, and the NES used CMOS. You would need a lot of level converters to get a NES cartridge hooked up to it.

#28 Cheetatron   CAG Veteran CAG Veteran   2 Posts   Joined 11.7 Years Ago  

Cheetatron

Posted 02 December 2005 - 05:33 AM

The game does resemble an NOAC, and yes, thit is legal to make nintendo clones, so long as they do not contain copyright material.

Not all version contain the glop-top. The VG Pocket 50 contains a Micron 32Mb flash chip to store their programs, which I fully intend on dumping as soon as I get to work to verify that this is infact an NOAC.

Does it make much financial sense for the company who makes the pocket to use a NOAC if they have no intent on using nes roms?

#29 asterick   CAG Veteran CAG Veteran   8 Posts   Joined 11.7 Years Ago  

asterick

Posted 02 December 2005 - 07:32 AM

Does it make much financial sense for the company who makes the pocket to use a NOAC if they have no intent on using nes roms?


Actually, it's pretty common. Nintendo-on-a-Chip is a really simple core to recreate, and the availability of development tools and emulators for NROMs is pretty much unmatched.

If they created their own system, they wouldn't have a wide variety of various games to test on it.

It's actually been pretty standard practice for many years in china to use NoaCs for various things from simple home computers to quick '1000-in-1' controller type setups.

Simply put, it's cheaper than hiring a bunch of digital logic engineers.

#30 xorealix   CAGiversary! CAGiversary!   84 Posts   Joined 11.8 Years Ago  

Posted 02 December 2005 - 11:50 AM

Great info, asterick. I didn't even look at the other chips- I just assumed it was a standard 2 glop top setup. At least one of them has to be the CPU, right? Wonder what the other one is...