Neo Geo Pocket Color

Launch 1999
Launch 2001
CPUToshiba TLCS900H, Z80 (sound)
Display160x152 (256x256 virtual screen)
AudioSN76489, T6W28 (3 tone 1 noise)

The Neo Geo Pocket Color (also stylized as NEOGEOPOCKET COLOR, often abbreviated NGPC), is a 16-bit color handheld video game console manufactured by SNK. It is a successor to SNK’s monochrome Neo Geo Pocket handheld which debuted in 1998 in Japan, with the Color being fully backward compatible. The Neo Geo Pocket Color was released on March 16, 1999 in Japan, August 6, 1999 in North America, and on October 1, 1999 in Europe, entering markets all dominated by Nintendo. After a good sales start in both the U.S. and Japan with 14 launch titles (a record at the time) subsequent low retail support in the U.S., lack of communication with third-party developers by SNK’s American management, the craze about Nintendo’s Pok√©mon franchise, anticipation of the 32-bit Game Boy Advance, as well as strong competition from Bandai’s WonderSwan in Japan, led to a sales decline in both regions. Meanwhile, SNK had been in financial trouble for at least a year; the company soon collapsed, and was purchased by American pachinko manufacturer Aruze in January 2000. However, Aruze didn’t support SNK’s video game business enough, leading to SNK’s original founder and several other employees to leave and form a new company, BrezzaSoft. Eventually on June 13, 2000, Aruze decided to quit the North American and European markets, marking the end of SNK’s worldwide operations and the discontinuation of Neo Geo hardware and software there. The Neo Geo Pocket Color (and other SNK/Neo Geo products) did however, last until 2001 in Japan. It was SNK’s last video game console, as the company went bankrupt on October 22, 2001. Despite its failure the Neo Geo Pocket Color has been regarded as an influential system. Many highly acclaimed games were released for the system, such as SNK vs. Capcom: The Match of the Millennium, King of Fighters R-2, and other quality arcade titles derived from SNK’s MVS and AES. It also featured an arcade-style microswitched ‘clicky stick’ joystick, which was praised for its accuracy and being well-suited for fighting games. The system’s display and 40-hour battery life were also well received.

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