Nineties nostalgia: New Neo Geo handheld console due for release in December

13 Aug 2012

The Neo Geo AES console celebrates its 20th anniversary this year, but those feeling nostalgic for the arcade-style gaming system need only wait until the end of the year for an affordable 21st-century upgrade.

Neo Geo is not the only product of the 20th century celebrating a significant milestone in 2012. Lenovo is honouring the 20th birthday of the ThinkPad with three Noughties-ready products while the good old Commodore 64 is 30 years old this month.

And so Japanese video-game company SNK Playmore is jumping on the bandwagon with the promise of a new handheld version of the Neo Geo console.

The original Neo Geo AES was considered too far out of the regular consumer’s price range to compete with 20th-century gods of gaming, Nintendo and Sega. The arcade-quality console cost the equivalent of more than US$1,000 today.

Neo Geo X Gold

Though practically a vintage model, the new Neo Geo X Handheld will retail at the much lower price of US$200. Despite the high cost of the original, the brand has maintained dedicated fan base, many of which continue to play Neo Geo games today. These gamers will be delighted with the news that the new device comes pre-loaded with 20 classic games. The device also comes with a 4.3-inch LCD screen, 2GB memory and SD card slot.

Neo Geo X Gold

The 20th anniversary special Gold edition also comes with a Neo Geo X Station and Neo Geo X Joystick, allowing users to play at home, just like old times.

The device is expected to hit stores in the US in December. There’s no word yet on pricing or distribution in Ireland, but European distribution will be handled by Blaze, which is allowing customers to register their interest in the device to receive more information when it’s available.

Elaine Burke is the editor of Silicon Republic