Moving aggressively to capitalize on the resurgent popularity of handheld game systems, SNK will make the Neo Geo Pocket Color available for purchase directly to U.S. consumers on the company's web site beginning this month. SNK's system is smaller and lighter than Nintendo's Game Boy and Game Boy Color systems, boasts a larger screen and, with its 16-bit graphics processor, can simultaneously display nearly three times as many colors at a higher resolution, in varying degrees of light. Following the March 19 launch of the system in Japan, SNK made the decision to offer the Neo Geo Pocket Color for direct orders in the U.S., and the hardware will be available at http://www.snkusa.com for $79.99.
Approximately ten titles will be available when the system goes on sale, including King of Fighters R-2, Puzzle Bobble Mini (Bust-A-Move), Samurai Shodown, Baseball Stars Pocket, Pocket Tennis, Neo Cherry Master, Neo Dragon's Wild, Neo Mystery Bonus, Crush Roller Pocket
, and Neo Geo Cup '98
. SNK plans to release roughly 15 more software titles over the next few months. The hardware will be available in different casings, including Platinum Silver, Platinum Blue and Anthracite.
Neo Geo Pocket Color features a custom-designed TFT-format LCD with a palette of 4,096 colors, capable of displaying 146 colors simultaneously. The 45 x 48 mm game window, which measures 2.6 inches diagonally, is the largest color display in the pocket game unit category. SNK says the display is easier to see from side angles and in both bright and dim light. SNK's handheld system also features a unique revolving joystick. Two AA batteries should provide nearly 40 hours of continuous play, double the amount provided by the Game Boy Color, claims SNK. Neo Geo Pocket Color also features a lithium battery, which allows for backup and save game capabilities. The unit keeps time on the system's built-in clock, even when the system is turned off, and features an alarm, a calendar, an international clock with the correct time in any of six major cities, and a horoscope.