Cheaper Evercade retro consoles will arrive in July

Blaze Entertainment has made a bunch of announcements regarding its Evercade retro gaming consoles. Among other things, the company has revealed refreshed and less expensive hardware.

The Evercade -R range updates the VS and EXP with a new look. Each of the new consoles, which will arrive in July, comes with a bundled cartridge (more on that in a moment). The previous consoles have been discontinued but will be available while stocks last.

Blaze redesigned the handheld Evercade EXP-R with the aim of reducing costs. To that end, Blaze has removed two features: 18 Capcom games that were built into the EXP and the Mini-HDMI out port. On the plus side, that means the latest version of the console is $100 (£100 in the UK and €120 in Europe), $30 less than the previous system.

The EXP-R has a new textured grip on the back that seeks to improve comfort for longer gaming sessions. The system is charcoal grey and there are turquoise accents on the power, menu, start and select buttons. Like its predecessor, the EXP-R includes Wi-Fi and a TATE button, which allows you to switch to vertical play while maintaining an accurate screen ratio.

Rather than being a handheld, the Evercade VS-R plugs into your TV. It has the same color scheme as the EXP-R, with a turquoise power button and front LED light. Like the VS, it has a dual cartridge slot and four USB ports for controllers.

The console now supports the TATE screen rotation function and there’s Wi-Fi connectivity for firmware updates. The console comes with a controller and power cable, but you’ll need to supply your own HDMI cable. The Evercade VS-R will also drop support for the Namco Museum Collection 1 & 2. That said, with these changes, Blaze has also been able to drop the price of the VS-R to $100, the same as the new handheld.

You might want some games to play on those systems. To that end, Evercade has announced a new cartridge format. The Giga Cart is able to store larger games (such as ones that were originally available on CDs) and it will typically cost $25, compared with the $18 of regular Evercade cartridges.

Blaze is planning to release two titles on the Giga Cart format this year, and we now know what one of those is: a collection of the first three Tomb Raider games. This isn’t the so-so remastered bundle with upgraded visuals that hit other platforms earlier this year. Tomb Raider Collection 1 includes the original versions of the three games with the OG character models and textures. While you’ll be able to buy the cart separately and play it on existing Evercade and Super Pocket devices, Blaze is bundling it in with the Evercade EXP-R and VS-R.

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