What We Learned from the Evercade AMA

Evercade EXP

Blaze’s Sean Cleaver engaged with fans on Discord this week following the unveiling of the Evercade EXP for an ask-me-anything (AMA) session.

In a revealing set of exchanges, helped by some intelligent questioning from the community, various facts about the Evercade EXP and the future direction of the entire platform were confirmed. Hints at other developments were also made.

So, what did we learn?

Well, a few things were ruled out. For example, there will be no digital storefront coming, 3DO, Atari Jaguar, and Sega Saturn games will probably not be happening, and no premium priced cartridges will be released. Meanwhile, an Activision collection of Atari 2600 games was planned buy ultimately fell through, while EA was pitched for involvement for a collection but Blaze was refused. Efforts continue in getting the Namco collections approved for the Evercade VS.

On the other hand, a ton of interesting developments were announced. Remote bug reporting is set to be introduced, an update tool for Linux users is hoped for in time for the final firmware update of the original Evercade, and online features are planned, no doubt for the VS and EXP systems.

New Evercade EXP details

In the case of the Evercade EXP, two prototypes were made before the final design was settled. The device will be able to be used as a controller with the VS, as with the original Evercade, there’s a dedicated button to activate TATE mode, and the mini-HDMI port on the EXP is a better fit than the one on its forerunner.

Evercade EXP

The EXP will have a new intro video, music, and theme, and the team behind it will be releasing a development diary on the Evercade website, as with the VS. The bonus content mentioned in promotional material for the Evercade EXP announcement will be the same for the standard and limited edition versions of the console.

The future of Evercade

Some more general, game- and hardware-related details were confirmed. Interestingly, Evercade sells mainly to the over-25s, which is perhaps younger than you might expect.

New accessories for all available hardware will be released, while there continues to be development of a Bluetooth controller, and possibly an adapter for the existing VS controllers.

Evercade VS

In terms of games, more handheld games are being targeted, as are home computer games (hopefully this means Spectrum and C64 titles!). Additional bonuses will be included with some cartridges in future, and Game of the Month may continue into 2023 in a different form, as the feature has been well-received. There is also interest in a Blaze-developed game for the Evercade platform.

Perhaps the most important news is that future games will work on fine on the original Evercade, as long as the system is updated to firmware 2.0 (or later should such an update be available).

A successful Evercade AMA

It has to be said that the Evercade EXP’s announcement, while welcome, was not communicated as well as it could have been. Fortunately, the AMA was already scheduled, and the facts revealed from it paint a positive picture for Evercade going forward.

Over the past few weeks I’ve seen a surprising number of people on the various Evercade groups on Facebook announce the sale of their Evercade collections on eBay. Their feeling is that the Evercade is at a standstill, and argue that Blaze Entertainment is not doing enough to push the platform to big name publishers.

But this isn’t the case. The Evercade has achieved a hell of a lot in quite a short space of time. The world has been to hell and back since it was announced, we’re now approaching the third distinct model, and 300 plus games are available.

While those guys and girls selling their Evercades are well within their rights to do so, I think their argument is wrong. The Evercade EXP proves that Blaze can push the platform, and in upgrading to faster hardware proves that more avenues for games are being explored.

In short, that was a successful AMA from Blaze!

(AMA summary credit Roberto Garcia-Lago in the Evercade Fans group on Facebook.)