Evercade EXP comes with 18 Capcom games and pre-orders open soon

Evercade EXP handheld gaming system with the Capcom Collection

The 4.3″ cartridge-based handheld includes a collection of Capcom games, but they’re built-in

While the retro-focused Evercade systems are known for their (officially licensed) game cartridges, there’s an interesting wrinkle with the upcoming Evercade EXP handheld — it’s bundling a coveted selection of Capcom games that won’t be available on a cart.

And it’s not just some random titles from Capcom’s stretched-out catalog, either.

When the Evercade EXP releases later this year (on November 24, with pre-orders opening on September 6), it will come with games like Bionic Commando, Ghouls ‘n Ghosts, Strider, Mega Man X, and Breath of Fire directly built-in. There are 18 titles altogether.

The Capcom Collection included with Evercade EXP:

  • 1942 (Arcade version)
  • 1943 (Arcade version)
  • 1944: The Loop Master (Arcade version)
  • Bionic Commando (Arcade version)
  • Captain Commando (Arcade version)
  • Commando (Arcade version)
  • Final Fight (Arcade version)
  • Forgotten Worlds (Arcade version)
  • Ghouls ‘n Ghosts (Arcade version)
  • Legendary Wings (Arcade version)
  • MERCS (Arcade version)
  • Street Fighter II: Hyper Fighting (Arcade version)
  • Strider (Arcade version)
  • Vulgus (Arcade version)
  • Mega Man (8-bit)
  • Mega Man 2 (8-bit)
  • Mega Man X (16-bit)
  • Breath of Fire (16-bit)

These games will be “instantly playable out of the box,” according to Evercade creator Blaze Entertainment. “No download, no need for connection — simply go to the EXP button on the main menu and select The Capcom Collection.”

One of the cooler Evercade EXP features is that it can be played on its side, which is perfect for vertical-minded games — 1942, 1943, Commando, and MERCS, to name a few. If you were wondering about those extra A and B buttons on the left side, they’re for TATE.

The underside of the Evercade EXP
A look at the Evercade EXP’s underside.

Why isn’t there a cartridge equivalent?

Players who are already invested in the Evercade ecosystem (which includes the VS home console) aren’t thrilled about the idea of built-in games that aren’t also available separately on a cartridge — the physical aspect is the whole point of Evercade, after all.

From the sound of it, if Blaze Entertainment could’ve worked out a different deal within reason, it would’ve. It seems like a “better than nothing” approach prevailed.

“For those that are asking, physical is still our primary outlet and we will continue to produce cartridges,” the company tweeted. “[The Capcom Collection] is specifically a bonus for the Evercade EXP and currently the only way we could bring Capcom to you at this time. We hope this opens the doors for future carts.”

Capcom is a big deal, so I get it. With Mega Man X, this announcement is the first time I’ve seriously looked into the Evercade EXP, so from that lens, the plan worked. For the long-termers and other physical-or-bust players, this first step will hopefully pave the way for additional Evercade agreements, whether that’s with Capcom or other notable publishers.

What's included in the Evercade EXP box
What’s included in the Evercade EXP box.

Evercade EXP launch details

Evercade EXP pre-orders begin on September 6, ahead of the November 24 launch, and the console will cost $149.99 / £129.99 / €149.99 at participating retailers like Amazon, Best Buy, Argos, and GAME, depending on your country. You’ll also get a Capcom Collection manual, Irem Arcade 1 cartridge, and USB to USB-C cable in the box.

More stats for the handheld, if you need ’em: 800×480 resolution on a 4.3″ IPS screen, 1.5GHz processor, 4GB memory, stereo speakers, built-in Wi-Fi, 3.5mm headphone jack, 720p mini HDMI output (though you’ll need to buy a cable), and a 3000mA battery for “4-5 hours of gaming.” How big is it? The Evercade EXP is 7.76″ x 3.1″ x 0.8″.

If you’re not a retro game enthusiast who values physical media, you might scoff at Evercade — admittedly, I did a double-take. But when there are so many games to play, especially with densely-packed subscriptions on the rise, it’s nice to stop and consciously appreciate games one cartridge at a time. I’ve been eBaying GBA games lately, so I get it.

Jordan Devore
Jordan is a founding member of Destructoid and poster of seemingly random pictures. They are anything but random.