Isn’t the analogue pocket a set of FPGA emulators for specific hardware? PICO-8 needs a modern processor with some OS on it, that’s very different.
For consoles, I don’t know how hard and how expensive it is to make a game, and I don’t think zep wants a mass audience (if there were one). See the other threads about Steam.
I managed to look up details about how to run Pico-8 on a FPGA. People working on MiSters are trying to create a gate array to match that of the PocketChip, but it might be tricky as the architecture on those are rated for between 600Mhz to 1Ghz, meaning that there might not be enough gates on the current MiSter to create an FPGA Pico-8 machine. Meaning that I might not be able to play Pico-8 games on my future Analogue Pocket. Shame... But you're right, Pico-8 doesn't have a defined processor, nor does it emulate one, so you need something behind that to make it work. Though some people are trying to see if it's possible to drive Pico-8 on an Amiga core seeing as that's already possible with the MiSter, but I don't really know if the Amiga can handle LUA though.
No, PICO-8 is not like old hardware, it’s a modern C++ application that runs on an operating system :)
There is a fantasy CPU with each code operation having a defined cost; the goals of this are to recreate real limits of old systems and to ensure that games are developed to fit universal limits so that they run the same on all computers. That fantasy CPU is not very strongly specified or very realistic; there have been a few times when zep changed some things (cost of bitwise functions, addition of tline — there’s a nice blog post (or tweets?) to read about tline and real vs virtual CPU costs). At the end of the day, even if you create real fake hardware using FPGA, you have to run a compiled program that uses SDL and lua and megabytes of memory, so it’s far from old hardware.
Also worth mentioning that some companies like apple and nintendo are very picky about allowing applications that let you create and run your own programs. Pico-8 could probably get away with it due to it being a fantasy console and also using an interpreted language but still something to consider.
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