The Nintendo Switch system is about a month away from launch, but the folks over at Retroblox ($TBA- seeking crowd funding) have grasped the same vision by releasing a video game system with the advent of a modular design, intended for a retro-multi-system-gaming experience. An all in one gaming console with a core unit that houses a multi-compatible CD-R drive intended to read a handful of gaming platforms. (Don’t ask me how they managed to pull this off…) The modular design part of the system swaps out the various handheld controller and/or cartridge interfaces. Of course, it looks like that you may need to dig up your retro controllers from your attic to have a go at it, or poach on Ebay directly.
Here is an excerpt from their site:
“RetroBlox is a Modular Multi-System Retro Game Console. The Base Unit includes a CD/DVD optical drive as well as the motherboard, Blox Bus Interface to the Element Modules, and various ports and connectors which will be detailed later in this post. It also has the Element Module Eject Button on the side which detaches and releases the Element Module, if one is inserted.
Element Modules are removable modules that include the cartridge connector and at least 2 controller ports for various classic video game systems. The modules are interchangeable, meaning RetroBlox can support a virtually unlimited amount of cartridge-based video game systems, even if they are not available day 1 to back on Kickstarter. Modules are packaged in such a way that they will fit neatly onto your bookshelf, so you only need to pull them out when you want to exchange modules.”
Game systems currently in the mix or being proposed are:
– SNES / SFC (Super Gameboy will work fine for play only – but you won’t be able to back up GB games individually to RetroBlox)
– Genesis / Mega Drive (J) / Mega Drive (E) / 32x / SMS support via Power Base Converter
– Atari 2600 (7800 is currently not confirmed for support, but will be vetted and confirmed before KS campaign in April)
– PC-Engine / TurboGrafx-16 / SuperGrafx
Via CD/DVD Drive (more TBA)
– PSX (PSOne) – all regions
– Sega CD / 32X CD / Mega CD (J and E)
– PC-Engine CD / Super CD-ROM / Arcade CD-ROM / TurboGrafx-CD
One thing to note: the system is for pre-existing game carts or CDs -no pirates allowed! You will not be able to burn-in games digitally like Mame emulators, but the coolest feature is that you can install the games digitally as backup copies that can sync with a storage device.