A tiny device that plugs into your smartphone’s headphone socket may be the next big thing in tiny gaming. What the company called Pico Cassette wants to do is regain some of the joy and fervor that came with buying and loading games in your own home with physical cartridges, doing so here with a device that replicates the look and the feel with a unique accessory. Just don’t say the word “Nintendo,” or your dreams may never come true.
What the creators of this device suggest they’ll do is create a sort of switch out of this piece of equipment. Oddly they’ve opted not to create a “cartridge” that’d work with the micro-USB or Lightning port on your device, where you could store a game. Instead, they’re plugging in to your headphone jack, where not much other than audio and simple button taps can be understood by your smartphone or tablet.
This “cartridge” works with technology derived from “PlugAir” by Beatrobo Inc. Their implementation is similar – plug the tiny device in to your headphone jack and a companion app will begin to download content – from the cloud. From the internet.
So the device is acting very similar to NFC, acting as an intermediary between you and the content. It’s like a key to a door that opens to a folder on the internet, which, when opened, downloads content to your device.
While we’d still rather have a device that requires no internet connection whatsoever, the IDEA that cartridges (and localized, off-web content) might still be alive out there – that’s what’s important. For now.