RetroBlox modular gaming console can run old cartridges, CDs

Retro gaming usually calls to mind two thing. Either they're new games in a retro visual and audio style or, most likely, trying to play old games on modern hardware. The latter usually involves waiting for the generosity of the games' owners to port the classic to some modern platform or, more often than not, acquiring and playing games through unofficial means. Gaming purists, however, no longer have to resort to such compromises, especially if they still own the original game media. RetroBlox bills itself as the world's first modular and modern retro game console that can play any and all of those old CDs and cartridges you may have preserved.

In a nutshell, the RetroBlox is a gaming console with a CD-ROM drive but that drive is particularly special. Made especially by Hitachi LG Data Services for this purpose, the drive can actually read game discs from different classic consoles, including the PSX, SegaCD, TurboGrafx-CD, and more.

And what about NES and SNES cartridges, you ask. That's where the modular part of RetroBlox comes in. The console doesn't have a built-in way to read those cartridges. Instead, you attach and detach what it calls "Element Modules" that each support a different game system.

At the heart of the RetroBlox console is really the software that actually runs the games. RetroBlox calls it "Hybrid Emulation" (patent pending). The promise is that it can read even difficult to emulate game discs and cartridges with full hardware compatibility. It also upscales those old graphics to 1080p.

Sounds to good to be true? The fact that the RetroBlox isn't yet a commercial product probably says as much. The console hasn't even gone into its crowdfunding campaign, which is scheduled sometime in April. No price for the console has been hinted, nor for the Element Modules that will have to be purchased separately. RetroBlox promises to make real what decades of emulation development has so far been unable to pull off. And it better do so, because gamers can be a very brutal bunch.

SOURCE: RetroBlox