A newly revealed system called RetroBlox is hoping to bring a new way of playing classic video games to the market. The system uses a modular design to allow physical copies of retro games to be played as opposed to an standard emulator.
The team behind RetroBlox are hoping to fund the project through Kickstarter and have revealed new details about the system recently showing the design to the public. RetroBlox will be able to play physical games from NES, SNES, Megadrive/Genesis and PS1 as well as others.
RetoBlox had the following to say to describe the system:
“It is primarily made for people who own physical copies of games, meaning you won’t use it to boot up ROMs you downloaded online. It does, however, offer something of a middle ground, letting you back up your cartridges and discs to the system. By doing so, you can play without putting any additional wear on your physical games.”
The system will work by connecting different “Element Modules” which will allow players to play a range of games through ‘hybrid emulation’. This basically means that the games will be emulated but from the physical copies of the games rather than ROMS that have been downloaded from the internet, which has always been a sticking point in terms of legality. In an effort to reduce piracy and comply with the legal side of emulation, RetroBlox plan to make games available for download to an SD card but will make them encrypted and signed to the individual user of the system so that they are only available to that one account.
The team backed their decision:
“While this may be an inconvenience to some players, we may never be able to move retro gaming forward if we don’t comply with the completely fair and reasonable request of IP owners to not use their games without permission,”
RetroBlox is yet to be priced but the team have said that it will be less than a Nintendo Switch which retails at £279/$300. It will come with one element module and a controller and the element modules themselves will vary in price depending on how complex the hardware/software will be but will not cost more than a new video game.
RetroBlox will launch on Kickstarter in April and will come in three different tiers, depending on how many element modules you wish to purchase with options to get one, three or five. A full summary of the technical specs is available on RetroBlox website.
As a retro game collector, the prospect of having one system to play a wide range of games is very exciting, especially considering how much space classic consoles take up! Are you looking forward to picking one up? Let us know in the comments section below!