There is a lost connection to owning a video game when talking about mobile game purchases. Downloading an app is definitely the most convenient source of video game purchasing, but isn’t there something to be said about being able to physically hold your game? Enter Pico Cassettes, the game cartridge that connects to your phone via its headphone jack.
At this year’s Tokyo Game Show, founder and Ceo of Beatrobo Hiroshi Asaeda introduced his company’s latest creation in hope that mobile users embrace the affinity for game cartridges. Unfortunately Asaeda only had one game to demonstrate his Pico Cassettes abilities, but he is hopeful that this small example will help his company to drum up support and a licensing deal. And it certainly seems like he’ll get some support.
“The booth hasn’t had a break,” he says of his Tokyo Game Show display. “It really validates what I’ve been saying for a long time. That there are definitely people out there who’d like to have a physical device that they can touch and feel before moving on to the digital experience.”
At the Tokyo Game Show the only Pico Cassette game that Beatrobo had to display was a Flappy Bird clone that wasn’t the most well designed game. But it’s purpose was accomplished; give the audience a glimpse of what Pico Cassettes have to offer. The game cassette looks like a mini Nintendo Famicom video game, an obvious homage to retro game cartridges. The games themselves don’t store software but instead they communicate with Beatrobo’s servers. The individual game cartridge does allow you to keep save games and play each title on different devices but you will still need access to the servers.
So after downloading the Pico Cassettes App a prompt will appear on your mobile device requesting that you insert your cartridge. After loading you are greeted with 8-bit menus and loading screens that all have a crisp high def aesthetic. Asaeda admits that there may be a need for some kind of companion controller to go along with Pico Cassettes as the touch-screen buttons may still not suite the desires of old-school gamers. And in an attempt to perhaps sway more contemporary gamers his way Asaeda has not ruled out offering content beyond retro titles on Pico Cassettes. Look for more from Beatrobo and Pico Cassettes in the near future.
Here are some of my favorite rare video game merchandise listings on eBay
- RARE 1992 NINTENDO NES MARIO WORLD CLASS SERVICE KIT REPAIR ADVERTISING SIGN – This is an official NINTENDO World Class Service Kit Repair Sign. No knock-off here! This is the official sign used as a display in Nintendo Repair Centers. This sign is extremely rare and possesses very few blemishes. A must have for serious Nintendo collectors. Buy It Now price is $599.00. A similar listing went for $300 recently. So, seller may be willing to negotiate price down a bit.
- Battletoads Vinyl Soundtrack – This release was limited to 300. It is in brand new condition and even has a soundchip in the jacket that plays the 8-bit theme when you open it! Artwork is classic early 90’s design. A great item for collectors of video game merch and vinyl records. The Buy It Now price on this particular listing is $199.99 (though they often sell between $200 – $300). Shipping is $9.75 and the item is located in Dallas, Texas. You can check out additional listings here.
- Mario Question Mark Brick Block Lamp – This is not an official Nintendo item but it is still a very cool item that I thought was worth listing. Reasonably priced, the Buy It Now price is $69.00. Shipping is $12.20 and is located in Austin, Texas.
- 7-Eleven Atari Slurpee Cups featuring Joust and Tempest Logos – What says the eighties more than decorative slurpee cups? These 2 cups are in great condition considering their 1981 release date. Starting bid for both cups right now is $9.99 with $7.15 shipping and handling. This item is located in Stockton, California.
- Vintage 1981 Pac-Man Video Game hat – Hat is used but clean and in good condition. Buy It Now price is $22.00 with free shipping and handling. Item is located in Costa Mesa, California.
- Castlevania NES Trilogy 1 2 3 Retro Style Poster – This is a retro style poster for the original three Castlevania Games on NES! Poster features all the Enemy Monsters, Bosses, the Belmonts (and Allies), and the weapons/power ups/items.