Have you been feeling a bit disconnected with the newest gen consoles? By now, I’m sure all of you have heard about the turmoil at Konami over their decision to pull the Silent Hill demo off of the Playstation network (along with the infighting and recent termination of legendary game designer Hideo Kojima). Unfortunately, we can’t use up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right, B, A to get out of that situation. But, never fear. A new developer wants to return video game consoles back to their golden era. The company, Retro, recently purchased the tooling kit for the Atari Jaguar console system to design their own cartridge based console. This brand new take on a vintage video game console is called the Retro VGS. The question we should be asking is “Can the industry really turn back to the video game cartridge to revolutionize in the future?” and “Is there really a market for this sort of vintage video game console?”
Now, you may wonder why you would be interested in this console. After all, the Retron 5 surely has just about every cartridge based console known to man covered. However, there are huge differences between the two. The Retron 5 gaming console merely acts as a master emulator (and does a fantastic job at that) for majority of the classic consoles. On the other hand, the Retro VGS is an entirely BRAND NEW console. We will see brand new 8 and 16 bit video games running off of physical cartridges (in place of some sort of emulator on a PC).
What I find most remarkable here is the dedication that Retro media is taking to purposely designing this console with us classic gaming aficionados in mind. They’ve already made bold claims that the console will never need (or receive) firmware updates. The games won’t receive online patches. In fact, the gaming console itself has absolutely no online connectivity to speak of. Before you blow off the system because of its ‘archaic features and design’, consider the aim of this console. This beauty is being designed specifically out of nostalgic twinged love for a simpler time. I for one find this incredibly refreshing. This vintage video game console will also be the first system to use a cartridge since the mid 90’s Nintendo 64.
As previously stated, the design for the Retro VGS stems from the classic Atari Jaguar. Towards the end of 2014, Retro Media acquired the original Jaguar tooling machine. The Retro VGS will share an outer console shell and cartridges almost exactly the same as the original Jaguar (with added features such as USB). Everything else (all of the internal parts of the console and cartridges) will be completely designed from the ground up. According to the company’s FAQ page, the cartridges will be designed for long term use for over 100 years. That’s a bold claim. The mind boggles thinking about how this could affect future game collectors.
Many of the details are still pretty scarce. For now, we know that the console can connect up to two controllers (for local play) via either 9 pin or USB. You can read more about the console at the official site. The cartridge based console is still in its design phase. Retro media are pushing to get this system on KickStart to help with initial funding. We’ll be keeping an eye on this system going forward. I for one am both giddy with excitement (over the possibilities of a brand new, vintage style system) and apprehensive (over the possibility that this business venture falls flat on its face).
But, enough about me. What do you guys think? Will the Retro VGS turn out successful? Do you plan to pick one up? Is there enough space in the retro gaming market for a console like this? Let us know in the comments below. Don’t forget to check out the system on its Facebook page.
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