New Life for Old Game Cartridges With the RetroBlox Gaming System

By on March 31, 2017

best old gaming cartridges

If you’ve been tempted to visit Pinterest and look for cool ideas for recycling old gaming cartridges, don’t do it quite yet. (Although we have to say we’re fond of the DIY Nintendo cartridge urinal.) The RetroBlox gaming system is a new piece of hardware where you can plug in and play your old gaming cartridges. It’s still in the development phase, but it’s one of the cooler ideas going.

How RetroBlox Works

how retroblox works

You’ll be able to use your old cartridges for systems like Atari 2600, NES, and SNES in the RetroBlox. And the company plans to include support for optical disc based (CD/DVD) games, such as for PSOne and Sega.

The system uses Element Modules to make the interface work between the cartridge and the gaming system. RetroBlox developed and patented the Element Modules, which allow for full hardware compatibility with the games, as well as top-end performance levels.

You’ll be able to run the games at their original resolution using a virtual display, or RetroBlox will upscale the graphics to work on new HDTVs.

The system will allow you to download and store the data from the cartridges on the system, so you aren’t putting wear and tear on the old cartridges. (The RetroBlox gaming system will use encryption to ensure users can’t make unlimited copies of the cartridges.)

The system will include connectivity options similar to what’s available in new gaming consoles. Finally, developers will be able to sell newly developed games through RetroBlox.

At this point, the company is hoping to provide support for more gaming systems in the future, but there’s no guarantee it will happen.

RetroBlox is running a Kickstarter campaign beginning in April to fund the development. More information will be available on the RetroBlox web site as it’s announced.

Now, there’s no guarantee RetroBlox will actually make it to the market successfully. And there are a couple of gaming systems on the market already that can play old NES cartridges, RetroUSB AVS and Analogue NT.

But the RetroBlox gaming system sets itself apart with the ability to play cartridges from multiple gaming systems. And with an expected price point of less than $300, RetroBlox will fit well in the market for those who haven’t yet turned their gaming cartridges into some sort of folk art piece.

While you’re waiting for RetroBlox, you can gain your gaming fix with the new Nintendo Switch or with the 30 vintage games pre-loaded on the Mini NES, which was hard to find during the holidays, but is available in more places now. 

About Kyle Schurman

Having a tech background as a writer makes me the go-to source when family members' devices don't work. Fortunately, I'm more skilled at helping solve readers' problems through writing than trying to fix my parents' printer over the phone.

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