With a Kickstarter launching in April, Retroblox promises to deliver multi-system emulation that makes use of original cartridges, CDs and peripherals.
Emulators have long been something of a grey area. On the one hand, they allow gamers to play titles that may longer be readily available. However, their legality is fuzzy at best. Retroblox, a multi-platform console set to hit Kickstarter in April, appears set to address at least some of these issues.
According to Retroblox's website, the system will support NES, SNES, Genesis/Megadrive, Atari 2600, PC-Engine, PlayStation 1, and Sega CD at launch. The makers of the upcoming system state that "You will not be able to simply load up an SD card full of roms, plug it in and suddenly have a huge library available as we do not support or advocate for piracy". Their website suggests that a 'key' system of sorts will be in place, whereby inserting/plugging in a CD or cartridge will grant you access to the game on that one system.
It will also apparently make use of modular add-ons to enable you to plug in cartridges from other systems, as and when these modules become available. Retroblox also claim the system will make use of 'Hybrid Emulation', suggesting that this will allow for more system accurate emulation. Notably, several 'official' multi-game consoles, such as Blaze's Portable Megadrive, have had issues accurately replicating console sound.
Retroblox is by no means the first system to promise multi-console emulation, and given its state as a pending Kickstarter, there's no guarantee it will weather the potential legal issues that may arise. Nor is it clear just what advantages the system offers over a PC which, by and large, can emulate a greater number of systems. Though again, the legality of that is somewhat questionable.
Retroblox will be launching their Kickstarter in April, so keep your eyes open if the idea appeals to you. For more information, visit their official website.