RetroArch has just announced the RetroArch Open Hardware project, which aims to satisfy the retro gaming scene's desire to dump and play legally bought and owned game cartridges. While RetroArch mentions that other solutions such as the Retrode exist, they are either super expensive, no longer in production or out of stock, don't have much stock, or only a few places sell such devices. In RetroArch's mind, there's "some big issues that limits their viability as something an average consumer can just buy readily off the shelf" which is what RetroArch plans on fixing with their new project.
The first Proof of Concept device is a N64 cartridge adapter that will allow you to connect any device with a USB Type-C cable. They are planning to have a connection that seamlessly integrates with RetroArch, with it being "as simple to play the game as it is on a real game console when you plugged in the cartridge." Right now, RetroArch has achieved a 4 mb/s transfer speed and wants to bring it up to 4.5 mb/s. Considering the biggest N64 cartridge is 64 MB it's probably overkill, but it's better to have overkill than underkill, eh?
How Does it Work?
Basically, the user inserts the N64 cartridge into the cartridge reader and connect it to their PC (or any other device like the Switch dock) with a USB Type-C cable. The device then maps the contents of the cartridge as a Mass Storage device volume, with playing games as easy as loading a rom usually is. Even without RetroArch integration it should be a cinch, with RetroArch's goal of the user having control over the gaming library, not any corporation or organization.
If you would like to read the full article on what RetroArch has created, be sure to check out the announcement here. For more information on their Open Hardware Project, stay tuned to TechRaptor for more details.
What do you think of this announcement? Are you interested in dumping your cartridges? Do you even own a retro console that you play? Let us know in the comments!