Remember cartridges? They were chunky bits of plastic and electronics that games used to be distributed on – the last one was the N64, released back in 1996. The good thing about a cartridge is that when you own one the creator of that game can’t suddenly take it away from you. This is one of advantages of the cartridge when compared to digital distribution that has led to the development of the Retro VGS (Retro Video Games System), which is an upcoming cartridge-based games console.
It’s the project of Mike Kennedy, who is also the publisher of Retro Magazine, and he’s looking to bring it to Kickstarter this summer. For now, he has a pretty solid idea of what the Retro VGS is for and what he hopes it will do.
Firstly, the Retro VGS is arriving among what Kennedy perceives is a revival of interest in retro-style games, which he says is “fast becoming an art-form and genre on today’s mobile and modern consoles.” Shovel Knight, anyone?
The Retro VGS, then, will play original 2D games made with this retro style for the console, as well as “16-Bit fan-favorite sequels,” and ports of popular mobile and digitally distributed retro-style games from mobile and consoles released on cartridge for the first time. This will be made possible by repurposing the original Atari Jaguar tooling to create the console and the cartridge shells. The console will also come with rebranded internal hardware and a new retro-inspired controller.
According to Kennedy and his team, the “RETRO VGS will reestablish the culture of video gaming, something that has been slowly dismantled over the last couple console generations. It will promote game ownership, tangibility and collectability. There will be no system updates, digital downloads or buggy games.”
You can follow development of the Retro VGS on its Facebook page.