Steam used to hold a collection of games, both old and new, but with its constant updates and the ability to download the games on any internet connected PC, people love the new choices they’ve been given. This love only grows when you give them back a childhood classic, which for many are centered around the games that the Sega Mega Drive offered them, and Sega wants this to grow by supporting not just the games on Steam but also the modified versions that will be shared via Steam Workshop.
Steam Workshop is the user content sharing part of Steam, letting you add mods and tweaks that include the likes of replacing dragons with trains or a new map for your army to conquer. In this respect support for user-created content will be supported by Sega alongside the new Sega Mega Drive Classics Hub being released on Steam on April 28th.
Clearly designed for a VR generation, the hub will include the system being placed in a bedroom, much like the ones where you first encountered the games. With graphical enhancement filters, full controller and keyboard support and “spot-on emulation” listed in the release, you can replay Golden Axe, Altered Beast, Ecco and even Columns just like you did when you were younger.
The Coleco Chameleon originally launched as the Retro VGS and embarked on a very ambitious Indiegogo campaign. Its creators tried to produce a new console which uses cartridges and appeals to retro collectors. Furthermore, the Retro VGS didn’t incorporate any online functionality, or community features like achievements. Instead, it was designed to offer a retro gaming experience via unique old school gameplay and impressive artwork. However, the project’s target of $1.95 million was frankly absurd and revolved around a minimum entry price of $350. This was absolutely laughable given the device’s mediocre specification and unknown software support.
As you can imagine, this didn’t bode well and the project only amassed $63,546. Eventually, the console was re-branded after an internal re-design and acquisition of the Coleco license. On another note, Piko Interactive, famous for releasing new games on older systems has pledged their support for the console and will release a number of intriguing games. As a result, the Chameleon is already building a small library which encourages consumers to be early adopters. Clearly the biggest hurdle is the device’s price which deterred many people from investing.
Recently, the team announced a complete overhaul of their pricing structure and the console will cost $135 for the first 1500 backers. This is a discount of 10% compared to the later models which retail for $150. This is a major reduction in price and probably down to a better production line or cheaper source of components. Also, they might have underestimated how difficult it is to acquire funding for a console without any history, or powerful branding behind it. Despite the new price, some retro enthusiasts are not convinced and feel it’s a flawed idea. A friend of mine, who’s a huge retro gaming expert told me this about the product:
Another major error is they asked for a huge amount of money on Indiegogo. Kickstarter is usually the best place to pitch ideas with large targets because it’s a more well-known platform. This time the Chameleon is going to relaunch on Kickstarter on February 26th. Although, we don’t know what the team’s targets are.
Emulation is a popular pass time for many PC gamers, and in recent year there has been a big increase in GPU horsepower in the mobile market, allowing us to enjoy many classic games on the go, not just on our desktops. The Nvidia Shield is one of the most powerful mobile gaming devices on the market, and this is especially thanks to its Nvidia Tegra 4 GPU/CPU, which is not only capable of running many older games such as those from the Super Nintendo and Mega Drive, but also a lot more advanced 3D titles from consoles such as the Nintendo 64, Sega Dreamcast and more. What I hope to find out today is whether or not these games work well enough to justify using the Nvidia Shield as a dedicated emulation device.
Obviously there are some grey area legal issues when it comes to emulation, most of which focus around the piracy of compatible roms, so I feel obligated to mention that I do not condone anyone downloading games, but that there are also many other ways to obtain these games. There are tools and apps out there which let you rip games you own, and this applies to both cartridge based games as well as disc based games. Fortunately I’ve been collecting games for many years now and can use games I already own and have at my disposal, but keep in mind that you’re responsible for sourcing your own titles how you see fit, as we here at eTeknix take no responsibility for this, nor will be providing sources to where or how you can obtain the games. Boring stuff out of the way, let us get back to the action!
Getting roms configured on your Nvidia Shield, or to be honest any powerful mobile device can be a little tricky. Generally the more powerful your device, the better chances you’ll have of getting your games to run, as the task of emulating hardware can be quite demanding, especially when it comes to more modern titles such as those from the Sega Dreamcast. So while I am focusing this article on the Nvidia Shield, there is no reason why you can’t try this out on your mobile phone or tablet, so long as you think it’s powerful enough to do so.
The Nvidia Shield has a few extra tricks that make it a great choice for emulation, firstly because it has a controller built directly into it, as well as a high quality touch-screen display. You can use USB OTG to connect wired controllers such as the Xbox 360 controller, a mini-HDMI to HDMI cable to put the device into console mode and play on your big screen and more, so you’re not going to be limited to only playing this as a handheld, but virtually anywhere you want, on whichever screen you want (so long as it has Miracast or HDMI).
Today I’ll be taking a look at the Super Nintendo, Sega Megadrive, PlayStation 1, PlayStation Portable (PSP), Dreamcast and Nintendo 64. There are plenty more emulators and formats out there, but I feel the ones I have chosen cast a wide net over what is possible on mobile device emulation. Even older or less powerful systems such as Gameboy, MAME, NES and Master System generally all work from the same emulators I’ll be testing and already have widespread, proven compatibility with most mobile devices, so feel free to experiment with them at your own leisure.
We love a bit of retro gaming from time to time, but since the price of the original Genesis (Mega Drive), NES and SNES consoles is ever increasing, especially for ones in great condition, there needs to be a more cost effective solution. Sure you can emulate, but that’s not really a suitable option for everyone, sometimes it’s nice to actually have the real cartridge in your collection.
The Super Retro Trio looks set to offer a solution that keeps costs down by combining three classic games consoles into one device. It comes with slots for all three different types of cartridge; Genesis, NES and SNES. It’ll handle all three types of original controller, but comes equipped with a pair of SNES style controllers, an AC adapter and a standard S-Video / AV cablle.
The console is due to release next month, although those who have been waiting to buy one will know that it was delayed last year while the manufacturer solved issues with the controller mapping.
“We stand behind our products,”-”There is no room for less than the highest level of satisfaction. Retro-bit is one of the elite brands that Innex distributes worldwide and this collaboration with the manufacturer will ensure a successful launch of this outstanding console.” said Innex President Titi Ngoy when discussing the delay in production.
For just $70 it’s certainly a tempting option and its far cheaper than buying all three original consoles, while also saving on space under your TV by only needing one console.