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This Device Can Read SNES, Genesis Carts via USB

Want to play your favorite 16-bit classic games but don't want to take the illegal route by downloading the old ROMs from the internet? Electronista points to a cool USB-based gadget that actually allows users to plug in a Sega Genesis or Super Nintendo (SNES) cartridge and read the game ROM straight from the source. The only software users will need to download and install is their preferred emulator.

Unfortunately, the device -- called the Retrode 2 -- doesn't come cheap, costing a hefty $84.99 USD. But it provides a port for Super NES carts, a slot for Sega Genesis carts, and two controller inputs for each supported console. It also doesn't require additional drivers, allowing users to access the ROM and SRAM for playing and backing up simply by connecting to a PC.

According to the developer, the Retrode 2 operates on any USB host, under any OS, using any emulator. It's also expandable using plug-in adapters, but the company said it will reveal more on that aspect at a later date. The current version comes packed with a USB cable, a coupon code for 15-percent off used SNES and Genesis games, and free priority shipping to the United States.

The Retrode 2 will be available starting January 23, 2012. Interested gamers can pre-order the gadget now by heading here.

Kevin started taking PCs apart in the 90s when Quake was on the way and his PC lacked the required components. Since then, he’s loved all things PC-related and cool gadgets ranging from the New Nintendo 3DS to Android tablets. He is currently a contributor at Digital Trends, writing about everything from computers to how-to content on Windows and Macs to reviews of the latest laptops from HP, Dell, Lenovo, and more. 

  • Intersting gadget but insanely expensive! Maybe for $20, but nobody will buy it for that price!
  • dormantreign
    It's a nice rig, but since i have a great SNES emulator on my ps3, i don't think its a buy from me. From less tech savy peeps, i'm sure the will rack up a few sales. I would be interested to know what kind of filters they have in the device.
  • memadmax
    I would think they would consider ROM's abandonware by now...........
  • billybobser
    gonna diffiucult finding a working megadrive pad, I'm down to my last one!
  • archange
    Hmm... In my view, playing console games on a PC, ported or via emulator = fail. Not to mention, a clear violation of common sense.

    *Cringes @ hate replies...
  • alyoshka
    They really should have come out with this long time back..... now, it is , just let's say , antique..
  • LuckyDucky7
    illegal route by downloading the old ROMs

    Ha! If I already own the cartridge (or another copy of the ROM data such as from XBLA or Virtual Console) it isn't, so why would I bother with this thing?

    Besides, you need an emulator to use this glorified piece of plastic anyways! You can already convert old Genesis or SNES controllers to USB, or better yet use different, newer, more comfortable controllers like the ones that come with the Xbox 360.

    Since this isn't internally a Genesis or SNES, you'll still experience the same problems that come with emulation.

    So while this is a cool idea... it doesn't really do much especially considering the price.
  • freggo
    Nice anmd straight forward way for the old timers amongst us to go on a trip down memory lane.
    I have wasted $84 for many a dinner, this should "last" a little longer ;-)
  • yannigr
    You take your Sega Genesis or Super Nintendo and connect it to your PC using a cheap pci card that has video in connector. Then you play your games on your PC screen easily using your original equipment.
    $84,... yeah right...
    I'm happy with my ROMs ty very much.