Skip to main content

Play SNES, Genesis Carts via USB

Here's a good question: if you can rip songs off CDs you purchased from the store, why can't you do the same with old game cartridges? While pirates have ripped game ROMs from their plastic houses for years, the Snega2usb takes "ripping" to a new level by making Super Nintendo and Sega Genesis cartridges appear as mass storage devices in Windows. Currently the Snega2usb isn't available for retail until December, however interested consumers can pre-order the device here for $90.

Using USB 2.0, there are no drivers needed, and gamers can either drag and drop the ROMs into a folder stored on the PC's hard drive, or play the games straight off the cartridges using a SNES or Genesis emulator. According to Gadgetoid, the device can read and write battery-based SRAM on SNES cartridges, and also features optional support for up to four gamepads (appearing as USB Keyboard devices).

This video on YouTube shows the device in action, playing Street Fighter 2 SE for the Sega Genesis (using the Gens emulator) and The Legend of Zelda for the Super Nintendo (using an unspecified emulator). As the developer points out, the Snega2usb device not only allows the end-user to load games directly from the cartridge, but it can also load and save game states directly to the SNES cartridge.

But as the developer points out, the games will only play if the emulator can handle the rom; not all emulators are compatible with some Genesis or Super Nintendo games. He also said that there are no regional boundaries: end-users can play Japanese, PAL, and NTSC versions.