RetroArch Finds Partner for Open-Hardware Project


It has been 10 months since RetroArch’s Open-Hardware Project raised the prospect of a way to connect any console cartridge to a PC (or other device) for authentic retro gaming.

Then silence.

So, what has been going on?

Let’s recap. Imagine an N64 cartridge reader, with USB Type-C cable, that can be connected to a PC running RetroArch. No messing around with ROMs – just use the original media. In March 2021, RetroArch told us:

“When we mentioned before that we want RetroArch to be its own game console, we pretty much meant it. And being able to take your own game copies with you and run them with RetroArch seems like an obvious next step to take.”

But that’s pretty much all we got. Fortunately, that isn’t the end of the story. Realising that a DIY solution that anyone can build isn’t going satisfy the direction and scope of the project, RetroArch has “partnered with a hardware manufacturer for a commercial release – bringing the peripheral into everyone’s hands – while still keeping a free and open DIY route.”

Aiming to go into production in 2022, the RetroArch team states that the hardware is being redesigned to be modular. This would consist of a base unit and “addon modules” for other console-specific hardware. While they intend for the N64 to have the initial focus, other retro platforms can also benefit.

In the meantime, retro console gaming enthusiasts are are urged to sign up for the RetroArch Open-Hardware newsletter and take the RetroArch Open Hardware survey.


Image credit: RetroArch