|All you need is just one cartridge?|
So what is one to do? Starting a collection now is cost prohibitive, as the best time to collect for a console generation is generally two to three generations after its expiration, and for the 8 and 16 bit generations, that time is long gone. The emulation scene is abundant and as accessible as ever, but to the more discerning gamer who actually remembers what it was like to hold those wired controllers and persevere through blinking screens, actual hardware is a necessary part of the experience.
|Compatible with TurboGrafx-16 or PC Engine with the flip of a switch|
Enter: Everdrive. The Everdrive is a flash memory cartridge that allows you to play downloaded roms (presumably backups of games you already own) on original hardware. Granted, the ethics and copyright laws are muddled on these ancient games, and people interpret them differently, and so what you decide to do is up to you.
|Customize your folders to your needs|
Some argue that playing Everdrives is emulation but that would be incorrect. The rom is identical to those on a cart, and the actual system is doing the same work and outputting the same results as an actual cart would. So it is not emulation, but it is utilizing the widespread accessibility of roms found online. You are playing on an actual console with an actual controller, not at a computer.
|Play imports with ease|
There are a couple of varieties for each of the console systems, varying in levels of compatibility with certain games that require specialized chips. Even the most basic Everdrive is compatible with about 99% of the console's library. Some game that require specialized chips, like those found in Virtua Racing or Star Fox will not be compatible with the basic model. To play games that require specialized chips, you would have to choose the next tier of Everdrives.
Everdrives are made by a Krikzz, who is based in the Ukraine, and he sells online from his store: http://krikzz.com/store/. There are Chinese knock offs floating around online, but I would warn against them as while you may save a few bucks, there is no official support, and they can be bricked by the wrong operating system installed.
Everdrives are easy to use:
- Insert an SD or micro SD (4 GB is more than sufficient space for 8-bit systems, SNES may require 8 GB) card into your computer
- Download the operating system from the website onto the card
- Load your roms in folders onto the card
- Insert Everdrive into console and play
|Custom cases are available online|
|An example of a stupidly expensive game that I can now play|
I don't have a monstrous collection like some other retro collectors; I collect mainly the games that I grew up playing or have a preference for (like shoot'em ups, and fighters, and beat'em ups). While I can fit every game on each Everdrive, I don't. Having every single game is too cluttered, and takes too long to search out what I want to play if you load several hunderd roms on it. Not to mention the fact that there is a lot of garbage out there. I made folders for each genre, and I find that works nicely for me. The vast majority or roms that I have loaded on it are games that I own, with some pricey exceptions that I will probably never own. Sometimes I hear good things about a game, and I load that rom to check it out. If I end up liking the game a lot, I'll seek out a physical copy, depending on cost.
|Rare classic for the PC Engine|