The Retro Video Games System is a planned new game console powered by nostalgia and cartridge technology. The Nintendo 64 was the last cartridge-based console, released in 1996, its blocky, plastic-housed games made obsolete by the advancement of disc-based storage. Cartridges had a few advantages in their heyday, including faster load times and greater durability, but games eventually became too large and complex for them to remain dominant. Mike Kennedy, publisher of Retro Magazine, wants to bring them back, and he has his Retro VGS console in the works to do just that.
The console, which will be taking to Kickstarter sometime this summer for funding, comes at a time when retro-style titles like Shovel Knight and the revival of old genres by veterans are in high demand. Kennedy believes these old-style games are “fast becoming an art-form and genre on today’s mobile and modern consoles.” The console’s body and cartridges are made possible by re-purposing the toolkits for development of the Atari Jaguar, and will be full of some rebranded internal hardware and have its own retro-inspired controller. Kennedy and his team seem to have high hopes for the device, claiming that “RETRO VGS will reestablish the culture of video gaming, something that has been slowly dismantled over the last couple console generations. It will promote game ownership, tangibility and collectability. There will be no system updates, digital downloads or buggy games.” I wouldn’t say system updates or digital distribution are inherently bad things, but there is something nice about the simplicity of literal plug-and-play.