The RETRO VGS: A New Cartridge Based Videogame Console Aims
to Kickstart Videogaming Culture
Orange County, CA (PR) – April 20 th, 2015 As videogames continue their evolution (or de-evolution) into digital forms, one console aims to reintroduce gamers to the culture of gaming, something that has been eroding the past few console generations.
The RETRO VGS is the brainchild of RETRO Videogame Magazine’s Mike Kennedy and Ex-Atari/Sega/Nintendo video game developer, Steve Woita. The biggest news surrounding the RETRO VGS concerns its use of what was the staple video gaming media of the seventies, eighties and most of the nineties; the videogame cartridge. Combine this with the increasing popularity of retro gaming and you will start to understand why Kennedy and Woita feel the time is right to introduce a new videogame console into the mix and to once again give gamers the privilege of playing videogames on cartridges.
It wasn’t until E3 2014 when Kennedy realized retro gaming is now becoming a genre of its own. A genre that was now being taken seriously by the gaming industry, proof of which was seen by the dozens of retro style indie games displayed in both the Sony and Microsoft booth’s. Kennedy mentions, “Not only are retro games a popular and growing genre, but a genre we feel will only continue to gain popularity because gamers of all ages continue to enjoy retro gameplay mechanics and also because the retro gaming art style is becoming a beloved art form in today’s cuture. Retro gaming is simply here to stay.”
At its core, the RETRO VGS aims to reintroduce gamers to the culture of gaming by providing gamers with a long lasting, solid-state gaming console and tangible high-quality cartridges, boxes and even colorful illustrated instruction manuals. The RETRO VGS will once again foster videogaming culture which includes a spirit of collecting, trading and bragging. A culture where the words, system update, videogame patch, load times, DLC, streaming, digital download, server shutdown, need not be spoken; a culture where social gaming means playing games with your friends and family in your own living room.
What has made this venture possible was also a fortunate turn of fate that involves the Atari Jaguar. As part of one of Atari’s liquidations in the late nineties, Atari sold off the original tooling (and all rights, titles & interest) that produced the Jaguar console and cartridge shells to a dental company that repurposed the Jaguar into a dental camera. Kennedy has been keeping a keen eye on the whereabouts of this tooling and in the winter of 2014 purchased it from Imagin Systems, the dental company who was no longer using the tooling for their equipment. According to Kennedy, this is a move that saved him nearly $300,000 in start-up funds and is what is making the RETRO VGS a viable venture.
If you haven’t figured it out already the RETRO VGS will be repurposing the Jaguar console and cartridge shells, but that is where the similarities will stop. The RETRO VGS will be completely rebranded and reengineered with new system architecture and new classic gaming inspired USB controllers (as well as the inclusion of two 9-pin connectors so gamers can use their favorite classic controllers). And it will be manufactured here in the USA. The team hopes to reveal more information on what will make the RETRO VGS tick in the coming weeks. But according to both Kennedy and Woita it will be revolutionary and give the RETRO VGS and its game developers a great platform to create and deliver fun and unique video games for years to come.
Speaking of game developers, Kennedy has indicated they have been contacted by nearly 100 so far, all with significant interest in making games for the RETRO VCS. Many might wonder why game developers would be interested in creating games for such a unique platform, and one with an installed user base of zero in the beginning. The answer has been obvious to Mike after talking with many developers, developers who simply aren’t making any money in today’s world of digital, free-to-play games. It is Kennedy’s and Woita’s hope that indie and even smaller homebrew developers can find a home and a revenue stream developing games for the RETRO VGS. But they aren’t stopping there. Using their industry connections they are also courting large video game publishers in hopes of convincing them to dust off some of their old arcade and 16/32 bit properties and bringing back some of these fan favorites as sequels on the RETRO VGS. And finally, they are hoping the RETRO VGS is used by schools to help teach game development and possibly even make games created through their programs available on cartridges for RETRO VGS gamers.
Combined, the RETRO VGS and RETRO Videogame Magazine desire to bring back the culture of gaming to millions of gamers who remember and appreciate what gaming used to be.
The RETRO VGS will launch via Kickstarter in the summer of 2015 and you can keep tabs on all their announcements leading up to the Kickstarter by following them on Facebook at: http://www.RETROVGS.com
To learn more about RETRO Videogame Magazine, visit http://www.ShopReadRETRO.com . Or find it on the shelves of your local Barnes and Noble or Hastings store.
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