RetroArch – one of the leading retro gaming emulation solutions on the market right now – is creating a hardware solution that will allow you to run your N64 cartridges on your PC.
The ‘RetroArch Open-Hardware’ project will eventually include other systems, too, making it a rival to the Polymega platform, which is a similar proposition thanks to its modular nature and use of PC-like internal hardware. The key difference is that RetroArch is an ‘open’ platform.
In a new blog post, the team behind the project revealed that it has partnered with a hardware manufacturer for a commercial release, but maintains that it will still be a “free and open DIY route”. Like Polymega, there will be a base unit and add-on modules, with the initial focus being the N64 (coincidentally, Polymega also has an N64 module arriving soon).
Production could begin as early as mid-2022, although the team is aware of the ongoing global chip shortage and notes that “there will be some nightmares down the road”.
To help gauge interest and keep the community up-to-date, RetroArch has launched an Open-Hardware Newsletter and survey. If you’d like to shape the future of this very promising project, then be sure to take part in the latter.
Similar products like this already exist, such as the (now discontinued) Retrode 2 and the GB Operator.