Thursday 4 February 2016

New for 2016... the CD-free Saturn!

Hold on to your diapies, babies, we're going in for another post!

Longtime Saturn fans know that the system is incredibly difficult to emulate due to its unique architecture (which is a nice way of saying Sega threw in an extra processor at the last minute so it could handle 3D games). They also know that Saturn game prices have shot through the stratosphere over the last ten years, especially for American releases. With all this in mind, how do you play Saturn games without paying an arm and a leg for the opportunity?

Image courtesy of RetroCollect

Deunan Knute has the answer. Classic gaming blog RetroCollect reports that Knute, a tech enthusiast and programmer who previously worked with the Sega Dreamcast, has found a way to make the Sega Saturn run games straight from an SD card. Well, two ways, actually. Knute made two SD card add-ons for the system, the Rhea for the launch Saturn, and the Phoebe for later versions of the console. You'll need to perform a little elective surgery on your Saturn to make it work with the peripheral, removing its CD-ROM drive and connecting the I/O cable to the Rhea or Phoebe's flash drive. However, once you've modded your system and load an SD card with your favorite games, you'll never have to swap a single disc again.

If you prefer going the disc route, there's also Pseudo-Saturn, which turns the popular Pro Action Replay cartridge into a portable mod chip. You'll have to rely on burned CD-ROMs and will lose some of the cartridge's functionality, but it could be worth a look if you don't have the stomach to open your console. Special thanks to Reddit for the link.

(Disclaimer: The Saturn Junkyard does not condone piracy, or at least I think it doesn't, since the blog's lead editor has disappeared and I can't get his official statement about it. Still, it's pretty safe to assume that's what he'd say if he were around. Use this for back-ups only, all rights reserved, blah blah blah.)