RetroHQ, a small UK based aftermarket retro peripheral manufacturer, have just cornered a niche that won’t likely impact most, but will no doubt make those involved very happy indeed. Previously known for the Everdrive-like Neo Geo Pocket SD Flash – a niche in itself – RetroHQ has just announced that pre-orders are open for what they’re calling the Jaguar SD.
The Jaguar SD is a cartridge for Atari’s 1993 console that a micro SD card can be plopped into and used to play ROM’s. The compatibility list is long – JAG, J64, ROM, BIN and ABS formats are all supported and RetroHQ touts 100% software compatibility for retail and homebrew Jaguar games.
This doesn’t include the CD games sadly – however, the developer, James Boulton, hopes to have them fully working soon and added as a feature further down the track. He’s reported that several CD games are currently working to “some degree”.
There’s no support for JagLink either (which is admittedly a bit too niche even for this product) but there is a development server built-into the cartridge so users can upload and deploy their own code. That will be an awesome feature for homebrew Jag developers, no doubt.
Better yet, on the sales page, there are links to a freeware game pack to get you started as well as the Jaguar version of the famous Bad Apple demo. Also, on the sales page, you’ll most likely notice the price.
There’s no arguing that £140 is a large chunk of change, but if you’re already a Jaguar collector, money may not be an object. £140 is basically the cost for only several Jaguar games, let’s not kid ourselves here. And plus, RetroHQ seems to be a one-man show. I can imagine the development and manufacturing costs would be sky-high compared to the bigger players in the industry. Reportedly, 400 units were pre-ordered on the first day alone, so there’s no question about demand at the very least.
Unfortunately, the guy’s had a mental breakdown and unceremoniously cancelled all pre-orders for the product. It is unclear when, if ever, it will resurface.
Hopefully someone else will step up and provide an alternative product.