Q: What does it do?
The Retrode is an adapter for *Super Nintendo / *Super Famicom and *SEGA Mega Drive / *Genesis games. It has connectors for game cartridges, and a USB-B port. When you connect a game cartridge with a PC through USB, the game data appears as if it were a USB drive with a ROM file on it. Yes, the Retrode can do battery-buffered savegames too. No, you cannot put new games on a non-writable cartridge. As a bonus feature, the Retrode has internal extension pins to which you can connect up to four *SNES or *NES gamepads.
Q: Does it work with <name of game>?
A: Probably. To find out more, please refer to the database of games to find out more. So far, I have found only one game title for each console (Contra III for SNES and Virtua Racing for Mega Drive) that I could not get to play.
Q: Does it work on my <machine>? Do I need extra software or drivers?
A: If the <machine> is (1) capable of running a *SNES and *Genesis emulator and (2) familiar with the USB Mass Storage standard, then most likely yes. You wonít need drivers, just an emulator. So far, I have not had any problems on a bunch of different systems (WinXP, MacOS, Linux), but some folks have even gotten it to run on a Wii.
Q: Is it compatible with the Super Game Boy? The 32X? The Power Base Converter? The Master System Converter II? The MegaMaster? [...]
A: Until further notice, not in a useful way. What you might get is some ROM portion of the extension device itself, such as the Game Boy border of the SGB. For anything more, the chances are ridiculously low (the number also known as ďzeroĒ), really.
Q: Will you add support for other console systems?
A: The Retrode in its base specification supports only SNES and Genesis carts, but using simple passive plug-in adapters, other systems can be supported as well. Other users have (with my assistance) built adapters for TG-16 and Virtual Boy; also, I am offering plug-ins for Atari 2600 and N64/GB* carts in the online store. These plug-ins offer only basic ROM reading, though the wiring of the Game Boy port should in principle allow for SRAM reading and writing as well (subject to firmware support). I currently donít have plans for any other systems such as NES or Master System.
Q: Can the Retrode write ROMs to cartridges so I can play them on my SNES/Genesis?
A: No. First of all, ROM stands for read-only memory which kind of implies that you cannot write to it. If this is what you want to do, there are other sources for EEPROM or flash cartridges out there. The Retrode is for people who own original console games and think it would be cool to plug them into an emulator.
Q: Will I be able to use the savegame RAM on SNES cartridges?
A: As far as the game itself supports it, you can load and save games from and to the cartridge. There are at least three scenarios where this is particularly useful: (1) You want to play a game on a bunch of different hosts, just by carrying the cartridge. (2) You want to back up your progress before a battery replacement. (3) You like the convenience of emulator savestates but you prefer to kill the final boss on your good old system.