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Modular Multi-console Consoles

With the release of the Polymega I wanted to talk a bit about this concept and how cool it is.

[Image: polymega-modular-retro-game-console-1.jpg]

see the polymega is a modular console that emulates other consoles, plug in a module and you can play genesis games, plug in another and you can play SNES games, or Turbographics 16, or whatever.

what's cool is that this isn't the first time this was tried.

I give you the Pioneer Laseractive.

[Image: 300px-Pioneer-LaserActive-Set-FL.jpg]

It had a few different modules but how this differs from the polymega is interesting because it doesn't emulate consoles, unlike the polymega which is one device that emulates consoles with modular passthrough modules, the pioneer laseractive is a laserdisc player with an expansion bay that contains compact versions of consoles.

I know it's weird right?

here's the most interesting part though, it's not just console modules, it also has a computer interface module and a karaoke module.

2 different approaches to the same result, a device that can be multiple consoles in one unit.

I've been tinkering with this specific idea for a while but I've not come up with anything to show for it yet...

see what's special about the PAC-S10 (Genesis Module), is that it's actually 2 devices, it's a Sega genesis compressed down, and a secondary sega CD board which actually sends and receives the CD commands from the laseractive main unit, meaning it actually handles the CD commands through an external device.

this is not really possible for the average person but it's sort of like this...

see I'm thinking what would happen if you took a genesis board, and changed the outputs so that the power and RGB connector plug into an interface, the cartridge and two controller ports go to the front, and you re-route the sega CD expansion board so that you have a front loading SeGA cd setup beneath it as one compact device which plugs into the interface.

it'd be similar to how the laseractive works only without the external CD drive module.

at least that's my thinking on it.

here's the original layout diagram of how it's connected.

[Image: 0zGmBmW.png]

if you take out the bottom bit it's the same as a Sega genesis + sega CD without the CD drive mechanism.

Theoretically you could take this a bit further though with the DIY concept.

if you were to place a programmable microcontroller between the sega CD bus and a different CD drive (similar to the raspberry pi/Atapi controller project), you could at least in theory translate the control commands from the sega CD into atapi compatible ones allowing you to use a standard IDE drive and send the data from it to the Sega CD's CD input.

this would make it possible to use multiple consoles on one CD/DVD drive like the laseractive.
repeat as necessary.

what you would end up with is something sorta bulky but unique, a multi-console with cartridge ports and controller ports for various consoles, a single CD/DVD drive (slot loading?), and a computer power supply with inverter/controller boards on the interfaces to ensure the right voltage get's to the various consoles.

crazy? yes, impossible? nope.

just one of the ideas I've been thinking about since I first learned about the polymega and later the laseractive.

probably not going to act on it until I'm way more skilled but the idea is there for anyone interested.

as a side note, since SD to CD drive adapters exist, this might be another way to add additional functionality for if you don't have or want an actual disk drive... just tossing that out there.
"I reject your reality and subsitute my own." - Adam Savage, Mythbusters
[Image: 5.jpg]
One console to play all the retro games? Yes please!
@Guardian, right now the polymega is the choice, but it's an emulator console.

and it's pretty expensive.

it's about $300 for the base unit with $60 for every module you add to it

when I get the chance to experiment with the mutli-console OG hardware design I'll let you guys know because it should be possible... albeit it'll require some soldering and tinkering skill.
"I reject your reality and subsitute my own." - Adam Savage, Mythbusters
[Image: 5.jpg]

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