Old school cool: Edmonton gamer creates retro arcade console
'It's a tiny console that can literally hold thousands of games from our younger days'
Duck hunt, Donkey Kong, Pac-man.
An Edmonton 3D printing company is making an imprint on the industry by putting these old school games back into the hands of players.
Allcade is what's called an emulation system. The program allows users to plug in to their televisions or home theatre systems and play digital copies of the games they love from their childhood.
"It's a portable emulator for the game from the 80, 90s and early 2000s," Sloan said in an interview with CBC Edmonton's Radio Active. "It's a tiny console that can literally hold thousands of games from our younger days, our childhood days.
The systems that can hold all Nintendo, Super Nintendo and N64 games and they are all played out of a console built inside an actual gaming cartridge, Sloan said.
"Emulation has been around for a long time," Sloan said. "What makes us different is that we're putting into a hardware system that's tiny, that plugs into your living room and that's built for multi-player."
'It blows us away'
We're living in a golden age of gaming, but even so, we occasionally pine for the simpler days of the arcade era. That was the case for Sloan.
He'd always wanted an old-school arcade emulation system so when he opened his own shop, he built one. It's a massive cabinet style player he uses to play Super Smash Bros, Zelda and all the big Nintendo games.
He loved the system, but he realized, most people don't have room for a full-sized arcade in their living rooms.
His colleague was working on another gaming-inspired contraption, the blotendo, a harmonica made out of out gaming cartridges, and Sloan was inspired.
"We were thinking, what else can we put in this cartridge, and we thought, could we put the whole gaming system in what used to be an old game."
The idea for Allcade was born.
'It's not just about how it looks but how it feels'
Each system comes with one pocket-sized console, a controller designed to work perfectly with the console you choose and at least one retro-style game, that is open source and ready to play, Sloan said.
And the case for each order is made out of an old, re-purposed game case for a nice, nostalgic aesthetic.
"It blows us away when we start up these old games," he said.
"At the beginning of every game it says the date it came out and we keep doing the math and some of them are 30, 30 plus years old, but they're still great fun."
The Allcade consoles which range in price between $100 and $200, are being sold online exclusively until the new year when they will be sold in store.
For Sloan, it's clear why his latest creation has been a success. There's something special about retro games.
"These new games are more about visuals and with the old games, it's more about the game play," he said.
"With these old games, every time you play, you find something new. It's not just about how it looks but how it feels."