Here at RetroStage, we strive to provide the best products for a great price. We’ve been working with and designing circuit boards for retro gaming consoles since 2010. Our first product was the SNES HiROM/LoROM board – a cartridge that could be configured to run a variety of SNES games, and SNES was our main interest. Since then, we’ve expanded to support NES, SNES, N64, Sega Genesis, Gameboy/GBC and GBA, and even other consoles like Atari Jaguar! With having a number of different products available, we often get asked the same questions by many different customers. So we decided to put this FAQ up with some of the most common questions regarding us and our products!
Q: Can I use your programmer to write a game ROM to an original/authentic/OEM game cart? (Example, put Mario 64 game hack onto original Mario 64 cartridge).
A: No! We get asked this an awful lot, but an original game cartridge (for any console) cannot be rewritten with a new game ROM. The memory chips that hold the game ROM are read-only, so no data can ever be changed with a programmer. The save game section of a cart CAN be rewritten (for example, writing a saved game file from an emulator like a .SRM file), but not the game data itself.
This is why we developed the Blaster series of programmable cartridges, because they can be rewritten however many times you want with a different game every time – they were designed for this. Original manufactured games, regardless of the console, were not.
Q: Are your products safe to use? Do they have proper voltage translation for 3V parts?
A: Yes! All of our PCBs are built to be either 5V tolerant (meaning that they use parts that are rated for 5V natively or have circuitry built specifically for running safely in a 5V system), or if 3V parts are used then they have full level translation to properly convert between 3V and 5V logic levels. Our RetroStage Guarantee is that the product works as safely in the console as an original Nintendo/Sega/etc. manufactured cartridge.
Q: I am having trouble using one of your products, where do I go for help?
A: If you are having difficulty with any of our products, we offer free tech support via email. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for any tech support issues for all of our products.
Q: Can you make a PCB to play games on “xyz” console?
A: We support a large number of consoles and that number is growing regularly, but we don’t have a PCB for every console yet. If you are looking for a specific design for a custom project, feel free to contact us via email at email@example.com
Q: Can you publish a game that I made?
A: Currently we don’t have the means to publish games ourselves (yet!), but we have friends in the retro gaming business that DO! Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions about publishing your own games and we’ll get you going to the right people!
RetroStage Computing (C) 2020