If you’ve got a large collection of physical retro games, then there’s a good chance you’ve come across the issue of internal batteries failing over time.
Systems such as the NES, SNES, N64 Mega Drive / Genesis and the entire Game Boy line made use of internal batteries to keep save data alive, and once those batteries run out of juice, you can kiss goodbye to your precious save data.
A few people are pretty well-versed in opening up carts and swapping out dead batteries, but a more elegant solution has just emerged from Japan. The ‘Cart Reader’ from the Save The Hero Project is an open-source device that allows you to dump ROM and save data from your existing cartridges, and even load save data from emulators onto your carts.
It supports the SNES, N64, Mega Drive / Genesis, Game Boy, Game Boy Color and Game Boy Advance, and is a totally self-contained solution – while you can take your save data files and move them over to your PC or emulation device if you so wish, you don’t actually need any other hardware to use the Cart Reader’s most basic functionality: archiving and restoring save data.
The device was funded using Kickstarter to the tune of ¥3,378,620 (on a goal of ¥1,500,000) with each device costing ¥10,800 (approximately £70 / $93 / 82 Euros) and the team behind it says that global sales will open soon.
Here’s a fantastic overview of the device thanks to Macho Nacho Productions: