I get asked a lot about “What are these cartridges” and “How do you load games off the HDD” on some of the equipment at my games nights.
The main reason why I use these methods is I really don’t want to have potentially expensive cartridges or discs laying about.
In the case of some games the prices of them has gone insane, i’d rather have a CD-R damaged than a real disc. I have had some games nicked in the past (including a nearly 100% Perfect dark).
DISCLAIMER, I will only use such devices on games machines that are no longer supported by the manufacturer and where possible I own the originals. I do not endorse piracy in anyway, DON’T COPY THAT FLOPPY!!
Now I shall bestow upon you the methods like some kind of wizard of tech gubbins.
Main cartridge consoles
For the likes of the Mega drive, SNES, NES, N64, Master system, PC Engine I use handy little devices called “Everdrives” they offer a way of playing ROMs and Homebrew on the consoles they are for, i’d rather not have loose carts laying about, other flash carts are available, but to be honest they are all garbage (Do not ever get a Super UFO pro 8 for the SNES it’s a piece of rubbish).
But for the PC Engine I now tend to use a Super SD system 3, it runs almost all games both disc basied and not.
Avoid the Ebay ones as they are Chinese clones and DON’T support the games they say they do instead grab from the official store, also if they go wrong he offers to fix them for free and is generally a top bloke.
Disc based systems
Sega Saturn, mine is modchipped these can be obtained on various sites, I do not have links as I got mine done years ago, I have recently become aware of another method of playing CD-Rs using an Action replay cart but you do need a way of playing CD-Rs, I am happy to do this mod my self, more info on THIS LINK.
I gotten hold of a Rhea for it, this replaces the CD-Rom drive with an SD card slot, if you want to get one they can be gotten from here Another techy type has one on its way that will be easier to get hold of
Dreamcast, where as games can just be burned to disc I hate having discs laying about so I got a GDEMU, this just loads games off an SD card and thankfully they have gotten cheap.
Playstation 2 I use is a normal PS2 with no modifications, I do have a chipped one for trying discs, but what I use at my nights is one with a HDD, there’s a few ways to get it to load off the HDD, the most popular way is using free Mc boot, this requires a memory card and a process that to be honest I can’t be bothered doing, my method is much simpler, I use a simple program simply titled “Free Hard Drive Boot” (FHDB), all you need to do is put a file on the HDD and it runs on any none slim PS2. Info on how can be gotten from this video.
Playstations are mod chipped, I am currently waiting on the PSIO to save on discs.
Playstation 3, I didn’t actually mod this one myself, I just bought a pre modded one as I really don’t like the normal “Phat” one that I had. To get the games onto it I just use an FTP program and a lot of saying “Why won’t you connect?”
Wii, this has tons of methods, the “easiest” is to use the “Letter bomb” method and a USB loader (personally use GX loader) to load the iso’s (I own most of them),Gamecube game loading is a bit more tricky, you need to use “Nintendont” and partition the HDD one side is FAT32 the other is the Wiis own file system, this makes adding Gamecube games a matter of ripping the ISO and dropping it on the HDD.
The Gamecube (from my collection) is also mod chipped, since getting the Wii done I have hardly used it.
3DO This requires no modifications to play back-ups, a USB loader can be gotten for it, but its a bit expensive.
Mega CD Requires no modifications to play back-ups. You can get a Mega SD to play ISO’s
CD32, I got fancy, while it can run CD-R without any kind of modification, it tends to struggle with a lot, so I got hold of Terrible fires expansion card for it. now it flys and runs DOOM, kinda.
Amiga 600, this has a few options, but for the most part I use a HXC internal CF card mod for simple games and a Gotek USB disc drive replacement for everything else, the latter is a bit of a pain to use, I recently got the 9.5mb Fastram upgrade for it and sorted a new SD card interface, so now it loads pretty much anything I throw at it.
ZX Spectrum 128+2, this was a recent purchase. After a bit of poking about I just got a DVIDE, this runs almost everything.
Xbox, I just bought this already modded with a huge HDD installed, just using FTP to get the games onto it.
If there’s anything i’ve missed feel free to let me know.