By Andrew E. Freedman
The RetroEngine Sigma is an Indiegogo project that will emulate games from 28 different consoles, but actually getting the thousands of potential games is legally dubious.
Nintendo's NES Classic is one of the hottest gifts this holiday season, but it's all but impossible to find in stores and runs just 30 games. Instead, you could turn your wallet towards Indiegogo, where a company called Doyoda is crowdfunding for its Retro Engine Sigma, which emulates games from 28 different game consoles.
We're talking about classic games from the Sega Genesis, Game Boy Color, Nintendo Entertainment System, Nintendo 64 and Neo-Geo, but getting the titles may put you in a legal gray area.
The Retro Engine Sigma has two USB-ports for controllers, as well as the option to use a Bluetooth adapter for wireless joysticks. It features the open-source Kodi media player and claims to be usable as a mini PC, though Doyoda doesn't say what operating system is being used. Right now, the cheapest option is $69 with a 32GB microSD card preinstalled.
MORE: 30 NES Classic Games Ranked Best to Worst
The console will ship with 15 games on it (to be announced), but will come with an installer to assist in downloading emulators and ROMs from the comfort of your phone or tablet. In theory, this console can run thousands of games, but you'll have to find them yourself on the internet.
Here's the catch: emulators and ROMs aren't strictly legal. Some consider it a gray area, depending on whether or not you already own a hard copy of the game, and most publishers aren't fans. Doyoda includes a strict legal disclaimer at the bottom of its Indiegogo campaign that might put potential owners off (though not too many: the system is 620% past its $20,000 goal as of this writing).
The campaign has over a month left, so there's still plenty of time to get your order in, but the Sigma won't ship until the second quarter of 2017. That's plenty of time for Nintendo, Atari or Sega's legal teams to strike for having their brands used in advertising, so we'll see just how far this goes, or if its stopped by a cease and desist order.
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