Not too long ago, we reported on Pico Cassette, a new device which will allow you to play retro video games on your smartphone via a cartridge which you plug into the headphone jack.

Since we absolutely love all kinds of gadgetry here at RocketNews24, and since we’re also big retro gaming nerds, we made a point to visit Pico Cassette’s booth at this year’s Tokyo Game Show in order to try it out for ourselves!

During our time at Tokyo Game Show this year, in between drooling over merchandise, snapping pics of cosplayers and booth babes, and shooting zombies, we also made sure to check out some of the smaller indie booths as well as the mobile gaming section. After all, smartphone gaming is big news in Japan these days.

But since we’re kids of the ’90s, we can’t help having a soft spot for anything with a retro vibe. Pico Cassette looks set to scratch that itch for us with their innovative plug-in cartridge concept, and it turns out that we’re exactly the target demographic they’re catering to: people in their late twenties and early thirties who are looking for nostalgic toys to remind them of the good old days while gaming on the go.

We chatted with the founder and CEO of Beatrobo, Inc, Hiroshi Asaeda, who talked us through the Pico Cassette device and the company’s hopes for its future. While the concept was conceived in San Francisco, the company was at Tokyo Game Show to focus on establishing the project in the Japanese market.

As we previously reported, Pico Cassette uses “Plug Air” technology, also developed by Beatrobo. Plug Air is a physical device which gives you access to digital content in the cloud from your smartphone by simply plugging it into your headphone jack.

Now that technology is being used to allow you to play retro games on your smartphone through two simple steps. Step one, download the Pico Cassette app to your smartphone.

Step two, plug in a Pico Cassette cartridge which, in the future, will each come loaded with a different game.

The Plug Air technology will then let you play the game right there on your phone!

Here you can see a generic game being used just as an example for demonstrative purposes at Tokyo Game Show. One question we had to ask right off the bat was how can we listen to the game’s music while playing in public if we can’t use the headphone jack? However, it turns out that Pico Cassette still works even without the cartridge being plugged in (after the initial connection has been made). Cool!

The company hopes to work with established game companies to obtain the rights to combine classic retro games from years gone by (such as NES/Famicom games) with this new technology. However, the project is still in the concept phase, so if you like what you see, be sure to lend your support to help make this concept a reality.

Thanks for the demonstration, Asaeda-san!

For more information, you can visit the Pico Cassette website and also follow them on Twitter @PicocaProject.

▼ Sailor Suit Old Man approves.

Related: Plug Air
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