There's another modern "retro" console being developed called the RetroATK. This was posted at Atari Age by Lyth and I wanted to share it here. Introduction of RetroATK
RetroATK (short for Retro Attack), was founded by myself back in 2015, as way to start providing the growing retro game market with quality hardware. During these last 2 years, we've grown internally and have staff members in China, Germany and America. For example, our Engineer is known in some circles for creating various dumpers for NES, SNES, GBA, N64, NeoGeoPocket, and flash carts for GB and Wonderswan.
Our website is: https://www.RetroATK.com
*Please note, our website is currently pushing updates. So you may see some abrupt changes!* Our Core Team
Lyth - Founder and Marketing
Peter (Byemu) - Engineer and Hardware Expert
Carlos (Foxlet) - Software/Product Designer and Marketing
Hameer (Habbasi) - Software Engineer & UI Developer
Hameer is a Pakistani engineer with a Bachelor's degree in Electrical Engineering and is currently pursuing a Master's in Information and Communication Engineering from TU Darmstadt, Germany. He has been programming as a freelancer for 3 years and has worked professionally for a year in the past.
Peter, also known online as Byemu, is a hardware engineer, living in Shanghai, China. Peter has developed dumping hardware for consoles such as WonderSwan, N64, GBA, SNES and more, for the Japanese and Chinese market. He has also developed flash carts for the applicable systems as well.
Carlos is a software developer currently joining the RetroATK team to deliver the Lythium console according to the community's needs. Our Product: Lythium
Lythium is a stackable modular retro game console, that has been built from the ground up, with the retro community in mind. As you can see below, Lythium has 3 major modular components, which exist to fit the various needs of our customers.
Lythium Core is a USB based device which is capable of dumping SRAM & ROM, and can instantly play cartridges through our Windows/Linux/macOS client. While, the Lythium Controller Hub is a stackable add-on, to allow for native controller usage. Lastly, the Lythium Standalone box is a stackable add-on that allows the user to use Lythium on their TV, just like a traditional game console. So, no matter the situation, Lythium can fit your lifestyle.
Lythium was developed, to fill the needs of various retro gaming enthusiasts, which means it supports ROM & SRAM dumping out of box, from an easy to use interface. Additionally, it supports instant game playing through the Core & Pro bundle, as well as the option for dedicated controllers, through the Controller Hub.
Lythium supports a wide range of different consoles, and we aim to constantly add new console support to it, upon request from customers.
Lastly, Lythium's front-end software is multi-platform, and can run on Mac OS, Windows, and Linux. Lythium's software is created with the community in mind, and will be able to push screenshots, and other information to social media platforms. We are also aiming to provide small contests which the community can partake in, through our social media platforms, in order to encourage users to connect while playing. Supported Consoles
TurboGrafx 16 / PC-EngineGame Gear
Wonderswan / Wonderswan Color
More Consoles possible upon Request!
Lythium Core (Base module)
Lythium Controller Hub(s)
Lythium Bundles (Prices are preliminary)
Lythium Core (Base Unit + All Cartridge Adaptors) - $120~ USD
Lythium Premium (Base Unit + All Cartridge Adaptors + Controller Hub) - $160~ USD
Lythium Pro (Base Unit + All Cartridge Adaptors + Controller Hub + Standalone Module + Homebrew Demo Cart) - $300~ USD
CPU: STM ARM @ 75 Mhz (Core), x86 CPU (Standalone)
Memory: 2GB (Standalone)
Storage: 32GB (Standalone) - Preliminary
Dimensions: 108 x 62 x 23mm (Core), 130 x 130 x 23mm (Standalone) - Sizes are Preliminary and subject to change.
Modular Connector: Lythium Proprietary Connector FAQ
Is Lythium just another "ARM Emulation Box"?
Fortunately, it is not. The ARM CPU on the Lythium Core base exists to handle PC to Lythium communication, as well as interfacing Lythium with Cartridge side. We chose the STM ARM processor to handle these tasks, as it is flexible enough to do so. Additionally, the Lythium Core base PCB is custom designed, and the firmware running on it is custom made.
So, in other words, the Lythium Core base is not an "off the shelf product that runs Linux". It is designed entirely from the ground up, by our team. The Lythium Core uses your computer's hardware as it's performance platform, and the Standalone base uses our x86 compatible platform.
Additionally, the Lythium Standalone Base uses an x86-based system integrated with our software, powerful enough to give users an excellent gaming experience. The software for Lythium Standalone is not locked down or TIVOized, and able to be changed to a third party software.
Currently our product is past the prototype stage, and Kickstarter gives us the opportunity to generate interest and customers. This allows us raise funding directly for meeting mass production scale, while retaining exclusive rights over our product. In other words, this allows us to raise funds directly from the community, so we retain creative control, which doesn't always happen if you seek private investment at this stage.
It's also worth mentioning that Kickstarter gives us a platform to share our progress, and connect to a large scale of customers, effectively and concisely.
Why is the cost so low, compared to other similar consoles?
We are working directly with component manufacturers, to provide high quality components for a reasonable price. Additionally, we have a strong relationship with many of our parts manufacturers, due to our staff members working with them for many years, to date. Lastly, since we have a team in China, we are able to communicate directly with the manufacturer, and bypass any middle man or service.
Why different versions of Lythium?
As mentioned, Lythium is the first truly modular retro gaming console. Right out of the box, this allows for customers to "build their setup" in the way that they want. We realize that different customers require different setups, depending on their lifestyles, and this allows us to provide that.
All Lythium bundles ship with the Core module. Additionally, we will sell the other modules separately, so you can upgrade your experience as you see fit.
Designing our console to be modular, goes hand in hand with the reason for having different versions (see above). However, a modular design also allows us to continuously develop new add-ons for the console, therefore extending the feature set of the console.
Also, Lythium is designed and developed with the community in mind. So in turn, we are open to idea of third party add-ons, created by the community, that can connect directly to Lythium.
What's the current stage of Lythium?
Currently, we have finished 2 major prototypes of our PCB board, and are finalizing our release candidate version. Concurrently, we are also finalizing our concept shell design and retail box. Lastly, we have finalized our beta version of our firmware and GUI.
As we develop our product, we will continuously post updates to this thread, to keep everyone in the loop!
What's the large scale plan for Lythium?
After our Kickstarter, we will prepare and set the console to be mass produced and marketed. This means, a high quality molded or CNC shell, with an eye catching retail box, as well as targeting online and retail customers. Additionally, we will be manufacturing under appropriate safety and quality certificates such as CE/UL and RoHS.
After this, you can expect to see us connecting with trade shows and conventions, as well as promoting the creation of third party addons. All of this is in order for us to really provide product that not only lives in the community, but also among it.
Lastly, we will continuously update the console's firmware and software to remove bugs, and add support, to create a more joyful gaming experience for our users.
What about the front-end software?
The front-end for Lythium is developed in Qt and is compatible with Windows, macOS and Linux. It uses libretro's API for its emulation back-end. Because of the nature of the libraries it uses, it will be licensed as GPLv3. This will allow the community to look into the software and analyze it.
On the standalone unit, the user can choose to install a modified firmware of their liking (although the resulting operation may not be supported), preventing Tivo-ization of the included Lythium software client.
We have gone through the trouble to make sure everything we are developing is legal and that we don't violate any licenses, open-source or otherwise.
What's the Future of RetroATK?
In the future, RetroATK will be entering the Hong Kong Cyberport or Science Park Initiative, in order to grow at a stable pace, and to increase our industry connections. Additionally, this will allow us to receive grant-based funding and seed mentorship, so we can become larger and more powerful.
And, As per our growth, we will also aim to provide additional products to the retro gaming community. In other words, you could see a portable version at some point.
How can RetroATK avoid the problems encountered by previous crowdfunded retro consoles?
From day one of public presence, we are aiming to be as transparent as possible with the gaming community and backers. This is quite unprecedented, as some other developers have chosen to use marketing mumbo-jumbo and hide behind the walls of the internet. Additionally, we are developing our system with license agreements in mind, and are in compliance to license agreements.
Lastly, with the cooperation with the retro gaming community, and government initiatives, our presence will continuously grow and we will always stand by our community.
In other words, this all means we will continue to develop with the community in mind, while respecting the hard work that the community has done before us.