In case you missed it yesterday, we ran a story talking about the new Seedi system, a retro-themed old-school platform that promises to run a number of CD-ROM based games, including PlayStation 1 games, Sega CD games, MS-DOS related titles and even Turbo Duo disc games. It will also feature an expansion that will allow users to play a few cartridge-based games from the Sega Genesis and Game Boy eras.
We decided to do a little digging and learn more about the system, so we talked to the co-owners of the Seedi brand, Chris Dimberg and Bryan Barnes, to see what it’s all about – and most importantly, if the team ran into any copyright issues regarding its design. You can check out their answers to the burning questions below!
The Seedi Indiegogo campaign can be found here!
First off, what inspired you guys to make a CD-based classic gaming console? Do you think there’s a need for one on the market?
Bryan: This one is easy - Seedi is a product that I wished had already existed! There is a generation of classic games on CD - thousands of awesome games that are very accessible and age well - but the experience is being lost because the old systems just don’t play/look nice on new TVs. 8 and 16-bit cartridge games have been having their moment, and CD is next.
How are you building the tech so that it can adapt to different CD-based technologies? After all, the Turbo Duo and the Sega CD were built with different gaming tech in mind. Is it all about coding?
Bryan: We are utilizing several different emulator programs for the various consoles, but have developed an original translation layer which is optimized for performance that allows CD data to be accessed by these emulators in a very general way.
Is there any sort of legal trouble you could face from Sony in regards to allowing PS1 games to play on the device? Also, that controller design looks a bit familiar…
Chris: We researched this early on and found that history has ruled in our favor (Sony v. Bleem, Sony v. Connectix, Sega v. Accolade). And in fact there are multiple NES, SNES, Sega, etc. clone consoles on the market, but we’ll be the first CD based system.
Regarding the controller: that familiar look is the best part! We decided against designing our own new controller and instead tested a ton of existing 3rd party controllers currently available. We simply picked our favorite based on feel, responsiveness, and quality of assembly, and are including it with Seedi.
Tell us more about the adapter you can use to play cartridges. And why only Genesis and Game Boy? Why not NES and SNES?
Bryan: The adapter we are using is actually an existing product called the “Retrode”. It is an awesome little device which has one slot for Genesis carts and one for SNES carts, and connects through a USB interface. When coupled with Seedi, it enables plug and play functionality of old cartridge games on your HDTV - it’s a beautiful pairing! We reached out to the creator for permission to talk about it as a feature and he was happy to hear about the usage and granted us permission :). The Retrode developers have also made a few adapters that enable Game Boy and other systems.
SNES is not supported on Seedi as of now due to the licensing agreements on the available open source emulators, but that is something we would like to eventually add support for.
What has been the response to Seedi so far? Have people been positive about the idea of a CD-based console?
Chris: We are about to find out! But we’ve gotten a lot of positive feedback from the people who have seen it so far. Everyone has especially liked the modern-meets-retro look of the console and its ease of use.
Bryan: Actually my 9 year old son really got a kick out of us playtesting DOS Oregon Trail :). We also got really good feedback on the fact that Seedi can both play games right off the disc, as well as back them up for preservation. Also, since so many of these old consoles are dying, Seedi is an attractive alternative to an expensive Sega CD repair job.
We noticed the price seems very affordable. How were you able to keep production costs down on the system?
Chris: Thanks! This comes down to our industry experience as engineers allowing us to make smart choices. Trust me - the cost was not even close to this when we started prototyping! But we have worked together to refine the system over time and have done our job to make it affordable.
Could you see further adapters coming out in the future to allow more accessibility for the Seedi? Or is it just one thing at a time?
Bryan: Absolutely. Since so many people love to use their original controllers we are investigating other adapters on the market to enable this and make sure we are compatible, e.g. Bliss-Box and many from Mayflash.
For now here are some of the adapters we have tested out:
-Retrode (for carts from Genesis, SNES, Game Boy, etc.) and their original controllers
-Any regular USB hub (will allow customers to plug in existing USB controllers such as Xbox 360)
-USB-PSX controller adapters (allows you to use PS1 controllers)
Finally, if you could pick only one Sega CD game to play for the rest of your life…what would it be?
Bryan: This is kind of weird and embarrassing - Night Trap!
It connects so well to the time period and has so many goofy characters and moments, I think it would keep me entertained... There is an awesome documentary about the game from a couple months ago by the way: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=df2zptiviBo
Chris: I grew up in an NES household and would never go to the dark side!
We wish the Seedi team the best of luck in getting the system funded!