It has been more than 20 years since the Sega Saturn was first launched. The disc drives of the console are now deteriorating, and the console will become useless without them. An engineer named James Laird-Wah, however, had other intentions. He has cracked the 32-bit hardware system of the console and installed a USB hub which will let the games be loaded via USB drives.
The same engineer, who is popularly known as Dr. Abrasive online, also made a USB-powered ROM-reading cartridge for the Game Boy called Drag ‘n Derp.
An interview of James Laird-Wah was featured in the YouTube channel debuglive where he talks about his new invention, which took him a couple of years to complete.
He started working on it back in 2013 after he was attracted to the console’s multi channel sound chip.
While talking about the chip he said, “Gee, it’d be nice to have one of those around.”
He also went on to find out that Saturn needed a mod chip, which are not produced now.
“We can probably do better,” he said.
He also mentioned that it is very tough to crack Sega Saturn because of its hardware-based DRM where discs are required to have a physical mark. The engineer had to develop software which let allowed him to emulate the disc drive over USB.
Although the product is not out for sale yet, it is definitely good news for the Sega Saturn community which will let the players play games on it in the years to come.
Have a look at the video below: