Want to play some classic console video games, but having a hard time getting your hands on an SNES Classic? There’s no shortage of ways to emulate classic game systems on a PC. You can even turn a $35 Raspberry Pi into a game emulation system with free software like RetroPie.

But actually obtaining games to play in those emulators is a bit trickier: the easiest way is to download ROMs from the internet, but that’s not exactly legal.

And that’s what makes the Seedi retro game system different from many other solutions. This compact game system isn’t much bigger than a USB CD drive… and it has a CD/DVD drive that you can use to play original PlayStation1, Sega CD, or TurboGrafxCD games, among others. No downloaded ROMs required.

Of course, you can still download ROMs. The system supports NES, Genesis, Game Boy, and Atari games, among others. It also supports DOS games. But I kind of like the idea of a system that lets you pull old games you already own out of the box and give them new life.

If you purchase a Retrode adapter separately, you can even play classic Sega Genesis or Game Boy cartridges.

The Seedi system is expected to ship in March, 2018 if the developers raise $50,000 through a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo. But they’ve already got working prototypes and there are some third-party, hands-on previews showing that the Seedi basically does what it’s supposed to: function as a small retro game system that can support CDs as well as ROMs.

A Seedi game system plus a wireless controller will set you back $125, or you can save some money by pledging $110 for a model with no controller. You should be able to use just about any USB or Bluetooth game controller with the system.

The system supports WiFi and Bluetooth, has an HDMI port for 720p or 1080p output, and works as a CD or DVD player and/or Kodi media center as well as a game system.

The whole thing is powered by a 1.2 GHz Allwinner H3 quad-core ARM processor with Mali 400 graphics, 512MB of RAM, and a 32GB SD card. As CNX-Software notes, it looks like the Seedi is built around an orange Pi Lite Board. So if you’d prefer to build your own system, you can just order one of those from AliExpress for $12. But you’ll still need to add storage, build a custom case, hook up a disc drive, and configure the software.

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7 replies on “Seedi is a Retro game system that plays CD-ROMs (crowdfunding)”

  1. Reading through the entire indiegogo page i saw some serious stuff that I would be concerned about.

    OK sure, it is a emulation machine first and foremost. They do state KODI is preloaded and configured and ready to go. But they claim 1080P max. Even some of the cheapest android box’s can do 4K output. The fact that they are probably using a HDCP 1.4 hdmi compliant port means that you’re pretty limited on the media you can use this for. So Basicly this is a emulation box only. And if you want to stream 1080p and lower content, you should be ok. Want to do anything better, Blu Ray, or even streaming from KODI your limited to DVD and maybe bluray rips. I would basically call it a wash as a media Machine. I honestly think your better off with a NVIDIA SHIELD and ROMFLIX (oh wait ill get to that) or Retroarch.

    Second it is now $110.. not even 20% funded and the system with NO controller is $110 and $125 with. The $99 systems are gone.

    Three THEY ARE USING ROMFLIX!!!!! Look at the screen shots. This is nothing but ROMFLIX which is KODI. SO they are installing a Pre 17.4 KODI build for their own ROMFLIX to power this thing. That tells me something else. I know all the emulators they are using. As Romflix only supports so many emus. Now the question is – is it WINDOWS ROMFLIX, Android ROMFLIX, Rpi Romflix. My guess since it can not do higher end systems like Saturn, dreamcast, and even N64 is left off the list – has me to believe this is a Raspberry Pi 3. It could be Android, but if they are using Windows, the hardware must be mad old and weak as even my 5 year old Pentium i5 can run dreamcast, n64 and saturn just fine with a “good” (not great) grafx card.

    Forth – I called it above – as it is clear as day “32 GB storage (included SD card)” Is in the specs. So they are running the software off a microSD Card, that says Raspberry Pi or android box.

    Fifth – “Network optical drive: Preserve existing discs (backup to Seedi/computer) CD burner!” Ok so furthers my claims above. Likely will be mounting any media in the drive and the emulator will play it the same as if it were a IMG on a HDD or SDCARD. But the “backup to seedi” tells me that they are ripping games either TEMP or PERM to the SdCARD or additional storage if you add it and creating images. Called this above.. It will be it will be required for MSDOS and SCUMM VM games. No way you are popping in a WIN 95 or DOS Cd Rom and paying a PC game off the disc streaming.

    LASTLY their Disclaimer is CRAP = “Finally, there’s the matter of legality. We’ve researched this and are confident that Seedi is in the clear. Relevant lawsuits have historically ruled in our favor (Sony v. Bleem, Sony v. Connectix, Sega v. Accolade) and in fact there are multiple clone consoles that have been on the market for a while (but we’ll be the first CD based system!). All software helping to run Seedi is either free open source or licensed by us for commercial use. ” They did not hire a lawyer or even seek legal advice. This is nothing more than a few guys using software already out there (emulation) to run yet another “WE CONFIGURED A EMUSTATION FOR YOU” device. Some of the emulators (weather they know it or not) will not run properly without a BIOS from the original system which is NOT COVERED in the Cases they quoted. The fact that BLEEM and Connectix won is because they figured out how to emulate without a bios using the hardware of the PC. This is not X86 architecture and unless they are using bleem or VGS on their Seedi (which would be impossible) the emulators they are using as part of the KODI skinned Front end they seem to be using to launch emulators need a BIOS image to run properly. Now I know PS1 will play on RPI and Such without a BIOS but the image looks horrible and does not run well. The Software emulated bios really bogs down the emulator. So they might be in for a rude awakening if they are putting BIOS images on the SDcard (with or without their knowledge) and create a huge headache for them if someone decides to pursue it. Chances are they will be left alone. IF you look at the FAQ

    How well can I expect games to play?
    A: Emulation is not always perfect, and we accept that.
    Take a look at this breakdown for how we classify compatibility:
    Key:
    “Fantastic” – 95% of games work without any issues
    “Good” – 80% of games work without issues

    PlayStation
    with BIOS – fantastic
    without BIOS – good
    Sega CD – fantastic (requires BIOS)
    TurboGrafx CD – fantastic (requires BIOS)
    Neo Geo CD – fantastic (requires BIOS)

    AH QUICK EDIT!!!! A bit more to read..

    What setup will be required?
    A: You will be up and running in no time.
    -Plug the system into TV and power
    -Pair the included controller(s) (first time only)
    -Connect to WiFi
    -Copy over any game files you want to play
    *For CD based systems you must also provide a BIOS file (simple instructions included)

    SO THEY ARE AWARE OF THE BIOS ISSUE AND THIS INDEED WILL SHIP BROKEN AND IF YOU NEED TO HUNT AND INSTALL BIOS IMAGES, you are probably better off just using IMG / BIN CUE images of your games instead of the original disc.

    That says it all. This thing is probably going to ship broken, sounds like they know that BIOS are not legal to distribute hence they are going to make the customer HUNT THEM DOWN and this “POP AND PLAY” machine is going to turn into a “well you need to do a bit of work on your own to make it as we promised” and with that said. Just use a good modern LAPTOP with the emulator you want to play and pop in the disc.

    I Will leave it at that… I wrote too much already — I am sure many of you who do not care about facts will do a TLDR and remain oblivious to this project being nothing more than a make a sack of cash quick endeavor. It will disappear and lose support the moment the last order ships. These guys will take their Profit and run.

    Just read every word of the indiegogo and you will clearly see this is nothing more than everything that already exist in a neat package barely ready to go out of the box. Software emulation without a BIOS on most systems sucks. The reason BLeem did so well is it did not require the customer to go on a hunt for “QUESTIONABLE files” that many people had no idea what they were doing. It installed like a program and just WORKED.

    This project Over promised in so many areas. I can turn my laptop into a SEEDI in 10 mins if I wanted to.

  2. Here’s a shout out to all those with more than 1TB of ROMs and ISOs.

  3. Because plugging a USB optical drive into a settop box PC is too difficult. Truly a first world problem being solved here.

    1. That doesn’t give you the same end result or experience. I’m a big fan of emulation, and I have an HTPC that I use as an emulator device too. I have never found an interface that I truly like to navigate my emulators and roms.

      As someone who has been doing this for a long time, I see LOTS of value in having a device that does this all turn-key.

      You will never setup a software environment that does all this in a seamless way.

    2. After watching the video, I think I see what they are trying to sell. They are trying to sell a LEGAL system that can play emulated games which doesn’t require any user setup. RetroPie and other emulation software requires the user to find and download system ROMs. This product has that and all the configuration already finished.
      Most customers will not use the CD drive, they will just add ROM game files. The fact that the system has a CD drive makes the argument of fair-use, but 99% of the users will have ROMs provided by a friend or family member.
      I had no problem setting up MAME or retropie, but this system would be much easier to recommend to others.

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