Back when I was in late elementary school-early middle school, I was subscribed to GamePro. It was a very entertaining gaming magazine whose issues I’ve read thoroughly, even re-reading them when I’ve become interested in the sections I initially skipped over. It’s a shame it wasn’t able to survive past the beginning of the 2010s, even as it changed its format to remain relevant in the increasingly user-centric environment of Web 2.0.
I find one editorial of theirs, titled “One Console To Rule Them All”, fascinating in hindsight: it was a response to a fan letter suggesting that all of the console manufacturers team-up to create a “super console”, that can run any game from any previous console. The editor laughed it off as impossible, with the competitive relationship between manufacturers preventing this unity from taking place. Because this was still before emulation was commonplace, the fan letter assumed that this “super console” would accept physical cartridges, discs, and accessories from all of these consoles, which would have been extremely impractical from an engineering standpoint.
Since then, emulation has become increasingly accessible to the player base, allowing for games from multiple (oftentimes unrelated) consoles on one system, whether it be the PC or unofficial consoles such as the Raspberry Pi 3. Even the “super console” - as originally described in the GamePro editorial - has manifested as the Hyperkin RetroN 5, a single unit that can run cartridges from various older consoles. As mentioned in Game Sack’s review, its execution leaves much to be desired, but its very existence shows just how technology can exceed what we take for granted.