Humble Bazooka, a retro hardware developer currently distributing their retail projects through Stone Age Gamer, has announced a new product in their line of BlueRetro Bluetooth controller adapters: the 3DOBT.
For those of you just becoming aware of BlueRetro, it is a hardware-agnostic Bluetooth controller adapter that supports just about any video game console you can think of. Its developer—Jacques Gagnon—doesn’t directly sell or implement BlueRetro and has instead opted to keep the design open source, so that hardware vendors and enthusiasts can release their own flavour of the platform. This has led to some really fascinating BlueRetro designs, including a complete replacement GameCube controller interface that implements a BlueRetro receiver. Fortunately for fans of more “niche” consoles—such as the PCE/TG16, Neo•Geo, and Atari Jaguar—Humble Bazooka has been absolutely nailing it with their BlueRetro builds and is adding more all the time.
Which brings us to the 3DOBT. Its feature list on HB’s product page isn’t especially fleshed out right now, but previous videos from Jacques imply that BlueRetro supports regular controller inputs in addition to a flight stick and mouse input mode for compatible games. Something to keep in mind is that, while 3DO consoles supported up to eight controllers at any given time, limitations in Bluetooth’s design mean that you can only pair seven controllers at once*. Whether the 3DOBT will support multiple simultaneous connections, as the PCE and TG16 receivers do, is still unconfirmed though.
If everything goes according to plan, Humble Bazooka is expecting 3DOBTs to become available some time in December. They recently announced that they have partnered with Stone Age Gamer to fulfill all their retail orders, so keep an eye out on both companies’ social media presences to find out when the 3DOBT will be for sale.
If I can get on my soap box for a final note: Although BlueRetro is open source, it is important to remember that only some manufacturers are setting aside funds from each sale to donate to the project. Buying BlueRetro products from sellers who support Jacques not only ensures a degree of technical support you might not otherwise receive, but also means that future firmware development can continue. Given how profoundly helpful platforms like BlueRetro are to the enthusiast retro gaming community, I would encourage everyone interested in buying a BlueRetro device to do so from manufacturers that are featured on the project’s GitHub page.
*The short explanation is that—in certain revisions of the Bluetooth standard—a single Bluetooth network can only have eight devices on it and the receiver counts as one of those devices. In this case, seven controllers and a receiver is the hard limit.