My wife and I just spent the better part of a day cleaning up around our condo. As part of the seasonal de-cluttering process, I was challenged with making some tough decisions regarding my collection of vintage video game consoles. Our place simply doesn’t have the square footage to sustain a small museum of consumer electronics. So, my Nintendo, Super Nintendo, Sega Genesis, Japanese Famicom, Famicom Disk System, Virtual Boy (don’t you dare judge me) and a few oddball clone system all found their way into a plastic bin, neatly wrapped up and put away for posterity. Our living space looks infinitely less cluttered yet my stockpile of old games are now adrift without an anchor, serving no other purpose than shelf decoration.
Enter the RetroN 5.
A near complete all-in-one solution for retro gamers, this badboy of throwback goodness may actually be more exciting than the next gen consoles Sony and Microsoft are dropping in November. Abandoned carts again have a home, without sacrificing every available level surface and taking over television ports. The RetroN 5, an HD uber-clone console produced by manufacturer Hyperkin, offers a potent package for anyone looking to reclaim their old games. Take a look at some of the RetroN’s features:
- Plays Nintendo, Super Nintendo, Sega Genesis, Famicom, Super Famicom, Game Boy, and Game Boy Advance cartridges.
- Compatible with both NTSC and PAL formats. Play games from any market around the world.
- Upscales source video signal to 720p and outputs via a single HDMI cable.
- 4:3 and 16:9 aspect ratios
- Includes wireless Bluetooth controller with universal compatibility
- On-board ports support all legacy system controllers
- Create and save controller mapping profiles — Apply to both universal and original controllers
- Save games to system memory or to cartridges that support it — Save games at any point!
I’m pretty intrigued by the compatibility with Japanese and European formats and the console’s dashboard features, not to mention the ability to play Game Boy games on a big screen. That’s something Nintendo is foolishly missing the boat on, currently limiting access to the rich Game Boy, Game Boy Color, and Game Boy Advance back catalogs only to its line of handhelds. The RetroN 5 unexpectedly fills that gap, and the prospects are pretty exciting for anyone siting on a cache of old games. Pokemon on a 50-inch plasma anyone?
Clone machines are hardly ever perfect and although Hyperkin claims the RetroN 5 sports 100% compatibility, I wouldn’t be surprised if a few carts simply did not work on it. Inclusion of Sega Master System compatibility and some sort of online functionality would have been amazing additions, however credit has to go to the RetroN 5’s manufacturer for at least being cognizant of what retro gamers have been clamoring for and substantially pushing the envelop forward in what is an otherwise neglected market niche.
Hyperkin is set to release the RetroN 5 on October 31 and the console is currently available for pre-order on Amazon. The unit comes in black or grey color schemes and will set you back a mere $99.