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Bill Loguidice's picture

Upcoming Release: Hyperkin's RETRON 5, the Ultimate Retro Console? (kitchen sink included)

Hyperkin RETRON 5 (mock-up)Hyperkin RETRON 5 (mock-up)Although we've been following the developments of Hyperkin's upcoming RETRON 4 closely, Slashdot reports that the company has surprised everyone by going straight to the RETRON 5. Hyperkin has had a spotty history at best of promising the moon and stars with their modern consoles that play classic cartridges, i.e., often falling down on compatibility and emulation, but it looks like they're determined to finally nail it, publicly stating they want 100% compatibility. The RETRON 5 can play the actual cartridges for nine systems, with transparent NTSC and PAL support: Famicom, NES, SNES, Super Famicom, Genesis, Mega Drive, Game Boy Advance, Game Boy Color, and the Game Boy. Hyperkin hasn't ruled out support for other platforms, pending parts, and it's certainly easy enough to imagine scenarios where systems like the Sega Master System and Game Gear would work just as well with the right adapters. In any case, even if it's just those nine systems/four system families, that's still a mighty versatile single console, particularly since you can update the firmware.

In terms of controls, the system will come with two nice looking six button bluetooth controllers (in fact, the d-pad looks a lot like the superb control found on SNK's Neo Geo Pocket Color), which can be charged with the console's USB port, but there are also six controller ports to use any combination of classic controllers in any combination of system modes, meaning two NES, two SNES, and two Genesis controller ports, and the ability to say, use an SNES controller for Genesis or NES games, as just one example (this includes full user configurable button remapping in all modes). Video is upscaled 720p over HDMI (composite audio/video is also supported for older televisions), with all kinds of options to support different aspect ratios and other video modes as the user desires, plus Hyperkin has claimed that all kinds of technological wizardry is in place to make these standard definition systems look and sound the way they're supposed to on modern high definition displays. Finally, of the remaining key features among a laundry list of them, the console will also allow users to create save states, support auto-save for when the system is suddenly turned off, offer a "cheat menu" (built-in Game Genie/Action Replay support?), and also offer "Manual & Passive Overclocking," which means both slowdown and fast-forward at any time (perfect for those overly chatty text-bubble-based classic games).

Obviously, all of that is a lot to promise, particularly at a sub-$100 price point, but we'll certainly be waiting anxiously for the official release after June to put this potential flying unicorn through its paces. Check out the video presentation for the RETRON 5 at the Midwest Gaming Classic below:

Mark Vergeer's picture

Revo K101 demonstration and comparion with the K1GBA - Other handhelds & the future of gaming

This hand-held is a 99-100% GBA, GBC hardware compatible game system. It is 99-100% software compatible with GBA, GBC, GB, NES through loading game files off a SD-card. The form factor and looks of the system can seem familiar as it uses the same case as the Gemei A330 aka Dingoo - but mind you this is not the same system. Compared with the original GBA case the system is about the same size, also the screen is about the same size but of a much higher resolution. The angle of the B and A buttons on the original is less steep than the diamond orientation of the Y X B A button layout on the Revo. The screen is not protected by a layer of glass, just a layer of plastic so you need to be a little careful. Don't put it in trousers but put it in the provided sack or pouch.

The camera I use barfed in this video - footage is very blueish so doesn't do the screen of the system justice - the camera makes it very blue with very little red. That's a camera thing. Just check out how it picked up my Nexus 7 - also quite blue so the camera :(

The system touts PC Engine and SMS, GG compatibility but the PCEngine emulation is far too slow. The GG and SMS games don't run full speed. GBA, GBC, GB and NES does.

Last year a SoC was designed based around the hardware of the original Game Boy Advance. It uses a dual core ARM architecture and instead of relying on software emulation to run GBA games, it is capable of running them natively.

Basically it is a hardware-reimplementation of the original GBA. And as a result it supposedly functions in almost exactly the same way as the original Nintendo hardware.This should provide a higher compatiblity- and accuracy-rate. It is possible to use GBA accesories and link the system up to another GBA, K1GBA or RevoK101. It also features video-out that works on a separate jackplug so the link cable can be used while the system is used on the television. The cable (composite) provides monoaural sound.

The real time clock allows for the Pokemon games to function 100% which is a big plus for a lot of Pokemon gamers out there.

What I wonder is if this system has any more advanced features compared to the original GBA (is there overhead) that allows for the installation or implementation of another operating system that opens up the hardware to more advanced emulation software of other systems. But that may not be the case as this seems to pretty much hardware duplicate the original GBA hardware.

The battery used in the K1GBA (the GBA-SP clone is the same one as the battery used in the original GBA-SP). The battery used in the RevoK101 is a clone of the Nokia BL-5B. Order one of these and you got an excellent replacement for the built-in battery.

Where can you get this system? The price is about $60 (~£40) €50 and for that price you practially can't refuse this.

Well you can get one here:
http://www.k1gbasp.com

The GBA-SP one you can get here:
http://www.k1gba.com

The RevoK101 website:
http://revok101.com

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Mark Vergeer's picture

NeoGeo-X Unboxing and first impressions - a faulty unit? Not too happy

I think my expectations of this device were a bit too high and comparing it to the AES is perhaps not fair. But I have some issues with the hardware that may actually be a manufacturing-fault. Read more below...

Mark Vergeer's picture

Clone GBA-SP system - the k1gba - a demonstration

A demonstration of a hardware compatible Gameboy Advance SP system that has the capabilities to run real GBA game cards as well as run files from an SD-card. The screen is much brighter and of a higher quality thn the original GBA-SP's screen and they seem to have used the exact same plastic molds as the original. Read more below...

Rob Daviau's picture

Complete Atari 2600 clone the size of a deck of cards

http://retromaster.wordpress.com/a2601/

Features:
* Faithful FPGA implementation of the 6502 CPU and TIA (Television Interface Adapter) custom chip.
* Composite Video (currently NTSC only) and Audio output.
* DB9 connector for a MegaDrive/Genesis joypad.
* On-board 512Kb Flash memory for storing cartridge roms.
* Support for most bankswitching schemes used by original game cartridges.
* Design fits in a 100K-gate Spartan-3E FPGA.
* Custom PCB dimensions: 3.25? by 2.5?.
* Complete VHDL source code available under GPL.

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