hardware

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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:

Chris Kennedy's picture

Generation FAIL: How I Struck Out with the 7th Generation of Consoles (Part 3 - Final)

Microsoft made a huge splash with the first successor to their XBox gaming console with the XBox 360 in November 2005. I was an early adopter, although I am not sure why. Perhaps because it was the first generation released after I had seriously started to collect consoles several years prior. By this point, I had a pretty decent run of home consoles starting with the Atari VCS. Perhaps it was a simple matter of the fact the world was moving into true HD territory, I owned a fairly new HD TV, and it was time to give this new console a try.

I had no idea what sort of troubles that I would be getting myself into, and I was not the only one.

Shawn Delahunty's picture

Crystal Ball Time: Windows 8 VS. Retro-Gaming

Hello everyone. The last part of my article on "Randomness and Zero-Sum" is forthcoming shortly. However I wanted to jump topics for a moment, and bring to your attention a subject that, I believe, will become problematic in the next year or so. Specifically, I want to direct your focus to what I predict as another soon-to-ensue debacle, courtesy of the (not really) friendly folks at Microsoft. Yes, I'm talking about Windows 8. No, I'm not picking on it for the reasons everyone else is.

Chris Kennedy's picture

Generation FAIL: How I Struck Out with the 7th Generation of Consoles (Part 2)

Sony's Playstation 3 was released as more than just a game console. Some may argue that it was released as everything BUT a game console. It was expensive, it played Blu-ray movies, and it didn't really have significant launch titles as far as I recall. It quickly became the victim of smack talk among the gaming community.

I bought my first HDTV in 2004. I was already a fan of home theater and had adequate 5.1 surround at the time. Blu-ray and HD-DVD hit the market, and it was time to jump on an HD format. I chose DVD over Divx many years prior - a no-brainer, honestly - and elected to go with Blu-ray for this next generation of media. I purchased the 60 GB PS3 - The SKU with the wincingly high price of $600. Some might have called it crazy, but for me it was a Playstation that had HDMI out, played Blu-ray discs, had backward compatibility with PS1/PS2 games, and ushered in Sony's next era of gaming at home.

It was a worthwhile investment... that lasted for about 3 1/2 years.

Chris Kennedy's picture

Generation FAIL: How I Struck Out with the 7th Generation of Consoles (Part 1)

I love progress. I love seeing gaming hardware evolve. We love our games. We love good, solid gameplay. Every so often we love seeing a new gaming console hit the market. A new generation arrives, and we hop aboard.

The evolution of the hardware is sometimes expected, sometimes innovative, and sometimes shocking. WOW! Look what this baby can do! I have got to get my hands on one of these! New ideas breed new hardware. New games arrive. Gaming is revitalized. Developers get new ideas. People spend money.

People. Spend. Money. It is a cycle that is required. Eventually we hit a lull, and it is time for some new hardware to shake things up. People stand in line for new hardware for days. They are excited about spending their money on new hardware. It might be terribly expensive, but who cares!? It is the latest and greatest! Well... OK. Maybe it is the latest, but it isn't the greatest. Hardware developers are biting off more than they can chew, and early adopters PAY for it - literally. They pay with their pockets - possibly twice per console.

Chris Kennedy's picture

Custom Xbox 360 Arcade Controller

Custom 360 Arcade ControllerCustom 360 Arcade ControllerI posted this a couple of years ago on another site, but I recently found myself thinking about creating another controller. I thought I would post my work here just for kicks and encourage those of you that want to try "hardware homebrew." It is really a lot of fun.

Bill Loguidice's picture

Apple II (2) News and Notes for December 2006

A2 News and Notes December, 2006

INDEX
* Don't Try This At Home!
* Letting Your Fingers Walk
* Software Source
* Apple Internet
* Up For A Challenge?
* Software News
* SignOff

-- Remember in school how fascinating it was to look at those "visible
people" cutaways of the human body, and what things looked like inside
you? Well, if you happen to have access to a high-powered x-ray machine

Bill Loguidice's picture

Check out the HYDRA, Game Console Starter Kit, XGS Systems, and the new Game Console Course

It may not be immediately clear what the XGameStation team offers, but they've been creating tremendous proprietary kit systems for a few years now that help interested hobbyists learn game hardware ins-and-outs and programming ins-and-outs from the ground up. Obviously this hearkens back to the old days when we really knew the architectures of our old 8-bit systems and could really maximize their performance if we were so inclined (and talented). Definitely check these folks and their many offerings out.

Bill Loguidice's picture

Play-Asia Affiliation for Armchair Arcade

In order to replace the void left by our affiliation with the now defunct Lik-Sang, we have entered into a relationship with Play-Asia. You can check it out under our "Merchandise and Special Offers" section or try it out below:

  Play-Asia.com - Buy Video Games for Consoles and PC - From Japan, Korea and other Regions!

Search affiliate Play-Asia for great deals on Videogame and Computer Hardware, Software and Accessories!

Matt Barton's picture

New Memory Expansion for Amiga 600

Amiga.org is announcing a new memory expansion for the Amiga 600 computer. It doubles the 600's ram to 2 MEGs and costs 28 pounds (approx $78 according to my calculations).

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