retron5

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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:

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