The Hyperkin Retron 5 Hopes To Save You Some Space

Retron 5

You’ve probably seen consoles similar to this before, in fact I remember reading about the Retron 3 a few years ago but I never really paid it much attention. This one seems to have grabbed the attention of a few tech sites though, mostly due to its insane console compatibility I assume. The idea is that it consolidates all (most) your old consoles into one device that is capable of accepting original cartridges from them all. It comes with a controller but you can also plug your official controllers in thanks to the vast array of ports on each side. Not only that, if you wanted you could use the controller from 1 system to play games of another.

The Retron 5 states that it can play cartridges from 9 different systems, though that’s a little misleading. It plays games from the NES (Famicom), SNES (Super Famicom), Mega Drive (Genesis), GBA, GB Color and original Game Boy. Of course those machines in brackets are just overseas equivalents with slightly different shaped carts, so whilst it can accept all 9 of those cartridges, it only really plays the games of 5 systems. Still, that’s a pretty impressive feat.

The machine is going to be available “after June” and will apparently cost no more than $100.

Although the video contains a Q&A section at the end, unless I missed it nobody asks how this is accomplished. From what I read it is hardware emulation (similar to K1 and K101) rather than software and the guys speaking at the press conference reckon it’ll give 100% compatibility, even with Special Chip carts. Here’s a recording from the press conference. Despite the Retron 4 talk at the start of the vid, you’ll soon see that it’s actually the Retron 5 they’re talking about.

I’m a little skeptical, but then again I’ve never used any of their previous consoles so for all I know they could have achieved what they claim. Any readers own one of Hyperkin’s older consoles? How does it perform?

8 Replies to “The Hyperkin Retron 5 Hopes To Save You Some Space”

  1. I’m more interested in av out. I hope it’s at lease vga/component. I wonder if hardware emulation introduces any input or not.

  2. Would be nice if you could insert some kind of external storage with a collection of roms on it.

  3. It seems to me that anybody who might buy this already has a collection of old games, and therefore already owns a collection of old systems to play them on. If you’re concerned about authenticity, the original hardware is the only way to go, and if you’re concerned about convenience, a PSP with some emulators and an AV cable is a much better option.

    1. or if one of your systems is on the blink, or if you found a cache of old carts at a flea market somewhere…lots of opportunities to use a system like this.

  4. I got to try a hands-on demo of their working prototype at the MGC, and it was pretty good. I forgot to ask them if it will have support for Super Game Boy enhancements (extended palettes, custom borders, etc.), and it seems the custom controller is still in development as they only had a SNES controller hooked up to the demo unit. I’m glad to hear that they haven’t set a release date yet, hopefully this means they’ll take all the time they need to work out all the bugs and not release a half-assed product.

  5. I have a Retron 3 and I enjoy it. It runs very well, and no compatibility issues yet. Video output and sound are on part with the original systems. Only complaint is that the unit itself is pretty lightweight plastic, kind of “cheap” feeling, but that doesn’t impact anything. The included IR controllers are garbage, but it has ports for 2 NES, 2 Genesis, 2 SNES controllers (originals). I would only want to use those anyways, so not having decent included controllers doesn’t impact me.

    Hopefully the 5 will be a bit more sturdy.

  6. I’m curious, especially if they can achieve near 100% hardware (including sound) compatibility. The added bonus of being able to use a SNES controller on a NES or Gameboy game would be nice.

    1. Just reading your comment made my hands hurt from the corners of the NES controllers many many years after the fact. 🙂
      Yes, an SNES controller would be awesome for NES and Gameboy games.

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