E3 2013: RetroN 5 Retro Gaming Console

Wednesday, June 12th, 2013

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I love older video games, so much that I have a rather large library. With technology advancing, those old games are becoming harder to get running on TVs due to input issues. Hyperkin is looking to bring back retro gaming with the RetroN 5 and give it a modern twist. From what I saw, collectors of retro video games should be excited.

RetroN 5

The RetroN 5 gaming console is a clone console that can play NES, SNES, Genesis, Famicom, and GBA (and earlier) games. With five cartridge slots, it sounds like the console should be pretty massive, but in reality, it’s only about the size of a first-generation SNES. One of the concerns I had when they first showed the design concept was I thought it looked rather ugly, but when seeing it in real life, it actually looks rather sleek, with a glossy finish.

Being the first clone console to include an OS, it’s important that its design is simple so the time from turn-on to play is very short. With the RetroN 5, all you have to do is highlight the console slot you have the cartridge loaded into and press Play. Trying to play a retro game on a large-screen TV ordinarily would bring out the imperfections, but the RetroN 5 upgrades the graphics to look right at home on your 60-inch TV at 720p. The example given to me was Mario Kart for the GBA. With all the filters off, the graphics look jagged and noticeably old. With the filters on, the game looked incredible and had no noticeable lag. For those who need that nostalgic feel in their games, they even included a filter to add scan lines!

RetroN 5

The RetroN 5 also includes features that were once exclusive to legally grey emulation programs. Save states, fast-forwarding, and overclocking are all made available for you to take advantage of. Each game gets ten save slots where you can save your game to an SD card. You can set macros with the RetroN 5, making things like entering Mortal Kombat‘s blood code as easy as pressing a button. Still have all those old controllers? There are even slots for those, and you can use them for any console, so if you want to use a Genesis controller on an NES game, you can. For those who like to import their games, the console includes the option to manually or automatically set the region, so now you can play your PAL copy of Terranigma with no hassle!

There’s still no announced release date or price, but I was told it should be out this summer for under $100 USD.

I’ve always liked playing games the way they were intended to be played, so the RetroN 5 is a godsend for me. Whether you’re a longtime collector or just looking to play those retro games you have lying around, you should keep an eye on the RetroN 5.