Hyperkin's RetroN 5 console, a system designed to play all your old games – NES, Famicom, SNES, Super Famicom, Genesis, Mega Drive, Game Boy, Game Boy Color and Game Boy Advance – is finally shipping and will be available starting June 6 for $140, according to a press release from Hyperkin.
A few years ago, I checked out the RetroN 3, which was a neat idea but severely lacking. The most egregious problems were the use of infrared-based controllers and a general feeling of cheapness. This update looks to be much more interesting, however.
The included controller is now bluetooth, to start with. The system outputs to HDMI at 720p rather than the composite output of past versions.
There's also a lot more going on under the hood. The system has an interface of its own that allows you to select different filter and shader effects, including simulating CRT scanlines. Taking a page from the world of emulation, the system also allows save states, which lets you save a game at any time, rather than having to write down a password or wait for a save point. There's even a port for an SD card for all the save states and the ability to take screenshots of games.
The system includes two ports for each type of original controller, and boasts a claim of 100 percent compatibility, stating that "the RetroN 5 will play both PAL and NTSC cartridges. CIC lockout chips and FX chips are no longer going to be an issue, as we aim to achieve 100% compatibility with all cartridges."
The system still won't be enough for purists who can tell the difference between emulated and unemulated sound and the like, but if you have a stack of old games around, the RetroN 5 might be the best option to give them new life.