Retron 5 review

Retro gaming is experiencing a resurgence lately and games or consoles that were once aging pieces of yellowing plastic are now often worth ridiculous amounts of mone y.

The Retron 5 can also play cartridges from the Japanese versions of all those game consoles. Retro gaming has experienced a big revival lately. Most of the filters, apart from the scan-lines, tend to give games a weird, almost cartoony look and ruin the pixelated visuals many nostalgically remember from their favourite childhood titles. In terms of compatibility the Retron seems to work with most cartridges.

A quick search on YouTube reveals footage of a number of gamers playing the Super FX chip-enabled Star Fox via the Retron 5, a big accomplishment by Hyperkin considering how difficult it is to emulate retro games with specific built-in hardware. Nor is it compatible with multi-cartridges: hacked cartridges that have multiple titles on one cartridge.

While this feature is great, it would have been better if it was included on the system right out of the box.

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Its plastic form-factor feels cheap and so does its rather strange wireless controller. The same can be said about its overly clicky and imprecise buttons.

Another oddity is the fact that all Game Boy games remain single-player experiences. Thankfully the console is compatible with a variety of old school game controllers. Sliding cartridges in and out of the console is a tight squeeze and could potentially damage both the cartridges and the console with prolonged use.

With the Retron 3 you could manually select what cartridge you wanted to play if there were multiple carts inserted into the system, so it seems strange Hyperkin has taken a step backwards with the Retron 5 in terms of this feature.

Retro purists will be disappointed to hear that just like most aftermarket retro consoles, the Retron 5 relies on emulation to run games rather than special chips or circuitry. Eventually I decided to opt out of using it altogether. Hopefully this problem is fixed at some point in the near future via a firmware update.

Seeing games I enjoyed playing as a child in HD on a modern television is also a thrill.

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At first glance the Retron 5 looks great until you feel how cheap its build quality is. The Retron 5 is far from perfect and actually suffers from quite a few glaring issues. With a few simple firmware updates the Retron 5 could become the go-to retro aftermarket console. Share Adjust Comment Print. Comments Sign in to Comment. Post to Cancel.It's taken its sweet time, but the RetroN 5 is finally with us, offering dedicated retro enthusiasts the opportunity to give their dusty collection of vintage cartridges a new lease of life in high definition.

Hyperkin was supposed to launch the remarkable RetroN 5 system at the tail end of last year, but an unforeseen production fault put paid to that, forcing the manufacturer to delay the release for an agonising six months - much to the chagrin of retro players all over the globe. The wait may have been unbearable, but the console is finally available at retail in North America - and I'm pleased to say that it mostly lives up to its tantalizing potential.

First things first, the RetroN 5 supports a dazzling range of old-school formats - in fact, the spec list reads like a "who's who" of the 8 and bit wars. It can also play Famicom carts - a feat which is achieved by the inclusion of an additional slot, as the Japanese version of the NES uses a different cartridge connection. Region protection is rendered an irrelevance, too - this wonder console will happily run games from any part of the world. Slotting in a game results in the data being dumped into the RetroN 5's memory, where it can then be processed by the system's Android-based internal architecture.

Unlike other clone systems, the RetroN 5 relies heavily on software emulation tricks and is therefore capable of technological magic such as save states, fast-forwarding of play, image filters and cheat code usage.

retron 5 review

Whenever the word emulation is mentioned, retro gaming purists can be seen to visibly shudder in disgust, but here Hyperkin has managed to combine the best of both worlds. The RetroN 5's performance is exemplary - it only failed to play one of the mountain of dusty old carts I threw at it - and the speed, sound and general gameplay of the games I tested was on par with the original hardware.

Another big plus point is that the RetroN 5 outputs a much better picture than your battered old NES or Genesis could ever hope to. The HDMI connection allows for p HD visuals, with the console upscaling the original image to fill all of those lovely pixels on your massive and expensive TV.

The result is largely what you'd get if you hooked up a PC-based emulator to your flat screen television, but here everything is contained in a compact system which requires little to no effort to run. Rather less successful is the bundled wireless pad, which just about gets the job done but pales in comparison to the standard of controller we're accustomed to these days - or even back in the '90s, for that matter.

The microswitched stick doesn't feel precise enough, and the fascia buttons emit a rather unpleasant clicking sound when pressed. Add to this a design which is far from comfortable and some truly atrocious shoulder triggers, and you've got a pad which is acceptable in short bursts but won't stay the course for those mammoth retro gaming marathons.

It does at least have an internal rechargeable battery, which is more than the Xbox One's pad can muster. Thank goodness then that the RetroN 5 offers the ability to use your original controllers.

There are six ports on the system - two apiece for the NES, SNES and Genesis - and into these you can plug the battle-scarred peripherals of your youth. What's more, you can use the RetroN 5's interface to configure the pads to function on different formats. Ever wanted to rinse M. Now you can. Furthermore, you can use this system to play multiplayer titles without the need for a multitap accessory - within minutes I was able to commence a 5-player battle match in Super Bomberman 3 using two SNES pads, two Genesis 6-button controllers and the bundled RetroN 5 pad.

The only downside of using authentic controllers on this system is that you lose the luxury of wire-free play, and you always have to have the RetroN 5 controller to hand as it's the only way of accessing the console's user interface.

The RetroN 5 offers a solid experience out of the box, but there are elements which still require Hyperkin's immediate attention - the most concerning of which relates to the system's advertised ability to import and export original save game data to and from cartridges. In my case at least, this feature was entirely broken - the original save files on the games I tested were wiped when loaded into the console, and I was unable to get the export function to work at all.

The existence of an SD card slot will allow Hyperkin to upgrade the RetroN 5's firmware and fix this potentially tragic problem, but for the time being at least, you might want to keep those precious save files you've been nurturing for years away from this system. Ironically, despite its unwelcome talent at deleting saves, the RetroN 5 could well provide the lifeline for those cartridges which are just about to become useless thanks to failing internal batteries.

The aforementioned save state feature not only allows for user-created checkpoints, but also automatically saves your progress the moment you remove the cart. This is naturally useful in games which boast no native save function, but could also make games with dead batteries playable again - there's no need to use the internal save feature when the hardware does it for you.

Another annoyance - albeit a minor one - is that you can only have one cartridge inserted in the RetroN 5 at any one time. This is understandable on one level - each game is loaded into the machine's memory at the moment of insertion and is wiped when the cartridge is physically removed - but it's a real pain to have to constantly keep returning to the RetroN 5 whenever you fancy playing something different.

The ability to load-up each slot with a game would at least offer some convenience, if nothing else. While some will sneer at the RetroN 5's "unique" shape and scoff at the idea of paying for what is essentially emulation when you can effectively have it for free on any desktop PC, Hyperkin's system is nevertheless a breakthrough for clone hardware.R etro gaming can prove to be a nuisance, a pastime that caters to clutter.

It festoons living rooms with a host of tangled wires and weathered, troublesome consoles that may still need a ritualistic blow in the cartridge slot to bring them to life. However, while it uses emulation technology, you will still need the original cartridges to play; hence the row of slots on its surface. It outputs exclusively via HDMI, and while the games look adequate on a modern screen, they the visual sharpness and vibrancy of the original consoles hooked up to a muscular CRT TV.

Wii U Virtual Console, Nintendocert: 7. It follows Ephraim and Eirika, twin heirs to the kingdom of Renais, who build and lead armies to restore their homeland, which has been overthrown by former allied nation Grado. Originally released on the Game Boy Advance inthe gameplay remains sharp a decade on, requiring keen attention and calculating manoeuvres to win the many turn-based battles.

Units offer a range of magical or martial skills, with each type or weapon class having strengths and weaknesses. However, reissuing it for the Wii U rather than the 3DS though it had an exclusive release, into those who purchased the handheld before its price drop results in a blocky, pixelated big-screen experience that can be tricky to follow, and is likely to deter players from the long-play sessions Fire Emblem thrives on.

Matt Kamen. Topics Games consoles The Observer. Retro games Nintendo Games reviews.

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Reuse this content. Order by newest oldest recommendations. Show 25 25 50 All. Threads collapsed expanded unthreaded. Loading comments… Trouble loading? Most popular.But to be honest, the early models left much to be desired. This page will take a close look at the RetroN 5.

Hyperkin RetroN 5

This is the top-of-the-line model from Hyperkin and provides and amazing amount of capabilities and retro gaming options. At first glance the RetroN 5 may appear a bit busy, but for good reason. The RetroN 5 can play:. To achieve this feat there are separate cartridge slots for each system. There are four cartridge slots on the top of the machine. Looking at the top of the machine, in the very back, you can see a large cavity.

This includes both the regular cartridges and the card based games! That brings the total number of systems you can play on this system to six! To play all of these systems the RetroN 5 comes with a 13 button wireless blue-tooth controller more on this later. But, there are even more surprises in store. One the left and right of the system are controller ports so you can use all of the original controllers from each system!

Player one ports are located on the left side of the unit and player two ports on the right. Each port has a small rubber cover that can easily be removed.

Now, as cool as having the abilty to use your original controllers is, it gets even better. Using the systems interface more on this below also you can actually map the buttons for any controller however you want! You can even use different controllers for different systems.

retron 5 review

Now you can. No worries, you can do that also. You can even use different controllers at the same time. So you could use the NES controller for player one, and your buddy could use the included Hyperkin controller for player two.

The number of options are amazing. To the left of the cartridge slot is the power button to turn the system on and off. On the back of the RetroN 5 are several ports. From left to right you have. The RetroN 5 allows you save any game at any time. No need to wait until you make it to that distant check-point.

Simply press pause, and the RetroN interface comes up allowing you to save the game to the internal memory. But you can also insert a standard SD card here and back-up or copy files over.A reader reports on his experiences with a pre-release RetroN 5 console, which can play everything from NES games to Mega Drive cartridges.

While most of them were pretty decent a lot of them suffered from bad hardware and poor compatibility. I followed the original announcement back when the machine was called the RetroN 4 but it was last March when the RetroN 5 was revealed at the Midwest Gaming Classic event.

But a lot of things has happened with Hyperkin, which resulted in the delay of the system and a lot of angry consumers.

retron 5 review

The review unit was pretty simple to set up, attach the correct head to the plug and connect the system to HDMI. Well, let me get some of the issues out of the way first.

I think the cable on the power adapter could have been a bit longer. To power the console you have to hold the power button down for between seconds before it switches on, it seems like a little bit of an inconvenience but you get accustomed to it.

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The console partially dumps the cartridge, which is to do with the graphics and audio — while the rest of the information is read off the cartridge. Because of the different approach it means that compatibility issues can be fixed with firmware updates and there is an SD card slot on the back which also can manage downloadable cheats and screenshots for the system. The RetroN 5 also contains on-board storage for save states, which is a nifty feature to have — especially if the save battery has died in some of the older cartridge based games.

I have played several games from my own personal collection on the system and it seems to run those games well, even though it kind of was perplexed by my Super Famicom game Patlabor and stated it was an unknown cartridge, as well my US copy of Street Fighter II Turbo… but it played well. The RetroN 5 outputs the video at p and has several graphical features, like filters and a scanline generator; as well as an overscan option which I was surprised about, which lets you recreate the effect on a modern television where part of the image is cut out — if you really want to get the retro feel.

But also it gives you the option on whether you would like to play the game in its original resolution or the original aspect ratio, or you can stretch the image and zoom. If the cartridge has save data the RetroN 5 will automatically copy the data to its on-board memory before you play the game, also I have noticed that it will automatically save a state if you go back to the main menu screen… pretty handy if you quickly want to get back where you left off.

RetroN 5 Experiments - Unboxing, Review, and Compatibility Tests - Famicom Dojo

The audio sound of things are pretty good as most of the games sounded like how I remembered on the original consoles. There are options for audio enhancement, with audio interpolation and also a bass and treble boost.

But I found that the latter options really muffled the audio up on a few of the games I played and I left them switched off. The controller took some time getting used to as its boxy shape was a reminder of the Master System and NES controllers.

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I still had the niggling issue that they could have been made more robust and that the microswitches could have been made more responsive as there was a bit of a dead zone which does make some games quite difficult to play.

The cartridge slots on the system seem to suffer from having a vice like grip on my cartridges that I had to use more force than I would like trying to pull them out, so that I was concerned I would have broken the connectors.

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I have been assured there will be a newer firmware ready when the RetroN 5 is released in the Americas on June 6. Which was quite shocking and also raises some concerns as to the build quality and testing of the machines. Luckily I managed to fix the issues myself, but it does leave a lot of questions. The RetroN 5 has reignited my passion for retro gaming but there are still too many issues at hand I had with this unit, which are deal breakers if someone has to pay the full retail price.

But if Hyperkin can resolve some of the main issues, It could be one of the better clone consoles out there.Trusted Reviews may earn an affiliate commission when you purchase through links on our site.

Learn More. The Hyperkin Retron HD aims to fix that.

RetroN 5 review: the all-in-one retro console – Reader’s Feature

Hyperkin has used many of the same visual reference points for its replica console, such as the grille-like texture on the top and almost identical power and reset buttons. On one corner is the Hyperkin logo, which illuminates nicely when the console is switched on.

retron 5 review

Related: Best Switch games. The other board takes the information from the main board and turns it into either a HD signal or a composite one. Hyperkin could arguably have made the console even smaller than it already is were it not for the need to include that all-important cartridge slot. Related: Super Nintendo Classic — everything you need to know. If you have a sizeable collection of existing games then this is a real boon — especially when you consider that these can be played in p HD.

Sadly, this is one area where the Retron HD stumbles slightly. While the gameplay is smooth enough and there are no noticeable issues with framerate, colours look a bit odd in some games and the audio is noticeably different in others, with percussion effects coming across as slightly muffled.

While there are undoubtedly better NES clones on the market right now, all of them cost significantly more the Retron HD. We continually check thousands of prices to show you the best deals. If you buy a product through our site we will earn a small commission from the retailer — a sort of automated referral fee — but our reviewers are always kept separate from this process.

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The ultimate HD remake: Hyperkin presents the RetroN 5, a revolutionary new way to experience classic games in high definition; the first of its kind with an all-digital HD output. The RetroN 5 has an HD port with a maximum output resolution of p and supports up to 60 frames per second. Digital enhancement features are available for all game formats. Side mounted controller slots allow for play with your original controllers. For those who want to go wireless, the bundled wireless controller has a range of over 25 feet.

RetroN 5 offers the versatility to play the way you want. The rear SD card slot gives you the ability to expand your save memory and save screenshots.

Screenshots are saved as JPEG images for easy sharing from your computer to popular social media sites. Finally, share that high score, epic platform jump, or secret warp zone.

The RetroN 5 has an on screen user interface bringing the comforts of modern consoles to retro gaming. Dynamic controller mapping allows full customization, even with original controllers. Access these features without ever having to end your play session or reset your game with a touch of the Home button, bringing the convenience of a modern console to retro gaming. Every RetroN 5 comes packed with a wireless controller. It features an D-pad, two shoulder triggers, a start and select button, as well as 4 macro and 8 controller buttons.

All of these are programmable and can be mapped to any command through the settings menu. It will be able to control the RetroN 5 and play all supported games. Click here to shop controllers. Support Questions: support retron5. Search: Search. Use the search box to find the product you are looking for. Software The RetroN 5 has an on screen user interface bringing the comforts of modern consoles to retro gaming.

Controller Every RetroN 5 comes packed with a wireless controller. Sales Questions: sales retron5.


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