I have a weird relationship with retro gaming. I enjoy having a few old consoles and a small collection of games, but I love seeing crazy huge retro gaming collections on Instagram and Reddit. Some people have insane gaming rooms with dozens of consoles hooked up to an old CRT television with numerous video switchers to make it all work. I enjoy the nostalgia of old game hardware (and the convenience of emulators), but really want to find a practical, usable way to enjoy retro games. The upcoming RetroN 5 from Hyperkin seems to be the perfect solution.
Over the past year or so I’ve (re)acquired the NES, SNES, and Genesis consoles. The NES I found needs to be repaired and I just haven’t gotten around to replacing the pin. The SNES works occasionally, and the Genesis works really well. I would still keep them if they were all completely bricked, just for the nostalgia of having them on a shelf. But, the RetroN 5 looks like it will be my go-to system for playing old games. This console can play games from these consoles:
- Super Famicom
- Mega Drive
- Game Boy
- Game Boy Color
- Game Boy Advance
It has 2 controller ports for each of the consoles so you can use the actual hardware, and it comes with a wireless controller of its own. It runs Android and has built-in cheats and display settings, and it will supposedly run all game cartridges, even the fancy SNES games that had extra hardware acceleration built-in.
I can’t wait for this system. It will make older games look better on modern TVs, so I can forget about finding an ancient CRT at Goodwill and just find a cheap 20″ TV for my office. It has slots for any console I’d want to play from the older generations, but I’m particularly glad it has a Game Boy Advance slot. I missed the Nintendo handheld generations between the original Game Boy and the 3DS (I was a Game Gear kid), and have just recently gotten into them. I’ve found that GBA games are about exactly what I love about games from a stylistic and gameplay point of view and I can’t wait to play them on a TV instead of a tiny screen.
The system has been delayed for months, but the latest word is that it will be released in April. You can preorder it on Amazon for around $100.