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About the product
- Multiple System Compatibility: The RetroN 5 allows you to play your favorite NES, SNES, Super Famicom, Genesis, Mega Drive, Famicom, Game Boy, Game Boy Color, and GBA cartridges on one system. You can also play Master System games with the use of the Power Base Converter.*
- HD Output: The HD output will upconvert the signal to your HDTV with a maximum output resolution of 720p.
- Save/Load States: Save or load your games at any point during gameplay, with 10 save slots for each game.
- Bluetooth Wireless Controller: Utilizing Bluetooth technology, this controller has a range of up to 30 feet and features a microswitch directional pad, two programmable macro buttons, and a Home button for quick-in game access to features.
- Original Controller Ports: 2 original controller ports (6 total) for each platform
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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 plays Game Boy, Game Boy Color, Game Boy Advance, Famicom, Super Famicom, Nintendo Entertainment System, Super Nintendo Entertainment System, Sega Genesis, and Mega Drive cartridges with enhanced resolution, improved interpolated sound, screenshot capture, and the ability to have on the fly save states. The RetroN 5 is the retro gaming console that brings you back to a world where recharging health is cheating, you can have as many guns as you want, and achievements aren't just some numbers on a screen.Cheats: Pre-built cheats that can be accessed at any point during gameplay for most games.
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It took about 30 minutes to update the console and get it in working order. Not only does the instruction booklet leave out the crucial factoid that the power button must be held for 10 seconds for the console to turn on, but at the time of release, the only place to download the most current firmware was from a link on Hyperkin's facebook page--this info wasn't noted on the Retron 5 website, nor Hyperkin's website at all.
I started working my way through some of my favorite NES games to test the system out, lo and behold, the claims were true! The games I grew up playing as a kid suddenly looked sharp and vivid! Wizards and Warriors, Super Mario Bros. 2 and 3, T&C Surf Designs, Rad Racer, Rygar and Mega Man were amongst the 15 or so games I tested on the NES, along with Donkey Kong Country and U.N. Squadron on the SNES. The more I played with the system, the more I fell in love with it... well, actually, I wasn't in love with the cartridge slots. Before receiving the system, I had watched countless Youtube videos of reviewers with the system, and nearly all of them mentioned how unnecessarily tight the cartridge slots can be. I tried my best to deal with the issue, as my Retron 5 was no different--the slots had a vigorous grip. Nevertheless, I couldn't wait to show the sytem off during the next gaming/movie night with my buddies.
The next day, June 9th, after a long work day, I plopped down on the couch and got ready to see how far I could make it through Karnov on the NES. Instead of plowing through Level 1, I was greeted with "No Cart Inserted". I took the cartridge out and reinserted it, same result. Figuring it was dirty, I cleaned it with the ol' cotton swab/70% rubbing alcohol method. While I let it dry, I decided to play Mega Man instead, had no trouble with it the day before. Suddenly it wasn't working either. I took the cartridge out and looked inside the system's slot, and to my horror, I saw the pin connectors inside the system had not only been bent and misshapen beyond repair, but two of the pins themselves had been pulled out. The NES slot was kaput.
I called Hyperkin and had the system RMA'd. I am now on my second unit after they concluded my console was faulty. I have had it for 2 weeks now (today is the 27th of June, 2014), and have only had time to play through one SNES game to completion (Illusion of Gaia), and test out a handful of NES/Genesis games to make sure this unit works fine--surprise surprise, the NES slot is starting to show signs of pin connector wear AGAIN. I have made sure to take every precaution recommended by fellow Retron 5 owners when it comes to removing cartridges (lift from one corner & remove), and I've gotten to the point of checking the NES slot each time I remove a game to make sure it's okay. As it stands, two pins are ever-so-slightly starting to become bent. It's been two weeks since I originally have had the problem, and other owners are chiming in with the same damaged pin connector problem in the NES slot. If this second unit becomes worn out just like the first unit I had, I'm not RMAing it back to Hyperkin--it's going to Amazon for a full refund.
UPDATE (7/7/2014): It's back in Amazon's hands now. I was getting tired of using my Retron 5 in paranoia, checking the NES slot after each cartridge removal. I called Hyperkin, wanting to speak with Tech Support. First time I tried, they were out to lunch. Second time I tried, which was 3 hours later, they had left for the day. Instead, I was put in touch with the lead product developer himself, Chris Gallizzi.
I told him of my experience with the console & wanted to know if there was a set-in-stone recommended way to remove NES cartridges. He said the way he takes them out was the same method I'd been using--lift from one corner and remove. He wrote down a bunch of feedback from me and relayed some curious info. Evidently, MANY people are reporting the pin connector issue. Hyperkin made the connectors tight enough to ensure the best connection possible, but on hindsight, Chris admitted they made them TOO tight. They're only seeing the misshapen/popped pin issue with the mass produced consoles, NOT the beta units. They are looking into a possible hardware revision with a looser grip for all slots & stronger pins. With that, I thanked him for his help, and settled on holding onto the system for a bit longer.
Knowing that I was removing the NES cartridges the correct way from the product developer himself, I set my worries aside and had fun with it. First game of choice from my arsenal was Wrecking Crew. Inserting it felt a bit snug to me, but it played fine. After 30 min., I took the cart out, which was still a hassle. Checking the pins again, I noticed now there were two more pins popping up. I put in Dr. Mario, Othello, and Mega Man, all of them played fine with no pin trouble. Tried Wrecking Crew again, and after removal, another pin popped up. For whatever reason, my copy of Wrecking Crew was pulling the pins out. A fellow Retron 5 owner with my exact problem had theorized a week earlier on the Hyperkin Facebook page that the various sizes and thickness of NES cart PCBs could be a factor to why the Retron 5's NES slot pins were getting destroyed. Coupled with the unnecessary tightness, it seemed to be exactly right, in my case. I packed it up & returned it to Amazon for a complete refund.
Hyperkin is aware that it exists as a problem among mass-produced units. They haven't said anything publicly, and seem to be dealing with it on a case-by-case basis. With the product developer telling me they are possibly looking at a hardware revision with a looser grip & better pins, I cannot recommend the Retron 5 as it stands right now. I docked it a star after discovering the pins were still very much faulty on my "tested" refurb unit, leaving this as a one-star product in my eyes.
For the cheapies out there, you can download your roms, and convert it to IPS with a converter program.
That way you have access to all retro games!
All you need is one cartridge of each console you'd want to play a game on.
I spent $50 for the Sega game gear adapter, then spent $20 on about 8 game cartridges (averaging at just over $1 per cartridge), ranging from the Japanese gameboy and famicom cartridges, to sega gamegear, and NES cartridges. Games on the cartridges sucked, but you can load an IPS over it, so basically the cartridge enables you to load the correct console for the games on the SD card.
If you're not into this illegal actions, you can also purchase legit games, and load them in the Retron 5. Or download ROMS and convert them to an IPS, of the games you already own; and then play it.
The benefit is, if you have lots of cartridges already, you don't need to unpack them, just run them from SD card.
I think most people will spend a few hours for nostalgia purposes on this machine, but since the age of the games, these games probably won't be played regularly!
The Retron 5 has HDMI output, but no separate stereo out! So, unless you have a soundbar, accepting HDMI signals, or a headphones jack on your TV, you're stuck with the TV speakers.
The best image is to just run the native resolution, or upscale it by 2x, 3x or 4x (640x480 x2 = 1280x960, or x3 = 1920x1440, or x4 = 2560x1920); or let your TV stretch the image.
The image is razor sharp on my 4k TV, using 4x upscaling.
I don't use the internal scalers. They make the image look weird.
Retron 5 doesn't accept generic bluetooth controllers, so you got to buy a few of the original Retron 5 controllers, or original gaming console controllers.
The only problem with the SNES controllers are that the cables are pretty short.
USB controllers also aren't supported!
This is a good bang for the buck on the wallet to extend the life of the old cartridge consoles however eventually these old cartridges will be gone as they are all pretty old. As well it works well and saves the games well. I am looking at possibly buying the handheld version from hyperkin as this met my expectations and I have no regrets on buying this console.
I will advise anyone to buy a external tf card and a second controller if you have multi player games. I would love if they would include a second controller again with the console and possibly have a tf card bundled in case someone doesn't have one in the house.