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Retron 5


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...so, it turned out that most hybirds/retro update systems have been kind've shit. tons of compatibility issues (never mind audio/graphic fidelity) and bringing nothing new to the table - but this one might change that!





If you were a kid in the late 80’s or early 90’s, you might have been forced to make a very difficult choice: Sega or Nintendo?


Wouldn’t it have been great to own a single system that could play games designed for any console? Nintendo and Sega would never have built a console together in the heyday of their rivalry—but now, two decades later, a company devoted to retro gaming has reverse-engineered the 20-plus-year-old hardware to create a sort of universal system.


The company is Hyperkin and its product is called the RetroN. The current version is the RetroN 3, which plays NES, SNES, and Genesis games. But Hyperkin is taking the RetroN to the next level (actually two more levels) with a brand-new product called the RetroN 5.


In addition to NES, SNES, and Genesis, the RetroN 5 will play cartridges from Famicom (the Japanese version of NES) and Game Boy Advance. The GBA slot is compatible with Game Boy Color and the original Game Boy, so the RetroN 5 can actually play games from seven systems. Perhaps best of all, the RetroN 5 brings HDMI capability and a host of features designed to make retro gaming feel slightly more modern.

  • Supports NES, Famicon, SNES, Super Famicon, Genesis, Megadrive, GBA, GBC and GB games
  • Upscales to 720p with HDMI.
  • New user interface which will allow you to select which system you want to play along with a plethora of options.
  • Two controller ports for each system.
  • Will allow you to use any controller for any system, for example using a Genesis controller to play an SNES game.
  • Bluetooth wireless controller with directional D-pad, six buttons, two bumpers, two macro keys on the side, LED lights, and a home button.
  • Option to render audio "at a higher output frequency" resulting in a smoother and cleaner audio output
  • Button remapping supported for all controllers
  • Save states supported
  • Overclocking supported
  • Price point to be less than $100 with a release most likely in July.


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  • 2 months later...

E3 Retron 5 update: still on track for the summer, still looking to be about $100. final design pics in the link...she ain't pretty, but she's got all the right holes!


it's apparently running an open source/android emulator, so updates are possible. still not sure about compatibility/fidelity but might be fun just for save states & cheats.

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Will you have to go and find all the old games, though? Like, if I buy that, I won't be able to play until I get the actual games. They won't come already installed? Or at least downloadable? Just asking. Don't bite my head off, guys.

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  • 1 year later...




Anyway, as it stands right now in its current state the product is using parts of our software illegally. There were also some other things found that were legally questionable like a Microsoft-licensed Verdana font which is covered by a End-User License Agreement, so there are multiple license violations here at play.


The problems with this are many-fold, but for us it comes down to mixing non-commercial cores on this device with more permissively licensed cores, the infringement of the emulator authors’ rights, the lack of credit paid where credit is due, the lack of freedom in the hardware device (which restricts the user in what he/she can do and makes him/her reliant on Hyperkin to serve as the gateway keeper since he/she can’t uncripple this version of Android on their device without voiding their warranty and they can’t run the uncrippled RetroArch frontend on it either), and the multiple conflicting licenses. Also, the fact that changes / patches to the sourcecode have not been provided to customers of this device. These should have been made available on a public place free of charge.


Open-source is not a matter of doing with it as you please. The license is there for a reason and it needs to be followed, and it dictates how you should go about your business when deciding to make a commercial product out of such software. GPL is known as a ‘viral license’ which means that the community behind this uses the viral nature of the GPL as an effective strategy to ensure more and more software gets licensed under the GPL, since every bit of GPL code that gets incorporated into another project needs to be made GPL or GPL-compatible as well otherwise it’s a violation of the license. As it stands right now, the software for the Retron5 is very likely illegal to distribute.

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