Retron 5 Console Review: Absolutely Worthwhile for Retro Enthusiasts

I remember talking about this with the guys at Luna Video Game, store that sells retro games going from Atari to current, and all of them were excited about the Retron 5. Good to hear that it functions well, might have to save up to get on in the future that's for sure. Although I agree, that outer shell is one of the ugliest things I've seen when it comes to clone consoles/Retrons.

I really want to see a system like that that can play Nintendo 64 games. I have a vast collection of great game and although I can use an emulaotor I would die for a new system with better controls. Please someone out there make it happen.

Dang. No Sega Master System though. Still, that's pretty awesome. I never could part with my old games. Still have them and their respective consoles holed up in my attic. This seems really cool Bob. Thanks for the heads-up!

Not sure about these, the idea of an all one retro gaming console that works with the geniune controllers from the console is appealing but I have heard loads of negative opinions about them. There are the common and unavoidable emulation problems like inaccurate sound and colour, which you cannot really hold against it but it does make you ask the question "would I be better off with the original console?" and the same would go for the complaints about the controllers. Controllers are hard to get right, even for the biggest companies (look at the abomination that is the Dualshock 3) and controllers designed and built on a tiny budget will always have compromises and quality issues, let alone trying to create one with a tiny budget and manufacturing price point that has to work for several different consoles! You can understand why they are not quite right as its a really ambitious thing to try and do. Then there are the horror stories about the build quality.

Verified purchase Amazon customer reviews always hover around the middle mark with frequent complaints about the reliability of the consoles, complaints about having to repeatedly return them and loads of complaints about DoA devices and physically broken upon delivery that wasn't caused during shipping. There where even some comments I read on a gaming forum from an ex employee of a company involved with the importing of one of the earlier consoles, they had to repackage them for localisation and change things inside the package and he said that they would often arrive broken with pieces missing or detached and rattling around inside the box and huge numbers where like that. He estimated with broken devices and DoAs that looked fine as many as 1-3 where leaving the factory broken and they must have had zero QA at all, the company he worked for didn't help either with poor handling practices and staff that where unprofessional and rough. Consoles that had been returned either from the seller or the customer where often mixed up with outgoing goods again, sometimes even on purpose as most of the repackaging was already done on them and it allowed charge hands and supervisors to bulk up the volume of work they appeared to have done to get the PRP bonuses.

Like anything "exposed" by ex employees you have to take it with a pinch of salt but as it fitted the common complaints of people that bought them it was fairly convincing, the description of how things operated on the shop floor of the company where convincing too as I worked in the same industry.

Maybe they have fixed the issues and design flaws and got a new manufacturer and method of shipping, the complaints on Amazon are still the same though. The same issues about emulation inaccuracies seem to crop up with their other products aside from the RetroN series, even the ones they don't seem to make but design for other companies (they design and make some of those all in one Sega consoles with pre installed games etc) so they issues are common to the emulation software they make.

I guess I shouldn't be harsh, they are attempting a lot on a tiny budget and they are cheap to buy and I never saw anyone saying that they couldn't get a replacement when they did have issues so they seem to honour warranties. Its far cheaper than collecting the actual consoles too, imagine how much shelf space you save buy having the one small device rather than setting up a large bunch of original consoles too.

I bought one this past weekend and seriously can't stop talking about how much I love this thing. For anyone looking to tear into their retro collection on a modern HD tv setup, there's seriously nothing better. I've been playing all week and have yet to experience any of the issues being reported, but I'm sure it's a case by case basis.

VonBrewskie:
Dang. No Sega Master System though.

I'd heard that you can get a power adapter to allow it to play master system games (same as with the original genesis), but I guess hunting it down is just an added pain and expense.

No love for the MAster System?

Meh, smal potatos.. still waaaaant?

I am so happy to see the Escapist review this. Equally happy they let Bob do it. With my SNES MIA and having never owned a Genesis, this was an ideal solution (HDMI output!), but clone consoles do have issues. This review really sealed the deal for me.

I don't see who this would appeal to exactly. I mean if you are a collector you aren't going to want some aftermarket console over the original and if you are just looking to play the games themselves and don't care about owning the original hardware/software there are better ways of doing that too . . . . . like playing them at a friends house or ummm something. What? Oh, you thought I was going to say something else didn't you? Pffft!

Well, I have a Retro 3 that I got for free, and I promptly threw it in my closet, because when I play SNES games, it sounds like nails on a chalk board. They fucked the sound chip up badly. I hope the same is not for the Retro 5.

Super Not Cosmo:
I don't see who this would appeal to exactly. I mean if you are a collector you aren't going to want some aftermarket console over the original and if you are just looking to play the games themselves and don't care about owning the original hardware/software there are better ways of doing that too . . . . . like playing them at a friends house or ummm something. What? Oh, you thought I was going to say something else didn't you? Pffft!

This appeals to everyone who has ever had 7 consoles hooked up to a tv at once. It appeals to everyone who has a collection of Retro games and no console to play them on. It appeals to everyone who plays retro games on an HD TV. It appeals to everyone who wants the conveniences of emulation (like save states and button remapping.)

I'm not really sure why you would buy this, it's just an Android device with cartridge slots. If the hardware isn't a size-reduced copy of the original hardware then it's just an inaccurate emulation. Why not just play in on a computer? For one thing you could use a more accurate emulator than the little ARM chip in this can handle like Higan.

You can even buy cartridge slots (and controller ports) that you can attach to any PC, Android device with OTG or anything else that supports USB drives.

I highly recommend that you not buy this, I'm pretty sure you'll be disappointed. I've been highly disappointed by similar units before.

The controller doesn't even have a D-pad!

Though I would love to play some pong with friends while drinking I don't think I'll keep them disgusting cartridge in my house. What they should have done is get permission from the game companies and have all the games already available with the box and make it small like a cellphone.

Magmarock:
I really want to see a system like that that can play Nintendo 64 games. I have a vast collection of great game and although I can use an emulator I would die for a new system with better controls. Please someone out there make it happen.

Assuming my understanding of copyright law is correct, in order to use parts of the original machine (game slot/controller port) they have to wait 20 years from the original. Seeing as the N64 was launched in 1996, this means we should see such a device in 2 years time (the RetroN6?)

Magmarock:
I really want to see a system like that that can play Nintendo 64 games. I have a vast collection of great game and although I can use an emulaotor I would die for a new system with better controls. Please someone out there make it happen.

N64 is so much more powerful than the 16 bit era that you could probably just look for cartridge adapters like what they had for the SNES to play NES games. Pretty sure I've seen them around. The architecture of the N64 cartridges is easily powerful enough to support that kind of hardware emulation.

I'm kind of put off. I've seen a lot of very low-quality 8/16 bit era compatible consoles, too many to be comfortable with the idea of buying one. Honestly I wasn't even sure they were legal, or at least I thought they occupy the same legal grey area as AceKards and the like, since the only places I've seen them are from Chinese manufacturers on eBay and street vendors.

Adam Locking:

Assuming my understanding of copyright law is correct, in order to use parts of the original machine (game slot/controller port) they have to wait 20 years from the original. Seeing as the N64 was launched in 1996, this means we should see such a device in 2 years time (the RetroN6?)

Technically, there's nothing to stop you from accessing the content of the cartridge however you like as long as you're not trying to copy the ROM and distribute it illegally (and technically, you're even allowed to copy the ROM as long as you don't distribute it, but that's a huge grey area). Nothing in the law stops you from hacking together an N64 hardware emulator like with an FPGA (plenty of source code available online) or putting together something crazy to play the cartridge through a computer, except that you're not allowed to market the device.

renegade7:

Magmarock:
I really want to see a system like that that can play Nintendo 64 games. I have a vast collection of great game and although I can use an emulaotor I would die for a new system with better controls. Please someone out there make it happen.

N64 is so much more powerful than the 16 bit era that you could probably just look for cartridge adapters like what they had for the SNES to play NES games. Pretty sure I've seen them around. The architecture of the N64 cartridges is easily powerful enough to support that kind of hardware emulation.

I'm kind of put off. I've seen a lot of very low-quality 8/16 bit era compatible consoles, too many to be comfortable with the idea of buying one. Honestly I wasn't even sure they were legal, or at least I thought they occupy the same legal grey area as AceKards and the like, since the only places I've seen them are from Chinese manufacturers on eBay and street vendors.

Well that's only because the Chinese were making them for decades now (the difference is that now it is legal) and really, what's so grey about that? Their patents expired, they hold no rights for the format. It's not the same as with Flash Cartridges - those obviously are made for ROM pirates, even though to be fair pirating old games in itself is grey as fuck, but nevertheless. As for how it works - I guess we'll have to see the videos of them to verify. I wish Classic Game Room reviewed one of these, I'd like to know what Mark thinks about them.

ExtraDebit:
The controller doesn't even have a D-pad!

Though I would love to play some pong with friends while drinking I don't think I'll keep them disgusting cartridge in my house. What they should have done is get permission from the game companies and have all the games already available with the box and make it small like a cellphone.

The lack of d-pad is what holds me back.

There's no way in heck the companies involved would've allowed them to include all the games in box, however. Sega and Nintendo are selling their old games for these systems for several bucks a pop.

Adam Locking:

Magmarock:
I really want to see a system like that that can play Nintendo 64 games. I have a vast collection of great game and although I can use an emulator I would die for a new system with better controls. Please someone out there make it happen.

Assuming my understanding of copyright law is correct, in order to use parts of the original machine (game slot/controller port) they have to wait 20 years from the original. Seeing as the N64 was launched in 1996, this means we should see such a device in 2 years time (the RetroN6?)

Oh good lord, copy right law is a huge mess. It's hard to say really. I mean take PlayStation for example. As far as I'm aware it's legal to emulate the hardware but not bios.

I don't know if Nintendo 64s even used a bios. It's possible that all the basic input and output instructions were on the cartridge.

"ABSOLUTELY Worthwhile."
My word, such inflation, what intensification! Do you fear that people are beginning to not listen to you if you don't scream it at the top of your lungs?

Just gonna mention. Just because it uses emulation software, doesn't mean that has anything to do with piracy. Piracy is piracy, using something not made by the original console devs to run it is emulation. They are different things, possible to do both, but still different.

 

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