Although we've been following the developments of Hyperkin's upcoming RETRON 4 closely, Slashdot reports that the company has surprised everyone by going straight to the RETRON 5. Hyperkin has had a spotty history at best of promising the moon and stars with their modern consoles that play classic cartridges, i.e., often falling down on compatibility and emulation, but it looks like they're determined to finally nail it, publicly stating they want 100% compatibility. The RETRON 5 can play the actual cartridges for nine systems, with transparent NTSC and PAL support: Famicom, NES, SNES, Super Famicom, Genesis, Mega Drive, Game Boy Advance, Game Boy Color, and the Game Boy. Hyperkin hasn't ruled out support for other platforms, pending parts, and it's certainly easy enough to imagine scenarios where systems like the Sega Master System and Game Gear would work just as well with the right adapters. In any case, even if it's just those nine systems/four system families, that's still a mighty versatile single console, particularly since you can update the firmware.
In terms of controls, the system will come with two nice looking six button bluetooth controllers (in fact, the d-pad looks a lot like the superb control found on SNK's Neo Geo Pocket Color), which can be charged with the console's USB port, but there are also six controller ports to use any combination of classic controllers in any combination of system modes, meaning two NES, two SNES, and two Genesis controller ports, and the ability to say, use an SNES controller for Genesis or NES games, as just one example (this includes full user configurable button remapping in all modes). Video is upscaled 720p over HDMI (composite audio/video is also supported for older televisions), with all kinds of options to support different aspect ratios and other video modes as the user desires, plus Hyperkin has claimed that all kinds of technological wizardry is in place to make these standard definition systems look and sound the way they're supposed to on modern high definition displays. Finally, of the remaining key features among a laundry list of them, the console will also allow users to create save states, support auto-save for when the system is suddenly turned off, offer a "cheat menu" (built-in Game Genie/Action Replay support?), and also offer "Manual & Passive Overclocking," which means both slowdown and fast-forward at any time (perfect for those overly chatty text-bubble-based classic games).
Obviously, all of that is a lot to promise, particularly at a sub-$100 price point, but we'll certainly be waiting anxiously for the official release after June to put this potential flying unicorn through its paces. Check out the video presentation for the RETRON 5 at the Midwest Gaming Classic below:
Galaga Destination Earth is a turn of the century incarnation of the well known Galaga game. But it has a twist to the gameplay making it into a bit of an all compassing shmup. It shares similarities with Gyrus, Gradius and even Panzer Dragoon Ortha. Go check it out.
A demonstration of a hardware compatible Gameboy Advance SP system that has the capabilities to run real GBA game cards as well as run files from an SD-card. The screen is much brighter and of a higher quality thn the original GBA-SP's screen and they seem to have used the exact same plastic molds as the original. Read more below...
Shown below are a set of four new casual iPhone photos, this time of a boxed and partially complete Milton Bradley Microvision handheld game system with an additional Star Trek Phaser Strike cartridge (among the first ever licensed games, though it would also be re-released sans license). The Microvision debuted in late 1979 and was the first interchangeable cartridge handheld, and the only such form factor that would see release until Nintendo's legendary GameBoy almost 10 years later.
For one week only, and I believe that week is almost up, those shepherds of cool, those sters of hip, those Arcade Fire career-makers over at Pitchfork Media, are screening Reformat the Planet, a documentary film about the origins and growth of the current chiptune scene set against the backdrop of the 2006 Blip Festival.
Mobile gaming blog Modojo recently featured an article on the Top 15 GB Games.
I enjoyed how they kept their list to only the old-school black and white GB games, but disagree with several of their choices.
However, they did make a few decent ones. Here's one of them.
Gargoyle's Quest This spin-off title takes it's main character from the famous Ghosts n' Goblins series. However, you won't be playing as Arthur, but instead as the fiesty gargoyle Firebrand. Firebrand is destined to become the Red Blaze, the mighty savior of the Ghoul Realm, and defeat the evil King Breagar. The gameplay differentiates between an overhead world map, and side-scrolling combat levels with light RPG elements. Missing out on this wonderful GB gem is a shame that's not so easy to live down.
Game Daily is running a nice 6-page feature on the history of Nintendo's uber-famous Mario character. The article takes us through the various iterations of Mario, from the humble platforming days to sports, driving, and role-playing. However, I was a bit surprised that the author didn't mention the original Mario Bros game. True, it wasn't nearly as well-developed as Super Mario Bros. for the NES, but the original game did have some nice platforming action (I especially liked the two-step process required to blast the turtles) and established many of the gameplay elements of the later games. I had lots of fun with it on my Commodore 64.
I know what you're thinking...How did I possibly live without these babies for so long? Well, the wait is over. Get your Gameboy Color Color Cufflinks from Ahchay's Etsy Shop today. However, I might warn you: These will, in all probability, seriously crimp your suave 007 style. Unfortunately, they aren't playable. Well, perhaps that's not so unfortunate.