Exclusive: Hyperkin's Delayed RetroN 5 Confirmed For European Christmas 2014 Launch

RetroN-5-Xmas-Launch-2014The RetroN 5, is everything a RetroCollectee would want. One machine to rule them all, able to play 9 systems out of the box. It didn’t matter if your collection was filled with Japanese Famicom, NES, SNES, GameBoy, Game Boy Color, GBA, Mega Drive or Genesis games, the RetroN 5 could play them all - and you can even use your original control pads too. Better yet these games would be displayed in a way that has never been seen before; through a HDMI port, up-scaled and enhanced with filters to optimise the visuals. This was to be the machine that could fulfil the dreams of anyone who had become used to emulators. Unlike clone consoles, the RetroN 5 approaches things differently. It reads the ROM file from the cart and then runs it through one of the many on-board emulators. It’s a modern approach to running old games that also allows for save States and instant Game Genie cheat codes.

It’s a strange Hyperkin weren’t more upfront about this method of playing old games from the very beginning, instead they were happy customers with under the impression that the RetroN 5 was just another clone console. What it is actually doing is so much more impressive, much more contemporary and much more attractive to someone who wants to play their old games in a new way; one that closely resembles a HD remake. There was a slight problem though, Hyperkin had created a console that every retro gamer wanted, but no one was able to buy it.

Initially announced at the Midwest Gaming Classic Trade Show in March 2013, with the implication it was to be released imminently. Delay after delay though meant that people were left with the impression it had become an abandoned dream, one that was simply impossible to make. Enthusiasm for the console faded and this was made worse by Hyperkin’s now infamous abrupt treatment of their potential customers on social media and dedicated forums. It wasn’t until December 2013 that Hyperkin gave any definite announcement on the machines release. By Christmas the machine would be in people’s home they claimed. It was not to be. An apparent last minute “problem with the Famicom connector in some units” pushed release back to the second quarter of 2014 and then it was only on shelves in America.

In Europe, the US release only angered customers as no home launch date was given. To make things worse Hyperkin, true to form, refused to respond to any queries from customers or even distributors desperate to get their hand on the console. People were unsure if it was coming to the UK and impatiently turned to importing an American machine for an inflated price. The reason for the European delay was eventually attributed to a delay in getting the “CE” mark certification which is required in order to go on sale in the European market.

With little response from Hyperkin regarding the status of the machine, we have instead been in close contact with UK distributor FunStock.co.uk . This morning RetroCollect received the confirmation email we had all been waiting for and we can now exclusively reveal that UK customers will have the RetroN 5 in their homes by Christmas.

According to Andy Pearson, FunStock’s General Manager, “this will obviously be the only stock pre-Christmas” so if you want to see the RetroN 5 under your tree this festive time, you must pre-order now if you haven’t already. FunStock will be selling the console on a “first come first served” basis, fulfilling all pre-orders at the original prices and then offering any stock remaining to buy on day one, which will be sold as pre-orders.

So, for those wishing to get hold of the very limited supply, it’s definitely worth signing up to notifications on the FunStock website.

For those, like us, who has been waiting 18 months for the elusive RetroN 5, it really does seem like Retro Christmas wishes do come true. Needless to say as soon as the console is released in the UK, Retro Collect will have a review up.

Link: RetroN 5 at Funstock

Last Updated ( 14 November 2014 )  

Julian Hill

Julian is the author of the popular blog Boxed Pixels, and is currently on a mission to document his thoughts as he buys boxed complete SNES Games.

Described by PlayStation Access as a "gamer, Dad and all round hero" he has been playing games since they had four colours on screen and blips for music.

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(Link to this comment) Amarthar 2014-11-14 14:47
The title of this post is kinda misleading. UK is not the whole of Europe. People in other countries still have to import.
(Link to this comment) HankTzar 2014-11-14 15:09
Quoting Amarthar:
The title of this post is kinda misleading. UK is not the whole of Europe. People in other countries still have to import.

(Link to this comment) Tyron 2014-11-14 14:56
Still think they missed a trick by not doing an all-in-one for handheld only. Game Gear, Lynx, GB.
(Link to this comment) JoeMD 2014-11-14 15:35
I think it would be better to make two versions, one for Sega and one for Nintendo. As it is its not worth buying for me as I'd never use the Nintendo slots.
(Link to this comment) BuckoA51 2014-11-14 18:21
"Better yet these games would be displayed in a way that has never been seen before; through a HDMI port, up-scaled and enhanced with filters to optimise the visuals."

Oh please, the Retron 5 is primitive by modern emulation standards!

Plus, no mention of the fact the console contains unlicensed/pirated code? On a site that doesn't allow people to sell replicas or chipped systems it seems a bit rich to be promoting a product like this.
(Link to this comment) espontaneo 2014-11-14 21:04
Emulating using real carts just seems totally pointless to me. All of the disadvantages and non of the advantages of emulation (ie running games that you can't actually buy).

Additionally; filters suck!
(Link to this comment) BuckoA51 2014-11-15 00:31
Filters don't suck if done correctly, however what you're getting in the Retron is what was in PC emulators about a decade ago, things have moved on since then. The basic scanline filter on it is okay, but even that doesn't work perfectly (scanlines aren't always properly aligned).
(Link to this comment) kam1kaz3nl77 2014-11-15 16:41
By the time it hits the shores of the UK online shops, won´t the emulation technique implemented be already old and obselete at best. (replaced with upgraded versions of the emulators inside?)
(Link to this comment) Speedle 2014-11-17 11:20
After watching the Classic game room review of this machine I know I won't be ever getting one of these... the whole concept that it all ready has the games built in but needs original carts to activate them is just.... well stupid? weird? I dunno, either way I'll be sticking original hardware and Everdrive thanks.
(Link to this comment) espontaneo 2014-11-19 22:30
I agree, it just doesn't seem right you actually have to wait as the cart is copied into a rom file...
(Link to this comment) NufcDazzla 2014-11-28 21:31
The wait fot ROMS to be copied varies on which systems games you have because of the different file sizes for each game, heres what ive experienced with my Retron 5 (Not including having to select the option to play the ROM)

MEGA DRIVE: Wait of around 5-6 seconds (Around 10 seconds for Sonic 3& Knuckles and Virtua Racing)
SNES: 9-10 Seconds
GAME BOY: Instanteneous
GAME BOY COLOR: 3-4 Seconds
GAME BOY ADVANCE: 15-20 Seconds

GBA game file sizes are far bigger than all the other systems compatiabile with the Retron 5 so its little surprise they take so long, Original Game Boy games however are very small, sometimes less than a single megabyte so its little surprise.
(Link to this comment) NufcDazzla 2014-11-28 21:26
TBH I was sold on this at the initial reveal and then the trailer which detailed which systems were compatiabile, I did my homework after the US release and watched reviews everywhere on their opinions, When I learned of the firmware updates available to download onto an SD card, I decided to skip the delayed UK launch and import one, it came about 4 weeks ago.

For me, it does everything I need it for, I dont have any NES, Japanese Mega Drive, Super Famicom or Famicom games to play on it But I do have games for all the other compatiable systems and of the 200+ games I have, only 2 dont work which is a pretty good compatiability rate. Make sure you use your original controllers though as the wireless one that comes with the system is absolute trash.

Overall it gets a huge thumbs up from me and the fact that there is the ability for Hyperkin to fix incompatiabilit y issues via firmware updates is a nice easter egg,

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