We reviewed the RetroN 5 a while back and found it to be an excellent way of playing your original retro game cartridges in glorious HD. However, Hyperkin's wonder-console has a challenger in the shape of Cyber Gadget's Retro Freak - a clone system which out-does the RetroN 5 by offering support for PC Engine games, as well as all the formats Hyperkin's machine plays (apart from the NES, strangely).
Here's the full list of supported formats:
- Super Famicom
- Super Nintendo Entertainment System
- Game Boy
- Game Boy Color
- Game Boy Advance
- Mega Drive
- PC Engine
- PC Engine SuperGrafx
There are many similarities between the two consoles. You can use your original controllers (although in the case of the Retro Freak, you'll have to invest in an additional adapter), save states, input cheats, port save data and play games even when the cart's internal battery has died. Various screen and audio filters can be applied, and the signal is sent to your TV in 720p via HDMI.
However, the Retro Freak offers some notable differences. The actual unit is tiny - about the size of a Famicom cartridge - and it slots into the "cartridge adapter" in order to play games. You can actually install games onto the unit itself - rather like dumping a cart using the Retrode 2 - and once you've done that, you can remove the unit from the cartridge adapter and carry it around with you, ready to plug into any nearby TV.
This feature alone will be of particular interest to those with huge collections of carts, as it saves you having to constantly swap them over but neatly overcomes the rather thorny issue of ROM distribution. Another bonus is support for standard USB controllers, although the bundled pad does look quite nice - it reminds us of the Wii Classic Controller.
The system is due for launch this year, but there's no news on whether or not it will make its way out of Japan.
Thanks, Chris Smith!