March 8, 2013
Hyperkin’s RetroN 4
Would you like to play your old NES/SNES/Sega Genisis games on a console that mashes the playability all together? Look no further, for Hyperkin is slated to announce their RetroN 4 console — the successor to their frakenconsole RetroN 3.
The premise is simple and somehow still unbelievable, despite how many times I’ve read the description. For old school gaming fans of the 80’s and 90’s, it seemed like NES and Sega were forever gone with the wind as current generation consoles had taken up the concern of current generation publishers and developers. Progression and advancement had all but closed the doors on Sonic the Hedgehog and Metroid until a few short years ago when Hyperkin raised the eyebrow of gamers, ages 25 and older.
When the HDTV market boomed just under ten years ago, the compatibility with older generations of gaming hardware dwindled because of cords. With no HDMI port, we had no way of showing our kids the classics that folded us under the wing of gaming. To better accommodate the lack of optimization, developers needed only to remake the console for today’s technical standards. Sadly, just as newer technology pushed for more impressive visuals, the demand for such consoles would be nothing short of suicide for companies to indulge in.
Here we are at the root of the issue; how can the interest of the gamers be rejuvenated with such a low demand for older generation consoles? How about fusing three of the classic consoles into one box? Along with cord compatibility with HDTVs, the RetroN3 also featured three cartridge slots that you could fit on to the box.
We’re now in the year 2013 and Hyperkin is preparing to release their RetroN 4, a successor to the RetroN 3; only now we’ll be able to play Gameboy Advance games on big screen TVs. Obviously this deviates away from the traditional handheld aspect of Gameboy Advance, but we must also consider the online capabilities of GBA games. Pokemon, one of the biggest game franchises on the Gameboy Advance, is known for having one of the biggest communities with its trade and online tournament system.
Unless the RetroN4 is optimized with wireless online features, some of the games for this console might be more of a hindrance than a blessing.
Apart from this, the RetroN4 is already being regarded as a next generation console — a term I think is a bit unfair considering that the console is exactly opted to compete with next generation hardware.
Sure, it’s certainly being made to accommodate gamers next generation, but is it exactly a next generation machine? Within the realms of advancement and accessibility it might be a fair description, but this means nothing when we consider that all four of these consoles arrived decades ago (with the exception of the Gameboy Advance).
Either way, RetroN 4 looks to be an interesting endeavor for old school gamers looking to get away from Call of Duty and Gears of War.