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Thread: Official Super Retro Trio Review & Preorder Thread

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    Insert Coin (Level 0) Old_Skool_Fool's Avatar
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    Default Official Super Retro Trio Review & Preorder Thread

    Hey classic gurus, it's been a bit since I posted, but it's been pretty hectic for me since I am now a dad. (Fatherhood is pretty crazy), but as any new Dad I want to share the finer things in life with my kid, starting with Looney Tunes vintage cartoons and Classic Games! So to kick it off, there's nothing better than a all in one classic system like the soon to be released Super Retro Trio console by Retrobit.


    I am going to give you guys a first real (non rendered image) look at this crazy soon to be staple console. Also as you know I cover all the reviews for most popular vintage products, and will be attending E3 as well next week to showcase other cool vintage gaming stuffs!


    Also on a side note, if you guys preorder now, the unit will Ship Free for all continental US gamers.
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    Insert Coin (Level 0) Old_Skool_Fool's Avatar
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    Ok, hopefully these aren't too big or they resize, but here is a front facing image of the Super Retro Trio.super_retro_trio_2.jpg
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    Insert Coin (Level 0) Old_Skool_Fool's Avatar
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    For the record, these are some nice units. When I picked it up, it felt weighted (so it had substance) and another thing to notice is that it has that now very popular sexy Matte Black finish.


    Here's another image of the very clean front controller ports.


    super_retro_trio.jpg
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    Insert Coin (Level 0) Old_Skool_Fool's Avatar
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    So this sexy beast of a remake comes with 2 controllers (almost identical to the Retro Duo's pads but a slight different color) and the nice thing about this is that it's door hides all those ports. A nice push/lock door that keep the insane amount of controller options hidden to most.
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    Bell (Level 8) Satoshi_Matrix's Avatar
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    Hey congratulations on your child. Wish you all the best.


    I've been very intrigued by the Super Retro Trio since RetroBit announced it a month or so ago.

    It seems initially odd that RetroBit would choose yet another reverse engineered hardware clone when Hyperkin is going the emulation route, but I've been very satisfied with RetroBit's previous clones such as the RetroDuo Portable and RetroDuo proper. I'd love to get my hands on this and give it a rigerious testing. RetroBit's recent past has been very good, with the exception of the NES RetroPort, since it's just a western localized version of the rather underwhelming FC Adapter sold in Japan and southeast Asia.

    Then again, you can't really blame RetroBit for that since the FC Adapter was only licensed by RetroBit, not developed by RetroBit. It's kinda like blaming Nintendo for how bad Deadly Towers on NES is.

    I'm especially interested in the performance of the NES side. Has RetroBit manages to produce another great NOAC?

    Based on the photos, I like the overall design of the shell. Putting all of the controller ports up front is a wise design decision and further amplifies the strangeness of Hyperkin's Retorn3 design.

    Can you post some more photos? I'd like to see it from directly above, and from the back.
    Last edited by Satoshi_Matrix; 06-09-2013 at 10:33 PM.
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    Insert Coin (Level 0) Old_Skool_Fool's Avatar
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    The unit has the S-Video out capability again, but I'm not expecting much since old games never look good on high-rez TVs with Svideo out.

    Also, there is the adapter for the GBA stuff, but I was not able to see that currently, though I will be able to showcase it at E3 so stay tuned for that.
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    Insert Coin (Level 0) Old_Skool_Fool's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Satoshi_Matrix View Post
    Hey congratulations on your child. Wish you all the best.


    I've been very intrigued by the Super Retro Trio since RetroBit announced it a month or so ago.

    It seems initially odd that RetroBit would choose yet another reverse engineered hardware clone when Hyperkin is going the emulation route, but I've been very satisfied with RetroBit's previous clones such as the RetroDuo Portable and RetroDuo proper. I'd love to get my hands on this and give it a rigerious testing. RetroBit's recent past has been very good, with the exception of the NES RetroPort, since it's just a western localized version of the rather underwhelming FC Adapter sold in Japan and southeast Asia.

    Then again, you can't really blame RetroBit for that since the FC Adapter was only licensed by RetroBit, not developed by RetroBit. It's kinda like blaming Nintendo for how bad Deadly Towers on NES is.

    I'm especially interested in the performance of the NES side. Has RetroBit manages to produce another great NOAC?

    Based on the photos, I like the overall design of the shell. Putting all of the controller ports up front is a wise design decision and further amplifies the strangeness of Hyperkin's Retorn3 design.

    Can you post some more photos? I'd like to see it from directly above, and from the back.

    Hey thanks..he's like a "New School Fool"!!..lol

    I actually accidentally deleted the back of the unit photos, but I'll get more Mon/Tues. The back is just clean and simple. Nothing really there. Even the region switches are on the front as you can see.

    As for the RetronN, after speaking with some of the higher ups at Retrobit, I was told that this is not a unit for comparison to the Retron5. That this is basically an answer to the issues with the Retron3.

    If you see my review on the original Retron3 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=asksCvYRva8

    You'll notice that it's quite a weird design, not to mention the CONTROLLERS WERE AWFUL! They were badly designed, barely worked from a foot away and overall made me angry that they were even included. I would have rather have had NO Controllers as opposed to even wasting my time with the ones that are included. From what I hear, the new one will also include that IR nonsense, which makes no sense to me

    The controllers with this unit are solid, the same as the Retro Duo's but feels a little more dense.


    I am pretty excited to use the GBA games on this unit, as honestly was a bigger GBA fan than most.
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    Bell (Level 8) Satoshi_Matrix's Avatar
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    yeah, composite and S-video. For these systems, that's fine and dandy for a good majority of its target audience that would choose a CRT over an HDTV anyway.

    About the GBA adapter, when you go to e3 please make a point to ask the RetroBit representative if that device will also play original GameBoy and GameBoy Color titles as well as GBA, or if it's only GBA. RetroBit's been strangely tight lipped about this in their press releases thus far, whereas Hyperkin said GB, GBC and GBA compatibility would be there right out of the gate when they first showed off the Retron5 at PAX.
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    ServBot (Level 11) MarioMania's Avatar
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    Why is the NES Controller Port on the side??

    Because of this, Can't hook up the NES Four Score to it

    Test out Castlevania 3 (NES) and Virtua Racing (Genesis)

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    It's a good point, but it's something that only the hardcore NES gamer would even notice, and probably not important enough for Retrobit to consider when trying to make the front of the case as small as possible.

    This problem could be addressed with an NES extension cable (or two if you want two or four player support) but it is a minor inconvenience, yes.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Old_Skool_Fool View Post
    So this sexy beast of a remake comes with 2 controllers (almost identical to the Retro Duo's pads but a slight different color)
    Are these controllers wired or wireless, and if they're wireless, do they use RF or infrared? I don't actually see an infrared window, so if they're wireless, I'm inclined to say they work via RF. Hopefully, if that's the case, they're better than the wireless Super NES controllers RetroBit sells as those, from what I've seen, are pretty bad.

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    Inex Super Retro Trio at E3 - E3 Expo 2013
    http://www.retrogaming.com.ar/

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    Super Retro Trio First Look
    http://www.retrogaming.com.ar/

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    I'm already liking what I see. There's one thing the Super Retro Trio already has over the RetroN3 and FC3 Plus, which is an NOAC that does not have reversed duty cycles. I couldn't hear the DPCM from Mike Tyson's PUNCH-OUT!! very well, but I wouldn't be surprised if the DPCM is completely messed up as has always been the case with NOACs that get the duty cycles right.

    The Genesis audio sounds pretty damn good too. Volume levels may be a bit off between the YM3438 and SN76489 sound chips, but coming from off-screen footage, that may be misleading and the volume levels might actually be correct. It sounds better than the RetroN3, I'll give it that, but I'd like to see how it compares to the FC3 Plus as both the FC3 Plus Version 1 and FC3 Plus Version 2 have some pretty good Genesis audio (slight edge to the FC3 Plus Version 2 as it doesn't get as distorted as it does on the FC3 Plus Version 1 due to the FC3 Plus Version 1 having heavier bass than the FC3 Plus Version 2).

    My big concern here is if RetroBit is going to cheat like Yobo Gameware did with the FC3 Plus by having the Genesis and Super NES sides output audio in dual Mono. That's gonna be lame and cause garbled sound in bass-heavy games on the Super NES side. Cheating with those systems seems to be pretty rampant since the FC3 Plus as since then, the FC16 Go, the RetroN2, *possibly* the SupaBoy and the RetroBit Gen-X all have dual Mono audio when the original hardware outputs Stereo sound. If this is a RetroDuo and Gen-X put together, though, I'd be pretty happy with that. RetroDuo NOAC, RetroDuo Super NES 3-chip clone chipset and the Gen-X's (also RetroGen Adapter's) TCT-6801 GOAC are quite good except the TCT-6801 seems to hate Virtua Racing as it seems practically impossible to get Virtua Racing to work on that chipset. For all we know, though, RetroBit might surprise us with better GOAC chipsets like the TCT6035 in the FC3 Plus Version 2 (this is one of the best GOACs I've ever come across), the TecToy-580G in the Innex Gen-X and the GN Twin (this GOAC is supposed to have everything needed to make a 100%-compatible Geniclone) or even the most complete of all GOACs from what I've personally seen, the SM801-A1. If the SM801-A1 is in the Super Retro Trio, I'm gonna mod mine so it can output RGB and in turn work with the Sega 32X. It's possible.

    I've rambled on for a good bit, but this already looks to be better than what Hyperkin and Yobo Gameware have to offer right now. When is the Super Retro Trio scheduled for release?

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    Bell (Level 8) Satoshi_Matrix's Avatar
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    According to the representative, it will be released sometime in July. So around a month from now sounds like.

    That video is helpful, and I'm excited for it. S-Video NES? I wonder if it's just passthrough composite like the RetroDuo, but it sure looked good on the tv they had there. So who knows, maybe RetroBit figured out a way to not get all the interference the RetroDuo has.

    I share many of ace's concerns and also wonder about NTSC-J support for MegaDrive games. An NTSC/PAL switch is one thing, but what about Japanese MegaDrive games?

    I'm also pretty excited about GB/GBC support as well as GBA. I suppose it remains to be seen how well that actually works, but if it's not awful with bad colors or audio, that's a reason to buy one right there....though Retrobit will probably sell it separately it sounds.
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    I have not posted here in years, but this is something I'm interested in. I sold off my collection years ago. But i still enjoy 8/16 bit games via emus and I thought buying this console and using a flash cart from each system would be the way to go. The one thing thats keeping me on the fence is that I'm so used to modern wireless controllers, the thought of cords stretching across my living room floor is just not appealing. If there was built in bluetooth or the 2.4ghz that the NEX used for wireless, I'd jump right in. Any chance of that happening?
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    As a canadian, what would be the best place to order/preorder the Retro Trio/GBA adapter?

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    Time to give this thread a bump. My Super Retro Trio is in the mails as I type this. I plan on doing unboxing and review videos.

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    Default Post the quality of NES plz!

    Quote Originally Posted by stardust4ever View Post
    Time to give this thread a bump. My Super Retro Trio is in the mails as I type this. I plan on doing unboxing and review videos.
    Please... post for us the quality of the NES games played through S-Video. It will be pointless to buy one if the quality is bad or if the company is using composite passthrough again. Thanks!

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    I'm less interested in the video quality (although that will be nice) and more interested in the audio quality. Both Top Gear and UN Squadron have sounded like garbage with previous clone systems.

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    Bell (Level 8) Satoshi_Matrix's Avatar
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    For the record, Retro-Bit has gotten back to me and have mailed me my review unit. Full indepth review and engineering corrections in the forthcoming days. Next week should be exciting as I example this clone. I predict this will be another engineering oddity just like the Gen-X.

    Quote Originally Posted by ViNGaDoRjr View Post
    Please... post for us the quality of the NES games played through S-Video. It will be pointless to buy one if the quality is bad or if the company is using composite passthrough again. Thanks!
    You obviously don't understand the engineering of Famiclones if that's something you're hoping for, so let me explain. In 1983, Nintendo commissioned chip producer Ricoh to produce many of the microprocessors used in their newest product, the Family Computer (NES). The Ricoh engineered PPU for this machine was called the RP2C02. It was capable of rendering 60Hz NTSC video through standard RF and even cleaner composite video, a brand new format at the time.

    The Nintendo Famicom [NES] was first reverse engineered around 1989, using discrete clones of each chip, including the Ricoh RP2C02. This clone of the PPU had defects in it, often rendering incorrect pallets and that sort of thing. Over time, the RP2C02 clones would improve and gradually, these discrete hardware clones were replaced by much cheaper and smaller integrated glop-top circuits commonly called NOACs - Nintendo-On-A-Chip. So it has been for over 20 years now.

    During the mid half of the 80's, Nintendo's games became very popular and so the company also branched out into arcades, using their same Famicom hardware. However, arcade monitors were at the time typically RGB based and could not use the RP2C02. Ricoh specifically engineered a new PPU for this purpose called the RC2C03B, which was only capable of RGB with a modified pallet.

    Since NOACs were of course marketed for the home, at no point did they ever integrate the RC2C03B into their design. Since all NOACs are based on the original hardware and thus the RP2C02, they are capable of RF, and Composite. It is not possible for a NOAC to produce RGB, S-Video, or any other video format besides RF and Composite. Retro-Bit and other clone makers can funnel a composite video feed through the luminance signal so you don't get a black screen, but S-Video support is something that will never happen on a Famiclone unless someone was to produce a custom NOAC from scratch, and that's not exactly high on anyone's priorities.

    Still, when I get my system from Retro-Bit, I of course will try this, but I suspect that it'll be the same composite passthrough with S-Video as the Retro-Duo. I predict the same with the SRA and the RetroGen.
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    Cherry (Level 1) stardust4ever's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SavagePencil View Post
    I'm less interested in the video quality (although that will be nice) and more interested in the audio quality. Both Top Gear and UN Squadron have sounded like garbage with previous clone systems.
    I was originally planning on doing my video review with a CRT (no S-video jack sorry), but...

    My 2006 Sanyo HDTV has S-video jack. Unfortunately, the TV disables composite whenever something is plugged into the S-video jack regarless of whether signal is present or not, however this is beneficial for review purposes. I can just unplug/ replug the S-video jack without changing the input settings hot-swapping S-video and composite on the fly, and any changes reflected on the screen, for better or worse, will be duly noted. As Satoshi has elaborately explained, don't expect miracles to happen.

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    Cherry (Level 1) stardust4ever's Avatar
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    I beat you Satoshi. Youtube video is currently uploading. DSL is slow as crap, sans any errors, my unboxing and Super Mario / Duck Hunt playtest video will be live in a few hours.

    Came with a couple awesome retro stickers, and the duty cycles are not messed up!


    Video link (pending successful upload):
    http://youtu.be/Ll3LSMe1yUU

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    Cherry (Level 1) stardust4ever's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Satoshi_Matrix View Post
    Still, when I get my system from Retro-Bit, I of course will try this, but I suspect that it'll be the same composite passthrough with S-Video as the Retro-Duo. I predict the same with the SRA and the RetroGen.
    Satoshi, I think you are right. I have tested the Retrobit a little this morning and I have come to the conclusion that the stock S-Video cable that comes with the system is crap. On NES, the picture is flawless through the A/V on my HDTV, but when I plug the S-Video cable, the screen gets grainy with diagonal jailbars and a small amount of static. Obviously, the S-video cable is a very thin unshielded wire, so I replaced it with a known good premium shielded S-video cable.

    Here's the real kicker: with the shielded S-Video cable, the reception gets even worse! More static, NTSC colors barely show up, and worse diagonal jailbarring. Genesis is not as bad, vertical jailbars using the stock S-video cable. Jailbars are even more pronounced using said premium S-video cable. Genesis audio is definitely cleaner than the A/V multi-out or RF output on my stock VA7 Model 1, but this revision in particular is known to have grungy sounding audio. Both NES and Genesis are bright and vibrant with no static or jailbars when using the regular A/V. SNES displays flawlessly through either cable.

    But shy the bloody hell is the NES S-Video actually worse viewed through a premium shielded S-video cable than using the stock POS cable? I'll have to get a video of the craptastic effect later.

    Also I tested the drum synth on the NES using track 7 (Money) of my MOON8 cart by Brad Smith (8-bit Pink Floyd DSOTM tribute). The sampled cash register sounds a little muted and doesn't ring right compared to the real NES or A/V Famicom. All in all, the slightly off samples aren't nearly as bad a deal breaker as the swapped duty cycles that plagued clone systems for years. Bass is definitely audible when played back on HiFi speakers, comparable to my NES and stronger than the A/V Famicom.

    One more thing to add, Stereo separation is flawless on both the SNES and the Genesis. NES is dual mono, as it should be.

    EDIT: Sorry for the triple post...
    Last edited by stardust4ever; 05-04-2014 at 11:34 AM.

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    Thanks for uploading the video. Do you have any recordings of audio for SNES?

    Also: does anyone know where you can get the Trio + GBA adapter bundle, that was allegedly going to be cheaper?

    Does the adapter require a separate set of RCA cables to run to the TV, or is it integrated into the video out?

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