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Thread: RetroN5: Hands on first look

  1. #1481
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    The other day I was playing Star Ocean, using an IPS patch to play in English... I honestly didn't expect that to work, what with the S-DD1 chip and all... but it worked just fine. Sweet Home patched very nicely too.

    I was pretty skeptical about what Hyperkin had been claiming, figuring it was just marketing BS... but I'm actually quite impressed with what the machine can actually do.

    --Zero

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    Cherry (Level 1) stardust4ever's Avatar
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    Obviously cheating, but technically you can make an IPS patch for anything, essentially rom loading on the Retron. ie, make a patch for Super Mario World that plays Earthbound.

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    Hasn't been an app update since 2.3, right? This board has been pretty quiet since all that messed happened with open source emulators. I guess I'll upgrade to 2.3 and see if the Oracles games, Mother 3, and Metroid ZM work any better than before.

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    Kirby (Level 13) Tanooki's Avatar
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    News to me there was a 2.3 upgrade as I don't ever look. I don't see it on their site, just 2.2...typo? 2.2 did nothing of value for the public anyway, it's under the hood work to cover a hardware variant coming out due to changing out some parts for others as the license or whatever expired (so no it's not an upgrade.)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tanooki View Post
    News to me there was a 2.3 upgrade as I don't ever look. I don't see it on their site, just 2.2...typo? 2.2 did nothing of value for the public anyway, it's under the hood work to cover a hardware variant coming out due to changing out some parts for others as the license or whatever expired (so no it's not an upgrade.)

    Yep, sorry, I meant 2.0 beta 3.

    I've updated to the latest. Metroid: Zero Mission still slows down, Mother 3 battles still don't work properly, repro or original cart. I guess I just won't use the Retron 5 to play those games, which is a shame because they're two of my favorites. I messaged the Retron tech on Facebook the other day since they were supposedly working on the Metroid slowdown months ago, but haven't heard back.

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    Kirby (Level 13) Tanooki's Avatar
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    Time of the year I would suspect you won't get much of a reply around now. They're working on coding up stuff as I said because of the hardware part changes so that the firmware works with both builds so until that's ironed out and completed up to the standard of the original there won't be any fixes and perks added but they'll return.

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    Is it worth getting the first edition if I can buy it used from a friend for $70?

    I've heard so many bad things about it and I don't want to break it with normal use and have to buy a second generation one anyway later.

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    Kirby (Level 13) Tanooki's Avatar
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    Total crap shoot. If $70 is chump change to you then I'd risk it, but if not I wouldn't waste your money. They're totally random if they break on you or not. Some use it a few times and a pin pops or bends or some games decide they're unwelcome to be loaded anymore, others will pound away at it for a many hours a week and no problems other than the chronic stuff like the super tight genesis grip (less on others), the flimsy top, and the poorly attached controller ports.

    Having been through garbage with the first and eventually granted an early just off the line 2nd model they stick with today I wouldn't wish anyone to gamble on it. They do come up for sale now and again on amazon and ebay(used) so I mean you could still get that $140 original price if not less which makes the $70 hit against it not that compelling.

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    Cherry (Level 1) stardust4ever's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tanooki View Post
    Total crap shoot. If $70 is chump change to you then I'd risk it, but if not I wouldn't waste your money. They're totally random if they break on you or not. Some use it a few times and a pin pops or bends or some games decide they're unwelcome to be loaded anymore, others will pound away at it for a many hours a week and no problems other than the chronic stuff like the super tight genesis grip (less on others), the flimsy top, and the poorly attached controller ports.

    Having been through garbage with the first and eventually granted an early just off the line 2nd model they stick with today I wouldn't wish anyone to gamble on it. They do come up for sale now and again on amazon and ebay(used) so I mean you could still get that $140 original price if not less which makes the $70 hit against it not that compelling.
    Yeah, my local game shop still sells them for $140. I'm sure by now they've long since sold out the original models, but I just can't see myself buying a Retron5 at this point. My SRT is still working great even if the NES controller ports are an Achilles heel. The stock 9-pin SNES inspired clone Genesis controllers are just as good as original SNES controllers, and the 6-button Genesis controllers also work great. Everdrive support are huge perks, and with famicom adapter, the Super Game Boy and Retro Advance Port, the only system it doesn't fully support that Retron5 does is Game Boy Color. And they didn't steal emulators either.

    I'm saving up for various future FPGA based solutions. The HDMI NES is one. The RetroVGS is also rumored to get Retrode-like addons in the future to let it play original games using FPGA hardware emulation instead of Retron5 style software emulation.
    Last edited by stardust4ever; 07-18-2015 at 01:04 AM.

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    I totally get the argument against the R5 if you want to run bootlegs, boots sold as repros to lie about it, multicarts, and copier carts completely. It just wont happen due to that stupid CRC registry on the thing. HDMI NES now thats a NA loving pipedream delayed how many years now? The sad thing is you cant even relegate it to the vaporware bin because it does in some form exist since the NA inner circle has some members who use and test what of it that does exist with that scoreboard feature. It would be nice if that did show up eventually, but the price surely will be cost prohibitive to most but the biggest collectors and competitors wiling to compete.

    Id like to see a setup like youre talking about but one that was multisystem like the R5 and has a way like the 90s tools that will hot save progress, but not be emulated.

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    Insert Coin (Level 0) Mechageo's Avatar
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    Okay, so I ended up buying the Retron 5 for $70 and I'm actually pretty glad I did.
    Luckily for me, it ended up being (from my limited research) a second revision with sturdy cartridge ports and 4GB of internal memory.

    Everything seems to work well, but some games just don't work. My Oracle of Ages for GBC and Mario+Duck Hunt+World Class Track Meet don't read at all.
    I've cleaned them and everything.

    It's on firmware 2.2, perhaps an update will fix it.

    As a side note, I love being able to choose to not "Force Original Resolution" so that the game displays in 4:3. I love the scan-lines and the image filters, too.

    What I don't like is the price of used games.
    I have a Wii U with a SNES to Wiimote adapter and the eShop games are a lot cheaper. The problem is that they look super blocky and are forced into some sort of 1:1 picture.

    I wonder if there's a way to smooth the image on the Wii U without setting the output to 480p.

    Any thoughts about any of this?

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    Cherry (Level 1) stardust4ever's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mechageo View Post
    Okay, so I ended up buying the Retron 5 for $70 and I'm actually pretty glad I did.
    Luckily for me, it ended up being (from my limited research) a second revision with sturdy cartridge ports and 4GB of internal memory.

    Everything seems to work well, but some games just don't work. My Oracle of Ages for GBC and Mario+Duck Hunt+World Class Track Meet don't read at all.
    I've cleaned them and everything.

    It's on firmware 2.2, perhaps an update will fix it.

    As a side note, I love being able to choose to not "Force Original Resolution" so that the game displays in 4:3. I love the scan-lines and the image filters, too.

    What I don't like is the price of used games.
    I have a Wii U with a SNES to Wiimote adapter and the eShop games are a lot cheaper. The problem is that they look super blocky and are forced into some sort of 1:1 picture.

    I wonder if there's a way to smooth the image on the Wii U without setting the output to 480p.

    Any thoughts about any of this?
    The issue with some games not working is just part of how the Retron5 operates since it needs checksums in order to determine appropriate mapper to run games. Some obscure unlicensed, imports, ROM revision, or homebrew games may not get recognized or run at all.

    Wii-U should automatically sidebar VC games run in Wii mode. For whatever reason, the Wii-U VC games have sharp pixels for SNES but NES games are blurry. I prefer the look of razor sharp pixels. Ideally, they should give gamers the option of whether or not to apply a filter, but this is nintendo we are talking about. Super Retro Trio works with ll three Everdrives (not powerpak) although it's got some minor audio and video issues with a tiny percentage of NES games. Mods are available to get Castlevania III NES and Virtua Racing Genesis running.

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    Kirby (Level 13) Tanooki's Avatar
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    I can confirm both those games work, you've got some kind of a problem on your end there with those GBC and NES carts. I don't know what the issue is if you're using firmware 2.2 that shouldn't block them.

    Force Original Resolution is pretty nice if you don't mind having your games not fill the screen as it just looks more like an old TV with the scanlines and stuff if you balance it right.

    The price of used games is a huge headache for a lot of people due to the scalping and predatory flipping the last five years because before that virtually no one cared, and now non-gamers in mass get into it just to buy up the old prices on games and sell them as high as possible to people who are trapped, suckers, or just don't care. But at the same time, don't ever consider a Virtual Console game a good idea unless you just want to meddle with something in passing. Sure they're cheap, but you do realize you do not own them right? They're rentals. They may call them purchases, but you're just renting the game until they decide to no longer support the system you downloaded it to, and after that, you're screwed and your money is gone.

    My thoughts, if you're super casual and don't care, rather pay $5 for a rental for a few years and be done with it, get rid of the Retron5 and your games. If you like to own what you have and use it as you see fit under your terms alone, keep it and just hunt harder for non-gouging prices. It's far less easy but more rewarding having a real game, and with the R5 you get the aspects of an emulator like the VC or the PC with all the save/load states, filters, hacks, translations and the rest.



    You know I don't recall, but doesn't Virtua Racing work on the R5? I don't own it so I never really looked into it.

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    Cherry (Level 1) stardust4ever's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tanooki View Post
    You know I don't recall, but doesn't Virtua Racing work on the R5? I don't own it so I never really looked into it.
    I have no idea if the Retron5 emulates the Virtua Processor or not, considering it was only used on one game. 32X isn't supported at all, which is kind of crummy since the Retron5 could have easily been made to fit the cartridges and run them natively via the Genesis slot.

    Virtua Racing can be made to run on the Super Retro Trio simply by adding a jumper wire to the Genesis port, but I can't be bothered to do that for one obscure game considering I have a real Genesis to play on. SRT does support Famicom adapter, Super Game Boy (GB), Retrobit's own Retro Advance Port (GBA), and SMS adapter (Power Base Mini converter by SAG), making Game Boy Color the only system supported by Retron5 and not SRT.

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    SRT has its own problems of accuracy though too, which is why I overlooked it awhile back going between their goods and hyperkin. Neither on a system on a chip side of things seem to give a damn about improving the problems either of their consoles have. At least the R5 can be flashed with firmware updates, but at the same time it just won't play nice with some fake carts, any flash carts, and a few other oddball things most people wouldn't even know exists so it's a trade off.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tanooki View Post
    SRT has its own problems of accuracy though too, which is why I overlooked it awhile back going between their goods and hyperkin. Neither on a system on a chip side of things seem to give a damn about improving the problems either of their consoles have. At least the R5 can be flashed with firmware updates, but at the same time it just won't play nice with some fake carts, any flash carts, and a few other oddball things most people wouldn't even know exists so it's a trade off.
    Either way, it's half a dozen of one and six of the other Brian of RetroUSB even advertises his custom homebrew mapper as "will not work on stolen emulators such as the Retron5." Retrobit didn't steal emulator cores from open sourced projects like Retroarch either...

    There is supposed to be a new Japanese console emulator (like Retron5) on the horizon that also supports PCE/Turbo Grafx. I'm waiting to see if it's any good or not. The Turbo ED v1.2 should even work with it in theory since it will autoload the previously flashed game card if no SD is present.

    Besides, I'm using a Raspberry Pi bartop arcade (porta-pi) for all my emulation needs now. MAME rules...
    Last edited by stardust4ever; 08-10-2015 at 11:41 PM.

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    Well if we're going to go there, theft is a gray area given the materials and research gone into those emulators, and if the rightful owners of those emulators have no reason to question the R5 there's no reason people should care either other than to score cheap and really sad political points over a console of all things. The only potential theft there was SNES9x and the Genesis emualtor and neither original author who could stop them bothered to complain so it's a nonissue. If retroarch bits used in the code were an issue, then instead of whining like a baby online the dude should have got a lawyer and tried to tie the console up in courts while seeking an injunction to keep the system off shelves until the issue was resolved (which likely could have broke Hyperkin in the process.) I'm glad they did what they did, and fuck that retroarch crybaby who tried and failed to start some attack over it as it proved he had nothing to stand on. Retrobit on the other hand is junk and have shoveled junk for years just like Hyperkin with their rebranded Chinese garbage, just less junky than the god awful trash that Yobo put out.

    I'd rather have an emulator box than a shitty clone that doesn't interpret the games properly due to bad design. And why exactly is retrousb even a thing? It's just another crook shoveling games, some of which was not legal in any respect to do so like the Konami releases, the VS arcade games, SMB2j and others. He's a nice guy, but he's also a nobody except to a niche within a niche of game collectors/players who even know what the hell his company is or who he is too.

    There is one you're right, it was covered on this site too somewhere about the R5, and while it does add the PCE setup, it removes the NES and only has famicom. It also forces a spendy addon to allow the usage of original controllers as an option which is another expense. I don't see that doing well outside of Asia without it being retooled as Americans will have no interest for the most part in a Famicom slot as they have NES games.

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    Strawberry (Level 2) calgon's Avatar
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    Harsh. All non-original consoles have their downsides. R5 still has noticeable lag and a controller designed by satan. SRT does has the graphical and audio issues but on the whole it's much better than any other clone.

    I do wish we would get a revision of the SRT that at the very least corrects the noise from the genesis side.

    A lot of us agree that virtual console isn't the best but sometimes (esp in the case of Ys book I and II on wii) it can offer a great deal on something you'd have to pay tons of cash for.

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    No it doesn't, at least if you have a TV under a certain ms in response time, or jack it into a computer LED/LCD as they don't have that issue. I'll give you the controller, it does lag being bluetooth and built like garbage, not comfortable either.

    The VC is a mixed bag, and you're right, when I had the Wii I did have the TG16 Ys Book1+2 and that was a hell of a savings at $6 vs the price that disc let alone the DUO goes for now which are both outrageous. Dracula X you could throw into that one too.

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    Cherry (Level 1)
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    Default 2.3 beta 3 firmware

    Hey guys! So, it's been awhile, but I just randomly checked on the Hyperkin website and saw a recent firmware update - 2.3 beta 3 (yes, 2.3, Tanooki, haha), posted December 9th, 2015. I updated it because I noticed a minor graphical inaccuracy on Final Fantasy 3 (in certain menus, the blue gradient disappears about halfway to the bottom and just goes straight to darkest blue).... anyway, 2.3 beta 3 didn't fix that, but it DID fix literally the BIGGEST problem I had with the system: combos in Mother 3 finally work correctly! WOOOOOOO!

    Seriously, for as often as I use my Retron 5 (literally, ALL the time), this was a major problem to me and I'd lost any hope that they'd fix it. But they did!

    I half wonder if they replaced the GBA emulator completely because of the legal troubles they were in, but then Metroid: Zero Mission still has a healthy amount of slowdown with many/large sprites. Still... this is great progress for me! Incidentally, Fantasy Zone (Famicom) now works for me too, where it never did before. So cool.

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