The RetroN Sq started as a joke. In 2017 gaming accessory maker Hyperkin tweeted a drawing of a device that would let you play games from Game Boy cartridges on a TV. But that tweet came out ahead of April Fools’ Day and the company initially had no plans to release a real product with that functionality.
And then… Hyperkin decided to do it anyway. Last year the company announced it would make a retro game console that brings Game Boy cartridges to the big screen. And now it’s a real thing you can buy.
The Hyperkin RetroN Sq is up for pre-order for $75 and it’s scheduled to begin shipping March 25, 2021.
In a nutshell, the RetroN Sq is a small cube with a slot in the top for Game Boy cartridges. Out of the box it should support both Game Boy and Game Boy Color cartridges, but there’s also beta support for Game Boy Advanced titles.
While games for these handheld consoles were meant to be played on small, low-resolution displays, the RetroN Sq can upscale content to 720p resolutions at 4:3 or 16:9 aspect ratios.
The system also also has a memory card slot which can be used to install firmware updates, and Hyperkin ships the device with:
- 1 x wired game controller with a 10-foot USB cable
- 1 x 3-foot HDMI cable
- 1 x USB-C power adapter with a 6-foot cable
One thing to keep in mind is that while the RetroN Sq is designed to play Nintendo games, it is not an official Nintendo product and it uses open source software to bring classic cartridge games to the big screen.
The RetroN Sq comes in two color options: black and gold, or “hyper beach” with a aquamarine, black, and pink color scheme.
I think that is really cool. I used to use the Gameboy but stopped because my eyes couldn’t handle the small screen. It would be cool to try that and experience the Gameboy games again. The price seems rather reasonable. I will be checking it out. Perhaps it will be better than the Nintendo Mini Classic? It would be neat to compare the two.
They used to make an attachment to the Super Nintendo to play gameboy cartridges and I loved that as a kid. The nostalgia factor may make it worth it to some people. The problem is if you want nostalgia, you can probably pick up an old SNES & Super Gameboy Cartridge around this price. Gameboy Advance play is the killer feature.
The adapter was called the Super Gameboy, it was an amazing accessory back in the day.
Good luck finding an original SNES, Super Gameboy, and controller for under $75. The going rate for used SNES consoles on Ebay right now is around $100, and that is typically without controllers. Probably even more if you’re buying one locally. They go for over $200 in my area.
IMO, it’s not worth buying an original SNES unless you’re willing to deal with the quirks and challenges of using a 25-30 year old console. It’s going to be finicky with reading cartridges, might have some corroding solder points inside, so it might need fixing in short time. Proprietary AC adapter, and video cables, hard to replace.
A raspberry pi, or an android box to run Emulators is probably your best investment, unless you need that OG experience.
Neat, but what’s the point of the X and Y buttons on the controller? The highest requirement of buttons in this system’s repertoire is from the GBA, which only had a D-pad, start, select, A, B, and shoulder L/R buttons.
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