#1 Posted by regularassmilk (1663 posts) -

I spent all of my youth playing video games until I became a junior in high school, when I met the woman who would eventually be my wife, and the mother of my child. In these off years I got away from big gaming and into Steam indies, and into emulation. I played lots of SNES, NES, Sega Genesis, etc, and while I would have fun, a lot of times emulators left me cold. I was playing on my tv with a controller paired to my laptop, but it just didn't feel the same. It didn't scratch the itch that having a real console, a correct controller, and a plastic cart staring at me would give.

So I'm wondering, with the Retron console and the retron pad, does it give you the right feeling? I also feel like I'm partially missing out on the true nostalgia factor, because while I started out with these games, I didn't grow up with them proper.

#2 Edited by mlarrabee (3189 posts) -

I think the trick is using a proper controller. I played on an Amiga 500, so I went out and bought the same joystick I used as a kid

and bought an adapter for it and it was glorious.

#3 Edited by VoodooTatum (78 posts) -

I definitely enjoy playing on the Duo Retro I have because in my opinion it plays snes and nes games very well. I did buy a snes controller as the stock one is garbage.

#4 Posted by Corevi (6795 posts) -

The Retron 5 is just emulating, so going the emulator on PC route is about $150 cheaper with no downsides. Of course those aren't quite exact and if you want it to be absolutely perfect you will need to get the actual system.

#5 Posted by ll_Exile_ll (2031 posts) -

The only difference between the Retron and PC emulators is that it takes real carts and comes with the option of using the real controllers. Otherwise, it's an emulator like any available on PC.

#6 Posted by MightyDuck (1610 posts) -

I think the nostalgia factor is key with going back. I have a "Retron 3" which I think was about $40 on Amazon when I bought it a few years ago.

It doesn't have the snazzy features of the 5, but I can plug a controller into it and play any of my Nintendo and Genesis games. It does a solid job.

#7 Posted by Zerot (9 posts) -

Putting a game into an toaster-style NES over and over again until it works is one of those joys that was super annoying at the time but you look back fondly at. You don't get that kind of experience from emulators, for better and for worse.

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#8 Posted by ottoman673 (736 posts) -

Idk, I'm using my kickstarter Ouya as an emulator box right now. If the RetroN5 just dumps cartridges instead of reading them like original hardware did, I'd see no reason to change.

Nothing beats the original, though.

#9 Posted by Astrophyle (218 posts) -

@ottoman673: In the case of the NES, the Retron wins, unless you have the NES2. For any given NES, you'd be lucky to read a cartridge without fiddling with it or blowing on it for 30 minutes. In my case, my NES backplane is now faulty and I don't want to spend more money on a new one that's bound to be broken as well.

#10 Edited by flameboy84 (395 posts) -

I have a retro bit trio and at first I hated that it wasn't a retron 5 now I've embraced the fact that it has little nuiances to it.

#11 Posted by supermonkey122 (998 posts) -

Emulators are fine but you can't beat playing it on the actual console.

#12 Posted by TooWalrus (13303 posts) -

Emulators are fine but you can't beat playing it on the actual console.

For most stuff I'd agree, but whenever I hook up an N64, the games looks so blurry to the point where it's basically unplayable to me. I think the best way to go for that stuff is the virtual console on the Wii, hooked up to a nice CRT with component cables... it's just too bad selection is so limited on there, and the gamecube controller kinda sucks for n64 games.

#13 Posted by Schatzy23 (180 posts) -

I'd have to say that nothing can quite beat the feel of using original hardware to play those old school games.

Not to hijack this thread, but can someone point out the difference between the RetroN 3 and RetroN 5? I'm thinking about picking up either an original SNES or a RetroN device to have something to play original games on and was wondering if there is enough of a difference between the two RetroNs to justify an price difference.

#14 Posted by tourgen (4568 posts) -

I prefer the real hardware. It's not like PS2 or SNES are hard to come by. The games are pretty cheap too. I can't even remember the last time I used an emulator, unless we are counting DOSBox.

#15 Edited by Corevi (6795 posts) -

@schatzy23: Retron 3 has the actual hardware in it. The Retron 5 is just an Android computer.

#16 Posted by billymagnum (860 posts) -

i think the Retron is grossly over-priced and it seems to have licensing issues popping up recently. pc emulation is just a million times easier and cheaper

#17 Posted by Yakumo1975 (44 posts) -

Playing on the Retron is no different than playing on a laptop connected to the TV via HDMI. Well, tell a lie. It's far worse than using a laptop because you are limited to the amount of emulators the machine has. A PC has emulators for everything almost including the greatest of all, arcade! Plus the emulation is better too!

I have a laptop connected to my TV for arcade emulation which I use in conjunction with a Saturn USB PC pad or a 360 controller. This is idea and works really well. For real gaming I'm lucky enough to have all the following in RGB through a Framemeister all connected to the TV - Mega Drive, SFC, Dreamcast, Saturn, Turbo Duo PC Engine and PlayStation 2. There's also a Wii, 360 and Xbox One.

#18 Edited by GweedyJ (137 posts) -

I dont see the point in any of the retrons. I would rather just use the old consoles.

#19 Posted by Griffinmills (225 posts) -

OP, it's perfectly acceptable to have that reaction. I have a good friend that "hated" emulation until he used one of my SNES Ascii pads via usb adapter. When you turned to emulation and found it wanting it may be that you truly wanted the old school experience including the actual hardware. It might also be that you were looking for the entirety of the scenario, a nostalgia for a bygone age of a more carefree era and such. That, is going to be a lot more difficult to emulate, obviously!

#20 Posted by Corvak (1196 posts) -

I don't really like emulation - but I accept it as better than never being able to play something forever. For nostalgia, the original hardware is best. In the end, some games just aren't available for purchase anymore, leaving emulation as the only option.

The optimal setup for original hardware involves a device called a Framemeister - a hefty $400 investment that needs to be imported from Japan, but gives you pretty flawless pixels. See the embed for a good description of what it can do.

The Retron is just an emulator with a cart reader (it just dumps the ROM out of the cart before emulating the game) but it gives you a lot of that console feeling that gets lost with PC emulation. Short of acquiring ROMs via dubious means that shall not be mentioned here, it is the most economical.

#21 Posted by kagato (1021 posts) -

Idk, I'm using my kickstarter Ouya as an emulator box right now. If the RetroN5 just dumps cartridges instead of reading them like original hardware did, I'd see no reason to change.

Nothing beats the original, though.

Me too dude, its my Neo Geo/N64/SNES all in one and im using a usb Saturn pad on it. I like the idea of a Retron5 but i cant justify buying one over the real thing.

#22 Posted by GweedyJ (137 posts) -

i went to the thrift store and spent $5 on a crt tv for my old systems. I dont want to go through the trouble of getting them to look good on a modern tv so this was my next best option.

#23 Posted by Yakumo1975 (44 posts) -

$400? I've been selling the Framemeister for well over a year now for around $350 with shipping included. Seriously. I mostly sell at ASSEMblergames but have had a few people come to me via YouTube and other forums.

@corvak said:

The optimal setup for original hardware involves a device called a Framemeister - a hefty $400 investment that needs to be imported from Japan, but gives you pretty flawless pixels.

#24 Edited by Corvak (1196 posts) -

$400? I've been selling the Framemeister for well over a year now for around $350 with shipping included. Seriously. I mostly sell at ASSEMblergames but have had a few people come to me via YouTube and other forums.

@corvak said:

The optimal setup for original hardware involves a device called a Framemeister - a hefty $400 investment that needs to be imported from Japan, but gives you pretty flawless pixels.

I'm just going from Amazon prices/what i've heard. I don't really know where else to buy one. Closer to $450 because i'm in Canada and everyone seems to charge more to ship here. I go to the US twice a year, so i'd have one shipped to a friend if/when I decide to buy one.