Hyperkin is part of the fight to keep retro gaming alive by developing reliable alternatives to our beloved gaming hardware and peripherals. As time goes on the original gaming hardware and accessories will start to fail. Retro gamers will start to look for alternative options and they just might turn to Hyperkin for an NES controller or even the Hyperkin Retron HD to keep their retro gaming going after the original NES sadly meets its demise.
Within The Box
Design & Build Quality
The design is what gravitated me to the Hyperkin Retron HD, it simply looks amazing and probably the closest thing to the original Nintendo Entertainment System. The Retron HD has a retro look with a modern twist and made me feel like this is what the Original Nintendo was supposed to look like all along. Hyperkin took the original design and made it better.
The Retron HD comes in two different colors, the original NES color with a red cartridge door which is my favorite (which is the one featured in an episode of Reviews By This Guy on the We Deem Channel) and the black \ red color scheme which is pretty striking as well. When powered on the console features a light-up Hyperkin Logo which is on the right side where that console has a carved out upside down triangle which is one of many features that make it stand out from other NES clone consoles.
The console is made of a sturdy plastic and feels very well constructed. The power button is spring loaded and not as loud as the spring used on the power button of the Retro-Bit Res Plus. The reset button doesn’t feel as strong and seems to be really flimsy but gets the job done.
The Retron HD Controller, for the most part, resembles the original Nintendo squared controller except for etched grid design at the top and the sloped bottom corner design which surprisingly doesn’t feel awkward during gaming. Hyperkin did a great job replicating the original design with a different flair here and there.
Features & Specs
The Hyperkin Retron HD features a top loading cartridge slot just like the Nintendo Top Loader which has a red dust spring-loaded cover that feels very well constructed as well. When a cartridge is placed inside the slot, it is secured very well and does take a little strength to release it. The eject button from the original Super Nintendo would have been a nice added feature but it seems like no one feels like it is necessary!
The Retron HD features two original NES controller ports, a power and resets button which resemble the original Nintendo Entertainment System buttons.
On the back of the console, you have a Micro USB, HDMI port, composite for your old CRT TV if you want to experience gaming the way it was originally enjoyed and an aspect ratio switch(16:9 / 4:3). The Retron HD also has something that most NES clone systems don’t and that’s the NTSC / Pal switch on the button of the console. If your a retro collector or reside in Pal countries this console will not only play your NTSC games but all Pal region games. This is a feature that the Res Plus didn’t include but I have heard that they are working on a separate Pal compatible console but why the Hyperkin Retron HD is an all in one package and there is no need to purchase another console to play your Pal games!
The Retron HD controller features the original D-pad with the arrows from the original NES controller which I believe feels and functions exactly the same. It has your rubberize start and select buttons as well as the convex horizontal action buttons.
Gameplay & Emulation
Now, unfortunately, I didn’t have any Pal games to test how it handles Pal cartridges but I of course test NTSC and in my opinion the console handle them pretty well. I personally didn’t see anything too noticeable, no real frame rate or audio issues on Double Dragon, The Simpson: Bart Vs. Space Mutants and Zelda.
During Double Dragon, I did here a weird notice from time to time that I can only explain as the sound you would have heard back in the day if your A/V cables were damaged or not sitting right in your TV. I can’t remember if this sound was the same on an original Nintendo so I don’t know if this is an emulation problem caused by the Retron HD or it’s an issue with the cart itself.
When I first put The Simpson: Bart Vs. The Space Mutants I thought I noticed the background audio was sped up but I didn’t see any noticeable frame rate issues during gameplay and if left me confused. Now, this was the first time I have ever played this game, I have played The Simpson: Bart Meets Radioactive Man but not Bart Vs. The Space Mutants so I wasn’t sure how it sounded on the original hardware. I did some research on the internet and watch a couple of videos on youtube of gameplay which led me to believe the sped-up background music was normal.
Naturally, I had to test the original Zelda on the system and in my opinion the game played flawlessly. I saw no issues and the game played as I remember the day I first got my Nintendo Entertainment System Christmas Day when I was 8 or 9.
During all three gaming sessions that Hyperkin controller function pretty well, no lag noticed, felt natural and the sloped bottom corners didn’t see to affect comfort at all. Honestly, I didn’t even notice the corners and when I first saw the controller I thought it was going to make for an uncomfortable gaming session.
Overall I think the Hyperkin Retron HD is aesthetically pleasing to look at, Hyperkin’s design team did an amazing job on the overall design of the console. The console is well constructed and functions pretty well for something that cost $40. The Retron HD has something that the Retro-Bit Res Plus doesn’t and that’s the PAL / NTSC switch. The fact that you can play your NTSC and PAL games on one system is one of the reasons the Retron HD one the 2017 BATTLE OF THE NES HD CLONES. The Nintendo retro console can be played through HDMI or Composite and there is a switch to change the aspect ration. If you’re looking for an affordable console to play your original nes games in HD that I highly suggest you pick up the Hyperkin Retron HD and well get gaming!
HAVE ANY QUESTION FEEL FREE TO LEAVE THEM IN THE COMMENTS OF THE “2017 BATTLE OF THE HD NES CLONES” POST AND DON’T FORGET TO CHECK OUT THE HYPERKIN RETRON HD REVIEWS BY THIS GUY EPISODE ON THE WE DEEM CHANNEL