E3 2013: Hyperkin

Up at the forefront of the Hyperkin booth this year was the RetroN 5, the device which has the ability to play these physical cartridges on the system:

– Famicom
– Super Famicom
– Genesis
– Mega Drive
– Game Boy Advance
– Game Boy Color
– Game Boy

Built-in GameGenie-like functionality.

Built-in GameGenie-like functionality.

While visiting the booth, demonstrations were being given of how a few features work, such as save states. There is no home button to press to access the menu system, instead, a button combination that is unlikely to be used in many games is inputted (Down + Start). At first, it’s not too intuitive to browse though and make changes, but it’s not a tough learning curve. During my playtime, I opted to check out the scanline feature and saw a noticeable difference. The scanlines weren’t perfect to what I recall of how they looked on one of my old sets, but they were fairly comparable. Perhaps what was throwing off the experience was the fact that the upscaling on the RetroN 5 is done quite well that your eyes simply want to view the textures without any interference. Whatever the case, it seems to be coming along nicely. With all the positives though, there was one possible negative with the fact you won’t be able to fill all the slots with games and simply switch between them. I inquired about this and was told it’s simply not how it was engineered unfortunately. Still, perhaps part of the charm of playing older games is removing each cartridge and inserting it into the machine one at a time.


Close-up of added in scanlines

Although the RetroN 5 seemed to be a focus for Hyperkin, no visitor to the booth could ignore the Occulus Rift and ComRad Gaming Audio Helmet combination out front. Running Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, the pairing attracted attention of wandering attendees. The ComRad helmet has been improved since I last saw it at CES. A percentage lighter with a bit of a fuller sound. When using it in conjunction with the Occulus Rift, it provided more immersion into the game. Although some may balk at wearing a replica military helmet while gaming, it actually was fun to wear.


Improved from the CES version

Lastly on my waltz through the booth were the Pixel Art Controllers. These are in the shape of SNES controllers, but in pixel art form as the name suggests. Although they have pointy edges, it wasn’t too awkward to hold in my hand. In the sample I was given to hold, the buttons sounded clicky and bounced right back up when pressed. The form factor didn’t seem too large, even for my micro-sized hands. A variety of colors were presented, including one that mimics the SNES controllers.


Pixel Art Controller demo unit

Keep an eye out for more Hyperkin news here at Gametista.com!

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