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The ultimate retro console

by Zaid Kriel (Zaid)  Posted Monday, July 15, 2013 8:49:00 AM

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So couple of weeks ago I did a Retro Friday about the ultimate retro console experience, the RetroN 5 by Hyperkin, a games accessory manufacturer. While I haven't had a hands-on with the RetroN 5, all signs seems to indicate that if you are looking for purity of experience in your retro gaming, then it just might be the console for you.

However, there's every chance that the RetroN 5 won't be commercially available over here, so South Africans looking for a retro gaming fix will likely have to look elsewhere. Fortunately, for many of us, elsewhere happens to be in our pants, because the other great retro console happens to be one of these:

sony-xperia-z-ultra-1.jpg

That's right, a cellphone, something I warrant most of you reading this already have. Why? What did you think I was talking about? Anyway, while doing some research for my upcoming cellphone upgrade, I stumbled onto the Google Play page of an app called RetroArch. Developed by a group called Libretro, RetroArch is retro console emulator, that is incredibly extensive. According to its Wikipedia page, this app is able replicate the functionality of 13 consoles and two game engines. Here's a full rundown:

  • PlayStation 1 
  • Super Nintendo 
  • Nintendo Entertainment System 
  • GameBoy / GameBoy Color 
  • GameBoy Advance 
  • Arcade
  • Neo Geo Pocket Color
  • Virtual Boy 
  • Sega Genesis/Mega Drive 
  • Sega Master System/Sega Game Gear 
  • Sega CD / Mega CD 
  • PC Engine / PC Engine CD 
  • WonderSwan Color / Crystal 
  • Cave Story (game engine: NX Engine)
  • Doom 1 / Doom 2 / Ultimate Doom / Final Doom (game engine: prBoom)

That's a lot of potential games. To add to the authenticy, it is even possible, in some instances to connect the original gamepads to you phone. Even more impressive is that RetroArch isn't exclusive to Android, it will happily run on iOS (if you Jailbreak it), Blackberry 10, Raspberry Pi, OpenPandora, PlayStation 3, Xbox, Xbox 360, GameCube, and Nintendo Wii. This effectively means that every console is a retro console. Oh, and did I mention that it's free? Well it is. Oh happy day!

retro-arch-1.jpg

With that settled, you just need to think about where the game will come from. That's not question I'm prepared to answer, but they are out there on there on the internet somewhere. Just read this first before you do anything.

You can get RetroArch from here.



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