Nintendo’s massive success with the perpetually sold out NES Classic Edition has shown one thing to be true — people love to make a return to the good old days at times, indulging in a spot of historical gaming while rolling back the years to the era of 8-bit games. Well, the $60 console from Nintendo certainly became a collector’s item in double quick time due to its scarcity after its discontinuation, so what hope is there for the person on the street who would still like to enjoy a spot of 8-bit gaming while taking a break from all of the Full HD adventures on the Nintendo Switch? Enter the RetroN 1 HD. This might not be a Nintendo product, but then again neither is it going to cost triple the recommended retail price on a reseller site like eBay, which is what the NES Classic Edition is going for. Through it all, the RetroN 1 HD is able to more or less deliver what the NES Classic Edition was able to, although it might be all too easy to take a glance at the name and look in a different direction.
Developed and manufactured by the folks over at HyperKin, the RetroN 1 HD is special in a sense where it does not contain a bunch of pre-loaded 8-bit titles. No sir, it is far more adventurous than that, and retro gamers will certainly love the fact that the RetroN 1 HD is capable of playing the entire library of NES games without any exceptions. Yes, you read that right -- all that you need to do is to insert a working NES cartridge into the opening that is located on top, and you are good to go. Of course, this would mean that you will have to be in possession of actual, working NES cartridges in the first place, and that might prove to be a rather difficult task as time passes by.
The RetroN 1 HD will be compatible with NES cartridges from North America (NTSC), in addition to those from Europe (PAL). It remains unknown as at press time as to whether it will be compatible with cartridges from Japan which were used with the Nintendo Famicom 8-bit console back then, but chances are it would be unable to due to the different physical structure and build, and the folks over at Hyperkin have remained mum on the situation. Whatever the case is, to be able to play with all of your old NES cartridges from the US and across the pond is definitely a step in the right direction, so perhaps it is now time to go up to the attic and blow the dust off from your childhood ‘treasures’.
While the major drawback would be the inability to download games digitally from any kind of online store, you have the flexibility of being able to enjoy all of your old collection of games (assuming that they still work), without having to make a second purchase for the same game that you did all those decades ago. There is still a pretty sizable number of working NES cartridges that are being sold online on reseller sites if you are looking for certain titles, although there would be exceptions to the rule with the likes of Little Samson that might cost up to $3,000 on eBay. For those who have old NES cartridges that refuse to behave, clean the exposed pins of the cartridge at the bottom using alcohol on a cotton swab.
Each RetroN 1 HD purchase comes with a premium classic-style controller, a 3-foot HD cable, and a 6-foot micro-USB charge cable to help you get started right out of the box with a $40 price tag.