The Retron 5 is really easy to use out of the box and requires little in the way of technical expertise. In terms of regular use, it’s pretty much a case of plug-and-play via your TV’s HDMI slot – which makes it ideal for anyone with a retro cart collection who is tired of finding space and time to maintain and display a variety of retro consoles.
There are some things to keep in mind, though. We’re often asked the following questions by both prospective buyers and existing users – this Retron 5 FAQ should come in handy if you’re in either boat.
Q. Is my Retron 5 ready to use when I receive it?
Yes – it just needs to be plugged into a power outlet (our consoles include both UK & US standard plugs) and connected to your TV’s HDMI port.
In order to get full use of your Retron, we strongly recommend upgrading to the latest firmware before playing any games, available here. You can also download the cheats database from this page.
Q. Can the Retron 5 play ROMs/game files without the original cart?
Not with current firmware – original carts are required to play games.
Q. Is the PAL Retron 5 on your site the same as the one released in the US 18 months ago?
No – the hardware has been revised for the European release.
Q. Can the Retron 5 play unlicensed games?
Yes, although we cannot guarantee 100% compatibility with unlicensed games.
Q. Is the Retron 5 region free?
Yes – it will play carts from all regions.
Q. Can PAL games that run at 50HZ be forced in 60HZ?
Q. Can you change the aspect ratio to 4:3, or do games have to be played in 16:9 widescreen?
You can alternate between 4:3 and 16:9 via the menu – there are stretch (forced 16:9) and zoom ratio options available. Scan lines and filters can also be adjusted.
Q. Does the Retron 5 support saving?
Yes – a save state option is present in every game, direct to the internal memory of the console. It is possible to transfer a save from the console to the cart, but there is a risk of losing the save if the process is interrupted. We’d recommend keeping your saves on the console.
Q. I want to play a game on my Retron, but the internal battery on my cart has died – will it still save?
Yes – direct to the system memory.
Q. I think I have a compatibility issue with a game – there’s a problem running the cart on my Retron, but not on the original console. Can this be resolved?
Yes. Although compatibility has been assured in the case of the vast majority of games, Hyperkin can – and do – update the firmware to resolve any remaining issues. Please contact them directly with details of your problem.
Q. Can you patch games via SD card?
Yes – patches can be applied via SD card. This means that if you have access to any English language patches for Japanese games that were never translated, you can finally play them in English – using your original cart – on your TV.
Q. Does the Retron 5 support cheats?
Yes – however, this is an optional firmware update available directly from Hyperkin’s website, and is not something we’re able to offer technical support on. We understand that as of the European release of the console, the PAL cheats database is relatively small – this will improve with time, but we don’t advertise cheats functionality as a core part of the product and have no influence over future updates to the database.
Q. Do you have to use the wireless controllers?
No – the Retron has NES, SNES and Mega Drive ports for wired controllers (or other controllers attached via adapter).
Q. Does the Retron 5 accept controller multitaps?
Yes, via the controller ports.
Q. Does the Retron 5 work with light gun games?
The Retron 5 does not currently resolve the functionality problem between retro lightgun games and HD TVs. This is an issue with the technology behind HD TVs rather than with the Retron 5 itself.
Q. The Retron grips carts very tightly… is there a risk of damage?
There is no risk of damage provided the instructions in this article are followed.
Q. Do you offer a warranty on the Retron 5?
We offer a standard thirty-day unopened return policy, and you’re covered with a year’s warranty in the event of hardware issues. Rate of returns on our PAL batch of Retron 5s has been extremely low – we’ve had one in the office for over a year now and have experienced no problems with the hardware, despite constant use.
Q. Does the Retron 5 use emulation?
The Retron dumps game files from original, licensed carts and runs them in upscaled 720p HD. The inclusion of features such as HD output, save states, universal pause states etc. would not be possible if the console was simply using reproduction hardware. So while the Retron 5 is, in practice, running games on emulated hardware, this is to the major advantage of the overall experience. Outside of console modding and the use of expensive upscalers, it would not be possible to get original hardware to look this good on an HD TV. This also allows the Retron 5 to avoid the use of old, recycled components – or “pulls” – from older machines which are liable to degrade and fail over time.
Q. Can cartridges for multiple platforms be used at the same time?
No – because the Retron 5 dumps the game file each time it loads up a cart, the manufacturer advises against leaving carts in the device when not in use. Make sure you only have one cartridge in the device when it’s turned on.
Q. Does the Retron 5 work with the Power Base Converter?
Yes – but we can only vouch for compatibility with the officially-licensed Sega PBC, which is no longer in production and must be purchased from eBay, Amazon etc. Alternative third-party options for Master System conversion often require modification of original Mega Drive/Genesis consoles, and we cannot guarantee compatibility with a Retron 5.
As we only retail new hardware, we do not stock the licensed Power Base Converters, and we are not currently aware of plans to incorporate out-of-the-box Master System support into the Retron 5, via either hardware revision or peripheral.
Q. Are there any plans to include support for other platforms, such as N64, in future revisions of the Retron?
All future hardware revisions rest entirely with the manufacturers, Hyperkin. However, given that the European version of the Retron 5 was released just weeks before Christmas 2014, we don’t expect any major revisions in the immediate future.
Q. Can you record gameplay footage from a Retron 5 with a capture card?
Yes – the console has HDMI out, so it’s very easy to connect to your capture setup.
We use an Elgato Game Capture HD – here’s some footage we recorded:
60 Seconds with the Retron 5:
Get a Retron 5 Now
If you’re interested in purchasing a Retron 5, we have the following bundles available – use code NEWSFUN for 5% off:
2 controller bundle in Grey: http://www.funstock.co.uk/retron-5-2-….
2 controller bundle in Black: http://www.funstock.co.uk/retron-5-2-…
1 controller bundle in Grey: http://www.funstock.co.uk/retron-5-2-…
1 controller in bundle in Black: http://www.funstock.co.uk/retron-5-black