Retron 5 VS Super Retro TRIO | “Which Should I Buy – A Super Retro TRIO or a Retron 5?”

Retron 5 VS Super Retro TRIO

This is a question we’re asked quite often – in terms of core features, these two reproduction consoles perform a similar function; they play your old Nintendo and Sega carts, bypassing region locks. trio-v-retron

However, there are some key differences between the two devices, and it’s important you consider what exactly you’re looking for in a reproduction console – so we’ve weighed up the Retron 5 vs Super Retro Trio in the areas that really matter.

Visual Output

The Super Retro TRIO offers composite A/V and S-Video output (RGB SCART not available), whilst the Retron 5 offers HDMI out only. The TRIO generates scanlines with S-Video and displays in 4:3 – the Retron 5 upscales gameplay to 720p HD and offers scanlines and additional filters via a menu option, along with the choice of either a 4:3 or 16:9 display.

Super Retro TRIO Gameplay:

The advantages and disadvantages will be fairly obvious to retro gamers – the Retron 5 produces a vastly superior image quality to the TRIO, one that you’d find very difficult to beat using original hardware, even with expensive upscalers and console modding. However, between the higher resolution and HDMI only output, the Retron 5 isn’t considered “true to the retro experience” in the eyes of some purists, whereas the TRIO can theoretically be played on the same TV you used twenty years ago. This perspective doesn’t really take out into account the aspect ratio/scanline/filter options on the Retron 5, though, which look great and can be adjusted at any time.

Retron 5 Gameplay:

Hardware Compatability

Super-Mario-WorldThe Super Retro TRIO will play NES, SNES, Mega Drive, Super Famicom, and Genesis games out of the box, with adapters available to play Master System, Game Boy and Game Boy Advance games (sold separately – see our FAQ for more info).

The Retron 5 will play NES, SNES, Mega Drive, Famicom, Super Famicom, Genesis, Game Boy and Game Boy Advance games out of the box, with an adapter available to play Master System games (also sold separately – see our Retron 5 FAQ for more info).

So the Retron has the major advantage of having a built-in cart slot for GB/GBC/GBA games, in addition to playing regular Famicom games – the NES slot on the TRIO won’t take the carts. However, the Retron reads carts against a built-in software database – while compatibility is guaranteed in the vast majority of cases, there may be some exceptions. Compatibility bugs can be – and have been – resolved with firmware updates produced by Hyperkin, but because the TRIO uses “clone” hardware with no emulation involved, you should run into fewer compatibility problems – at least in terms of getting the system to recognise carts.

Both consoles are region free – the Retron works automatically, whilst the TRIO sports region a switch on the outside of the console. The Retron has the added advantage of featuring an SD card slot, though, which allows you to patch Japanese games into English (where fan translation patches have been produced and distributed for download).

The Super Retro TRIO supports Everdrive carts – the Retron 5 will not recognise these devices.


super-retro-trio-controllersBoth the TRIO and the Retron support original first-party wired controllers and multitap devices. Both consoles should recognise third-party controllers, although there is no guarantee of compatibility with specific third-party items.

The Retron 5 comes with a rechargeable wireless controller that features six face buttons, two shoulder buttons and an “analogue stick” that is actually limited to eight-way directional movement. The controller looks a little unusual, but it’s comfortable enough to hold, and the buttons have a satisfying “click” to them.

The TRIO comes with SNES-inspired controllers that are much closer to the originals – but they are wired.


Ultimately, the choice comes down to conventional-but-wired or modern-but-wireless – or if you plan on using original controllers, there’s no issue here.




The Trio saves to cart (where cart saving is supported), whilst the Retron saves directly to the console’s internal memory. Games on the Retron can be paused and saved at any time. While this again may be unwelcome with some purists, the major advantage to this feature is that carts with expired internal batteries can now be saved – both figuratively and literally – without getting out a soldering iron and changing the battery.


The Retron 5 is the more modern console, with 720p upscaling, HDMI-out, save states and a greater number of supported platforms, whilst the Super Retro TRIO is closer to the “original experience” with CRT-compatible A/V outputs.

It’s worth noting that there is a price discrepancy between the two consoles – the Super Retro TRIO is cheaper than the Retron 5, but you essentially get what you pay for – the Retron 5 boasts a broader range of features and produces a higher quality audio and visual experience.

Retron5 Console 3

The final decision on which to buy is dependent on your budget, the TV you intend to use, and your reliance on Everdrives over original carts – the key differentiators between the two may mean you end up with both at one time or another, with the TRIO being your “true retro experience” CRT console and the Retron a more modern HD gaming experience.

Thinking about buying a Super Retro TRIO? We offer free, same-day dispatch UK delivery with shipping options for addresses in Europe and Worldwide. Click here for more information. Use code NEWSFUN for 5% off.

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:…

2 controller bundle in Black:…

1 controller bundle in Grey:…

1 controller in bundle in Black:

  • Brian Fischer

    I think the difference in material quality is also of note; everyone I’ve talked to said that Hyperkin’s products all feel cheap, but Retro-bit’s recent products (particularly the Super Retro TRIO and its controllers) feel more solid. Not the most important thing, but a comparison is incomplete without it.

  • Pingback: Funstock Listed as Nineteenth in Top 50 Gaming Blogs()

  • kiwisoup

    While the Retron has more features, the Trio has better compatibility and accuracy of the systems it does support, has less controller lag, is more affordable, and is less likely to stop working as many people with the Retron can tell you has happened to them, many times not even working out of the box.

  • Zoid

    Trio for the win ! with everdrives …