2022 is an amazing year to be a retro gamer. Although the original hardware up through the fourth generation can be up to forty years old and starting to falter, gamers still play and praise classic games. The simplicity of the classic lineups from ancient rivals Nintendo and Sega holds up to this day.
The classic mini boom from 2017 to 2019 preceded a growing wave of new retro consoles sought to replicate the experiences of these classic machines. Each had its own charms, and every retro experience was unique. The variety of retro consoles, both plug-and-play and cartridge based, soon filled the need for retro games.
10 Evercade Shines With A Rapidly Growing Library
Introduced in early 2020, the Blaze Evercade is a single-player handheld console that mimics the form of a late-1990s handheld console. Its screen is an older-style LCD, making it harder to play faster-paced games.
Similar in size and shape to the cartridges of the Sega Game Gear, Evercade’s proprietary flash cartridges are licensed from companies like Atari, Bandai Namco, and Jaleco. They also feature amazing retro-themed indie collections. Its cartridge is future-proofed, as both the Evercade VS and upcoming Evercade EXP systems use the same media form factor and are compatible with their software.
9 Hyperkin’s RetroN 77 Asks Have You Played Atari Today?
The faux-woodgrain finish of the Hyperkin RetroN 77 leaves no question as to which console it intends to mimic. Imitating the distinctive woodgrain veneer of the Atari 2600, the RetroN 77 provides a satisfying user experience from the time it’s placed on the shelf.
The test of the RetroN 77 is in how well it replicates the experience of playing its ancient games, and here the console shines. Rather than playing games directly from fifty-year-old cartridges, the RetroN 77 scans a game into a live memory state and emulates from that scan. It’s a functional solution to a thorny problem in retro gaming.
8 Polymega Shows Promise In CD-ROM Retro Gaming
For a growing number of gamers, the label “retro” includes the fifth and even sixth generations of consoles. The last console generation of cartridge games is the N64, and the first two generations of PlayStation. The modular Polymega console allows gamers to play the games they grew up without the fragility of 20-year-old consoles.
Polymega combines retro functionality for consoles from the fifth and sixth generations. With a custom controller combining the best of the Saturn, N64 and PlayStation controllers into one unit, PolyMega is rapidly outgrowing its birthing pains and becoming a powerhouse.
7 Super Retro-Cade’s Cheesy Name Hides Its Emulation Proficiency
Most retro consoles focus on replicating the home gaming console experience from the 1980s and 1990s. Super Retro-Cade by RetroBit takes a different track. Using its powerful processor to emulate arcade machines of the period, Super Retro-Cade focuses on arcade ports from titans like Irem, Capcom, Konami, and Technos.
Super Retro-Cade is a little older than most dedicated emulation machines, but its licensed games and stable front-end make it an easy system to love. Additionally, its USB controller ports make it easy to find a fun controller that works well with it.
6 RetroPie Is As Good As Your Patience Will Make It
RetroPie is an operating system designed to work with the Raspberry Pi computer. RetroPie and its front-end, EmulationStation, make the process of playing video games as easy as finding the game on a menu, however its positioning as a retro console does come with some caveats.
Since RetroPie is a computer frontend and not a “true” console, it will take some time and willingness to get into the software to make it work the way the owner wants. But for someone with the patience, it can be one of the most rewarding gaming experiences available.
5 Evercade VS Takes The Evercade Experience And Moves It To The TV
In 2021, Evercade expanded its offerings by adding the standalone console Evercade VS. While it runs on a similar operating system to the handheld Evercade and uses the same cartridges, the VS has a faster processor. Equipped with 1080p video, it adds two more shoulder buttons to the controller.
Introduced with the Evercade VS are a line of arcade cartridges with distinctive purple box dress. The controllers are crisp, responsive digital models. The selection of arcade games — comprising early hits by Data East, Technos, Atari, and Jaleco — provides a little for every fan of the 80s arcade scene. Evercade VS is a fantastic option for collectors.
4 Analogue’s Nintendo Offerings Present A Trifecta Of Classic Gaming Consoles
Field-Programmable Gate Array technology allows players to experience classic gaming consoles exactly as they were originally intended. By emulating the hardware precisely in a custom chip, hardware maker Analogue has arguably created the greatest modern versions of the NES, Super NES, and Game Boy hardware.
The Analogue Super Nt, among the three, is widely praised for its excellent fidelity to the Super Nintendo/Super Famicom hardware. If the owner can afford the price point of the expensive Analogue hardware, their Nintendo offerings represent the best replica of Nintendo hardware available.
3 Analogue Mega Sg Provides A Reference Point For Sega’s First 15 Years Of Consoles
Analogue has made excellent FPGA-based reproductions of Nintendo’s hardware, offering up archival-perfect replicas of the Super NES, NES, and Game Boy. They also create an all-in-one replica of Sega’s early Zilog Z80 and Motorola 68000-based gaming platforms, the Mega Sg.
The Analogue Mega Sg and its series of cartridge adapters provides incredible fidelity to the Genesis and Mega Drive. It also offers backward compatibility with Sega’s three eight-bit game consoles: SG-1000, Mark III/Master System, and Game Gear. The Analogue Mega Sg is the apex of Sega emulation fidelity.
two Hyperkin Offers Authentic Experiences For A Fraction Of The Cost
If spending FPGA money is too rich for one’s budget, system-on-a-chip renderings of Super Nintendo and Sega Genesis hardware offer an option to replace missing old machines. Representing budget hardware well, the Hyperkin SupaRetroN HD and MegaRetroN HD are excellent options.
The Hyperkin Mega and Supa RetroNs are high-fidelity system-on-a-chip reproductions of original Genesis and Super NES hardware. The systems are faithful to their originals and can run several special-chip titles, like Sega’s Virtua Racing with its specialized SVP hardware.
1 The Originals Can Still Be The Best
Many fans would argue that nothing compares to the feeling of clicking a cartridge down into an original Nintendo Entertainment System. Despite the fragility of aging hardware, there’s no retro console like an original console.
The original “Toaster” NES is a delicate beast, with many parts that can be bent out of shape or otherwise damaged. A bent pin or two can prevent the notoriously finicky 10NES program from working, stopping legitimate cartridges from being played. Even with its flaws and problems, however, there’s no place like home.