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envytomdead2

Reconsidering a Retron 5

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After upgrading my Retron 77 to Stella 6 and it being totally awesome, I am reconsidering the Retron 5. I have heard its pretty solid now. What do people think? Is it in the same league as the updated retron 77?

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Posted (edited)

Mine broke after the SNES pins got ripped. I managed to recover the other parts but it can't read SNES carts anymore.

 

As an alternative for an emu box that runs carts, I would suggest looking at the Retro Freak. It has more solid construction and will automaticslly store your games on the machine for quicker restarts. It also takes roms from.SD card if you want.

 

I believe the underlying software is the same, it's just that the RF exposes more features than the R5.

 

Edited by Newsdee

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That matches what I've heard.  The software emulation is solid and the flaws are known and documented, so no surprises there... but the hardware build quality just isn't there.  The RetroFreak is the better machine.

 

On rare occasions, you can see an R5 dip down to the $100 range.  I suppose it might be worth it at that price... but at $130 or more, your money is better spent on a RetroFreak.

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I was completely satisfied with mine, but I got it on Amazon at a pre-order price (under a hundred bucks; I forget what I paid). It did break (can't remember which slot; I think it was the Famicom slot), but I replaced it. It was largely my go to Famicom and translation machine. Now that I have a variety of Everdrives (and a Famicom), it doesn't see as much use as it did. It's still hooked up to my living room TV and will probably remain so unless I buy an AVS or somesuch. 

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I may just skip then. Don't want to pay the amount for the retro freak. I largely want it for master system, game gear and nes. Which the retro freak needs adapters for all 3. The retron 5 needs the sms/gg  adapter but its cheaper. I have a RetroTink so I can make sms and nes look decent on a flat screen with out lag. 

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Posted (edited)
21 hours ago, envytomdead2 said:

After upgrading my Retron 77 to Stella 6 and it being totally awesome, I am reconsidering the Retron 5. I have heard its pretty solid now. What do people think? Is it in the same league as the updated retron 77?

 

I have one... I got lucky on ebay, picked up a untested one for $46, and I got it, it came complete with everything and works 100%. I tested each system and they did all work, they were kind of tight to go in but, it worked. It would not work with my everdrives though and that is due to how it works.

 

It uses emulation to play games and it shows a level of lag.  I tried Mike Tyson's punch out and I could only get so far. With my original NES playing the same game though my framemeister, I was about get much deeper into the game...(picked up the RGB mod for the NES, just need to install it)

 

There is something to be said thought... Real time save, for any game any system, use any controller with any system, and other cool "emulation type" of features that you really cant get on original systems...

 

If you really want to get one, just do your homework before you jump on it...

 

 

Edited by TheCoolDave
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6 hours ago, envytomdead2 said:

I may just skip then. Don't want to pay the amount for the retro freak. I largely want it for master system, game gear and nes. Which the retro freak needs adapters for all 3. The retron 5 needs the sms/gg  adapter but its cheaper. I have a RetroTink so I can make sms and nes look decent on a flat screen with out lag. 

 

 

Well, the adapter that is made for the Retron 5 for Master system/game gear and master system cards will work on any other system. It will even work on original hardware.  So you could buy a Retro Freak and buy that adapter and it will play those games...

 

You can buy the adapter on Amazon...it's a little pricey at $60 but, you can get it...

 

https://www.amazon.com/Hyperkin-RetroN-Adapter-Master-System-sega/dp/B01NCX3KIO

 

Maybe with a little hunting you can find one used for cheaper..

 

Didn't I read something that the ORIGINAL Genesis adapter for master system games does fit on the retron 5...???

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28 minutes ago, TheCoolDave said:

 

There is something to be said thought... Real time save, for any game any system, use any controller with any system, and other cool "emulation type" of features that you really cant get on original systems...

 

 

This is exactly why I was considering one. I have 2 CRT tvs and RetroTink and the genesis HD retrovision cables. I want the unique experience that emulation provides. I expect some lag and such.  I do have a retron 3 and haven't had any issues with the build not sure how much better the build quality is on a retron 3

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30 minutes ago, envytomdead2 said:

This is exactly why I was considering one. I have 2 CRT tvs and RetroTink and the genesis HD retrovision cables. I want the unique experience that emulation provides. I expect some lag and such.  I do have a retron 3 and haven't had any issues with the build not sure how much better the build quality is on a retron 3

I'll be honest with you, if you can deal with the lag issues (some systems are not noticeable but, others can be, all deepening on the type of game), The feature set is pretty awesome. It's a great item. I, like others here, have a few Everdrives.  So I know it from the original side as well as the Retron 5...

 

Retro games look pretty great on it, the feature set it awesome. The console itself is a little cheap, shall I say, feeling. It's very light and all plastic.  Then keep this in mind, if it was all metal, and very solid, it would not be around $100-150, it would be around $500. 

 

I think it's a great device, if you buy one, update the firmware before you do anything.  The original ones had some bugs that was fixed in updates. I think it's a worthy device for what it does.

 

And when the carts are hard to pull out, do a slight rocking with a light pull, then come out... Played 100's of games on it, of all types... They all still work..no problem with the slots...

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3 hours ago, TheCoolDave said:

Didn't I read something that the ORIGINAL Genesis adapter for master system games does fit on the retron 5...???

You are correct. Also the Tototek SMS/Mark III converter works as well.

 

I had a pre-order launch model that eventually died within a year or two and it didn't have very many hours on it at all. The rechargeable controller battery also leaked out all over the unit while sitting in its cradle which might have caused the issue. Found a cheap used one and still have it plugged up but don't use it much at all.

 

I like having an automatic per cartridge save state, which is a big deal for high score games, and I also like the simple and easy any controller/any system setup. If being able to use the original controllers (and freely swap setups with ease) isn't an issue there's little reason to pick this versus any other Android or Linux device with a small footprint. 

 

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All right, so a disclaimer here--I never updated my R5's firmware, so take this with a grain of salt. I personally didn't enjoy it all that much. The input lag was very noticeable making action games tough to enjoy (Ninja Gaiden, Contra, stuff like that). I also noticed a lot of screen tearing. When sat still things looked nice and crisp, but once the screen started moving the tear effect was pretty jarring. I'm not sure if this was fixed in later revisions.

 

I would think that if you are dead set on this sort of thing that takes real carts, the RetroFreak sounds like the better choice. If using real carts isn't a necessity, then everything you can do with it you can do equally if not better on a Pi setup or some other emulation box.

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I prefer the Retro Freak because you can detach the "brain" of the console from the cart connector, and bring it around to play your games.

 

It basically auto-dumps the carts you play into the SD card, albeit with some kind of security so those files will only work on your console. The box is slimmer than an RPi case, and has two USB and one HDMI port.

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7 hours ago, Austin said:

 If using real carts isn't a necessity, then everything you can do with it you can do equally if not better on a Pi setup or some other emulation box.

More expensive, but you can use a MiSTer for  low to zero lag (depending on your setup). 

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8 hours ago, Austin said:

If using real carts isn't a necessity, then everything you can do with it you can do equally if not better on a Pi setup or some other emulation box.

For me it is because the cartridges are the roms I own. By purchasing the cartridges it gives it a value. I feel too much stuff is being devalued these days like music for instance and I choose to not give into that trend as much as I can. I know a weird thing to most people.

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When I had one, it was pretty neat. Then through an electrical mishap, it hot zapped and died. I never experienced the lag people talk about and I loved the fact I could use original controllers with it.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Gamemoose said:

I never experienced the lag people talk about and I loved the fact I could use original controllers with it.

Sometimes the lag is not obvious until you play it right after the original system. It's often not game breaking so we just assume we got worse with age :)

 

That happened to me with Megaman 2... was doing a playthrough on my AV Famicom and when I switched to the RetroFreak to try it... the game felt immediately wrong (fortunately, the lag improves considerably if you disable filters).

Edited by Newsdee

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2 hours ago, envytomdead2 said:

For me it is because the cartridges are the roms I own. By purchasing the cartridges it gives it a value. I feel too much stuff is being devalued these days like music for instance and I choose to not give into that trend as much as I can. I know a weird thing to most people.

You can do like me, and have a folder for things you own :)

 

I understand there is some kind of satisfying feeling to physically select a game by inserting a cart, though. I find that better when playing wirh others (to let them choose easily by picking a cart).

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Posted (edited)
19 hours ago, Newsdee said:

More expensive, but you can use a MiSTer for  low to zero lag (depending on your setup). 

Totally. I am going to get one eventually but am not in a rush. I've got RGB for most of my systems now with a OSSC and XRGB-Mini. FPGA as well (AVS, SuperNT, MegaSG). I had the Retron5 before I got into upscaling and wasn't impressed then, not much reason to go back now (if I emulate, I do it on a PC).

18 hours ago, envytomdead2 said:

For me it is because the cartridges are the roms I own. By purchasing the cartridges it gives it a value. I feel too much stuff is being devalued these days like music for instance and I choose to not give into that trend as much as I can. I know a weird thing to most people.

If you want to blow your cash on bits of plastic and PCBs, then by all means go for it. It's your money. :)

Edited by Austin

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On 8/7/2019 at 6:07 AM, Newsdee said:

Mine broke after the SNES pins got ripped. I managed to recover the other parts but it can't read SNES carts anymore.

 

As an alternative for an emu box that runs carts, I would suggest looking at the Retro Freak. It has more solid construction and will automaticslly store your games on the machine for quicker restarts. It also takes roms from.SD card if you want.

 

I believe the underlying software is the same, it's just that the RF exposes more features than the R5.

 

I never owned retron 5 or game freak so take my opinion very very lightly I have used older retrons regularly and I like them they are however light and cheap feeling I don't know about the retron 5 it might be heavier and better constructed but I just looked into the retro freak and its fn insane and I'm seriously considering hunting one down the features are way superior to the retron it has a built in rom dump and  save memory ect along with all the compatibility with games as the retron 5 plus pc engine, turbo grafx, and super turbo grafx it has remappable controls and support for wired usb controllers if Newsdee could share his/her/their opinion on the way games run on the system I probably buy one of these myself plus I found the retro freak averaging around $120 and retron 5 averaging around $150 so you get more bang for your buck 

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It's not better made, hell it was so much worse made they had to quietly re-tool the thing just to bring it up from F quality to D/C- quality construction.  When it first dropped the pins were very thin and if a game got a decent grip in there you could rip the pins out of the thing from basic normal use not even being aggressive.  The plastic build itself on top with the slots was so thin just placing a thumb there or fingers to pull a game out would cause the shell itself to cave in about a 1/2 inch.  The ports on the sides for the controllers were less well attached and could pop inward.  There were other issues too, not to mention a bunch of dumb bugs, including something never fixed where it would randomly decide not to fire up a game anymore and just black screen instead of dumping it into its memory.  It would progressively creep too like one NES game, then another, etc.

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3 hours ago, Modern Day said:

I found the retro freak averaging around $120 and retron 5 averaging around $150 so you get more bang for your buck 

Where did you see that? I am seeing retro freaks going for $220 and up?

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21 hours ago, Modern Day said:

I never owned retron 5 or game freak so if Newsdee could share his/her/their opinion on the way games run on the system

There's an entire thread from back in the day:)

My first opinions about it are a few posts down the first one.
 

 

I seem to remember the lag got better after firmware updates but you should not use any filters. 

 

Years later, the use I had for it was superceded by a few devices. But I'm still glad to have it. And the retro controller adapter works on PC and MiSTer, so that still gets active use.

 

That said if you dont care about carts and save states, I would suggest a MiSTer instead. 

Edited by Newsdee
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thanks to you and props to your review and that entire thread didn't read the whole thread as there are 25 pages I'm sure it goes even more in depth than any one review ever could and I'll be visiting it again. I'll be trying to get one (a retro freak) the most glaring flaws to me is lack of bluetooth support (HID only) overheating (with cart inserted) and differences between original hardware and the retro freak these are minor issues to me as I do own the original hardware and I like emulators because I like tech and software also my needs are to preserve my original hardware and to have my games in one place it does seem like it would be a little threatening to those who don't have experience or knowledge of emulators but the amount of customizing is crazy it's like retroarch with built in rom dumping which is perfect for me the best thing is to plug it into my tv I currently use retroarch to play my games which means I'm stuck using my laptop which is okay but I'd prefer my tv. I hope this thread and Newsdee's thread helps the op make a choice it certainly helped me make mine best of luck and thanks

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On 8/12/2019 at 6:31 AM, envytomdead2 said:

Where did you see that? I am seeing retro freaks going for $220 and up?

I think the deal with the retro freaks is to keep an eye on it and wait for a good deal. The premium version which I was considering going for went as low as £100 in the UK on a random September sale last year. I'm watching it everywhere just in case a sale like that happens again.

 

I'm in a similar boat to you in that I decided to go for a 77 and upgraded the firmware and was actually very happy with it, understanding full well its essentially an emulator in a box. I actually quite like the controller and would love the one that a youtuber showed off as a new accessory (was it John Hancock or something?). I had been eyeing up a RF for ages because I wanted to get the Game Gear adapter as I've never found the time, money or interest to fix and mod my broken one and it seemed like the easiest solution with the greatest versatility. I also wanted it for the TG16 support but then I just ended up buying a real one anyway!

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