Today seems to be a day for console launches. With the Nintendo Switch now out as the first major next generation console, Cyber Gadget went back to the past and created the Retro Freak. This new console is designed to play the cartridges of a range of older generation machines, ranging from the Famicom up to the Game Boy Advance.
Distributed through an exclusive arrangement with FunstockRetro.co.uk, the Retro Freak is available in a Standard and Premium Edition in the United Kingdom and Europe. Both versions ship with the console/cartridge adapter and an NES controller. The console is compatible with modern gamepads such as the DualShock 3 and DualShock 4. The Premium version also ships with the controller adapter that supports TurboGrafx, Famicom, Super Famicom, and Sega Genesis Controllers.
Besides being able to play games from a dozen old-school consoles, the Retro Freak includes a number of modern technology features that enable the retro gaming experience. HDMI output and HD up-scaling produce crisp high-definition images on modern televisions, avoiding the graphical pitfalls and incompatibilities of older cartridges designed for a different standard.
More interesting than the visual clean-up is the use of SD cards, emulator software, and upgradeable firmware. The Retro Freak allows gamers to rip ROMs from the cartridges onto either the system memory or an SD card and play them without the need for the original cartridge. It also allows gamers to insert an SD card with backups of their ROMs and to play them via the emulator software.
As cartridges age, their internal batteries begin to deteriorate, eventually leaving them unable to save data or even be played. To counteract this, the Retro Freak allows gamers to save game data on the console even if the cartridge has exhausted its back-up battery. If a cartridge still has old saved data, the Retro Freak can import it, or export save data made on the console into the cartridge. In addition, the data saved on the system can be backed up onto microSD and from there onto a computer. The company claims this feature is unavailable on any other system. Save Just save it as usual and your data will be saved on the system itself.
The technology fusion also enables other features. The Retro Freak includes the ability to create save states for informal saving at any point. Gamers can take and view screenshots, change the system language between English, Japanese, and traditional Chinese, overclock the game, change the system region, and even alter certain details for specific types of gartridges, such as changing the hardware type and color palette for Game Boy games or enabling microphone input for the Famicom. Use of microSD cards also enables patches for the PC Emulator and compatibility with homebrew games.
In a statement, Andy Pearson, General Manager of Funstock.co.uk, said, “Unlike many retro consoles that restrict how many games you can play, the Retro Freak gives you complete freedom to enjoy all the games you’ve amassed. And it even allows you to carry on from where you last left off!”
The Retro Freak is priced at £169.99. The full list of compatible cartridges is as follows:
- Nintendo Entertainment System (NTSC/PAL)
- Famicom (Japanese version NES)
- Super Famicom (Japanese version SNES)
- Super Nintendo Entertainment System (NTSC/PAL)
- Game Boy
- Game Boy Color
- Game Boy Advance
- Mega Drive (NTSC/PAL) *
- Genesis (US version Mega Drive) *
- PC Engine (Japanese version TurboGrafx-16)
- PC Engine SuperGrafix
- * Sega Master System is also available while using Power Base Converter.