As many of you may still have questions regarding the RetroN 5, here is all of the information that was presented at our announcement at the Midwest Gaming Classic.
The reason why we are moving on from the RetroN 4 to the RetroN 5 is that we found that we could incorporate one more cartridge slot without hindering our current developmental cycle. The fifth slot in mention would be for the Famicom system. We know that there are numerous retro enthusiasts around the world, and we wanted to allow for everyone to play their favorite, retro games.
The RetroN 5 will have 5 cartridge slots allowing you to use original NES, SNES, Genesis, Famicom, and Game Boy Advance cartridges. You will also be able to use Super Famicom, Mega Drive, Game Boy Color and Game Boy cartridges as well. Because we have created a new chipset, it allows us to ensure that region locks and compatibility are no longer an issue, and the RetroN 5 will play both PAL and NTSC cartridges. CIC lockout chips and FX chips are no longer going to be an issue, as we aim to achieve 100% compatibility with all cartridges.
On the front of the console, there is a power button to turn on the console, and adjacent to this button, is a sync button. This button will allow you to sync up to 4 wireless controllers to one console, allowing you to play multiplayer compatible titles without the use of a multitap.
On the back of the console, will be a standard AV output, a USB port to allow for charging of the wireless controller, an AC Adapter to power up the system, and a HDMI output for HDTV connectivity.
Along the sides of the console, are controller ports for the SNES, Genesis, and NES, totalling 6 controller ports, allowing for users to use their original controllers. Users will also be able to use any controller they desire for any system. That means, if you want use a SNES controller to play Genesis games, the RetroN 5 will allow you to do so.
The RetroN 5 will come with a wireless controller that utilizes Bluetooth technology, allowing for a playable distance of a minimum of 15 feet without losing sync from the console. This new controller will also have a Microswitch Directional Pad instead of a traditional directional pad. Along with 6 face buttons, two shoulder buttons, a start and select button, and 4 LED light indicators to display the player number, there is also a Home button that will serve multiple functions; one is to sync the controller to the console, but to also gain access to the Game User Interface (GUI) at any point during gameplay. There are also two Macro buttons that will allow you to program. Every controller will have a rechargeable lithium ion battery than can be charged through any USB port via the micro USB cable.
When you power on the RetroN 5 for the first time, you will notice, that the user will be taken to a digital user interface. We have created a new system menu that will allow for users to select which system they would like to play, as well as access features that we felt were important to gamers.
Most games did not allow for you to freely save your games. The RetroN 5 will allow you to save their games at any point during gameplay, and will feature an autosave feature upon shutdown. You will be able to load your saves at anytime during gameplay.
The RetroN 5 will up convert the video signal to show clearer and cleaner images, with vibrant colors on an HDTV with a resolution output of up to 720p through the use of shaders. You will also be able to select the aspect ratio in our GUI, from the standard 4:3 to the HD ratio of 16:9. Our goal is to fill up as much of the screen as possible.
Overall audio output quality will be improved through the utilization of audio interpolation, a method of making digital sound better than it really is, resulting in a smoother, cleaner audio output. As a sound wave enters an ADC (analog to digital converter), samples are taken at timed intervals. Higher sample rates produce better recordings, but also require the use of more memory. As a result, to conserve space, most developers used sound that was of lower quality. What interpolation does is instead of repeating each low quality sample, it creates new samples between the originals. As a result, it creates a smoother, crisper sound output than the original sound.
Users will be able to program the controller to assign buttons to their preference. In turn, the RetroN 5 will save these custom layouts, so that users will not have to constantly reconfigure the button configuration. This feature will also be available to people wanting to remap their buttons on their original controllers.
The RetroN 5 will allow for manual and passive overclocking, giving the users the ability to speed up or slow down their games as they see fit. This option will be available on our GUI, and users will have the ability to access this at any time during gameplay by utilizing the “Home” button on the controller. You will also be able to utilize this function by programming the Macro buttons on the wireless controller as well.