Thursday, 29 May 2014
When Retrogaming meets modern technology
The retro-bit Super Retro Trio arrived in the post this morning. Sick of the delays with the RetroN5, I cancelled my preorder at the weekend after the word got out that the console would not be reaching the UK before September and found this alternative in stock at funstock.co.uk at the very tempting price of £69.99 a full £50 cheaper than its competitor.
The cheaper price tag, however does mean less in the way of features. No save states or built-in cheat systems, no HDMI output. I wasn't interested in the former, and I can live with AV/S-video through my SCART connector. So what do you get for your money? Here's what the official blurb says:
Compatible with original and third party controllers
Includes 2 controllers
AV / S-Video connectors
PAL / NTSC / PF / NJ Region Switch
What you get is quite a nice looking console, it feels a bit light and cheap but hey – it was cheap! I have the silver and black model, there is also a red and black version. The top of the unit sports 3 cartridge slots from the back coming forward – NES, SNES and Megadrive/Genesis, in front of these are a reset switch and a power/slot selection switch.
On the front a push releases the cover for the controller ports, here you can plug in original controllers 2xNES, 2xSNES and 2xMegadrive/Genesis. The 2 included controllers plug into the 9 pin Megadrive ports but are shaped like SNES controllers just to keep you on your toes! ;)
The bundled controllers are actually very decent and for that reason will probably see a fair amount of use, the buttons and d-pad give a very similar feel to those on my original controllers. Also behind this front cover is a selector switch for the controllers in use and a region switch for Megadrive/Genesis games for those with region protection. As mentioned there is a cover/door so you can unplug your controllers and close it up to keep things looking all neat and tidy when not in use.
Finally round back there are the DC in socket, S-video and A/V ports. The provided power adaptor has a US plug but does not require a step down converter and an UK adapter was provided for me.
My TV had some issues with the video signal through the A/V (this is not exclusive to the SR3 – I've had this issue in the past) so I use a cheap A/V+S-Video to SCART adapter and it works fine for me.
Now, the big question – compatibility! I don't have a huge pile of carts to test especially on the Nintendo side of things so here's what I have tried all work unless otherwise specified.
M6 cart (Sega Soccer, Columns, Super Monaco GP, Revenge of Shinobi, Sonic, Streets of Rage) so far played Sonic, Revenge of Shinobi and Super Monaco GP
World Class Leaderboard
T2 The Arcade Game
Streetfighter 2 Special Champion Edition
Track and Field 2 (PAL version)
PGA Tour Golf (PAL)
That's all I've tested on it so far I'm afraid, I need to acquire some more NES and SNES games to try out but it seems to be fine with every Megadrive game I've thrown at it. There is also a Super Retro Advance Adapter (sold seperately) that allows you to play GBA games as well.
In conclusion I'd say it's really good value for what you pay, it looks nice and doesn't look out of place under the TV, the controllers are decent, it might not have all those fancy features or HDMI but it is available now and cheap enough to be worth a shot.
You can buy your own RetroTrio console here at Funstock.co.uk
Thank you too Jamie Gunn (@highlandboarder) for his time and review!