Retro-Bit Super RetroTRIO Console, NES/SNES/Genesis 3-In-1
If you want to get away from having multiple boxes stacked under your TV or have said goodbye to a faithful old console friend, now may be the time to consider a clone console.
As the patents on old hardware from companies like Nintendo and Sega expire and the chances of original replacement consoles becomes less with each passing year, other companies such as Hyperkin and Retro-Bit have stepped up to the plate and brought products to the market that will let you play your cartridge-based games again or get into the cartridge collection hobby in the first place.
The Super RetroTRIO is an “all-in-one” clone console that can play NES, SNES, and Sega Genesis cartridges all in one system. If you have the Super Gameboy adapter or the clone made by Retro-Bit themselves you can also play Gameboy Advance games, making this a very versatile system.
The RetroTRIO comes in either red and black or silver and black. Lots of people say that the red and black scheme looks cheap and ugly, but I like it. There is of course nothing wrong with the silver and black, but I just think the other color scheme kicks butt.
The build-quality of the RetroTRIO is just good enough. It is definitely plasticky and has molding and finishing imperfections, but at the asking price we can’t really be too picky. Despite the feeling of cheapness you’ll find that those who have owned the RetroTRIO for a year or more report no issues with quality.
Flip down the front panel of the RetroTRIO and you are presented with lots of ports and switches. You can switch between different regions and between systems using two sliding switches.
The RetroTRIO has six controller ports in total, two for each system. You can use cloned or original controllers and luckily the system comes packaged with two SNES-style controllers. People have noted with glee that these clones are almost impossible to tell apart from original SNES controllers in both look and feel. It’s basically just the colors that differ.
One thing that may make you scratch your head straight away is the fact that this console does not have any sort of HD output. You are limited to composite output and SVHS.
Let’s be honest though, composite is fine for 8-bit and 16-bit output. Plenty of people have complained about digital output on consoles like the Retron 5 and the composite output means you can use either a CRT or LCD TV.
So yes, you do sacrifice HD output and upscaling, but in practice this doesn’t really hurt the experience.
In fact, I’ve seen tests comparing the RetroTRIO to the Retron 5 in terms of lag and the digital conversion seems to add enough input lag to make games that rely on lightning reflexes largely unplayable. The RetroTRIO does not have this problem at all.
The Sound Choice
One of the biggest gripes people always have with non-official hardware is that the sound chips end up not quite sounding right. This is especially an issue in a world where people are still having fights on whether the SNES or Genesis has better sound. It’s the SNES by the way, I don’t even know why there’s a debate.
Luckily the sound on all three system’s games sound great on this console and you don’t even have to take my word for it, there are plenty of YouTube videos that will let you hear the results for yourself.
Open Door Policy
The RetroTRIO is probably one of the most compatible retro consoles out there. I’ve read through several forums and watched a lot of YouTube of people with extensive and rare cartridge collections, and only the weirdest and rarest things don’t work. In any case you can find compatibility lists on the web which should help you make sure that the games you want to play will actually work with the RetroTRIO.
I’ve already mentioned that you can play GameBoy games with the right adapter, but one sad thing is that the SEGA power base won’t fit in the RetroTRIO the way that it will with the Retron 5.
I have, however, read about people who have been able to use cartridge format Master System converters with the RetroTRIO without issues. Just don’t buy this console hoping yours will work, since it is not claimed or guaranteed by Retro-Bit.
A Clear Choice
Given its very competitive price, inclusion of two great controllers and wide compatibility, I really think the RetroTRIO is the best choice for anyone looking to get into retro gaming right now. Little money for a lot of fun.