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RetroN 3 Console

The Hyperkin RetroN 3 -- SNES, NES and Genesis games in one console

The Hyperkin RetroN 3 is a "clone console" that is able to play original game cartridges from the Nintendo Entertainment System, Super Nintendo Entertainment System and the Sega Genesis.

The product is not officially licensed by Nintendo or Sega, and exists in something of a legal grey area. There is no history of end users being prosecuted for purchasing these consoles, however, and the RetroN 3 has been available consistently since its release date in 2010. While it may not be entirely technically legal, Sega and Nintendo likely feel that the cost of pursuing legal action is not worthwhile given that the console only plays games made for long-defunct systems.

Compatibility

The RetroN 3 is compatible with many top games, but does not have 100% perfect compatibility with any of the included systems. Any games that use a light gun device will require an older CRT television to function, for example. Certain games that used special chips for the SNES and Genesis also will not work with the console. Most of the games for the supported systems should work, however.

The system also comes with two wireless controllers that have a design similar to the six-button Sega Genesis controller. Original controllers for these systems can be plugged in and will work as well. Some third-party companies are also making replicas of the original system controllers that have the original connectors, and these should work with the RetroN 3 as well.

There is also improved S-Video output, which helps SNES and Genesis games to look even better when hooked up to a modern television or monitor.

Cost

The RetroN 3 generally goes for about $50 to $60 new at the time of this writing. Keep in mind that it does not come with any games, however. The original game cartridges will have to be purchased, and titles that are very popular are also often very expensive.

The wireless controllers that are included do require batteries (which are not included), so there is an additional extra expense if those are the only controllers on hand. The original wireless controllers for the SNES and Sega Genesis may not work out of the box with the RetroN 3 due to differently-sized port spacing.

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