With the advent of the NES Classic Mini later this month, and TecToy’s Sega Genesis newly announced, it’s not surprising that many eyes are turning to the neo-retro market.
While they may not be terribly exciting for seasoned collectors, the all-in-one plug and play boxes are cropping up across the market. Apparently RetroN’s multi-cartridge reading days are numbered, while cheaper replicas laden with retro goodies are proving their success in the industry.
That being said, we’ve got one more multi-platform collection plug and play coming up, and it’s pretty impressive. The Retro-Bit Generations console features over 100 licensed titles that span arcade, home console, and handheld consoles (you can check out the full list on the official announcement site).
So which one is right for you?
The NES Classic Mini is for the straight up Nintendo born and bred. Featuring every single big name title spawned from the console that started it all, The NES Classic Mini will give us higher quality versions of the games we’ve been emulating for years. The price is fair, and there’s something about having the physical, Nintendo branded, console under your TV that’s worth cashing out for these official game versions.
That being said, those official game versions are all you’re going to get. With no SD card input, there’s no room for playing the titles that fell short of Nintendo’s definition of ‘classic’. And there’s no cartridge reader on this tiny piece of gear (which is strange considering how much Nintendo loves a cartridge). Similarly, most memories of these games surround the people you play them with, and while the console comes with two controller ports, only one official controller is provided. Nevertheless, a high quality plug and play for a good price ($50), easily accessible, and living room friendly, the NES Classic Mini has universal appeal.
TecToy’s Sega Genesis is by no means a cheap imitation. The Brazilian company hold the license to the original console, and haven’t stopped making it since those early days. The product they’ve just announced however, is a complete revamp of the Genesis. Licensing a handful of titles for onboard memory, and reproducing the old console with entirely new parts, TecToy’s reincarnation will bring the Sega / Nintendo rivalry back to life.
Where TecToy shine however is in their implementation of the original cartridge reader, meaning you can run all games on the system, as well as an SD card slot for your own ROMs. All this does come at the expense of no HDMI output and a slightly high price tag. The estimated $124 comes in before you’ve even paid to get the thing out of Brazil. Expected to hit June 2017, though, if you’re out of luck with disappointing clones it might be time to splash out on the <tentatively typed> ‘real’ deal.
The Retro-Bit Generations console is the biggest crowd pleaser however. Those 100+ games we mentioned before aren’t all gold, but the box holds substantial value in the gems it does contain. An SD slot is provided for external saves and two Sega Genesis-type controllers, with HDMI and AV output and an internal game save feature, the Retro-Bit is serving up unexpected competition for Nintendo’s plug and play.
Richer variety in titles from a range of different formats, developers, and genres await on release day (10th November 2016). The $60 price tag makes it a serious contender in terms of its breadth and totally smashes Nintendo in terms of onboard offerings. If you’re wanting a bit of everything, to clearly see everything we could do with pixels back in the day, the Retro-Bit Generations console should be wrapped up under your Christmas tree come December.
I’m just waiting for a PS1 equivalent.