The RetroN5 turned many heads when it was first announced. The ability to play 100% of its supported retro console cartridges is a huge achievement, so no wonder Hyperkin needed extra time to iron-out last minute bugs.
Will the RetroN5 use an Emulator?
Now the RetroN5 console is manufactured and ready to hit shelves, how does the final build actually function? Well, many other websites would have you believe that this retro super-console uses an ‘enhanced Android OS’ to emulate every cartridge you slot into it. This of course, isn’t true. Yes, Hyperkin did try this but they soon realised that it wouldn’t only be dependant on an OS that wasn’t their own, it would also prove to be incredibly problematic with other accessories, such as classic retro pads and the Master System Converter.
How does emulation work with the Retron 5? Well, it’s all down to Hardware. Not software. RetroN5 has been rebuilt to play all original cartridges using pure hardware. The only things that are loaded into the consoles RAM are audio visual data. Everything else runs off the cart!
The ‘Emulator’ Puzzle
Remember, the word ’emulation’ can easily be misconceived. For example, software downloaded to your Android device to play a Game Boy Advanced game is ‘software emulation’. However, hardware built from the ground-up, designed to play games of a previously released console, is still technically ’emulation’. You’d be surprised how many people confuse the two.