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June 2017 Retro Gaming Article


June 13, 2017 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Hyperkin's Retron 77 will play your atari 2600 carts on your fancy TV via HDMI

Hyperkin Retron 77
It's not about spectacular graphics. For me, the awesome-factor is the Retron 77's compatibility with HD televisions!
Like many retro gamers, I have a few obscenely heavy CRT televisions at home. Slowly, but surely, they fail and I move on to the next. Sure, I can find discarded ones now and then, but for how long? New technologies have taken over and while it's nifty to sling a TV onto the wall like hanging a painting, they lack the charm of the former CRTs.

CRTs have a "warmth" to them in the way they render images on the screen. Firing electrons from the back to the front gives retro gamers a lot to view as aliens descend, heroes prevail, and flying ostriches litter the screen with airborne jousting. Light-gun compatibility also comes to mind.

I don't have a beautifully adorned man cave like the ones showcased on Instagram. I keep much of my retro gear in one room and that becomes the obvious place to put the gargantuan TVs that best accomodate retro gaming consoles. Old TVs with dials are partial to 4:3 aspect ratios that cause glaring letter-boxing with many movies. Who remembers buying DVDs with "full screen" versions of films? lol

Retron 77 To The Rescue

HyperKin's Retron 77 lets you play your existing collection of Atari 2600 games (on cartridges) on moden TVs via HDMI. High resolution TVs offer clarity beyond those old CRTs and many folks begin to scratch their heads wondering why anyone would want to play Asteroids on a hi-def TV.

The awesomeness of this console is it gives me options. I'm no longer relegated to that one room with the CRT! I can play Missile Command in the living room, Wizard of Wor in the bedroom, and Yar's Revenge in the den. As things stand now, I play certain games in specific rooms because of the consoles set up in each. The Retron 77 lets me play Atari 2600 games anywhere. This may seem dumb, but it changes my world in wondrous ways! :)

I think the ability to play VCS games on modern televisions will appeal to a great many retro gamers and give them the ability to go from Rivier Raid to Tomb Raider with great ease. That may seem inconsequential, but it would change the way I approach gaming, by offering the opportunity to easily mix a larger variety of games in one session.

Hyperkin Retron 77 The front of Hyperkin's Retron77 showing the 2 DB-9 controller ports. This is an early-stage prototype and although they've shown packaging, most bets are on a 2018 release for the Retron 77.
Hyperkin Retron 77 The rear of Hyperkin's Retron77. I've read that Difficulty Switch settings are handled via software.

Add 5200 & 7800 Compatibility

I know I will buy the Retron 77 the second it becomes available. However, it won't be long before I want the same capability for other Atari cartridge-based consoles. Hyperkin is known for packing multiple cart-slots and game engines into a single console, so why limit the Retron 77 to only playing 2600 games? I love my 7800 because I can also effortlessly play 2600 games on it. Imagine a Hyperkin console with a single controller for Atari's first three home consoles!

Dare I suggest Intellivision and Colecovision consoles in this same vein? It was only a matter of time before it was necessary to begin bringing vintage games to new televisions. I adore the AtGames Atari FlashBack Classics for PS4, but the ability to retain more of the retro feeling via original cartridges and controllers adds a brilliant blend of vintage-meets-modern!

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