CES 2017 was very receptive to the Super Retro Boy, but some are berating the front-facing shoulder buttons
The Super Retro Boy's compatibility with GameBoy, GameBoy Color, and GameBoy Advance trumps the placement of GBA shoulder buttons.
Retro-Bit showed off their handheld console at CES 2017 and most were delighted by it's GameBoy look and feel. Furthermore, it plays game carts from three Nintendo portables. That in itself excites me greatly for this portable console and it's August launch window. It sounds like it will be around the $80 price point and will be powered by a rechargeable battery.
The Super Retro Boy has a backlit display and will come with a 10-in-1 game cartridge. The company says you can play for 10 hours on a single charge.
I love it's reminiscent look and compatibility with later Nintendo games. I loved the GameBoy Advance and bought one on launch day in 2001 - therefore it was the original flat design. I had skipped the GBC, so the color screen was of particular interest back in those days. Additionally, it had shoulder buttons which would expand game control. All these things made the GBA my favorite Nintendo handheld until the 2DS came out.
My love for the GBA was so strong, that I bought a DS lite - at the tale end of it's cycle - because it still retained GBA compatibility via an additional cart slot.
In reading some online comments, it seemed a larger than expected number of people don't like the button layout with regards to the shoulder button placement - not on the shoulder. The original GameBoy had an A & B button, but you'll see 4 buttons on the Super Retro Boy. the two additions are L & R, which are the GBA shoulder buttons. Placed on the face in a 4-button cluster may not be ideal, but folks seem displeased.
A Word Of Caution
While internet users are fairly reactionary toward anything they don't like, there are 2 things worth noting. The Super Retro Boy shown at CES was a prototype - the "shoulder" buttons could be moved to the sides by the time it launches. The other facet is the Generations console that launched late last year. It was an interesting mixture of built-in arcade and console games similar to the NESClassic Edition. However, it was not well received and the final product seemed rushed.
I'm hoping the Super Retro Boy will be a solid robust console. Hearing of the issues with Generations that should have been caught in early stage QA leaves me skeptical. Ordinarily, I'd pre-order the Super Retro Boy in an instant, but I'm going to have to wait and see how it fares in the hands of the savage internet who won't hold back about every detail they hate.
Of course I'm hoping it is adored and well breathe new life into a series of handhelds largely ignored by such emulation systems.