Hyperkin has once again released a product destined to be a giant turd and a waste of our time and money: The Retron Jr. This time, they’re not even hiding their disdain for us, as the emulation console is flying a middle finger right at us on its side.
Let’s step back for a moment and go over exactly why I have such hatred for Hyperkin these days: The general tech media and shameless YouTube shillers.
(This post is written by Bob and the opinions posted here may or may not reflect the views of the other writers. Please direct all hated and harassment to him and not other members of the team.)
Most tech sources that cover Hypershit treat their products as clickbait that play on people’s nostalgia; Readers/viewers see “Game Boy” in big letters and click to see why something they loved as a kid is now in the headlines. Then they see a “respectable” source talk about a product that lets them dig out all their old games that are sitting in a shoebox somewhere and play them on their big new 4KTV!
Here’s the problem with that: None of these places warn people that these are “cheap toys” and not something you’d want to put hours of your gaming life into. As a result, most people buy them, give them a try and think: “Oh, this isn’t as fun as I remember” and never touch retro gaming again. Now, granted, that’s how nostalgia works anyway and even if it was a 100% cycle accurate FPGA machine, that’s how most people will end up treating it…but what about people who genuinely want to experience games from that era? It’s heartbreaking to think we might lose them forever from the retro-scene, simply because they thought a Hypershit experience is what these games are actually like!
Look, I enjoy lots of stuff that isn’t the “best” experience and I’ve tried plenty of stuff that might even be complete bullshit. It doesn’t make it any less fun for me in the moment and I expect people who are just looking for a cheap blast of nostalgia love Hyperkin’s products for the same reasons: They don’t care about 2 – 7 frames of lag, inaccurate audio and progressive video being treated as interlaced (although that’s sure to give people a headache) – They’re just looking to spend fifteen minutes with their old favorite games, as cheaply as possible, then put everything back in the shoebox.
And that’s fine.
While I truly wish Hyperkin took the time to fix some of the more outrageous issues with their HDMI-based stuff (their composite video stuff wasn’t good, but certainly not ‘experience-ruining’), the bottom line is there will always be a market for cheap ‘knockoff-quality’ items. I just wish tech bloggers and YouTube shillers would add one or two sentences to each clickbait, nostalgia-preying post that gives people an honest idea of what to expect.
I do realize that in today’s “clicks and followers are the only thing that matters” tech world, that asking for honesty and transparency is equally as outrageous as asking people to have a level-headed discussion on social media, but one can dream.
…and if you want to know more about the Hypershit Retron Jr, please go elsewhere. RetroRGB doesn’t prey on nostalgia: We cover these topics because they are things will still enjoy today, not reminisce about from our past. We think most of our readers feel the same way too.