One of the greatest things on the planet showed up in my mailbox today – the Retro-Bit RetroGen.
What is a RetroGen? Only a portable Sega Genesis. That puts it solidly in the running for “The Greatest Thing Ever” award.
The pitiful photo above is one I tried to take of the RetroBit running Sonic The Hedgehog 3. I took about a dozen photos and they all came out fuzzy and horrible. So I got frustrated, scaled one down to nothing, wrote “suck” on it and then posted the photo here.
Fortunately, the system is a heck of a lot better than the photo. I bought the RetroGen for about $50 (with shipping) from Video Game Central. That’s cheap considering what a great system this is.
I had originally set out to buy a Sega Genesis Nomad but was deterred by the expense of the things (around $100 easy) and the fact those things simply suck down batteries – 6 “AA” batteries last less than two hours in that thing.
The RetroGen is a lot cheaper, it’s licensed by Sega and has a built-in battery that lasts up to six hours and is recharged through a USB port. The 2.8” screen on the unit is more than adequate and I’m even getting used to the control pad (it doesn’t feel a thing like the one on my Sega Genesis). The only two complaints I have about this unit is that the absolutely huge cartridge slot does get in the way (leading to a bit of discomfort) and the tiny speaker in this system is terrible.
Still, those slight negatives don’t detract much from this fine unit. The ability to take classic Genesis games on the road is too great for words and the unit is pretty solid. The emulation has been very good so far. It takes both Genesis and Mega Drive carts and can be switched between NTSC and PAL display formats.
And this unit is built on the Firecore emulation engine. All that means is this – there are still Genesis games being developed on the Firecore platform and this unit can run them with a special cartridge and mini SD card (apparently). I’m not too excited about this as this unit comes with 20 built in games and they all stink.
The exciting thing, of course, is that I can take that beloved Sega Genesis library of mine on the road. And for $50? That’s a steal. Want one? Get it by clicking here.