Multi system console clones have been around for quite some time now, but as the years pass by these clone systems seem to get better and better. While there is certainly a wide range of these systems that don’t delivery an accurate re-creation of the original hardware, Retro-Bit can certainly emerge as the People’s Champion of fantastic hardware with the Super Retro Trio.
The SR3 in its red and black color scheme.
Physically, the SR3 has one of the most solid builds and durability I’ve seen in years from clone consoles. This triple threat of retro gaming goodness feels like it can take some abuse which is more then I can say for previous clones I’ve had in the past 8 years. The SR3 can play NES, Super Nintendo, Super Famicom and Genesis games from one of its 3 specified cartridge slots. Cartridges go into the system without any issue and come out just easily. The dreaded cartridge death grip found in other system is simply not a problem here, which speaks to Retro-Bit’s quality and pride of design. Leaving multiple carts in the system at the same time is also not an issue with the SR3. The video output of the console contains standard composite and s-video out along with typical 2 plug RCA audio jacks for sound. Popping open the front door of the console provides the user access to multiple controller ports; two controller ports each for the Genesis, SNES and NES. Using different controllers for a different system (SNES game pads for Genesis games for example.) is just a matter of flipping a switch over to what controller type you have plugged in.
Multiple carts in the system at once are not an issue here.
Plenty of Controllers ports, along with S-Video and Composite out Video.
In my many years of trying console clones, there is usually one constant with them: The included controllers are awful. Some come with a controller that uses plastic that is about as durable as a Dollar Store GI Joe action figure knock off. Others come with poor line of sight wireless controllers or one that feels like your holding an oversized sandwich in your hands. That is not the case with the Super Retro Trio controller! The SR3 comes with one of the most solid controllers I’ve seen in quite some time. Based upon the original SNES design, the plastic is durable and all the buttons are on par with the original. The interesting thing about this controller is that it doesn’t use SNES style plugs, but rather Genesis plugs. You can actually plug one of these controllers into an original Genesis and use them as well.
The included controllers are absolutely solid.
Trying a variety of games on the SR3, I compared the video quality from the original systems to that of the Super Retro, see below for the results!
Screenshots from original NES on left. Screenshots from SR3 on right.
The SR3 actually produces a brighter picture then the original NES does, resulting in more vibrant colors. This is especially handy if you will be using the SR3 on a HDTV, as in my experience the picture is often very dark when using an original system on a modern TV. Composite output on both systems was used to capture the above screenshots.
Contra: Hard Corps:
Screenshots from original Genesis on left. Screenshots from SR3 on right.
I actually preferred the Genesis video output on this particular test. Reviewing the screen captures though, you can see that the color on the Genesis seems to push out more of a bleeding red picture quality, while the SR3 seems to output a more true balanced color scheme. I preferred the Genesis output because it was easier to see due to the brightness, but that comes at the cost of some visual quality. Composite output on both systems was used to capture the above screenshots.
Mega Man X2
Screenshot from original SNES on left. Screenshot from SR3 on right.
I’ve always held the Super Nintendo in high regard in terms of video output and in this particular test, the SNES reigned supreme. The output from the SR3 for the SNES is a little dark and gives off a slightly fuzzy look when compared to the original SNES. Its easily bearable, but the difference in quality is easy to spot. S-Video output on both systems was used to capture the above screenshots.
The End Result:
A fantastic package for a fantastic price.
Retro-Bit has produced one of the best clone system ever designed. For around 70 bucks, you get a solid multi console capable system, fantastic controllers, great compatibility (Flash carts work!) and very decent video output. If you’re looking for something to save you some space on your shelf or you’re new to the Retro Gaming scene and don’t want to drop the cash on the original consoles, this is the way to go.