The Super Retro Champ from MyArcade will allow you to play both Super Nintendo and Sega Genesis games on the go when it releases later this year. While there are plenty of portable emulation devices that have less awkward form-factors, if you’re a retro purist, you won’t find many products as versatile as this.
You can tell the Super Retro Champ takes its design cues from the Super Famicom from the curved off-white rear to the rainbow A, B, X, and Y buttons. Since it takes carts, it has to be a big boy, though it uses the space well by including a 7-inch LCD screen. Of course, with a display that large, you can’t expect much playtime between charges. Fortunately, the four-hour battery life isn’t too restrictive.
The Super Retro Champ also doubles as a console. If you plug it up to an AC adapter, you can use the HDMI out on the rear to output the picture on a TV or monitor. Then all you have to do is pick up one of the two wireless controllers included with the system, and you’ve got a poor man’s Switch.
There are some questions left unanswered about the Super Retro Champ that I’m dying to know. We’re not sure what resolution the built-in screen will be, or what resolution the handheld will output via HDMI. There’s also the question of whether there will be any input lag or other pitfalls these cheaper SNES and Genesis clones come with.
The design of the Super Retro Champ itself seems to pose some issues as well. The device and the included controllers seem to have been created predominantly with the SNES in mind. The arrangement of the controls might be offputting to Genesis fans, and titles using the Genesis six-button controller will likely be awkward to play.
However, we won’t know for sure just how all this works out until the Super Retro Champ releases later this year for $110.