First announced as an April Fool’s Day prank product back in 2017, at CES 2020 Hyperkin revealed that it was actually turning the Game Boy cart playing RetroN Jr. into a real console. Over a year later, the company has renamed the device—now called the RetroN Sq (because of its boxy square shape)—and confirmed that it will finally be available starting on March 25 for $75.
Hyperkin has made a handful of other changes with the RetroN Sq based on the prototype we saw last year. The headphone jack and volume wheel on the front appear to be gone, and while the company was debating including a matching wireless controller, it has opted for a wired gamepad instead. But since the controller appears to use a standard SNES gamepad connector, you should be able to swap out the bundled gamepad with an alternative or even upgrade the RetroN Sq with 8BitDo’s Retro Receiver and use a wireless controller which is far more convenient.
With the bundled firmware included on an easily upgradeable microSD memory card, the RetroN Sq can natively play Game Boy and Game Boy Color games using the original cartridges. But at launch, support for Game Boy Advance games is listed as a “beta feature” meaning there may be issues and some GBA games might not work at all. Hyperkin originally planned to include old-school composite video hook-ups on the back for a true retro gaming experience, but it’s opted for HDMI only, with games being upscaled to 720P while a switch allows the aspect ratio to be switched between 4:3 and 16:9.
The RetroN Sq is available for pre-order now on the HyperkinLab website and is available in the Black Gold finish shown off at CES 2020 and a new Hyper Beach option that looks straight out of the ‘90s.