Retro-Bit Super Retro Boy | 3 Nintendo consoles in one first impression

Following the crazy demand for Nintendo’s retro gaming emulator, the NES Classic Edition, one would expect the retro console market to explode. There is already a wide range of unofficial emulator boxes – they predate the NES Classic.

The Super Retro Boy, Retro-bit’s upcoming third-party retro console, takes a more interesting approach. Unlike the Classic, the Retro Boy can read Game Boy, Game Boy Color and Game Advance cartridges. These consoles aren’t necessarily hard to find, but since almost all of them have some wear and tear, some gamers – especially those who weren’t playing games when these platforms were new – may prefer to buy something completely new. .

Like the good old times ?

The size and shape of the Super Retro Boy mimics the Game Boy Color. It’s small enough to put in your pocket, but large enough that the screen, buttons, and D-Pad are all full size and feel properly spaced out. For many players who had these consoles, you can pick them up and you will feel comfortable.

Unlike any Game Boy we’ve ever seen, the Super Retro Boy has four face buttons. The classic “A” and “B” buttons, plus “L” and “R” to mimic the shoulder buttons on the GBA. Given the tall rectangular format, putting the shoulder buttons where they are seems odd. Retro-Bit said the version we tested at CES is a prototype, and the company may move the shoulder buttons to the sides in the final version, which is expected to hit stores in August.

The Super Retro Boy also has some modern tricks up its sleeve. Well, just one trick – a rechargeable battery that has a 10-hour battery life and supports micro-USB. The console will also come with a 10-in-1 multi-game cartridge, in case you start a collection from scratch. We don’t know which games will be there, but you can expect them to be relatively obscure.

We played a minute or two of F-Zero: maximum speed on the Game Boy Advance and scroll through the menus in a Yu Gi Oh collectible card game. The screen looks sharp – Retro-Bit calls it an “HD” screen, but hasn’t released detailed info on the console’s specs.

He looks better than he plays, though. Although responsive, the buttons and D-Pad felt a bit spongy. The D-Pad in particular felt like it could get stuck after a few months of heavy use. Otherwise, the build quality is solid. I wouldn’t worry about the case cracking or any of the other issues you might have to watch out for in an old-school system.

There’s nothing as good as the original

Despite modern conveniences, the Super Retro Boy cannot replace any of the original consoles, as long as you find one in good condition. These consoles, especially the Game Boy Advance SP, are all very well built and, more importantly, allow you to play their games the way they were meant to be played.

That said, getting access to three new (old) consoles for $80 is a pretty good deal, and no one wants to carry around three devices when they can only keep one. All things considered, it seems like a decent way to get the most out of games that would otherwise sit in a drawer somewhere.


  • Play Game Boy, Game Boy Color and Game Boy Advance games
  • “HD” screen looks sharp
  • Great battery life


  • Squishy d-pad
  • Shoulder button placement may not work well in some games

Editors’ Recommendations

Timothy C. Mayo