Inspired, perhaps, by the fruits of Ben Heck's dual-console handheld dreams, Retrobit has retrofit their Retroduo NES / SNES hybrid game console to fit in your hand. The Retroduo Portable, a handheld SNES console shown for the first time at CES 2012, hopes to one-up Hyperkin's SupaBoy by adding support for classic NES games. We dropped by their booth to get a closer look.
Gallery | 18 Photos

Retrobit RetroDuo portable hands-on


The RetroDuo Portable definitely delivers on its cross generational compatibility, but not as natively as you'd expect. Whereas the original RetroDuo home console features a separate cartridge slot for your 8 and 16-bit classics, the portable version only features an SNES compatible pin-connector. NES games are shoehorned in by using an included RetoPort adapter, which lets any compatible console boot its predecessor's cartridges. Although this adapter sets the RetroDuo apart from the competition, there's no reason you couldn't use the very same RetroPort adapter on your SupraBoy, or any other portable SNES.


The little handheld may have put us on the fast track down memory lane, but even our nostalgia powered glee couldn't help us overlook its shortcomings. The RetroDuo plays SNES games well enough, but the adapter-powered NES compatibility was haunted by intermittent scan-lines. The combined length of the adapter and an NES cartridge make the device slightly unwieldy. The RetroGen, a separately sold Sega Genesis adapter for the SNES, didn't have these problems. The build quality isn't fantastic either -- we love lightweight devices, but something this light just feels cheap. The device's face buttons feel a bit loose as well, though we'll admit the attachable controllers feel pretty solid. Finally, the 3.5-inch screen can appear washed out and overblown when viewed head-on -- peering at it from a slight angle looks far sharper, and you can always output the handheld to a proper TV, but this still doesn't excuse the handhelds' weak LCD.


Faults aside, picking up RetroDuo portable is still a heck of a lot easier than building your own hybrid Nintendo funbox, and at $90, it packs enough accessories to make it a reasonable SupraBoy competitor. If you don't like it, break out your soldering iron and whip up something better. Then send it our way.

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Retro-Bit® Launches a Portable Version of the 8-Bit and 16-Bit Retro Duo® Video Game Console!

The Retro Duo® Console now in the palm of your hands! You can catch a sneak preview of exclusive retro gadgets in the Innex, Inc. Booth at CES 2012 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas between January 10th to 13th at South Hall 2, Booth #25905.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

PRLog (Press Release) - Jan 04, 2012 -
Retro-Bit® Launches a Portable Version of the 8-Bit and 16-Bit Retro Duo® Video Game Console!

The Retro Duo® Console Now in the Palm of Your Hands!

City of Industry, Calif., (January, 2012) – Dust off your NES® and SNES® games and put them to use again with Retro-bit®'s latest retro creation, RDP™, Retro Duo® Portable! In 2008, Retro-Bit® released its first video game console, the Retro Duo®, an 8-bit and 16-bit video game console. It was designed to fit the needs of 8-bit and 16-bit console gamers and plays game cartridges for the NES® and SNES®/Super Famicom®. By popular demand, Retro-bit® has now developed a portable version of the Retro Duo®.

Relive the retro days in single player mode or game on the go through the duo controller adapter that allows for multi-player capabilities with original or third party controllers. Sit back, relax and compete in single or two player games with the RDP™propped up using the acrylic dock-up stand. The Retro Duo® Portable, sold at an MSRP $89.99, releases in two colors, a matte black or matte red flavor featuring a bright 3.5 inch LCD screen and ergonomic curves for extended and comfortable gameplay. The unit weighs about 11.6 oz. packed with a generous battery life of 6-8 hours or an extended battery option (sold separately), which can last up to 10.5 hours of playtime!

"We are beyond excited to be selected as the main distributor to introduce this brilliant product to our clients and the public. Fanatics of retro gaming are going to love this console and its capabilities. Retro gaming on the go is in full swing", stated Titi Ngoy, President of Innex, Inc., which holds the exclusive distribution rights to the RDP™.
In addition to the Retro Duo® Portable, you can now play your original NES® or Genesis® cartridges on ANY original or third party SNES® console with the new release of the RetroPort™ and the RetroGen® Adapter by Retro-Bit®, each with a suggested retail price of $19.99.

The RDP™, RetroGen® Adapter, and RetroPort™Adapter will be launching across retail stores in February 2012. You can catch a sneak preview of these exclusive retro gadgets in the Innex, Inc. Booth at CES 2012 – Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas between January 10th to 13th at South Hall 2, Booth #25905.

About Retro-Bit®
Retro-Bit® is the leading developer of third party accessories and hardware. Retro-Bit® is recognized as the creators of the very famous Retro Duo® Console and now the Retro Duo® Portable. Retro-Bit® is distributed exclusively by Innex, Inc. and can be found at various retailers throughout the world.