1.8.2020 7:30 AM

Gaming

The Super Retro Champ fulfills all of my childhood dreams

The modern 16-bit handheld brings balance to the force.

My Arcade has one-upped its Retro Champ with a new handheld portable console that plays both SNES and SEGA Genesis cartridges — fulfilling the childhood dreams of millennial gamers everywhere. In a sea of emulation devices, the Super Retro Champ bravely unites both factions of the 16-bit wars to stand against the guilt-inducing, impersonal experience of ROM piracy.

Blast Processing vs. Mode 7 — The unit is large and chunky, in exactly the way you'd hope a celebration of '90s consoles to be, and comes in both SEGA-inspired black and Nintendo-inspired gray. There's two slots, one for each platform's cartridges, as well as a kickstand, wireless controllers, a headphone jack, a seven-inch screen, and HDMI out (which is quite generous as far as non-Analogue retro hardware goes).

Are You Playing with Power? — The Super Retro Champ is doing software emulation of these systems but pulling the ROMs directly from game cartridges. We should specify that these devices, while fairly sophisticated, are very different from what Analogue or MiSTer community are doing by recreating entire chipsets for pitch-perfect game playback via hardware emulation. For the unfamiliar: Software emulation is cheaper but occasionally you'll find a game that runs a little clunky or crashes the emulator. The device also does not have onboard storage or an SD card slot, so don't expect a jailbreak or custom firmware to drop any time soon. Also, according to Gizmodo, it's only rated for 5 hours of battery life.

Save Your Allowance – The Super Retro Champ will clock in at $110 later this year, which is a pretty good price if you were on the market for a used SEGA Genesis and a used SNES – but a pretty steep price if you know how to run RetroArch or OpenEmu on your laptop. This thing is probably for collectors, but we could see it making a cool birthday gift for the casual retro fan in your life.