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A long time ago Nintendo launched the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES), bringing life back to the struggling video game market. Years later they would introduce the world to the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES). Not long after that SEGA would enter the fray with the Genesis starting the first console war. Since that time many consoles have come and gone, not only from Nintendo and SEGA, but many other companies too. Once they move on to a new console those companies tend to not only stop production on their old versions, but eventually stop supporting repairs too. Old consoles eventually wear out and die no matter how well we cared for them. Yet there are people who want to play those old video games. Some for a sense of nostalgia and some to see what all the fuss was about. Finding those first three consoles in perfect, or even just good, working condition can be a difficult task. Sometimes it can be expensive too. Retro-bit has an alternative option in the Super Retro Trio 3.

Three systems, one box.

The Super Retro Trio 3 is a NES, SNES, and Genesis all-in-one red and black console. Nope this is not some weird emulator that you download questionably legal game ports on to. This is a real system that uses the real cartridges from those old systems, but it even gets better. Its size is roughly the same as a SNES. It has 3 slots on top for each game system's cartridges. There are also ports on the front that will accept the original controllers from those same past systems. If you still have the lucky controller you always use to play your game, you can use it. If you don't have the classic controller, no worries, the two controllers that come with the Super Retro Trio 3 work just fine. They are styled like the SNES controllers and functioned great for each game system.

Old school games, new school problems.

The Super Retro Trio 3 is a console for old games, nothing more, and nothing less. What this means is it will not convert up the graphics or suddenly make your games HD or HDMI compatible. In fact if your TV does not have the old RCA video and audio connections or a SVHS video connection you won't be hooking this up. If you do have those connectors then you are good to go. I would suggest that you use the SVHS video connection, if you have it, in order to get the best picture available.

Not all games are created equal.

For all the excitement I had for the Super Retro Trio 3 there were some let downs. It can play a huge swath of games from all three systems, but not all. Retro-bit admits that because the internal electronics are not exact duplicates of what Nintendo and SEGA built some games won't work. I borrowed some NES and SNES titles from a friend to really test out the Super Retro Trio 3; I snagged the NES titles Paperboy, The Legend of Zelda and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles; I nabbed the SNES titles Spider-Man X-Men Arcade's Revenge, Yoshi's Island, and Super Mario World. Of those titles three of them didn t work for me. The Legend of Zelda and Spider-Man X-Men Arcade's Revenge would not load at all, while Paperboy booted up but had problems. I have quite a few Genesis titles, all the ones I threw at it played just fine; just a few of those titles include Sonic the Hedgehog, Sonic Spinball, Crue Ball, and Virtual Pinball. Although I'm sure there are probably a few titles that won't work, I didn t run across any in the games I played.

Final Word

So where does that leave us with the Super Retro Trio 3? On one hand it does play old NES, SNES, and Genesis cartridges. On the other hand, it doesn t play all of them. The sticking point here is one of those games it does not play is an all-time classic and fan favorite. That said, Retro-bit did delay the release of the Super Retro Trio 3 because they found some problems with their controllers. Instead of just putting it out on the market as-is to make a quick buck, they put in the effort to fix it. That in of itself tells us that Retro-bit is putting all their know how into the system. They want it to succeed. Even when I contacted them about the problems I had with The Legend of Zelda and Paperboy they admitted up front they knew of the problems with Zelda. Maybe a future iteration of the Super Retro Trio 3 will address this issue. I was told they are always tinkering with their designs. Their previous console only played NES and SNES, so who knows what the future holds.

So how do you rate a system that works well with most games, but not all? I would say the positives outweigh the negatives. The Super Retro Trio 3 will let you play a lot of games instead of putting that stress on your old system. Think of the Super Retro Trio 3 as your everyday driver that lets you keep your old classic car in the garage ready to go for those special moments when you want drive in style. It's not a perfect console, but it does accomplish a lot. For the price? I would say it's worth it.

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