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Retron 5 hacked to launch RetroArch and play ROMS off your SD card



It appears that a someone going by the screenname of RetroN Labo on Youtube has successfully hacked the Retron 5 console to run the full version of  Retroarch.  In the video shown, various emulators that are not part of the original firmware are playable including the PC Engine, Playstation One, Nintendo DS, and Wonderswan.  As the stock firmware from the Retron 5 is programmed to load games from an original cartridge when it is inserted, this hack appears to run ROM and ISO files, most likely from the SD card slot built into the back of the console.




In most of instances shown in the video, emulation appeared to run smooth, and the games previewed looked playable. Currently, Hyperkin (Retron 5 manufacturer) is in hot water with Retroarch's creators due to using their emulator cores without permission.  After being discovered, Hyperkin has shared their code, and claims that they have removed any infringing code from their console.  The Retroarch group feels differently.  Details on the alleged infringement can be found here, while my Retron 5 review can be found here.

There is a way to run unauthorized content (roms) via the IPS patching method discussed in this thread.  It's fairly involved, and has some pitfalls of its own.  For those unfamiliar with this console, the Retron 5 runs on a modified version of the Android operating system. 

How do you feel about the Retron 5 being hacked? Would the versatility make it more desirable, or should Hyperkin attempt to lock it down further in an attempt to keep users playing original cartridges?  Leave your comments below!

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Comments

  1. Hyperkin did a great job to bring a great console like Retron 5 so of course they need to make every effort to lock it down further to keep users playing original cartridges

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Considering they ripped off code to begin with Hyperkin should just leave it be.

      Delete
    2. Well for one thing, Hyperkin ripped a lot of the cores they use from RetroArch. There's actually ongoing litigation about it right now.

      Also, the Retron 5 actually runs Android underneath it all. The entire principle of Android is to be open, fully hackable, fully customizable.

      So they'd have to essentially scrap the whole console and make a new one complete with a proprietary emulation and operating system.

      Delete
    3. As did I, quite frankly im surprised loading ROMS from SD card is as fiddly as it is. I thought by this time a "Load ROM" menu item would have appeared.

      Delete
    4. The IPS patch to ROM hack is so simple. There are 2 minor issues with this method. If you load ROM (modded to an IPS file) the cheats won't work properly. It will only load cheats for the game cart inserted. That's to be expected. You will also need to keep track of what save slot you used for each ROM & use the same cart to re-access that save slot.

      Delete
  2. That's crazy, they absolutely shouldn't change anything at let it be hacked by users to play roms.
    Illegal or not no one is losing money by allowing the playing roms.
    It allows users to enjoy old games from their childhood in a very easy way w/o spending a fortune acquiring original cartridges.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "no one is losing money by allowing the playing roms"..."w/o spending a fortune acquiring original cartridges." -Anonymous

      Delete
    2. the reseller's market is a complete rip off. play roms

      Delete
    3. also, i bought the retron 5 knowing it would be hacked. i planned for it, and fully plan to use "unintended" software.

      Delete
  3. Better off playing ROMS on it. Eventually, your cartidges will end up breaking the pins anyway (if they aren't broken already). Oh, playing ROMS is wrong and illegal, you say? LOL, who cares.

    ReplyDelete
  4. ROMS. Old games preserved forever in digital form. Let the Retron 5 load ROM files directly and stop this nonsense of Mandatory physical carts. Carts Optional.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Woke up dreaming I found a console that played both PS1 games and NES games in one system. Google brought MD here. Do you all can guess my views lol

    ReplyDelete

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