Shut Up and Take My Money: Retro Duo Portable System

The money in our bank account is limited, so how unfair is it that there are endless gadgets, collectibles and toys out there that demand to be purchased? Let us help you sift through the crap, so you don’t can save that hard-earned cash for the things that deserve it. In other words, we give you the power to go to the counter and say, “Shut Up and Take My Money!”


Item: Retro Duo Portable NES/SNES/SEGA Genesis system.

What it is: Eighties babies can finally find a use for all those Nintendo and SEGA cartridges collecting dust in some random pocket of the basement that HDMI ports and Blu-Ray disc games have rendered obsolete. You know what they say; if you can’t come to the party, bring the party to you. You can do just that with this portable gaming system designed by RetroBit. With the included adapters, you can alter your Retro Duo system to play almost any old NES/SNES or Genesis game that you may have lying around. As opposed to current-gen games that net anywhere from $20-60, you can find a lot of these 16-bit classics for less than five bucks at the right place (locally-owned used game stores like Game Force in Aurora, Colorado, Amazon, eBay). There’s a definite cost benefit to buying the Retro Duo pro, and if you still consider Street Fighter II and Mega-Man X to be in your top games list, then there’s no reason not to invest in this system. Emulators have been around for years, but there’s just something weird about playing a retro game on a full keyboard (although you can buy Nintendo/SEGA-like controller USB adapters). Nothing that can replace the initial three-four button systems that SEGA and Nintendo released these games on. Retro Duo offers a controller with a built-in 3.5″ screen (comparable with most smartphones on the market now). 

How much it costs: $80 brand new (Amazon). Released in January of 2012, the Retro Duo system is still widely available in nostalgic gaming stores and online alike, so there’s no rush to buy one if you’re interested. Fortunately, if you’re not worried about the portable aspect of it, you can always opt for the more affordable Hyperkin Retron 3, a gaming system that connects via your television’s composite cables so you can watch all 16 bits of NBA Jam on the big-screen. The Hyperkin Retron 3 retails for less than $50.

If it’s worth it or not: With all the emulators out for 16-bit games being computer-based, this could be a great pick-up for somebody who is on the go. However, for just double the price, you could get a brand-new PS Vita, equipped with way more features and new games that will blow the socks off you. Personally, I do just fine with mindless games like Clumsy Ninja and Robot Unicorn Attacks II (don’t even bother with the first installment). Really though, if you would prefer retro games over modern ones, this would be a great investment for you. This could be a smart purchase for your kids, as well. 16-bit game greats like Super Mario Kart or Shaq Fu (hate all you want; Shaq had moves) can be played on the go so you don’t have to miss that episode of Community because your four year-old can’t get enough Flower in their life. Keep in mind, too, that this system is not compatible with EVERY retro game out there. You can find a list of games that won’t bring back the memories on the Retro Duo Wikipedia page.

photo courtesy of
photo courtesy of

The bottom line: Pretty much, this purchase should be reserved for 80’s babies and hipsters – those who would rather play Sonic the Hedgehog than Infinity Blade. There’s really no way for adults to get away with playing this at work, it could be a great time-kill for that road trip or family reunion you have coming up.

Anything you feel this article is missing? Are you wondering whether or not a certain product is worth grabbing? Let us know!

Written by Sherif Elkhatib

Published by

Sherif Elkhatib

I like Batman.

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