Who needs Kinect when you can re-experience blast processing? Who needs intense Black Ops action when side-scrolling through a pixelated Mushroom Kingdom is just as enjoyable? That’s almost the kind of impression I got when I dropped by the Hyperkin booth at CES 2011 in Las Vegas.

Don’t get me wrong. The company offers a wide range of accessories for current consoles too. They’ve got new silicon sleeves for the PlayStation Move controller, for example, as well as board raisers and rechargeable battery packs for the Wii Balance Board. That said, it’s the retro gaming stuff that caught my eye.

Hyperkin Retron 3 for Three Times the Fun

We live in a blessed time. Yes, you could whip out a Power A Pro Pack Mini Remote and download the original Super Mario Bros. via the Wii Virtual Console, but is it really the same thing? There is certainly something to be said about nostalgia.

If you happen to have a lot of old cartridges around, then you just might want to take a look at the Hyperkin Retron 3. This video game console will play your original NES, SNES, and Sega Genesis cartridges. Yes, cartridges. We’re not talking about some XBLA or PSN download.

What this means is that you don’t have to bring out a console that has seen over two decades of abuse. You can get a new console, but play the same classic games… from three different systems. Naturally, they’ve put in six controller ports, two for each console, allowing you to use original NES, SNES, and Genesis game pads. If you prefer, two generic wireless controllers are also included.

Does this mean that you’ll have to go through the ancient practice of blowing into the end of an old NES cartridge? Maybe. But it means that you have another shot (bad pun intended) at shooting that damn dog in Duck Hunt. Quit laughing at me!

The Retron 3 is available in your choice of Vector Red or Charcoal Gray and it’ll connect to your TV via S-video or composite AV cables. It lists for $69.99.

What If I go Retro on PC?

Not that we’d condone the downloading of pirated ROMs, of course, but you may feel inclined to try some classic games on your computer instead. Hyperkin has you covered too. I didn’t have a chance to hold one in my hands, but the NES USB controller looks pretty darn faithful.

They also have USB controllers that mimic the Super Nintendo (SNES), plus an NES pad in a “dogbone” configuration. It’s just not the same running and gunning through the original Contra on a keyboard, right? These controllers look like they could do the trick.

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