In brief: Whether we’ll ever see an official N64 Classic Edition is open to debate, but we are getting what could be the next best thing: a clone of the beloved machine.
Developed by LA-based company Hyperkin, which makes game peripherals and clone consoles, the prototype ‘Retron Ult Premium Retro Gaming Console for N64’ uses emulation to bring classic games back to life.
Hyperkin project manager Andrew Steel unveiled the clone in a LinkedIn post, along with a video of it running Mario Kart 64, Super Mario 64, Super Smash Bros., and GoldenEye.
The Ultra Retron plays original N64 cartridges, though it’s unclear how many of the games will be supported. The video show it being used with Hyperkin’s own take on the N64 controller, which is very similar to Nintendo’s original three-pronged device. It comes with a three-foot HDMI cable and a six-foot USB Type-C cable, plays titles at 720p, and supports both 16:9 and 4:3 aspect ratios.
N64today reports that the Ultra Retron likely uses the Mupen64 emulator. N64 emulation is far from perfect—you can see a glitch in the TV above the tunnel in Mario Kart 64—but this is a prototype so bugs could be ironed out before the final release.
No word on a potential launch date, but the Ultra Retron will be making an appearance at next week’s E3 conference in Los Angeles, so we’ll doubtlessly learn more then.