Hyperkin’s hotly anticipated all-in-one retro gaming console, the RetroN 5, will not hit store shelves until Q1 2014 at the earliest. According to a press release that landed in my inbox the day before Thanksgiving, “Hyperkin has delayed the RetroN 5 release due to faulty pins discovered in some packaged units.”
The press release goes on to quote Hyperkin’s Project Manager, Lawrence Lee, who says, “We are looking forward to its release, estimated to be within the first quarter of 2014, as soon as the issue has been resolved.” It’s worth noting that Lee says the release is now estimated to be in Q1 2014, not guaranteed. The whole “faulty pin” thing is vague enough that readers might rightly demand more information, especially since repeated release date blunders by Hyperkin have driven Facebook commenters to the point frothing insanity. Hyperkin has not responded to a request for additional comment on the press release as of this writing. If they do, I’ll be sure to update this post.
A few months ago, I had the pleasure of interviewing David Yu, the former Director of Marketing at Hyperkin. (As I learned just today, David and Hyperkin parted ways on November 8.) At that time, the RetroN 5 was set for a December 10 release. Even as late as November 26, the console’s Newegg preorders and at least some Amazon preorders were still showing that date. Hyperkin’s announcement, a mere two weeks before consumers were expecting their consoles, is sure to strike a sour note with potential customers.
While reactionaries will be quick to apply the dreaded vaporware label, let’s all take a moment and breathe. Remember, this is a console that has been demonstrated many, many times in public. At this stage all indications point to the console hitting the market eventually. In the meantime, Hyperkin will just have to deal with to some very upset and wildly entitled gamers: