How to make retro games look good on HDTV

Vintage CRT televisions are commonly known to be the best way to play your old video games. Retro games look better due to the lower resolution that these games are displayed on televisions that offer the correct aspect ratio and resolution. What would you do if you couldn’t find an old CRT or didn’t have the space for one?

Have you ever tried hooking up your Super Nintendo or Sega Genesis to your shiny new 4k tv and get a terrible looking stretched out input? Does your new TV even have the common composite (otherwise known as that yellow cable) or S-Video outputs?

In this guide, we’ll cover a couple of different options that you can choose from to suit your needs. We’ll be focusing more on playing the games on original hardware. Skipping things like PC emulation, mini consoles like the SNES Classic Edition. We’ll also cover the MiSTer FPGA or other FPGA type devices like the Analogue Mega SG. Those are all great options if you want a new way to play your old games on a modern display, which is ultimately the end goal. The objective here is to be able to take a piece of hardware from 1991 and bring it to 2023, giving you that indie game look with razor sharp pixels on a modern HDTV!


Analogue Super Nt

There are a handful of out of the box solutions that you can buy, take out of the box, plug in your HDMI cable and you’re up and running with your old cartridges. These can vary between two different options:

Hardware Based Options

Companies like Analogue are developing clone consoles that have FPGA’s built into them, simulating the official hardware that you’re used to playing on. They offer the ease of use as you would expect with a clone console with extreme accuracy and additional features such as upscaling, save states, backups any many others.

The downside of hardware based options are the price as well as limited production of these consoles. These consoles can often fetch top dollar on the resale market often leaving you with buying it if a new release is made available or looking at other options.

Software Based Options

There are many clone consoles that come from other third party companies that allow you to take a game cartridge, dump the rom onto the console and emulate it using software emulation built into the console.

Software emulation consoles aren’t as accurate as an FPGA type solution. Often leaving you with the sound feeling off or the colors not matching the original hardware. They do benefit from being easier to come by and have a lower price tag. Some software manufacturers even let you play consoles from multiple consoles from NES, Sega Genesis or Super Nintendo in a single unit.

Here’s a quick list of different options:


Analogue Pocket – Handheld Pocket Games! GameBoy, GameBoy Advance, GameBoy Color, Atari Lynx, Neo-Geo Pocket Color

Analogue Duo – PC Engine, TurboGrafx-16, SuperGrafx, PC Engine CD-Rom, TurboGrafx CD

Analogue Mega SG -Sega Genesis-Mega Drive-Master System

Analogue Super NT -Super Nintendo, Super Famicom

Analogue NT Mini -Nintendo (NES), Famicom Disc System


RetroN 5: HD Sega Genesis, SNES, Game Boy Advance, NES, Game Boy Color, Game Boy

RetroN Sq: HD Game Boy, Game Boy Color, Game Boy Advance

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *