A lot of people would consider the golden age of gaming between 1970-1990. During this time there were many games introduced both in the arcades and on home consoles There are many ways to play these classic games but what if you wanted to play them on your television like you did when you were young? The folks over at Retrorays have been getting into classic gaming and offering these delights to both old and new gamers. Recently I had a chance to catch up with the owner of the company for an interview and he had this to say:
TR: Please introduce yourself.
JL: My name is Jiaxiang Lv, the last name is pronounced as Lyu. Being born in the mid 80s, like most of the kids of my generation, my childhood was fairly fun and simple. Off school after 3 pm, not a lot of homework and little money given by my parents. Me and my friends usually gather all of our coins and change and rush into those forbidden places with arcade and PlayStation consoles. Gaming time was really precious and most of the time, I would stand behind people and watch them playing for a couple of hours, until mom would scream my name for supper. We were not living in poverty but retro games (it would be modern games at that time) was the only digital entertainment we could get. It was really stinky in the summer because people smoke and sweat but every time I was there, the only thing I noticed was the games.
After graduation, I started my own business in the construction field where I supply materials to real estate companies which build apartments and condos. It was tough since doing business in China is not only about supply and demand, it was everything that makes me struggle to support my family. Around late 2019, one of my childhood friends who is a tech savvy guy told me about selling products to oversea customers and without any hesitation, I jumped right into this field although I know nothing about it.
TR: How did Retrorays Gaming Limited come to be?
JL: The company I started is actually called Shandong Xiangzi Technology Development Co. Ltd, named after the last word in my first name, and we started to sell products on Aliexpress, Amazon and Shopify. We rented a place, hired people, and all the preparation but suddenly, the pandemic came and everything was forcibly shut down. It was really frustrating at that time because bills were piled up and I can basically do nothing but stay at home. Luckily from March and April, Covid seemed under control and we are finally able to work as normal. We started to sell random stuff like pressure washers but the revenue was so little that we were losing money for months. We listed new products as usual and out of blue, we got good sales for retro gaming products. After a long time of discussion, we decided to make our own console and it was the Kinhank GP430. We were so nervous about the feedback from overseas customers and unfortunately, it was not a success. But we chose to stick with it. Our hard work finally paid off (and) we released the Super Console X at the end of October last year. It went viral and we received much more orders than we can handle, every one of our staff started to assemble products and we worked every day until midnight. Everyone was exhausted but happy at the same time. That crazy situation lasted a couple of months and brought us to a 32 people company with millions of sales per month.
TR: What are some of the products that you offer?
JL: We are currently operating more than 10 stores across Aliexpress, Amazon and Shopify and we are trying to double the number. We are now focusing on retro gaming products and the main products are the Super Console series including X, X Pro, X PC Box and X Stick, and we are working on an exclusive one to be released within 1 or 2 months.
JL: Super Console X was the first product that brought us positive revenue. It is powered by Amlogic S905 SoC with EmuELEC retro gaming system. We have three main ISPs in China which are China Mobile, China Unicom and China Telecom. We modified the same logic board of one of their TV boxes for people to watch IPTV through their network, and we packed the board into a retro style design enclosure.
TR: What games are included with this console?
JL: Depending on the micro SD card capacity, we are offering up to 50000+ preloaded retro games. You can find the detailed game list here. https://bit.ly/3llKWfB.
TR: Will there be any additional support for other games in the future?
JL: Yes, the two systems we are using are EmuELEC and Batocera, we are working on adding more games as well as different emulators and platforms.
TR: What about upgrading the SD card? Would that be possible?
JL: Yes, the system’s micro SD cards of different capacity are identical, the only difference is the amount of games. So, for example if a customer purchased a 64GB version with 30000+ games and wanted to upgrade to 40000+ or 50000+, he or she can just purchase a micro SD card with larger capacity and flash his or her own game card. We will provide the game roms through an FTP server or the customer can download their own game roms from the Internet.
TR: How much does this console cost?
JL: Q8 For a 256GB version Super Console X, the price is as low as $105 on Aliexpress with standard worldwide shipping, including free return for 16 countries.
TR: Ok, I am sold. Where can I purchase this console?
JL: You can just head on to Aliexpress and Amazon, search super console and the link from our store and our resellers will pop up. Here is the direct link to one of our stores https://www.aliexpress.com/store/5882445 and the product page on Amazon
We also sell our products at our Shopify store at https://gameretrorays.com/
JL: The Super Console X PC is newly released for customers who want more juice to run up to PlayStation 3 games out of it. It is a 64-bit X86 compact PC box with Intel Xeon processor. It comes with a pre-installed Windows 10 Pro as well as Batocera retrogaming system. The 2TB hard drive comes with the PC Box containing 63000+ pre-loaded games including 5000+ 3D ones.
TR: What type of games can you play on this device?
JL: Apart from the console games powered by emulators in Batocera, since the PC Box comes with windows, normal PC games can be downloaded and played as well. The full retro game list is at https://bit.ly/3rKNcOK
TR: How many games are installed on this game system?
JL: There are more than 63000 games pre-loaded in the 2TB hard drive that comes with the PC Box.
TR: Can you do more than game on this system?
JL: There’s one more nvme m.2 slot available in the PC box, making it a threefold system in one unit. Also, thanks to the two rj45 ethernet ports, this unit is perfect for a home server, pfsense router, HTPC, NAS and etc.
TR: Would you be able to run some of the top tier PC games on this system?
JL: The built-in P530 is only powerful enough to run some old PC games like GTA San Andreas and Vice City. But for some light modern games like League of Legends and CS: GO, it’s totally smooth at 1080P.
TR: How much does this cost?
JL: The PC Box is now priced at $580 including DHL express worldwide shipping. We are working on a lite version to bring down the price with small performance loss as well as a pro version with desktop CPU and graphics card for those who want to game at 4K.
TR: Can I purchase this at the same place as the Super Console X?
JL: Yes, you can purchase this product at https://gameretrorays.com/
The main project we are focusing on is an exclusive lite version of Super Console X, with a new design and lower price. We are also transferring our business to lean more on Amazon with some small fidgets and gadgets coming soon.
TR: Do you have a dream project you would love to work on?
JL: We are a super young company and it is still too early for us to tell the dream project of ours, but I’m pretty sure it is nostalgia related.
TR: Anything else you would like to add?
JL: That’s pretty much everything about us. Thank you for your time.
If you are looking to get back a bit of your childhood with a game system that is completely set up and no work needs to be done then definitely check out these systems. For more information about these systems head over to https://gameretrorays.com/ and get ready to play some classic games.