Recently Nintendo announced that they will be releasing an “NES Classic” which will come pre-loaded with 30 classic games. There are also versions of the Sega Genesis, and quite a few retro arcade cabinets and handhelds that have started to show up on the market. Not to mention people using raspberry pi to build retro gaming consoles. Clearly there is a market for this retro gaming, and I will admit that I am part of it.
The thing that surprised me recently is how much some of the people I know who are not involved in the gaming world find this shocking. Recently I had a conversation at work with someone who could not understand why anyone would go buy a system like the new NES when there are current generation consoles with 4k graphics abilities.
It seems pretty obvious to me as to why people are interested in all these retro systems: Nostalgia. Every convention I go to I end up meeting people who are reminiscing about the games they used to play and comparing the new releases to their old standbys. The classic console and/or classic arcade sections of every show I go to are always full, and lots of people I know still have their old consoles and games.
Services like good old games and steam have definitely figured out that people like the idea of going back to the games that they used to play. Both services have large collections of games from previous generations available at pretty low prices to let us relive the “good old days”. Sony and Microsoft caught on too, with both Playstation Network and Xbox live offering digital versions of games from previous consoles to feed that same nostalgia.
There are definitely a lot more nostalgia based products than just the consoles and games. There are tons of collectables available out there that are throwbacks to the old games and systems gamers grew up with. I have definitely collected my fair share of retro gaming things. Thinkgeek even has a whole category of “cool retro stuff” to tempt those of us who have collection problems!
I personally will be very curious to see how the new NES does, and if more retro systems start showing up on the market. Either way I am definitely considering one, because it seems like it would pretty awesome to load up Super Mario Bros. and see if I am any better at it then I used to be.