Retro gadgets and gizmos are in demand. So if you’ve got an old Walkman in the attic or an early home computer, find out why they’re increasing in popularity, just like the classic games and consoles that blipped and blinked to keep teenagers entertained not so very long ago!
It could be said that it all started with a bit of Pong. Although earlier forms of onscreen tennis exist, Atari’s arcade game Pong, launched in 1972 and featuring two paddles and a square ball, was as simple as it was addictive to its global audience. Home consoles soon appeared, with Odyssey coming in the same year and shifting 100,000 units. By the mid-70s Atari was at the head of the pack and by 1980 when it bundled Space Invaders with its VCS system it lead to whopping sales of 30 million worldwide.
A decade later Japanese manufacturers were busy upping their game, with Nintendo and its Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) complete with Super Mario Bros. proving an instant hit with gamers. Yet, Nintendo did not have the field to themselves as home rivals Sega launched its Master System and introduced the world to Sonic the Hedgehog, with Sony’s Playstation entering the action in 1994.
Throughout this early period a plethora of games were launched which are still sought out by retrogamers, such as Jason Moore of www.retrogames.co.uk.
So, who is playing retro games today?
“Some retrogamers want the games they had when they were younger, some hoard everything for a particular format and line them up neatly on shelves and others just want to play games they have missed out on.”
What so you think is their continuing appeal?
“Computers and videogames are really toys of the 1980s, just as there is appeal in 1970’s Action Man, there’s appeal in 1980’s Spectrum games. There is a difficult-to-define look and feel to 1970s and 1980s’ games, which directly connects them to the time in which they were created. Also, there’s a uniformity, formats, box shapes, games types, company names, game designers, collectors focus on specific aspects of gaming. It’s a field just as diverse as toy collecting.
Is their a growing audience for classic games and consoles?
“I think the audience will grow as long as they still create physical gaming products. We generally sell 1980s Commodore games to people old enough to have bought them at the time. People in their twenties concentrate on Sega and Nintendo. In ten years time, people in their teens now will no doubt be collecting Wii and Xbox 360 games.”
What are the most popular retro games?
It’s always the rare ones, and rare games on particular formats will always sell quickly. We can sell Castlevania Symphony of Night on the original Playstation or Panzer Dragoon Saga for the Sega Saturn within a few hours of going onto the site.”
How hard is it getting to find original consoles?
Games are becoming harder to find in nice condition. These days we are offered consoles every day, but really, just like other collecting genres, we’re looking for pristine boxed examples, and they don’t turn up nearly as often as they used to. Prices have fluctuated over the years. Valuable Nintendo Game and Watch handheld games seem to be holding steady now, though rare ones are at very high prices. When Retrogames started in 1995 we used to sell Vectrex consoles for £300, but today we sell them for less than half that price.”
Vintage Game Fun
Reboot some retro games and grab some pixellated fun and adventur with our round-up of some of the games and consoles currently for sale on Preloved.
This original Nintendo Game & Watch has retro entertainment by the byte size.
Check out this Sinclair ZX Spectrum, complete with 16 games in original packaging.
An original Amiga DC32, comes with controls and games.
Acorn Antique – a mega bundle of Acorn Electron computer along with manual and loads of classic games.
Here’s a 64 for £65 – original Commodore 64 still in box, and includes computer, tape deck, power sully and lots of games for some retro entertainment.