The Playstation Classic Is the Latest Nostalgic Video Game System Returning to Stores
Despite video games continuing to make huge leaps and bounds, retrogaming remains popular. Whether it’s nostalgia or just that those early games were really fun, sometimes you just want to go back to simple games without cutscenes. And if you’re one of those video game lovers who miss the good ol’ days of gaming, thankfully there are several microconsoles on the market, which come with a number of games pre-loaded. The latest among them is the PlayStation Classic, based off the original PlayStation, but there are a number of microconsoles for your gaming pleasure.
Here’s a look at the retro gaming microconsoles currently available:
1. PlayStation Classic
This is the most modern of the available microconsoles so far, and it’s not even available yet. (It’ll be on shelves Dec. 3, just in time to sell out before Christmas.) The PlayStation Classic comes pre-loaded with 20 games, including Final Fantasy VII, Tekken 3 and more of your late-’90s faves.
2. Mega Drive Mini / Sega Genesis Mini
It’s the 30th anniversary of the Sega Mega Drive (known as the Sega Genesis in the United States). Sadly, the Mega Drive Mini will miss that anniversary, as the console’s been pushed back to next year. This microconsole was originally going to be available in Japan only (hence the name), but due to the rapturous response when it was announced, the device will be released worldwide.
Given the delay, we don’t know too much about what the Genesis Mini will offer. If you can’t wait, however, there are licensed Genesis microconsoles available, though they don’t have the best reputation, so you’re likely better off waiting.
3. NES Classic
The NES Classic kicked off this entire microconsole craze, selling out almost immediately when it was first released in 2016. Though initially intended as a limited-edition release, the NES Classic was discontinued in April 2017. That caused prices to skyrocket, and given the demand, the NES Classic was reintroduced to the market this past June.
The NES Classic comes with 30 pre-installed games, including the Super Mario trilogy, Castlevania and Excitebike, among other favorites.
4. Super NES Classic
Given the success of the NES Classic, it would have been absurd if Nintendo didn’t follow up with the next generation, the Super NES. The Super NES Classic comes with 21 pre-loaded games, and, like all of these microconsoles, is compatible with the original controllers.
5. Atari Flashback
The Atari 2600 is the granddaddy of retrogaming, so it stands to reason there’s an official Atari microconsole. The Atari Flashback 7 comes with 101 pre-loaded games, including favorites like Asteroids, Frogger and Missile Command, and forgotten games to pad out the collection like Save Mary, Motorodeo and Sprintmaster.
There are also a few other microconsoles in the flashback series, including the Colecovision Flashback and the Intellivision Flashback.
6. NEOGEO Mini
Speaking of more obscure consoles like the Intellivision, if you were a fan of the NEOGEO, you can get your own NEOGEO Mini, which comes pre-loaded with 40 games. It also comes with a 3.5-inch LCD screen, but thankfully it’s also got an HDMI out so you can play on a full-size TV. Like the PlayStation, this is a pre-order; it won’t be out until Oct. 15.
7. Many unofficial microconsoles
If you’re not satisfied with the official offerings, there are a number of unofficial microconsoles available, mostly built off available emulation software and the Raspberry Pi processor. A quick perusal of eBay brings up handheld NES emulators, generic “Mini Arcade Machines” in chassis similar to the NEOGEO Mini and new takes on the original Nintendo GameBoy. You can even find a phone case that comes with a playable version of Tetris done up to look like a GameBoy.