Retro gaming can be a hit or miss experience. For those of us that can still remember the games in their original format, many times emulated versions of classic games simply don’t hold up. Either the graphics are slightly off, the sound isn’t quite right, the controls aren’t spot on, or some combination of the three.
Regardless of the issue, it keeps us from enjoying the games the way we remember them, thus killing the nostalgic urge we had to try and play them again in the first place.
The problem is two fold: 1) emulators can never truly match the hardware of the original systems, so some variability is to be expected, and 2) many companies are lazy and just looking to make a quick buck off of people’s childhood memories. Thus we get lazy shovelware ports of classic games much more frequently than we get quality retro experiences. But…
Imagine if the original NES, Super Nintendo, and Sega Genesis were remade to run the original cartridges on today’s 65 inch 4K LED TVs in full 1080p. And imagine if all the games sound and feel exactly as you remember them, but in pristine HD resolution? Sound good?
Analogue, a retro game console company, has been making revival retro consoles for several years now, that utilize some impressive tech to literally recreate the operating environment of classic consoles. Their tech utilizes an FPGA chip which is designed to become a different kind of hardware, effectively running the games in their original native environment.
Reviews of their consoles from tech and gaming magazines are very positive, but the consoles come with some drawbacks.
For one thing they only play the original game cartridges for each system; no games come prepackaged. If you already have a collection of game cartridges that still work then you’re in business. If not then you have some work to do hunting down working copies of old games.
For another, the systems don’t come with controllers. Analogue has partnered with 8Bitdo to produce compatible controllers for each of its systems, but this is an added expense.
Finally, the systems themselves will run you about $190 plus controllers cost between $25 and $40 each. Two controllers plus a system can come in at around $280; without any games. So while it won’t break the bank, there are certainly cheaper ways to get a retro experience.
Bottom line: if you are a gaming enthusiast who wants the best retro experience with unparalleled precision, this is the perfect product for you.