While virtual-reality headsets, smart devices, and wireless motion sensors having taken over the home video-game market in recent years, it’s easy to forget some of the classic technologies that were once state-of-the-art but now seem passé. Well, what’s old is new again when you pick up once of these vintage controllers for a run at basement game-room supremacy. From PAC-MAN to Super Mario, Tetris, Street Fighter, and hundreds of other standards, here are three ways to enjoy these groundbreaking games of birthdays and Christmas past.
Hardwired for Fun
The first Playstation put Sony on the gaming map and they continue to push the video-entertainment envelope today. PlayStation
There aren’t a lot of advantages to wired controllers over wireless—unless you are just nostalgic for the days when six feet of copper string was all that separated you from digital world domination or some on-screen apocalypse. Nonetheless, vintage controllers are often the only way to get many of the games of yore that represent an important period in gaming history as developers began to figure out how to represent 3D action in a two-dimensional space.
The Game Boy was one of the first portable game devices, and this clever knockoff looks and feels the same. JAMSWALL
Remember the good ole days when just about every kid was walking around fixated on a double fistful of beeping and pinging distraction? You know, the beginning of the end for silly fads like social interaction and conversation? Those maddeningly addictive handheld gaming devices are just as fun as ever, even if a little dated. They’re portable, simple, and offer hours of fun with games like Super Mario, Contra, and other childhood favorites.
Nintendo set the gaming scene in the mid 1980s, and with this modern console, you can enjoy all those classic games all over again. MEEPHONG
If you just want to experience some of the trend-setting games of yesteryear without paying a premium price for originals, consider a knock-off console. The screen colors may be off, the speed a little different from what you remember, and the actual number of games are often inflated in the marketing copy, but you get what you pay for, and for about the price of lunch for two you and the kids can enjoy endless hours of retro gaming fun.