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Retro on the Rise – Why Is Old-School Gaming Coming Back so Strong?

NES Classic Edition

The world of video gaming is naturally a pretty hi-tech affair usually. Much of the attention is normally reserved for exciting developments such as the huge eSports market, which is set to be worth $1bn soon, or the latest console releases such as the Nintendo Switch. However, a big trend that gaming has seen in recent years is a real resurgence in retro or vintage gaming. For those who have missed out on this trend, it involves modern players going back to older consoles and classic titles for their fix of video game fun.

Re-releases of old systems shows appetite

It is not just older gamers heading up into their lofts to dust off an original Commodore 64 or Sega Mega Drive though. What is interesting about the resurgence of retro gaming lately is that it has seen gamers purchase modern re-releases of old games systems. The SNES Classic Edition from Nintendo is a great example of this as it sold out almost overnight when released back in 2017. This shows just what an appetite there is for retro titles and consoles with the general public. It is not only grizzled old veterans that are getting in on the action either – many gamers enjoying the retro vibe are in fact younger ones keen to see what the buzz is about.

Retro in general is in fashion

What has also helped the vintage gaming sector to take off recently is how fashionable retro has been in society. From retro clothes to retro ways of listening to music, vintage is at an all-time high in many countries globally. Even online gambling has managed to cash in on the current trend for retro by adding old classics such as bingo to its roster of games. Many love to play online bingo now for the cool “old school” vibe that it delivers.

Why else is retro video gaming so popular? 

When it comes to people enjoying vintage games and systems to play on, nostalgia is a massive reason. While there are many new retro gamers who do not remember the games from the first time around, there are masses of older ones who do. This nostalgic feel is what draws so many back to vintage gaming as it evokes happy childhood memories and a chance to relive their youth.

Of course, on the other end of the scale, you have the younger gamers who simply want to see what the hype is all about and get in on the latest trend. They are attracted to retro gaming to check out how video games used to look and what exactly the old systems they read about are like to play on.

Are retro games simply “better”?

This may be a controversial opinion that many older gamers hold, but for many, retro games are simply better than modern ones. This sees people heading back to them to enjoy the unique feel and design touches they offer, compared to modern titles. From real old-school gems such as Sensible Soccer to Sonic the Hedgehog and Sid Meier’s Pirates!, there is a real sense of vintage games having more style and substance.

With less high-powered tech to rely on back in the day, games studios had to make games that utilised better storylines, more humour and a quirkier feel to stand out. For many fans of retro gaming, this makes the older titles better to play and a more satisfying experience when playing. The same can also be said for the older games consoles. Due to the inferior technology inside, they were just simpler to use and enabled you to get on and enjoy what you were playing. Forget firmware updates and 35GB day-one patches – you could go from unboxing your console to playing a game in the time that it took to get your SCART cable in the back of the TV. We may have become more accustomed to the patches and updates, but there remains a certain charm in that plug-and-play functionality.

Vintage gaming looks set to remain popular  

With the recent success of vintage re-releases such as the NES and SNES, it seems that vintage gaming will continue to tap into a specific niche within gaming. Already, Sony has started to sell the original PlayStation again with a slew of classic titles in-built to play. With all the interest and therefore money in retro gaming, it seems pretty certain that games companies and console manufacturers will invest in it for the near future at least.

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