Classic Gaming still popular?

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Classic Gaming still popular?

Postby VideoGameCritic » August 12th, 2020, 8:43 pm

Is classic gaming still going strong?

There certainly seems to be more interest in retro games that ever before, with mini Genesis/SNES/NES/T16 systems flying off the shelves. New systems like the Evercade specialize in old games and upcoming systems like Polymega provide new hardware for old games. Old titles are frequently reissued as digital downloads.

But man, have you seen the prices on Ebay lately? Attempting to start a classic gaming collection now would be an expensive proposition. It makes me wonder if the hobby can remain popular. I keep thinking at some point the prices will come down, but it never seems to happen.

Then again, I get the impression a lot of people are turned off by the latest generation of always-online systems. It seems like a lot of people are more than happy to settle for old games.


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Re: Classic Gaming still popular?

Postby Breaker » August 12th, 2020, 11:17 pm

I think it's possible prices could come down if the economy completely falls apart, but barring something epic where collectors are forced to sell their collections to pay the mortgage, I don't see that happening. I think the supply of retro games is continually decreasing as "normal" people throw out stuff from their attic, not realizing there are people out there like us who would be happy to pay for some of that stuff.

Meanwhile I think the number of collectors may be slowly growing. I say that because the supply seems to be shrinking... inventory does not become avaliable very often, forcing prices up. Emulators may be our salvation, if there is a chunk of the collector group that really wants to play games, but necessarily hold them. That could free up some volume.

I am currently working on the 32x and Jaguar catalogs... finding those games in the wild is almost impossible. I've lived in Denver, the PNW, and now Minneapolis over the last 7 years, and games for those systems are like endangered species.

Overall, I think collecting is going strong... but I'm not sure if that's the same as classic gaming.

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Re: Classic Gaming still popular?

Postby Retro STrife » August 12th, 2020, 11:56 pm

I think it's as popular as ever and that trend will continue for some time still. It's like my saying goes: "Every Good System Dies Twice". That is to say, every mainstream system will go through two lives and two deaths- the initial retail life and death, and then a second (much less mainstream) life when it is revived by nostalgic retro gamers and collectors years later. And once those retro gamers begin aging out of their interest, the system dies a much slower second death. Because of that repeating trend, I think classic gaming will remain popular for many more years to come. The consoles you see at the forefront of the hobby will continually change, though.

IMO the "two lives" trend is created mostly by human nature and nostalgia - and not anything particularly special or unique about the individual consoles themselves. Ten or fifteen years ago, you'd see many NES retro fans predicting that adoration for their console would never be matched again -- that the NES was so special that it had spurned a retro gaming craze that no future system could match. Those people turned out wrong. They were simply children of the NES, reliving their love for the system in that nostalgic sweetspot that starts in our early 20's and might continue into their mid to late 30's. The NES is now on its second downturn - it's no longer the most popular retro system. The Atari 2600 was the grandfather of retro gaming -- now good luck seeing any interest in Atari at retro gaming conventions. The Atari 2600 has met its second death. (Sure, interest will never completely die off, but it is only the most hardcore lifelong collectors (like us) that hang on past the second death.) The SNES/Genesis are in the middle of their second life, and the PS1 and N64 aren't far behind, while later systems are now resurrecting from their graves. I see this trend continuing at least as long as there is physical media and systems that can be played long after their retail death.

For example, we mention older gamers being turned off by the current state of gaming... maybe true.. but, like always, there is one group never turned off by the current state of gaming: Kids and teenagers. And when those kids are 30 years old, they're not going to want our NES or SNES -- they're going to want their PS4 and Switch games that they grew up playing. Those are the retro gaming systems of the future. So I only worry about the health of the hobby starting to decline after we have all-digital systems - because 10-15 years later, those gamers won't be able to easily collect for those systems when they hit the right age for nostalgia.

In the meantime, I think the hobby is healthier than ever. As much as I don't like the never-ending ebay price rises, I think it's a good sign of continuing demand. There's more retro gaming conventions popping up every year; there's more retro game stores than ever; there's more compilations and reboots. The only unfortunate part for us is that the interest in our preferred console years (1985-2000 for me) will gradually be replaced in popularity by the more recent console generations.

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Re: Classic Gaming still popular?

Postby Retro STrife » August 13th, 2020, 12:12 am

Just for fun, to illustrate my last post, here's the 100% official "every good system dies twice" graph, which I just hand-drew in 30 seconds on Microsoft Paint with absolutely no scientific data or thought put into it whatsoever.....
System Lives 1.1.jpg
System Lives 1.1.jpg (51.93 KiB) Viewed 441 times

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Re: Classic Gaming still popular?

Postby Roperious » August 18th, 2020, 3:48 pm

I think we are in a new era of classic gaming. Just look at companies like Retrovision HD and RetroBit. The Polymega is another example. Certainly, the release of the "mini" consoles shows us that there is a huge market for classic gaming. It is a good time to be a classic gamer.

Of course, a natural result of this surge in popularity is a corresponding surge in the price for classic games. I can remember what collecting for the Saturn was like in 2006 vs 2020. The prices are an order of magnitude greater. But, as Retro STrife points out, the success of classic gaming is good for gaming overall as we are seeing more classic inspired indie titles, reboots, remasters, etc.

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Re: Classic Gaming still popular?

Postby LoganRuckman » August 20th, 2020, 12:07 am

Classic gaming will always be popular, but classic gaming always means something new, no matter what. Nowadays, 5th and 6th gen systems are considered retro and nostalgia for those consoles is at an all time high.

I'm already starting to notice, and feel Wii and DS nostalgia, and 7th gen nostalgia in general. Give it a couple more years, people will be calling Wii Sports and Modern Warfare retro.

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Re: Classic Gaming still popular?

Postby jon » August 20th, 2020, 1:23 pm

I get nostalgic for old systems and those are the only systems I play basically. Whether it’s Games like the Super Mario games for NES and SNES or games for the N64. And I play Neo Geo games. I can see why someone would be nostalgic for basically every system.

Even though I don’t think some of the games have aged well I still get nostalgic for Super Mario 64 or Goldeneye if I ever found someone to play with. I can see people still playing Saturn games. I have nothing against the Saturn by the way.

But the PS1 I just personally can’t stand anymore. It was the first system ever that I found the graphics to be terrible for basically almost every game. The load times were soul crushing and at times I wondered whether it was even worth it.

I know the PS1 has some popular RPG’s but besides that I just can’t understand why that would be a console people get nostalgic about. The graphics are so bad and the load times. That would be pure for remembering playing with friends back in the day or something. It’s the only system that I think has aged poorly.

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