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8 Retro Gaming Gadgets For Geeks

Dave Parrack 18-02-2015

Gamers are a funny bunch. Not so much in the ha-ha sense, but more in the slightly weird sense. Give them a video game and they’ll greedily consume it, regardless of how old or new it is, as long as it’s good. Or great. Or absolutely essential.


This means that retro games 12 New Versions Of Classic Retro Games, Free To Play Re-live the thrill of playing classic games like Mario, Sonic and Megaman for the first time – thanks to fan creations. If you want to play new versions of your favorite retro classics – but... Read More and the gadgets that go with them are just as likely to thrill and enthrall gamers as the latest Triple-AAA titles. Especially if the gaming geek in question is of a certain age and has a healthy touch of nostalgia attached to the bygone era of gaming 7 Signs You're a Living Piece of Gaming History Read More .

Retro Gaming Gadgets for Geeks

With this in mind, we present a list of eight awesome retro gaming gadgets that geeks (of a certain age) will likely covet. Included are an arcade cabinet, a couple of home consoles, a couple of handheld consoles, and much more besides.

We’re not promising you’ll love every one of these retro gaming gadgets, but we suspect some of you will head to eBay straight after reading this article just to check up on prices. Or, if you realize you have one of the following hidden away somewhere in your house, now may be the time to bring it out of retirement.

Pac-Man Game Watch

This is Pac-Man, one of the most important games in history 10 More Video Games That Changed The World These titles can legitimately be classed as game-changers. Which is a rather apt description given the subject matter. Read More , on a watch. What’s not to love? Unfortunately, it’s so rare, especially boxed and in working condition, that you’ll have to pay a pretty penny in order to get hold of one. Still, it’s Pac-Man on a watch. So, what are you waiting for?

The Original NES

The Nintendo Entertainment System was first launched in Japan in 1983, making it more than 30 years old. It revolutionized the gaming industry, and it still remains the best-selling games console of all time. Owning one now means owning a piece of history, and some of its 8-bit games can still entertain.


The Sega Game Gear

The Game Gear may have failed to overcome the might of the Game Boy, but Sega’s brilliant handheld games console had lots going for it at the start of the 1990s. Hundreds of games were released for the system, some of which have managed to stand the test of time. It’s big, it’s black, and it’s beautiful.

Asteroids Deluxe Arcade Cabinet

It’s the dream of many a geek to own a real, full-sized, working arcade cabinet. And any true geek would be hard-pushed to find a better option than Asteroids Deluxe. Asteroids is another game that changed the world 10 Video Games That Changed The World These are the games that changed everything, that signalled the next step in the evolution of video games, and that needed to exist for the video games industry as we know it today to exist... Read More , and here is the ultimate version as seen in its original form. Buy one. Now.

Mickey Mouse MC-25 Game & Watch

Playing a Game & Watch game now Pica Pic Brings Classic Handheld Electronic Games To The Web Before the original Game Boy arrived on the scene as the 1980s gave way to the 1990s, all eager gamers had to play while out of the house were handheld electronic games that came as... Read More is a labor of love. They’re fun, but more for nostalgic reasons than anything else. Still, if you’re going to play any Game & Watch, choose the Mickey Mouse MC-25, which is not only one of the better options, but also rare enough to be a true conversation-starter.

Sinclair ZX Spectrum +3

The Sinclair ZX Spectrum was insanely popular in the UK during the 1980s. You owned one of these beauties or a Commodore 64, either of which put you one step ahead of your non-geeky brethren. The ZX Spectrum +3 with its 128 KB of RAM and built-in floppy disk drive made this the premium version, and it’s still a little gem of a machine.


The GameShark Cheat Cartridge

This obviously only applies to those of you who already own one of the consoles for which the GameShark was released. And especially the original PlayStation, which truly benefited from its extra functionality. While using the GameShark could cause problems with games, it was all made worthwhile when you found a code that extended the lifespan of your favorite title 10 Best Comprehensive Websites to Go to for Game Cheat Codes Video games are challenges in themselves; it’s just that cheat codes make them more interesting. From 8 bit games of old to today’s massively multiplayer online games and even Facebook games like Farmville, cheat codes... Read More .

Game Boy With Pokemon Red

It doesn’t matter how young or old you are, or your feelings towards Japanese RPGs, Pokemon Red (or Blue) are sure to entertain. I’m using the present-tense too, as this is one game that feels just as fresh today as it did when it was first released in 1996. Buy a Game Boy just to play Pokemon Red 5 Big Changes In Pokémon X And Y That Make The Series Worth Coming Back To If you've been disappointed with recent iterations of the Pokémon series, you're going to be pleasantly surprised with X and Y. Read More . You really won’t regret it.

Continue the Conversation

We think this list represents a good selection of the retro gaming gadgets all geeks should aspire to own. You may not want to own all of the gaming gear mentioned above, but we suspect at least one or two of the items mentioned will have got your geek juices flowing. Is your next stop going to be eBay? If so, be sure to read our guide to getting a good deal on eBay 5 Critical eBay Online Shopping Tips You Must Know eBay is different from Amazon and other shopping sites. Here are the critical eBay shopping tips you must know to succeed. Read More before you begin bidding.

Please continue the conversation in the comments section below. While a good number of our readers took part in the original discussion, there is always room for more opinions. Do you agree with the retro gaming gadgets selected for the list? If not, then please add your own suggestions to the conversation happening below. Remember, there are no right or wrong answers here, just opinions.


A Debt of Gratitude

In order to compile this list of retro gaming gadgets all geeks should be searching for on eBay, we received help from the MakeUseOf community. As always, our readers proved to be an invaluable part of the site you’re reading right now.

The readers we need to thank took the time to answer the question, What Retro Gadget Would You Still Buy Today?, and their responses helped us compile this article. Noteworthy comments include those from Von Adam Martinez, Dmitry, Suleiman, and BGPhilbin.

Image Credits: Bill Bradford via Flickr

Related topics: Arcade Game, Nintendo, PlayStation, Retro Gaming, We Ask You.

Affiliate Disclosure: By buying the products we recommend, you help keep the site alive. Read more.

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  1. rich
    February 19, 2015 at 1:32 am

    You haven't even touched the subject of emulators, which exist for a great many of the original 8-bit game computers (Adam, Atari, Commodore64, etc.). There are also sporadic issues of machines that clone the functionality of the original machine but hold a hefty number of the more popular (or public domain or cheaply licensable) games - just add a tv. I know there was a Colecovision issued last fall at around $50 US and it was far from the first. And for the originals, there are still enthusiast websites offering those too; a short Google search will reveal them.

  2. Suleiman
    February 18, 2015 at 3:57 pm

    Hey Dave, you got to stop writing about reto gaming now, you killing me bro :) To make things worst you used Atari pic. Whenever I see Atari , I remember the game River Raid:
    This was my best game of them all. To my pleasant surprise, Ridge Racer 7 for PlayStation 3 had playable River Raid before the actual game started.

    For us gamers, games are part of our lives. Back in the days when going to arcade was the hype, my babe ( now wify) and I used to go to downtown Montreal ( Crescent st / St Cathrine st.) to play games namely car racing. We used to spend 80% of our Saturday money on arcade gaming. Man, we were broke in those days but extremely happy. Sometimes I used to use my burger money to play more games. Well we used to share her burger later on lol . Time went by and we got married and she pushed out four amazing kids for me. Today whenever we are in Montreal, we go straight to that arcade and play car racing. This time the challenge is between six people, two adults and four teenagers. Since they have only four cars to play at the same time, we let the kids start and later we replace the last two losers. $60 dollars minimum will definitely be spend on that day.
    You have no idea how it feels when you go to that same arcade of your younger days hang out place with you kids. Our kids been there when they were toddlers. The other day my 15 years old son told me that he went with his friends to that same arcade to play games. I wish people who are not gamers understand the joy gaming brings to us the gamers.

    Ok Dave, go ahead and post another writing about reto gaming :) You know I really enjoy your writings. Keep gaming, it is fun and a lot safer. We were successful to bring out beautiful bond among our kids. And yes, the kids are hard core gamer too :) This summer, two of the kids will apply for Ubsoft to work as gamer testers. Can you bit that :)

    • Dave Parrack
      February 20, 2015 at 7:52 pm

      Wow, you must be proud of your kids. I applied to be a game tester once but never got the job. I prefer writing about them anyway :)

      That must be an amazing feeling to go to the same arcades with your kids now as then. That makes me want kids!

      Of course I remember River Raid. I prefer a session of Call of Duty these days, but man, those days were awesome.

  3. Tiago Fernandez
    February 18, 2015 at 3:22 pm

    ps 1 playin' GT2, hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm...

    • Dave Parrack
      February 20, 2015 at 7:48 pm

      Weirdly I've only liked the odd-numbered GT games, so it would have to be GT1 for me on PS1.

  4. likefunbutnot
    February 18, 2015 at 3:21 am

    One of the most fun techie projects I've had in recent memory was putting together a max spec Windows 98 PC, just to run a few old games that refuse to run properly on anything else.

    Likewise, it's possible to get Windows 98 running as a virtual machine on Android. It's not very useful, but it's possible.

    • Dave Parrack
      February 20, 2015 at 7:49 pm

      Is it actually enjoyable using that thing? I mean for anything other than gaming?