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 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.
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
If you put your finger in your ear and scratch, it sounds a lot like Pac-Man. ????????
— SHAQ™ (@AGruett32) February 17, 2015
This is Pac-Man, one of the most important games in history, 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
You're the extra batteries to my Game Gear #SEGAPickUpLines
— Manuel García Melgar (@Kopke) February 14, 2015
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, and here is the ultimate version as seen in its original form. Buy one. Now.
Mickey Mouse MC-25 Game & Watch
— classic handheld (@classichandheld) February 17, 2014
Playing a Game & Watch game now 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
You tried to cheating on me? Alright, I'll use a gameshark. *LMFAO*
— Dio (@muftirizaldi) February 12, 2015
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.
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. 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 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