With pre-orders of the Classic Mini SNES still selling out, GameCentral readers name the retro consoles they’d like to see get made.
The subject for this week’s Hot Topic asked what old console, handheld, or home computer would you like to see re-released with a selection of its greatest games, and why? What would you like the console to look like and how much would you be willing to pay for it?
Given the popularity of Nintendo’s first two mini consoles there was plenty of interest in seeing the same formula applied to other formats, with the Mega Drive, Dreamcast, and N64 being amongst the most common choices. Although the Amiga 500 was another popular pick.
The obvious choice
The obvious choiceI don’t want to be the one to pick the obvious choice, but since that may mean everyone else is avoiding the elephant in the room I’ll just say it: the original PlayStation would be great as a retro console. There’s obvious demand for its games right now, with the success of the Crash Bandicoot remasters and I think it’d be a huge success. Sony also like money so I’m sure they’re already thinking about it.
I know you can get PS1 classics on the PlayStation 3, but you can’t yet on the PlayStation 4 and I think half the novelty is just having a console that looks like the old one and comes with all the games already built in, with no faffing around. As long as the emulation was on point I’d buy one in an instant. Or rather I’d try to buy one and get annoyed that it’s always sold out, which seems to be how these things work.
I won’t list all the games to include but these would be my top three, all with their original graphics and not ‘improved’ in any way.
1. Tomb Raider. For me Lara Croft is the true mascot of the PlayStation and I very fond memories of playing the original as a kid. The discovery of the T-Rex blew my mind the first time around and I’d love to experience it again.
2. Metal Gear Solid. The original MSX2 game might be celebrating its 30th at the moment but this super classic is also getting old too. It’s annoying hard to play in its original form, so quick access on a mini console would be great.
3. Tekken 3. I have played an ungodly number of hours on this game with my mates and actually saw it again recently and was surprised it actually looked still okay. Classic multiplayer and for me the best fighting game ever made.
I would love it if they made a PC Engine mini. I know that’s highly unlikely but my main reason is simply that I always wanted one as a kid and I’ve never even seen on in real life, let alone owned one. If I remember it was ready quite small, so maybe they could just reissue it and just have all the game’s on a single card or stored internally.
I’ve played a lot of the games now on the Wii Virtual Console and it reinforces exactly why my young self wanted one.
There’s some great 2D shooters on there like Soldier Blade and Lords Of Thunder, excellent arcade conversions like R-Type and Splatterhouse, the Zonk/Bonk platformers that are sort of its equivalent to Mario or Sonic, a great and important version of Castlevania, and even some decent role-players like the Ys games. Maybe nobody else would, but I’d buy it.
I’d like to see a mini version of the Commodore Amiga released, because I had zero experience with the computer when it came out the first time.
In the latter half of the eighties I was at college, so what little money I had was spent on teenager type things (clothes, music, and booze). Occasionally I still played games but my economic status restricted me to the family’s ZX Spectrum.
The Amiga has such a legendary reputation, I’ve often been curious to try out its landmark titles such as Speedball 2 and the isometric helicopter gunship shooter Desert Strike (which looks like just my kind of game).
I’d probably be willing to pay up to £100 for a re-invented Amiga, was the 500 model the machine most people had? Of course the new Amiga would need a HDMI port and some kind of internal storage for its games.
I freely admit that the Amiga and its competitor the Atari ST are glaring gaps in my gaming knowledge. I’ve often heard that era of gaming celebrated so I think a mini version of Commodore’s (16-bit) machine would be an essential purchase and also a golden opportunity for some retro gaming education.
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Preserving the future
In the future I think the consoles most in need of the retro treatment are going to be the Xbox One and PlayStation 4, because it’s pretty obvious that none of their games are going to work 10 years from now when the servers have been switched off and the updates are no longer available.
Everybody seems to realise this but I’m not aware of any plans of what to do about it, which strikes me as typical short-sightedness. Obviously making a retro console of these machines in the future won’t be easy, because I‘m sure a lot of the information about how the online features and patches work will be lost for time.
So even if you do recreate the hardware, which will presumably be easy with future tech, that doesn’t mean the experience will just be a cut and paste. I fear the video game museums of the future will be an empty place.
I first thought about the Master System, to give Sega some old-time love. But then, I thought – why aim low? Why not have the moon on the stick?
It’s often said that this industry is pretty terrible at preserving its history, be they classic or clunker. I want a museum console that covers everything from Pong up to end of the 16-bit era. Or as much as can be salvaged. I know a lot of games are akin to Panzer Dragoon Saga, where the code has been lost and they’d have to be rebuilt from the ground up.
It would be a very ambitious undertaking. It probably couldn’t be stored on a single console. Well, not without performance issues. I think. My technical skills can be valued in the negative. I know there are retro games studios, but how comprehensive are they? How much memory would what I’m proposing take up? Like I say, I’m something of a dunce when it comes to things like this. Which is kind of weird, considering my passion for this hobby.
I’m almost tempted to say the original Xbox, because the emulation for it is still not great. But if you’re going to go down that route then it has to be the Sega Saturn. It’s almost impossible to play many of the games nowadays and have no faith that they’ll ever get it working properly on Sega Forever. And anyway, who wants to playing Panzer Dragoon Saga on a touchscreen?
I would love the chance to play Burning Rangers, Sega Rally, Guardian Heroes, NiGHTS Into Dreams, and Shining Force on a TV again. I’m sorry, I know you wanted descriptions of these games but if you don’t know what they are then that only proves my point as to why this console need to make a comeback.
These are classic games and yet probably very few people have played them or even heard of them nowadays. Problem is I have very little confidence my dream will come true and they’ll only become more obscure with time.
The next rumour
There has been a rumour that a Nintendo 64 Mini console could be in development, which could have around 20 to 30 games on the system. Nintendo 64 was released over 20 years ago and the thought about it getting a release on a mini version would be a good idea. Not only celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Nintendo 64 but also giving the option for gamers to play some classic that were only released on the Nintendo 64. Games like Super Mario 64, Legend Of Zelda: Ocarina Of Time, and Banjo-Kazooie.
The question you do wonder is how small the Nintendo 64 will be, and also the size of the controller as well. If it’s like the original controller you just easily plug it in like a USB cable, like what they’ve done with both the mini NES and SNES. And the other question you should wonder is the price tag for the console, since half the games that are on the Nintendo 64 have either been ported and released for the Nintendo 3DS or been released as a download title on the Wii U.
Do you see yourself buying one of these if it was released? I mean, I do like the idea if it went forward but I’m curious to see what games will be added to it. Certain games that were released on the Nintendo 64, like Conker’s Bad Fur Day, Yoshi’s Story, Harvest Moon 64, and Paper Mario arerare games to find at a good price pre-owned or brand new. If those titles were released on the mini it would bring strong sales, but just like the mini NES and SNES they would be on high demand. These are only rumours for now, it is still unknown if the idea will go forward or not in the future.
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