If you have been following the current trend of nerd pop culture, you’ve probably seen a blog post, YouTube video or a live stream of someone playing a video game you haven’t seen since your past days of Saturday morning cartoons and sugary cereal. Now that gaming has become a ubiquitous hobby of our current generation, long forgotten classics are seeing the spotlight shone on them once again. The itch to sit down and play courses through your veins, ready to relive the thrill of finally beating that one boss after months, if not years of trying.Unfortunately, your desired cartridges from decades past are over $100 on eBay. Thank the army of professional game collectors who have basically dominated the fledging industry of classic gaming. Remember EarthBound on the Super Nintendo? $200. Used. Incomplete.
Thanks to the continuing explosion of mobile technology, a rather inexpensive and very effective countermeasure is widely available. Given that the Android platform has become a haven for emulation enthusiasts during the past five years, Android devices that also double as portable multi-system game consoles are something to look into. Imagine having all of your favorite classic consoles packed onto one device, quite possibly with the entire libraries. Yeah, it brought a grin to my face too.Devices such as Nvidia’s Shield handheld will be your absolute best friend. The device itself looks like a typical console controller, but it is mounted with a 5" LCD, capable of up to 720p. With two thumb sticks, one D-pad, and ten buttons (the thumb sticks, as expected, double as buttons), the comfortable ergonomic layout will handle just about everything you can throw at it, rarely encountering control issues except for games that requires special controllers. Backed by a Tegra 4 processor and 2GB of RAM, 16GB of storage built in and a microSD port, the storage possibilities allow for expansive collections and nearly endless hours of brain-frying entertainment. Coupled with a mini-HDMI cable and a Bluetooth game pad, you have yourself the ideal console for a classic gaming enthusiast on a budget, or lacking the space needed for collecting.
If a portable option is not your fancy, there are some set-top boxes that perform just as well, and are geared for a home entertainment set-up. Though mainly seen as complete home entertainment systems, devices such as the MadCatz M.O.J.O. (As if Austin Powers designed it himself) would be considered a prime investment. Though packing the same power and internal storage as the Shield, the M.O.J.O features It’s own hybrid gaming/media controller, very similar to Microsoft’s Xbox One controller, but also hosting buttons for controlling music and movies. Another great tidbit? It’s ready to root out of the box.