Analogue Pocket and Retro Gaming

Collectibles - June 10, 2021

The Retro Gaming Phenomenon: Between Nostalgia and Innovation

Elodie Prochet

Marketing Manager France. Video Game Explorer.

Video games are everywhere these days. With the popularity of online streaming platforms like Twitch and YouTube, the accessibility of games like Fortnite and Among Us, and the publicity of celebrities expressing their love for video games (Travis Scott, Megan Fox, Henry Cavill), video games are a major part of our current culture. And just like in the world of movies, music, and shoes, an emerging video game subculture is gaining popularity: the retro gaming phenomenon. Whether it’s popular streamers showing off early developed skills, competitors pursuing and breaking speedrun records, or enthusiasts taking a side-scroll through memory lane, there’s a resurgence in retro gaming consoles and games, so we’ve brought together some of the icons.

Although today’s systems are more powerful when it comes to graphics and performance, the nostalgia of those first gaming experiences, as well as the discovery of first editions of iconic games, are still very present.

Early Game Consoles

Nintendo Entertainment System (NES)(1985)

NES and NES Classic Edition

Image via Wccftech

The NES is an 8-bit console that was originally released in 1985 and is the 13th best-selling video game console of all time with 61.91 million units sold. The NES was a worldwide success and helped revive the video game industry after the video game crash of 1983. Super Mario Bros. was the best-selling game on the console, and many found themselves buying an NES just to play this particular Mario classic. Did you know? At the time of the NES’ original release in 1985, the leader in video games was Atari, and Nintendo did not want to compete with them in the United States, so they offered Atari the opportunity to distribute the NES in the United States. Atari declined.

Game Boy (1989)

Nintendo Game Boy

Image via

The Gameboy is a 4th generation 8-bit handheld video game system from Nintendo. Released in 1989, it is the first console of the Game Boy series. Did you know? The Game Boy was a huge success, as Game Boy and Game Boy Color models sold 118.6 million units worldwide. Once it was released in the United States, more than one million systems were sold within a few weeks.

PlayStation (1994)

Sony PlayStation 1

Image via Time Magazine

The PlayStation is a 5th generation video game console produced by Sony Computer Entertainment since 1994. The original PlayStation was the first product in the PlayStation range and is, therefore, the big sister to all other PlayStation consoles including the PS5. Did you know? Sony and Nintendo initially collaborated to develop the CD-ROM system for Nintendo’s then-upcoming console and the PlayStation, but Nintendo “betrayed” Sony by developing their system with Philips. Sony decided to go it alone and released the PlayStation a few years later. On May 18, 2004, almost ten years after its launch, Sony announced that it had distributed 100 million consoles worldwide and over 962 million PlayStation games.

Nintendo 64 (1997)

Nintendo 64

Image via Video Games Chronicle

The Nintendo 64 is the 5th generation Nintendo console and was released in 1997. The N64 had several key features, but its most notable was that it was a 64-bit console, unlike its 32-bit competitors. The Japanese brand preferred the cartridge format to the CD used by its competitors as it was more profitable for Nintendo. Also, one of the reasons the console was innovative was because it introduced an analog stick on its controller. Did you know? The Nintendo 64 is also the first console to have four controller ports for multiplayer games. This was a perfect innovation for games like Mario Kart.

Defining the Future with Retro Gaming

The nostalgia of old gaming systems is pretty cool, but leaders in the industry have leveraged the appeal of retro gaming to create new editions of these old consoles that are more technologically advanced and often more affordable. You can find these new school retro gaming consoles on StockX now.

Analogue Pocket (2021)

Retro gaming system Analogue Pocket

Analogue is an American company that makes the life of retro video game enthusiasts much easier. The company’s first console, the Analogue Pocket, is a handheld video game system that resembles the Nintendo Game Boy. In addition to its sleek design, the console is compatible with over 2780 Game Boy, Game Boy Color, and Game Boy Advance game cartridges. Yes, you read that correctly: If you still have your Game Boy game collection (or if you are planning to start one), the Analogue Pocket will allow you to play thousands of its games. Impressively, this is done without emulation because the Pocket supports Game Boy cartridges directly. And the cherry on top? The portable system offers 10x the graphics resolution of the original console. You can live the whole experience of games like The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening in much higher quality.
The next official release of the Analogue Pocket console is slated for October 2021, and we expect it will be difficult to get one, considering how fast they sold out when pre-orders opened. Still, it’s not a bad idea to start dusting off your Game Boy cartridges in preparation.

Nintendo Game & Watch (2020)

Retro gaming system Nintendo Game & Watch

First released in 1982, the Game & Watch was the first-ever portable game system. Nintendo released the reimagined Game & Watch: Super Mario Bros. on November 13, 2020, which includes three games: Super Mario Bros., Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels, and Game & Watch: Ball.

Sony PlayStation Classic (2018)

Retro Gaming System Sony PlayStation Classic

The PlayStation Classic has 20 games pre-installed, is 80% smaller than the original model, has an HDMI video output, works with two standard PlayStation controllers connected via USB, and is powered via a micro-USB port. It’s the same PlayStation 1 experience we’re used to but with a few added improvements.
Final Fantasy VII, Grand Theft Auto, Metal Gear Solid, Resident Evil Director’s Cut, Tekken 3, and Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six are just some of the games included with the system.
The PlayStation Classic was released in December 2018 at a retail price of $99 and is now available to Buy and Sell on StockX.

Whether you were part of the first generation of gamers who played the first consoles or have just started your gaming hobby, we all have gaming memories that we take with us. To invest in retro consoles is a bit like investing in our memories, and some of the new generations of consoles allow us to dive back into those memories, sometimes with HD included.