Retro-Games And Consoles Are The Latest Craze In The Gamer World
NOEL KING, HOST:
Nintendo has a new gaming console. Well, it's kind of new. The Super NES Classic is basically just a smaller version of a system that is almost 30 years old. Despite that, it sold out in hours, which is evidence maybe of a retro gaming craze. NPR's Adhiti Bandlamudi has the story.
ADHITI BANDLAMUDI, BYLINE: Kelsey Lewin is a 23-year-old gamer in Seattle, Wash. She owns over 70 different gaming systems, and her collection keeps growing. She wants to play every game on every console. She's a huge fan of Nintendo and finds the Nintendo 64, another kind of console, is especially important to her collection.
KELSEY LEWIN: If you go back to the beginnings of when I started falling in love with video games, the Nintendo 64 was a really big part of that. So I do collect from some nostalgic reasons. But, yeah, a lot of it is also just because I know that I haven't played everything, and I would really like to someday.
BANDLAMUDI: Lewin co-owns Pink Gorilla Games, a retro and imported videogame store. She says when she orders old consoles her customers buy them right away. A lot of it, she thinks, has to do with nostalgia.
LEWIN: I definitely think that's a part of it - a big part of it, even. But a lot of it is still that it just holds up today as well. So they still enjoy playing the NES not just because they remember playing it as a kid, but because it's still fun.
BANDLAMUDI: Brian Kim is a 25-year-old gamer from Virginia. He's playing "Contra," one of the classic games that comes pre-downloaded on the Super NES he just bought.
BRIAN KIM: When I was younger, my best friend had a Super Nintendo. And I used to go over to his house and I used to play that a lot. And there were a lot of times where I actually - because I didn't have the system I wanted to go to his house, and he wouldn't want to play because he had them.
BANDLAMUDI: But these old games aren't easy to play. The controls on these old consoles aren't as sensitive to players' movements as new consoles are. Kim is struggling to play "Contra."
KIM: The annoying thing is you can't move and shoot at the same time. You either shoot or you move. Oh, shoot. I fell into the fire.
BANDLAMUDI: And along with the revived popularity of these old consoles, there's a growing interest for the games that were played on them, too. "Contra" is just one of the games that's part of this revival. But people who collect these games and consoles aren't necessarily getting them to play them over and over again.
KIM: It's more so of just being able to say, like, I have this system. I have it as, like, a collectible and have it kind of displayed for myself.
BANDLAMUDI: This trend is sweeping the gamer world. Fans are buying other old consoles like the Atari and the Sega Genesis, too. And they're not cheap. When Nintendo brought back the Super NES, it sold for about $80. But if you're trying to get one now on eBay, you could spend anywhere from $150 to $200. Adhiti Bandlamudi, NPR News.
(SOUNDBITE OF JAKE KAUFMAN'S "JUNGLE 1")