Why is retro gaming so popular?

With a history spanning right back to the release of Pong in 1972, the culture of retro gaming is only getting bigger as the consoles age.

Is retro gaming a way to Link to the past? Do you prefer running the Gauntlet, or perhaps completing your Paperboy route? So many of us have a nostalgic gaming experience we look back on fondly.

There are currently three different branches of retro gaming – vintage retro gaming, emulated retro gaming and ported retro gaming. 

Here are the differences between them and what makes them so popular.

Vintage Retro Gaming

Vintage retro gaming includes all the original cartridges, discs, arcades and even tapes from our massive gaming history.

It also includes the hardware that’s required to play these games such as the game consoles themselves, joystick and joypads, IR controllers, camera and even printer add-ons.

The hardware is the essential first step in adventuring into the world of vintage retro gaming as it’s what enables you to load up those classic games.

A lot of kids are surprised at how many cords are required to hook these machines up to, most commonly, the family tv. After the great untangling process is complete, the reward is well worth it. 

After setup it’s time to find those games – that’s where we can help.



Emulated retro gaming

This is typically left to those who have a solid understanding of computers.

Emulated retro gaming is when software is used with ROMs, which are digital copies straight from the original disc or cartridge, to play retro games on modern hardware.

Due to its accessibility, emulation has done a lot to increase the popularity in retro gaming with entire sites dedicated to sharing information.

Ported Retro Gaming

Ported retro gaming is bringing the same old games you know and love in a fresh new format.

These are typically

  • Official collection releases such as retro bundles for consoles
  • Console downloadable content – NES or SNES for Nintendo Switch Online, Xbox backwards compatible titles
  • All-in-one systems such as the recent SNES Mini or Playstation Classic.

More recently, the gaming industry have re-released mini versions of their most popular gaming consoles.

Sony, Nintendo and Sega have all dabbled in this space and some have been quite popular showing that there’s an ever-growing demand for retro gaming.

It’s quite simple why there’s such demand for this genre.

Gaming is generally a part of our lives when growing up and therefore brings a level of sentimentality and nostalgia with it.

We all love to rediscover our past and gaming, for some, can be a massive part of that.

Gaming with friends, gaming with family and sometimes even defining who we are. This stokes the demand to obtain what we once had and therefore the quest to search through our garages, stores and online for that old gaming gear.

If you're keen to relive some of your childhood nostalgia, check out the retro gaming gear we have instore or online.

Author: Luke Mortensen - Cash Converters QLD Operations