There are many people who have created emulators for all the classic consoles so that you can play all the classics from the comfort of your PC. Just upload and away you go.
But nothing beats the experience of playing the game in its original console format. Whether it is a trip down memory lane or just a discovery there are many who swear to the greatness that is the original console over an emulator. Much like those who talk of the warm quality of an LP over an MP3 of the same song. It is true that there are times when you do wish you could just press and play (Anyone who remembers waiting upwards to an hour to load a game on the Spectrum will vouch for that), but the wait is still well worth it.
That being said, here is my guide to Purchasing a Classic Console.
1.) Check for Damage
How many people have purchased a vintage car only to find you need a part? A part that they probably don’t even make any more? Imagine trying to find a part for an NES from the 1980s? It’s not going to be easy. Sure there are dealers and people who specialize in these repairs, but many will be charging top dollar prices and that cheap bargain you found on eBay could soon turn into a money pit.
2.) All Parts Included
In the same area, if you think a part will be difficult, buying a controller, adaptor or even a plug might be even worse. There’s nothing worse than opening a box to find that all the parts are included except for the one that connects it to the TV and unlike these days were all you need is a standard cable, Nintendo and others had a particularly bad habit of creating wires that could only be used on their consoles. This again leads to trawling through the internet for ‘Power Plug for NES’ and again that bargain… becomes less so.
3.) Check your Region
The world is usually divided into three regions when it comes to gaming: USA, Europe and Japan. Make sure you have the correct one or you might yourself with a console that doesn’t play the games you want or just simply will not work on your TV… or at all. Check on the region for the games to as you may find again that you have a perfect Sega Genesis and a less than perfect bunch of Sega Megadrive games!
4.) They are not antiques
Over 60 Millions NES’s were sold in its lifetime, Atari 2600 clocks in a 30Million even Sega’s little known Nomad sold over a million. There maybe people who post on eBay that they have a ‘collectible’ but unless they are truly unique. i.e. First Generation Makes or have something else special about them such as still boxed or signed by the creator you should treat these consoles as something that can be picked up everywhere. However, in terms of games there are some rare games that if you find or have could be worth hundreds or thousands and so you ever come across a copy of Stadium Events for the NES then you grab that and pay whatever the old lady who doesn’t know any better wants!
So really what you have to ask yourself is why you are buying it. If it is to collect you can pick up an unopened NES for around four hundred pounds, but if it is to play you can probably pick one up with all the trimmings for less than fifty.
The best place to start looking for retro consoles would probably be eBay, or you could just have a look around your house or your families, someone is bound to have an old console hidden with the Game of Life and Monopoly boards.
If you have a look around your local junk shops and charity stores you may find yourself surprised at the number of consoles that people have donated. If you do, put your hand in your pocket, pay the pittance that is being asked and enjoy the classic game as it was meant to be played.
You can thank me later.