Do you miss the days where you spent hours playing Pac-Man or Super Mario Kart? Want to finally get the last piece of the Legend of Zelda’s Triforce? Here’s a look at where to find some of the old school video games that you remember fondly.
Unless your mom wanted to make a few extra bucks at her garage sale, chances are that no one ever bothered to get rid of your old games. Go digging around the house and see what you can find.
If you find your old Super Nintendo but can’t quite get it working, a simple Internet investigation may help you solve the problem. There are plenty of YouTube tutorials that will help get your old gaming systems up and running, and you can also purchase cleaning kits online. Even if the system isn’t salvageable, odds are that your games still work and you just need a new system to play them on.
Second Hand Stores:
Thrift stores, flea markets, pawn shops and garage sales. If you have a specific list of games to purchase, this is probably akin to looking for a needle in a haystack. However, if you’re just looking for some affordable games or an old Sega Genesis, then you could find some hidden treasure.
eBay. If you can contain your excitement long enough for the product to be shipped to you, online auction site eBay will offer the best variety and very competitive prices on games and hardware. Sometimes you can get a really good deal when a seller is offering a system and multiple games for purchase. Amazon is anther resource to use, but actually seeing a photo may not be as easy as finding the game though.
Local Video Game Store:
There are stores that specialize in retro video games, and some video game chains stock old games. These stores may also buy and sell games, so chances of a trade in for what you are looking can be an option. The prices can be a little steeper at these stores, but they have several advantages over thrift shops. Not only will you often find an excellent variety of games and systems, you usually have the ability to trade in your old games for store credit. Plus, many of these stores have return policies in case the game you buy doesn’t work. That’s not usually an option at a thrift store or garage sale.
If you have a Wii, Wii U or Nintendo 3DS, then you have access to Nintendo’s Virtual Console, which allows you to download old games cheaply. Virtual Console doesn’t have every Nintendo game ever made, but it features a solid selection.
The Virtual Consoles games vary depending on which system you have, with the Wii version offering the most games. The Wii Virtual Consoles has tons of games from the NES, Super Nintendo and N64 systems. It also has a few Sega Master System games, an excellent selection of Sega Genesis games, and games from more obscure systems like TurboGrafx, Neo Geo and even a few old Commodore 64 games. The 3DS Virtual Console has games from the original Nintendo Game Boy, Game Boy Color, Game Boy Advance and Sega Game Gear.
The same can be said about the playstation network. Sony is rapidly improving the PSN (playstation network), with many classic retro games being brought back to life. A few games are even getting re-mastered or maybe having some additional content added to the experience.
Now that you’ve got some games, enjoy your quality time with the Mario Brothers and Sonic the Hedgehog. Just be careful: The same games you found addictive the first time you played them may still have that allure. All-night Zelda fests may make it difficult to get up for work the next day.
An emulator is a program designed to emulate another platform such as a games console on another computer. Emulators are often used by enthusiasts of older video games which were designed for now-obsolete games consoles and operating systems. Emulators are also used in the form of virtual machines to run an older operating system on a newer one in order to overcome compatibility issues and run older programs which are no longer supported by the host operating system. Due to its status as the dominant operating system on desktop and laptop computers, Windows has many emulators available for it.
Emulators are the only practical way of playing video games designed for older computers, such as those made by Atari, Amiga or Acorn. Since these manufacturers ceased production of computers back in the 90s, the only way to play games and run software designed for them is to use an emulator for the host operating system (e.g. Windows 7) unless you have the original computer itself. Emulators are also available for almost all of the games consoles of old as well as some of the newer ones. For Windows, and various other operating systems, there are emulators for the Super Nintendo, Sony PlayStation, Gameboy and much more.
Since modern computers are vastly more powerful and feature-rich than computers and games consoles made in the 80s and 90s, they are more than capable of running such old software and video games. The Amiga 500+, for example, was one of the most popular computers back in the early- to mid-nineties. It had a 7 MHz processor and 2 MB of memory. Today’s computers are many, many times faster. In spite of this, you’ll still need a far more powerful computer for emulation than the computer or console you are emulating. This is because all of the processing is done using the emulator software to run games, programs and operating systems which were never designed to run on the host operating system.
Emulators can be even better than the real thing. For example, if you’re running a Super Nintendo emulator on a computer, you can enjoy better sound, smoother graphics, lower loading times and better connectivity features.
Emulators are often a subject of copyright-related controversy. Due to copyright laws, emulating older video games and software can be problematic, since most people obtain the software illegally. While there’s a great deal of software and games available legally and for free (this is often known as “abandonware”), many products are still copyright-protected and running them with an emulator is illegal unless you own the original software, be it in the form of a games console cartridge or the original CD or floppy disk.
Written By: Brandon Perton