Last month saw the release of two ‘new’ consoles. I say new but these consoles are three decades apart. We have the PS4 Pro (KD 130) and the NES (Nintendo Entertainment System) Classic (KD 20). If you offered me a choice of one, for free, I’d choose the NES. Or I’d take the PS4 Pro, sell it and buy 6 NES Classics, but the point remains, the Nintendo would be my preference.
The NES Classic is a miniature version of (arguably) the godfather of games consoles, the NES from the 80s. We covered it briefly in bazaar Tech in the September issue, and now it’s released! It comes preloaded with 30 classic games (mostly killer, a few filler) and connects to HDTV via HDMI. It also has the option to save game progress as you play, like modern gaming and a luxury we never had as kids.
The NES Classic sold out instantly once launched, although to be fair that was half down to the awesomeness of the product, and half down to Nintendo’s ridiculous practice of not providing anywhere near enough units to meet demand. This seems to be an ongoing trend for Nintendo, and it makes no sense, especially for a company that hates the idea of others making money from their products (NES Classics are on eBay for anywhere up to $1000 (KD 330) at the time of writing this.
The PS4 Pro is an upgrade to the unstoppable PS4. It has some extra power under the hood, and now runs and improved and full resolution on 4K TVs, as well as provides better support for the newly released PSVR. So who on earth would chose 30-year-old technology over shiny new, all singing, all dancing, all immersing 2016 gadgetry? Well, to reiterate the title of this article…me. I would.
And it isn’t just a case of preferring retro games to new ones, because as much as I do love me some games from yesteryear, I actually prefer new games. For one thing, if you already own a PS4, there is very little reason to spend the asking price on a PS4 Pro now. Its main draw is that it works with 4K TVs. But the issue with this is that not that many people own a 4K TV. The prices are coming down and I’d guess within the next five years, 4K TV will have replaced our standard HDTVs that we currently have. But that’s a long way from now. Even if you do have a 4K TV, not all games will get this 4K upgrade. That depends on the developer of each game, and if they want to bother making an update especially for the PS4 Pro. If they do, it comes to the console via a downloadable patch. So it’s really hit and miss as to which games will benefit right now.
Regarding the PSVR support-if you don’t know yet or can’t admit it, VR is a gimmick, in gaming at least. Something cool to try out, or show friends when they come over, but let’s face it, it isn’t how you’re going to be playing 95% of your games. Plus, PSVR still works with PS4 so again, no real reason to upgrade. It seems as if Sony rushed it out to be ahead of the Xbox Scorpio. Tech too ahead of its time, in my opinion.
On the other hand, with the NES Classic, you have tech that’s way behind. It should stay in the 80s because we have advanced so far now, but we brought it back because NOSTALGIA! Of course, it isn’t made of the same components that the original console was made from, but the games look and run the same. Also, as the games are preinstalled, you don’t get the ultimate feel of getting to blow the dust out of a cart, tap in on your knee for luck, insert and hope it works. It’s cheap, easy to use and fills us with memories of happier and simpler times. I, for one, can’t wait to let my future son or daughter discover it one day and ask what it is, so I can break it out and show them my childhood at the same time as creating a part of theirs. It’s a great gift for anyone even remotely interested in gaming, of any age. Needless to say, I pre-ordered mine months ago and now, amid the thousands of unlucky ones that can’t find one for love nor money, mine arrived and I’m loving it!
At this time when technology is racing ahead and beyond of what we actually need, it’s nice to have the option of going back in time to appreciate what we once considered groundbreaking, and pay homage to the things that gave rise to the items we take for granted today.