Interview by Vinny Fanneran
They promised that the long queues, two-thirds filled with people about to be disappointed, would not happen again. They promised that, unlike their NES Classic Mini, their latest repackaging wouldn’t be worth hoarding for hawking at nigh-on extortionate prices on eBay.
Nintendo broke their promises. Stores across Ireland and the world at large are devoid of the Super NES Classic Minis - they are currently only available online, starting at around 160% of retail value.
The reincarnation of the Super Nintendo Entertainment System comes pre-loaded with 20 games and one unlockable, previously unreleased title and retails for €89.99, though scalpers are selling starting at €150 excluding P&P on eBay.
The line-up is not expandable nor will it work with original software or peripherals. However, it has arguably* the twenty best games the 16-bit system had to offer in a convenient, slimline casing complete with HDMI output.
Nintendo haven’t just included their own stable of first-party titles, like The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, Super Metroid, Super Mario World and Super Mario Kart but have brought in second and third party smashes from Rare, Square, Capcom and Konami. Donkey Kong Country, Final Fantasy III, Street Fighter II Turbo, Contra III and Super Castlevania IV being standouts on the list. Starwing 2 (Star Fox 2) makes its public debút on the Super NES Classic Mini - a full 22 years after its abrupt cancellation.
The Super NES Classic Mini is the latest in a steady stream of new hardware resurrecting old platforms from a number of manufacturers. Smash-hits like the aforementioned NES Classic Mini and Hyperkin's Retron 5 offer different routes to retro gaming heaven - the Retron 5 plays official cartridges from several competing systems and is compatible with original system controllers as opposed to the single-platform, pre-loaded Nintendo offerings. Lesser-known retro systems like the Spectrum Vega are dedicated to one system and come with pre-loaded software but allow a player to enjoy downloaded ROMs via a microSD card.
Doing it the old-fashioned way
Another way that gamers enjoy their retro titles is through collecting the systems themselves. Players.ie spoke to an anonymous retro game dealer who makes a living from discovering the rare and the precious games and consoles among the jumble-sale toys of yesteryear or in an unsuspecting pawn shop.
Ireland’s leading private collector, Naoise O’Hare is a panellist at the upcoming PlayersXpo. With an extensive hoard of retro consoles and games, O’Hare has shared his way to being a social media heavyweight with over 21K followers on Instagram regularly getting nostalgic/envious over his collection. He recently appeared on TheRetroZone podcast which is coincidentally the name of Xpo’s dedicated retro gaming area.
The Retro Zone at #PX2017 features an extensive history of video games delivered in the most natural way. That is, a load of home consoles on which to play notable games through the generations: from the Atari 2600 VCS of 1977 up to the modern classics of the sixth generation like Dreamcast and PS2. The Retro Zone features all of the memorable systems that made us gamers along with some obscure footnotes like the 3DO and Atari Jaguar. A showcase of handheld systems will be viewable at PlayersXpo.
There is also a retro games trading area at #PX2017 where attendees can buy old titles and systems with Ireland’s leading retro retailers, The R.A.G.E of Dublin and Player1.ie. As it turns out, those of you denied a Super NES Classic last Friday can spite Nintendo by playing or even buying the real thing at PlayersXpo instead.
PlayersXpo, Ireland’s ULTIMATE gaming event is taking over The Convention Centre, Dublin on the 28th & 29th of October! Get your tickets here.
*The Super NES Classic Mini collection omits International Superstar Soccer Deluxe so this games journalist cannot endorse the common view that the SNES Classic Mini has the 20 best games from the OG SNES library.