There is no doubt that retro game collecting is becoming more and more popular as the years go by, but there is a major flaw with this, inherently retro ware is a diminishing resource. The hardware and the software were only produced in certain numbers when they were originally released or maybe the numbers were bolstered with a second issuing of a game or a special edition of a console. For these reasons some rare games and versions of different consoles can be worth some series money. Some of the prices for these games have become slightly outrageous, considering that a sealed-in-box copy of Stadium Events for the NES sold of $75,000! Collecting retro games is fun and it is always about finding that one piece for your collection that was a major score. But there is a problem facing the future of retro gaming.
When it comes to the Atari, Commodore 64, NES, Sega, N64 and so on, there is one major factor that is shared across all systems, no online connectivity. Now when you get to the Xbox, GameCube and PS2, they were all eventually connected to the internet. Here is the thing, with older systems you simply hook your system up, pop in the game and play. Now you may have to tinker with a cartridge by blowing on it or jiggling it a bit or maybe you have to clean a CD or get dust of a laser lens. Now a day the hardest thing can simply be hooking your old system up to a modern TV, but there are systems and adapters on the market to help.
We have now moved in to the age of the XBOX One, PS4, and the Wii U. So the XBOX 360, PS3, and Wii are on their way to the retro game world. There is a fundamental problem that is going to bare its ugly head starting with this generation of consoles, online connectivity. I personally am on my sixth XBOX 360, so I have had to change my console information and transfer files an absurd amount of times. From doing this a lot of my downloadable content needs to be verified via XBOX Live before I am allowed to play it, I have full games on my hard drive that I enjoy. When they shutdown XBOX Live for the XBOX 360 will I ever be able to play these again? Now I know in the future I will be able to hook up my XBOX 360 and play pretty much any physical copy of a game in single player mode. But maybe in twenty years I will have a hankering to play 3D Ultra Mini Golf with my friends; will I be able to do that? I have a sneaking suspicion that I will not.
So where is the future of retro gaming going? Will our children be able to experience the joy of collecting and playing games from their parent’s childhood? I sincerely believe that even though all retro gaming ware is a diminishing resource that there will always be enough around for future generations to enjoy. So, yes, I think our children will experience the original versions of Super Mario Brothers, Zelda, and Final Fantasy. But I am not so sure about games like LIMBO, Aegis Wing, Trails HD, or DUST. The list could go on for ages and that makes me uneasy. I mean personally my outlook on life changed the first time I played Left 4 Dead with four friends, I realized if a zombie apocalypse happened we would all stay cool and collected but inevitably friendly fire would be the leading cause of death. I guess only time will tell what is going to happen but I think geek ingenuity will help to settle all my fears in the end.