When it comes to the world of gaming, it’s been a noticeable trend that companies like Nintendo have been looking to the past to try to rekindle some of the retro magic that console gaming used to boast, not only to satisfy the cravings of older gamers but to make a fair few bucks for themselves courtesy of a modern generation of gaming fans enticed by retro elements.
The 2017 release of the SNES Classic not only proved hugely popular, but more importantly showed that the demand for 1990s-era consoles is still there. Despite this widely publicized hankering for a throwback to the past, the question has to be asked as to whether 2018 will prove that a peak has occurred in the world of retro.
Will Atari see their Comeback Stumble and Retro Gaming Crumble?
Having titles like Star Fox and Super Mario World helped to create a real sense of nostalgia for the Super Nintendo. The level of game released was, on the whole, simple but enjoyable, and updated sensitively by Nintendo so as not to annoy those who expected the games and console to be exactly as they were when they were released, but with features to make them easier to complete and save for gamers new to the world of Nintendo.
In contrast to Nintendo, Atari has an upcoming release planned that is likely to feature some of its classic games (as well as some new games) but there are suspicions the release could really struggle to hit the same sort of popular heights as Nintendo, and not just because the Atari name hasn’t seen a new console release in over 20 years.
The quality of the games themselves and the playability is likely to be the same for titles like Space Invaders, but the problem may lie in the quality of the graphics, which might just make the games seem incredibly outdated, especially to a younger generation spoiled by visual feats in the world of modern gaming.
Is the Future Here or is the Past Still the Present?
Of course, the tricky balance that the Atari console faces is being modern enough to show that the company has a future while being true to its retro roots. It is possible they have reached the world of retro gaming too late, as more futuristic, forward-thinking forms of video gaming grab mainstream attention. Take eSports as a pertinent example. eSports is a sector forging its own rules, taking the world of gaming by storm, and spreading like wildfire across the globe as a serious gaming trend.
This form of gaming is one that is helping to boost the world of iGaming as well, as you can see as betting starts to become more widely available for those who want to predict which teams and players are going to triumph in matches and tournaments. That’s not even mentioning the fact that eSports has come the closest gaming has ever managed to get to being included in the Olympic Games (after the decision was made to include it as a medal event at the Asian Games in 2022).
Retro gaming clearly still has a pull for some, but the future seems to be in the here and now, with the likes of eSports pushing technological boundaries and pulling in fans from around the globe in the process. This doesn’t mean that retro games don’t have their place, but they should be viewed as a niche opportunity for nostalgia, rather than carrying the capacity to change the gaming landscape as we move further into 2018.