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Retro Ahoy: All of the Old School Goodies Announced at E3

Published by: Evan Stanfield on June 25, 2019

e3 2019 retro news

Now that another E3 has been and gone, we look back at the future of retro gaming and give you the heads up on what’s coming your way in the next twelve months.

E3 is always one of our highlights of the year because there’s just so much happening, to the point at which no article could ever hope to cover it all. Instead of attempting the impossible, we’re going to go a different route and take a look at one of our favourite subjects: retro gaming.

Retro gaming has undergone something of a renaissance of late, and console manufacturers and IP owners have started to seriously cotton on to it. There’s no need for emulation software and illegal ROM sharing when you can buy a Nintendo Classic Mini instead of forking out crazy money for an original console.

This year’s E3 is impressive because of just how much choice there is for retro gamers – so much so that we’ve struggled to fit it all into one article. We’re going to give it a pretty good go, though!

Atari’s VCS and My Arcade’s Retro Champ

Codenamed the Ataribox during its development, the Atari VCS was first announced back in 2017 and comes with 4 GB of upgradeable RAM and is priced at a hefty $389.99 for the 800 Black Walnut All In bundle. It pays tribute to the old school Atari 2600 from 1977 and is released in December of this year to those who pre-ordered via Indiegogo and in March 2020 at retail stores.

If Atari’s plan is to bring arcades into our living rooms, they might be up against some competition. E3 was home to plenty of the company’s competitors including My Arcade, which is entirely dedicated to retro gaming. This year, they were showcasing their mini arcade cabinets and their Retro Champ handheld gaming device, and while we didn’t get a chance at a hands on experience, we’ve been impressed by the video demos we’ve seen and can’t wait to give them a try.

The cool thing about the Retro Champ is that it can accept NES/Famicom cartridges and has an HDMI output and a wireless controller, and it clocks in at just $80. If you’re hoping to get your hands on one, though, then you might be out of luck. They went on sale earlier this month and have already sold out.

Konami, Polymega and Nintendo

It’s also nice to see Konami coming back with the TurboGrafx-16 Mini, a smaller version of the 1989 console that’s in a similar vein to the NES Classic and the Sega Genesis Mini. The first batch of games was also revealed: R-Type, New Adventure Island, Ninja Spirit, Ys Book I & II, Dungeon Explorer and Alien Crush.

But my favourite of the lot has to be Polymega’s new console, which allows you to play the original cartridges of NES, SNES, Genesis and Neo Geo games, as well as Sega CD and Playstation CDs. When you run the game, the console will automatically make its own copy so that you can play it on the hardware at any time, and while we’re yet to see an official release date from the company, I can’t wait to get my hands on one.

And while it might not be console news per se, we’re also excited about some of the announcements from Nintendo, such as their upcoming remake of Link’s Awakening, a remaster of the Spyro trilogy and the upcoming digital collections Contra Anniversary Collection and Collection of Mana. Hey, I can’t help it – the SNES was my console as a kid.

Intellevision’s Amico and Other Accessories

Then there’s Intellivision, which teased its brand new Amico, including by showing off the new name and logo and previewing a few of its features. Their aim is to build a modern console that’s designed with retro gaming in mind, including by keeping the original style of controllers, though they now include a new digital video display.

The Amico is expected to go on sale in 2020 at around $165, and Intellivision has already started to build up the hype by sharing 22 playable demos. Originally released back in 1979, it was Atari’s main competitor for Atari 2600, which is making a comeback of its own as we saw earlier on in the article. It’ll be interesting to see how the two get on competing once again, thirty years down the line.

And if it’s accessories you’re looking for, E3 has got you covered there, too. For example, there’s Devolver Digital and their light gun game, Enter the Gungeon: House of the Gundead, which is due out next year. You can even get multiplayer games built into cocktail tables by Arcade1Up, or the X-Wing controller for Atari’s Star Wars Trilogy. And while we’re on the topic of Arcade1Up, be sure to check out their replicas of full-sized arcade cabinets for games like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and The Punisher.

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