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Recommend me an old handheld console

Which old handheld would you recommend me?


  • Total voters
    13
I guess... I recently did a from-scratch emulation setup for Oracle of Seasons that took like 15 minutes... while I'm probably saving 10+ hours during actual gameplay via save states and fast-forwarding.

Saving mechanisms make the whole thing again interesting :think:.
I do remember wondering how anyone could ever finish Sonic on the Mega Drive. I think I once played a whole evening on NYE and didn't even get half through.

I'd note that most consoles' libraries haven't aged particularly well - e.g. by my determination there were four NES games worth my time, eight GBA games, six N64 games, zero PSP games, zero Vita games, etc. (And most of these only tolerable with the aforementioned save states and fast-forwarding, if I had to play them in real time the list would be even shorter.)

mmhh... really that bad?
I would hope that at least some of the classics would hold up to modern expectations, although certainly not all, or even most.

Even if you don't want a PC setup, retro hardware is just... not very good. The Analogue pocket blows away original Nintendo hardware for gameboy games: https://www.analogue.co/pocket

Okay, that seems cool :thumbsup:.
Simple enough, with enough options.

HDMI and DVI are electrically compatible! A $10 cable or $5 adapter will let you plug any modern console into your monitor! Though you'd have to figure something else out for sound output...

I'm actually right now connecting my work laptop via a HDMI-to-DVI cable :blush:, but I just don't want to talk about this option :blush:.
 
I do remember wondering how anyone could ever finish Sonic on the Mega Drive. I think I once played a whole evening on NYE and didn't even get half through.
I recently replayed the first Sonic game and I completed it with all the Chaos Emeralds within two hours.
 
Saving mechanisms make the whole thing again interesting :think:.
I do remember wondering how anyone could ever finish Sonic on the Mega Drive. I think I once played a whole evening on NYE and didn't even get half through.

Even the Virtual Console (i.e. Nintendo's first-party emulator) supports save states. (Though it's somewhat more limited than third-party emulators.)

mmhh... really that bad?
I would hope that at least some of the classics would hold up to modern expectations, although certainly not all, or even most.

Well different people will have different lists - e.g. I dropped all the Fire Emblem games from my list because it turns out I just don't really like the genre. And I'm probably playing through more Castlevania games than I'd actually suggest other people do. The three GBA games are up next and I've already played through nine. I'm only skipping Haunted Castle - I've seen it described as "Castlevania with none of the joy": https://www.nintendolife.com/reviews/switch-eshop/arcade_archives_haunted_castle
 
Saving mechanisms make the whole thing again interesting :think:.
I do remember wondering how anyone could ever finish Sonic on the Mega Drive. I think I once played a whole evening on NYE and didn't even get half through.

This, plus the cost of retro cartridges, are good arguments for emulating. I get not wanting to put in the effort (I myself have avoided it for years at this point), but since you are specifically looking to start retro-gaming, the initial effort of setting up an emulator device seems worthwhile. All the stable emulators out there come with save states and speed boosting. An offhand example would be Pokemon menu prompts which force you to wait for the text to scroll and transition between each one, meaning something as simple as healing your Pokemon takes over half a minute, easily, every single time. With an emulator, less than five seconds.

Legality is murky. Retro consoles aren't supported anymore and the games are increasingly becoming more and more rare. There is almost no legal market for them anymore. Nintendo will outright tell you to take a hike if you come to them for old games and consoles and then slap a link to the Nintendo Online subscription service on your back while you're walking out the door. A used GBA, at least in Canada, is over $150, and then games themselves are anywhere between $30 to $200; and then all this hardware is old, worn, and likely gone through several owners in the past 20+ years, each with heavy usage. We're in the survivorship bias era of retro-gaming; the stock is dwindling and the original manufacturers are less and less inclined to care or facilitate their use. Nintendo has its proprietary emulator for its own games and it can't even do the full library, and the bugs are worse than with 3rd-party emulators.
 
Legality is murky. Retro consoles aren't supported anymore and the games are increasingly becoming more and more rare. There is almost no legal market for them anymore. Nintendo will outright tell you to take a hike if you come to them for old games and consoles and then slap a link to the Nintendo Online subscription service on your back while you're walking out the door. A used GBA, at least in Canada, is over $150, and then games themselves are anywhere between $30 to $200; and then all this hardware is old, worn, and likely gone through several owners in the past 20+ years, each with heavy usage. We're in the survivorship bias era of retro-gaming; the stock is dwindling and the original manufacturers are less and less inclined to care or facilitate their use. Nintendo has its proprietary emulator for its own games and it can't even do the full library, and the bugs are worse than with 3rd-party emulators.
There are some people who would say that retro games becoming rare is a good thing because it increases the value of the individual games and if anything Nintendo are far too soft on anyone who illegally downloads and emulates their old games.
 
There are some people who would say that retro games becoming rare is a good thing because it increases the value of the individual games and if anything Nintendo are far too soft on anyone who illegally downloads and emulates their old games.

I could see this view being held by collectors, or people who think retro-gaming is an exclusive club of sorts. But on a consumer level, and that of accessibility, I'm not sure it holds much weight.

Regarding Nintendo though, my general view essentially amounts to there being an expectation of support if they want to prevent people accessing content via other means. If you go out of your way to make it difficult to access your product, it's illogical to crack down on people accessing your product. Consumers are happy to pay and go through official channels if they can actually access the product in a reasonable way.
 
I could see this view being held by collectors, or people who think retro-gaming is an exclusive club of sorts. But on a consumer level, and that of accessibility, I'm not sure it holds much weight.

Regarding Nintendo though, my general view essentially amounts to there being an expectation of support if they want to prevent people accessing content via other means. If you go out of your way to make it difficult to access your product, it's illogical to crack down on people accessing your product. Consumers are happy to pay and go through official channels if they can actually access the product in a reasonable way.
No one has a right to play Nintendo's games. Nintendo has a right to do whatever it wants with their property. Anyone who disagrees just wants free stuff.
 
No one has a right to play Nintendo's games. Nintendo has a right to do whatever it wants with their property. Anyone who disagrees just wants free stuff.

While that is certainly an interesting opinion held by your acquaintances, I'm not overly inclined to argue with people who aren't actually here.

The third sentence, though, is laughably incorrect and has been proven false by Valve and Netflix.
 
How many TV shows and movies are there on Netflix that no one watches because of the large amount on content on their service? How many games are there in everyone's Steam libraries that are never played because they have too many games? If anything Valve and Netflix prove them right.
 
How many TV shows and movies are there on Netflix that no one watches because of the large amount on content on their service? How many games are there in everyone's Steam libraries that are never played because they have too many games? If anything Valve and Netflix prove them right?

:think:

I don't actually see the connection here. Can you elaborate? The content is still being paid for even if it's not being actively consumed. Valve and Netflix, at least in the early years, demonstrated that people are happy to pay if the service offers the product in a reasonable way. Nintendo's emulator, for example, isn't disliked simply because it costs money, but because it charges a recurring fee for a fraction of the possible product at a fraction of the possible performance.
 
:think:

I don't actually see the connection here. Can you elaborate? The content is still being paid for even if it's not being actively consumed. Valve and Netflix, at least in the early years, demonstrated that people are happy to pay if the service offers the product in a reasonable way. Nintendo's emulator, for example, isn't disliked simply because it costs money, but because it charges a recurring fee for a fraction of the possible product at a fraction of the possible performance.
If someone has one game, they are more likely to value and cherish that one game. If they have multiple games, hundreds or even thousands (like downloading the entire library of a console), each game no longer has that value and it becomes disposable. It's made even worse if it's something that's for free. If you pay for something, then that something has value and so you'll enjoy it more. If you get it for free, it has no value and so you can just throw it away without appreciating it.
 
If someone has one game, they are more likely to value and cherish that one game. If they have multiple games, hundreds or even thousands (like downloading the entire library of a console), each game no longer has that value and it becomes disposable. It's made even worse if it's something that's for free. If you pay for something, then that something has value and so you'll enjoy it more. If you get it for free, it has no value and so you can just throw it away without appreciating it.
Do you find that that holds true for your experiences? Have you only ever valued things that came at great cost?
 
Get a switch
 
Why not just play some really old games on your laptop instead?
 
Shadow President, although that wimpy Gen. Powell resigns when I drop 50 little nuclear bombs on Libya. What a party pooper.
 
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