At what point does keeping old consoles and games become a pointless exercise in nostalgia?

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#1 Posted by j_unit2008 (309 posts) -

I imagine many of you fine duders, like myself, have an affinity for the games of old. Whether it be the early generation of polygonal 3D games, the 16-bit era, or the earliest games we all have some classics near and dear to our hearts. With all the re-releases, remasters, and emulators available today it may be easier than ever to enjoy these games. Despite these conveniences, I still cling to a few of my old consoles. I still have my SNES, Genesis, N64, and dozens of games for each platform. However, I've found myself playing these games less and less over the years. I'm starting to think that I'm keeping these consoles just to have as a reminder of the great memories they've provided me. I find this nostalgia particularly odd since I had no desire to keep my VHS or DVD players or any of the tapes and discs. At what point do we as gamers need to let go of these pieces of hardware and software and accept that they largely just collect dust and look neat on an entertainment center?

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#2 Edited by liquiddragon (3552 posts) -

You're right, they are worthless. You should donate me!

Hey, they were worth it to you for this long. That's pretty impressive. If they no longer make sense to keep in your life, it's ok to retire them. Although I'm sure you'll get an itch to play them randomly one day. Not like they are worth that much. Maybe space is the bigger factor?

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#3 Posted by Justin258 (15693 posts) -

I don't think anyone needs to let go of their old consoles if they have the space to keep them.

I don't have a VHS player anymore because it's completely and utterly useless these days. Anything and everything I could possibly want to watch is available on DVD or Blu-Ray or there's a place to find it online. The same is not true of classic video games - not all of them are easily (legally) obtainable these days. Sure, emulation theoretically solves that problem, but emulation always feels off in some way.

Also, the act of watching a VHS isn't any different from watching a DVD - you put it in and start playing the movie. Video game controllers back then were pretty varied, so if I want to play a Nintendo 64 game with a Nintendo 64 controller, the only way to do that is with a Nintendo 64. Or track down a USB N64 look-alike controller and emulate the game, but again, emulation always feels at least a little off.

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#4 Posted by Stonyman65 (3812 posts) -

For the longest time I was really bummed about selling my SNES way back when, but now with emulators that really isn't a problem anymore. I still have an N64, PS2, and Gamecube around in storage because that generation still isn't where it needs to be yet for good emulation/ I still go back and play those old games a few times a year so it makes sense for me to keep that old stuff around since most of it isn't stuff that I could just emulate or by a re-release or remaster of. I don't have a Jeff-like collection because that's just crazy, but I do have enough to fill an 18 gallon bin or two. I guess the question is do you have enough storage space for everything in a few bins? You could probably get away with it in a house, but if you're in an apartment or condo or something that might be tough. Or you could pay for one of those storage things and keep all your crap there.

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#5 Edited by oraknabo (1744 posts) -

I used to have one of every major console and a decent selection of games for each. Today, I'm pretty happy with emulation. I can run pretty much anything I want from the same mid-tier PC and I have them all set up to work with either a wired 360 controller or the Steam controller. Sure, there are a few games that don't work from the PS2 or N64, but I can play pretty much anything from the NES, SNES, Genesis, GBA or PSX. It takes some space to store roms & isos, but it's a lot better than the space it would take in my home to have all the hardware.

If you're still iffy about the legal issues with PC emulation, there are tons of great games available on Virtual Console, PSN (Including the new PS2 HD re-releases) and packages on Steam like the SEGA classics.

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#6 Posted by DFL017 (311 posts) -

The only thing I collect at all in my life is NES games. It's just a sentimental thing I guess, I don't think I'll ever get rid of them.

Side note, I just turned on my Game Boy after several years and the screen doesn't work. Major bummer.

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#7 Edited by ThatOneDudeNick (1577 posts) -

I barely have enough time to play the new stuff that I want. There's no appeal to me in going back to play old stuff. Old consoles get sold as soon as something new is available. I'll finish off some stuff and move forward.

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#8 Posted by Slag (8164 posts) -

Probably at the point where you are asking this question.

I rarely if ever use my old ones, but I know I want them and have adequate storage for them. If I didn't want them, I'd dump 'em without a second thought.

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#9 Posted by Rafaelfc (2243 posts) -

I wish I didn't get rid of all my old consoles (atari 2600, nes, snes, n64).

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#10 Posted by TanookiSuit (724 posts) -

I've contemplated getting rid of my old consoles/games but only for monetary reasons, however, things always worked out and I've been able to hang onto them. There are a finite amount of cartridges and consoles so I figure hanging on to them is more of an investment, especially with those rarer and older titles at this point. If I die or something, they're pretty much my "legacy" and/or means for paying for the funeral and then some, so no one else has to. Morbid way to think about it, but you never know.

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#11 Posted by Dixavd (2910 posts) -

I've still got old games I haven't finished, Dammit!

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#12 Posted by DinosaurCanada (938 posts) -

I think It's cool to keep old tech around, just to have. At some point it becomes a collection, which is an idea you take or leave.

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#13 Posted by Dragon_Puncher (619 posts) -

As long as you enjoy having them, I don't think it's pointless. I almost never play my old consoles, but the knowledge that I have that option brings a smile to my face. Why would I need another reason?

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#14 Edited by RonGalaxy (4936 posts) -

The one thing I liked about Microsoft's recent announcements for Xbox was the unified platform part. I think we're at the point where all the console makers should create platforms to build upon over time rather than throw away after 4-7 years. I don't think hardware should be updated too frequently (at least ever 4 years, IMO), but it would be so amazing if they built a windows-esque framework with decent compatibility for old software.

So yeah, I think having to keep old consoles to play old games sucks and I think there's a better way to be handling it.

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#15 Posted by ajamafalous (13821 posts) -

I have never sold/traded in a single game; if you regret it, it only gets exponentially harder to track all that stuff down again if you decide you want it back.

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#16 Posted by chaser324 (8717 posts) -

I just want to give a quick heads up to everyone here to be careful about how you talk about emulation. While the rules on GB have been relaxed a bit to allow for emulator discussion, we still prohibit any comments advocating piracy or any illegal activities involved in circumventing copyright protection.

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#17 Posted by Counterclockwork87 (1180 posts) -

It depends, do you play them? I own almost every major console released, and maybe to some people that's a lot but I also very frequently play them. Like, as I'm typing this I'm playing Alien Crush on the Turbo Grafx-16.

Most types of games I find play better on the original hardware, with the exception of RPGs (cuz the controller doesn't usually matter) and enhanced rereleases.

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#18 Posted by riostarwind (1364 posts) -

Although emulators and re-releases may make it easier to play old games these days they aren't quite the same. They may be able to perfectly recreate everything visually but they can't accurately reproduce the feel of playing it on the original controller. Nostalgia may be the reason I kept almost every console but the reason I don't mind keeping them is that I can still enjoy playing them today. Even keeping them around just to look at is fine too since that fills a similar need as having Gundam model kits on a shelf or a growing Amiibo collection. Or if you go with my case having a absurd amount of old games let me revisit them now and write a bit about them in my weekly blog post.

So I don't think its pointless but of course I would say that.

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#19 Posted by SpaceInsomniac (6353 posts) -

Why would I ever SELL my stuff? My stuff is awesome.

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#20 Posted by Excitable_Misunderstood_Genius (349 posts) -

At about Jeff Gerstman.

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#21 Posted by SkullPanda1 (1631 posts) -

"If you haven't used it in two years you probably don't need it" is a good way of figuring out what tech to keep and what to let go of.

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#22 Edited by Tom_omb (1087 posts) -

What? You all got rid of your VHS players? I still have mine hooked up to my TV. I love putting in an old tape I haven't seen in years and seeing the ads I saw as a kid.

The same is the case for my old consoles. My game collection isn't nearly as large as yours, so they don't take up too much space, I can't think of a reason I'd want to get rid of them. I've browsed a retro game store or two, but I'd prefer to buy classic games on virtual console these days. The prices are comparable (unless it's a rare cart), no need to worry about dead save batteries, and they don't take up physical space. That said, I love playing my old games on the systems I played them on originally and do so often enough they are worth keeping around.

Selling things is just work, it's easier to hang on to them. My DVD collection is another issue, I spent so much money on movies I only watched once, or not at all, and now they take up too much space.

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#23 Edited by NeverGameOver (902 posts) -

There is an equation out there to answer this question, but it is specific to each person and their personal tastes and situation. The factors determining this are:

(1) How often you actually play your old games, assuming you still have access to them.

(2) How much free space you have

(3) How often you move; and

(4) How much you need the money you could get from selling them

For me, the answer to #1 is too infrequent to justify keeping games that are older than a generation, given the frequency of #3.

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#24 Posted by FrostyRyan (2925 posts) -

Video game consoles are not the same at all as VHS or DVD players.

It would be the same if one company made a VHS player, and only certain films were playable on that one VHS player. And then rival companies made other home video players and some movies were only available on there

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#25 Posted by GERALTITUDE (5990 posts) -

No one can tell you what is valuable or worth keeping. This applies to anything a human being can own or hold or touch in their hands.

I have the space to keep old consoles, I do play them, and I very much enjoy the time spent. If that changes, I will reevaluate.

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#26 Posted by General_Mapache (151 posts) -

I have a GameCube as that is a console that is close to my heart, and some of the best games on it were never re-released, e.g , Paper Mario. I've got the Metroid Prime collection on the wii but the controls for the first two games are very different compared to the original GameCube games and as a result the game play is significantly changed.

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#27 Posted by RetroMetal (871 posts) -

How interested would anyone be in an OG Xbox with Component cables, controllers, memory cards and a bunch of games?

I was contemplating purging that out of my closet over the weekend.

I would even donate it to GB if they wanted it.

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#28 Posted by ShaggE (9311 posts) -

@retrometal: I'd be very interested, having missed most of that generation. How much?

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#29 Posted by RetroMetal (871 posts) -

@shagge: Let me get a list of the games I have and you can see if you are interested.

I wont be able to get that done until I get home from work.

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#30 Posted by ShaggE (9311 posts) -
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#31 Posted by hassun (10053 posts) -

I keep all my old consoles and games because I might as well keep them since they aren't worth selling and I still have enough room not to have to throw them out.

Hell my PS2 is still hooked up!

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#32 Posted by kcin (1007 posts) -

I recently heard of the organizational/storage concept of "only have things you love, and get rid of everything you are just OK with having". It was a revelation, to say the least. Over the last two weeks, I sold and gave away all the old video game stuff I have had in tubs in my closets across several moves (and which constituted most of my boxed stuff) and getting rid of it felt as good as seeing it given or sold to someone who wanted it.

Having something "just in case" is just not worth it to me. If you need it down the line, obtain it then; don't just keep stuff in case you'll want to use it sometime. That's how you end up with big boxes of cables (which were also an absolute joy to free myself of, by the way). It feels good to have fewer things.

Also, I found that some stuff I had that I didn't even particularly like or care about is worth a lot now. Definitely run your things through a Google search and you'll almost certainly be surprised by how much this stuff you keep in boxes is actually worth. I found a copy of Super Smash Bros. Melee with box and manual and thought nothing of it. That game must be super common. Turns out it's worth like $60.

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#33 Edited by medacris (738 posts) -

Is it weird to buy something you remember wanting as a kid, but never had, just to appease your nostalgia for wanting to buy it? For example, I never had an N64 (or a NES/SNES, or any of those older consoles). I played the N64 at other people's houses, but never had one of my own. I know I can emulate N64 games, or download remastered versions of them on 3DS and Wii/WiiU, but it's not really the same as finding one secondhand and actually playing it for the first time.

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#34 Posted by BaneFireLord (3570 posts) -

When Red Dead Redemption gets released on PC.

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#35 Edited by FacelessVixen (2702 posts) -

My PS2 won't play certain games. If anything, I need a new one.

Eh. I just figured out how to use PCSX2 to play my discs.

And people said I was crazy for building a PC with a DVD drive! Look who's crazy now, motherfuckers!

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#36 Posted by MonkeyKing1969 (7685 posts) -

At this point old games have zero 'collectors item' value aside from th value that 'you' have for them. Most games have millions of discs printed and are offered on services that sell them electronically often on sale. Games have zero value as collectors items now, so anyone collecting modern games 1995-forward is wasting their time and money. True rarity is nearly impossible these days, and that is for what used to be collectibles. Comics, sports cards, 1st ed books, dolls, toys, etc are all worthless in the modern age where so much is produced and distributed so widely. There will never be a major imprint comic that is rare like the original Super Man comic....people keep to much and too many are made.

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#37 Edited by kcin (1007 posts) -

@monkeyking1969: I'm all for getting rid of stuff you don't need, but this is just...not true. You're point of comparison for things worth collecting versus things not worth collecting are collectibles literally valued at nearly or over one million dollars. There are many things worth many times their original value that aren't worth nearly one million dollars, and all of those things can and, in many cases, are worth collecting. Video games are still considered among those things, and definitely do not have 'zero value'. They may not be worth a million dollars apiece, but many are still worth more than they have any real right to be, and people who collect relatively rare games aren't wrong for doing so.

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#38 Edited by goin970 (1 posts) -

Idk but i think that nostalgia is the man part of good feeling during playtime at old games. As example - i found a pretty messed up version of Duke Nukem: . For 6-years old it was a masterpeice. But now? in 2019 - it's just a bunch of pixels and smooth textures. But it's still ok for me. So, yeah, it's all about our bright past.

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#39 Posted by aerithlives (37 posts) -

@j_unit2008: This is like saying old books just collect dust so you should get rid of them. You know that some first editions of classic books are now highly sought after collector's editions, right? It will be the same a hundred years from now with video games. Sure, you'll able to download them or whatever but people will still value physical editions.

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#40 Edited by NTM (11898 posts) -

The only problem for me is that they take up space. There is always a chance, even if small, that some console someday will be able to play all of them again through back compat or emulation like what Analogue creates. It's not likely that I'll pull out any of the older consoles from two generations ago, let alone last-gen. I do not really have them for nostalgia, well, not entirely or for the most part I think, but I'd find it hard to get rid of them. I've never been one to trade in or sell games because I've always felt that I might play them again in the future. That said, sometimes developers just put out remasters, so why would I need an older version? I don't know. Maybe someday they'll sell for a bunch of money. Eh. I don't know. I hardly ever buy physical anymore though, so I don't really clog my room up with game boxes. That was something I was worried about some years ago but decided to just go digitally around 2014 for the most part. Lastly, I will say it's not fully up to me because, in part, many of those games are also my brothers as we both bought them over the years, and he's way more stubborn when it comes to older games and physical media than I am.

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#41 Posted by Shindig (4982 posts) -

It's the space problem for me. I would love backwards compatibility or emulators to substitute my actual hardware but there's instances where it's not up to snuff yet.

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#42 Posted by besighyawn (20 posts) -

I've pretty much sold all my older software, but have the hardware lying around somewhere since the hassle of packing and shipping wasn't worth the cost of selling them. Holding onto physical games just doesn't appeal to me anymore because who am I showing them off to honestly. The older I got, staring at them on my shelves just didn't excite me anymore.

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#43 Posted by nutter (2394 posts) -

I don’t like collecting stuff, so old consoles are largely clutter. I do have an old N64 for Virtual Pro Wrestling 2, though. That’s my one exception dating back to the 2600.

Plus, backwards compatibility and emulation cover a lot of history.

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#44 Posted by MonkeyKing1969 (7685 posts) -

I sold 95% of my PS, PS2, and PS3 games; and sold my two PS2 consoles. I'm keeping my PSX for nostalgia. Truthfully, I will sell my PS3 and PS4 and all the physical software soon.

Console and games are just "stuff". The things that are worth something decades centuries later are things sold in the two to three digit range not the six to eight digit range. Consoles and physical games will be worth $5 in 50 years.

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#45 Edited by wollywoo (323 posts) -

I went on a cleaning spree last year and got rid of a TON of stuff, including selling a bunch of old video games. I came to my senses later and now I regret it somewhat. Thank God that I could not find my original SNES cart of Final Fantasy VI. Now I know where it is, and they can bury me with that.

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#46 Posted by SuperKMx (27 posts) -

All depends on the person's situation (space, finance, etc.) and how much love they have for each thing.

I got to the point where firing up a NES, SNES or Mega Drive/Genesis game on the original consoles was annoying. Fish out the cart I want to play, unravel and run the controller cables across the room (which my cat would inevitably start to have a deep interest in after 20 minutes of gameplay) then unplug and replug things through an OSSC to make the games look decent on my TV. Then put it all back when I was done.

Cleared out ~200 NES/SNES/MD games and the relevant hardware and grabbed a Pi 3 with six 8bitdo controllers (two for each platform) and a charging dock. Turned a nice profit that I invested in a MAME cab and about the only thing I've lost is the ability to say "I play on the original hardware" and that didn't matter to me anyway. But there are no hard and fast rules. If you have the love for the original hardware and have the space to keep it all hooked up, keep the original hardware and enjoy your time.

I'm still swimming in a sea of discs, carts, and cables for the PS1, Saturn, PS2, OG Xbox, Dreamcast, N64, and Gamecube.

Lord, I hope the Polymega thing turns out to not be garbage.