Another week and that means more news to discuss concerning all the happenings from the world of retro gaming. There’s not as much as last week, but that doesn’t mean that what there is, is any less important. In fact the first two could be considered quite big news.
So I promised you big news. Well how about a brand new 8bit console? Yes that’s right, as next week the Sinclair ZX Spectrum makes its return to the gaming world.
The Sinclair ZX Spectrum Vega is being developed in Nottinghamshire, UK, following its hugely successful Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign, and has even been endorsed by the creator of the original ZX Spectrum, British gaming legend Sir Clive Sinclair himself. This time around though you won’t require a tape deck, or a even a full keyboard, as everything that is needed to run the console neatly fits inside the newly designed controller/console that has been inspired by the original. Not only that but over 1,000 games from the Spectrum’s back catalogue will be pre-loaded into the machine, including many that have recently featured as a part of Rare’s hugely successful Rare Replay, alongside an SD card slot for users to load their own favourites. This new console will retail for £99 at launch, and according to their Indiegogo page, every sale will include a contribution to a children’s charity.
This isn’t the only news regarding a brand new retro console. This time it’s the ill fated Atari Jaguar seeing a comeback. Well sort of. You see Mike Kennedy (founder of both the auction site GavelGaming, and RETRO magazine) alongside his team, are looking to crowdfund their brand new retro console, the RETRO VGS. Now earlier this month I reported on the Retro Freak, which looks to combine all your favourite retro consoles into one convenient box, and you may think this is the same thing all over again. However, you’d be mistaken as this is a very different proposition, as the RETRO VGS won’t play your old game cartridges. Instead the aim of the RETRO VGS is to create a brand new cartridge based retro console, in which to play modern retro-inspired games.
You may also be wondering where the Atari Jaguar comes into this. Well in order to save massive amounts of money in start up costs, Retro Media Network acquired all of the original tooling that was used by Atari in the 90s to create the Jaguar. This included both the console and the cartridge cases, hence the near identical nature of these. As such this is more like a rebirth than a resurrection for the Atari Jaguar. Either way the idea of creating a brand new cartridge based system for brand new games is an interesting idea, and Rings & Coins will be on hand to report further once the RETRO VGS enters its crowdfunding phase.
The original selfie stick is also trying to make a comeback. Back in the 90s before smartphones and tablets, every gamer was already taking black and white selfies on the Game Boy Camera Adapter. You could even get a printer to print all of your custom pictures. But one thing you couldn’t do was quickly and easily save them digitally, and then add them to your modern digital photo collection. That is until now, as Alexander Bahr has created the BitBoy, a device which will write the photos directly to a SD Card for your convenience, allowing direct and instant access to all your 90s inspired selfies. Also for anyone who thinks that nobody still uses the archaic Game Boy Adaptor, BitBoy created Alexander Bahr is still taking photos all the time using the low definition add-on, and has been featured heavily around the world for it. These can all be seen at GameBoyPhoto.com.
Finally, Nintendo’s Amiibo figurines have well and truly become a gaming craze, with many people around the world desperately trying to collect them all, in much the same fashion many did in the 90s with the Pokémon trading card craze. I can hold my hand up here and declare that I’m guilty on both charges, which makes me all the more excited for the latest Amiibo characters. Characters that come right out of the retro gaming library. Recently made available for pre-order in the UK, and hopefully worldwide soon, are R.O.B, Mr Game & Watch, the Duck Hunt Duo, and 2 versions of 8bit Mario (one of which is only available alongside Super Mario Maker). In addition it has already been announced that R.O.B, Mr Game & Watch and Duck Hunt Duo will only be available as a triple pack in America. All of these Amiibo figurines are going to be in high demand, especially for fans of retro gaming, and with some of them only available through certain means, you’ll need to make sure you get your pre-orders in fast.
Well that’s it for another Retro Weekly Roundup, but as always make sure to check back in next week for all the latest happenings concerning all things retro.