With the recent rise of retro consoles, there’s an army of retro gamers out there taking on the new gen console and PC gamers. We took a look into it, and here’s what we found!
Retro Gamers Vs. New Gen Console and PC Gamers: Is there beef?
OK, let’s break things down. Straight up, this ‘retro gamers vs new gen gamers’ thing isn’t quite as heated as a west side vs east side rap rivalry. But, it isn’t quite as tame a Morris dance-off either.
There’s a genuine contingency of hardcore retro gamers out there who are sticking by their 8-bit guns. And, it’s not just grown-up gamers who got into gaming in the early days of consoles either. There are new gamers going retro every day.
As of yet, it doesn’t seem to be a ‘choose your side’ kind of deal. A lot of gamers can easily float between teams depending on their moods. But, there are some gamers who are committed to their choice of games like Weetabix fans who refuse to eat Shreddies.
So, what is causing some gamers to shun modern or older games? Are they purists who despise the present or the past? Or are they just looking for different things from their games? To answer these questions, we look at what’s driving these gamers.
To properly look at retro gamers, let’s first define the term ‘retro gamer’. After all, what makes a retro game? Is there a cut-off? Cutting edge gamers might call 4th gen console games 'retro', after all. But, for the sake of this blog, we’re going to group retro games as anything with a real sense of nostalgia.
So, everything from the C64, through the Sega Mega Drive, and up to the original PlayStation and Nintendo 64. Oh, and let’s not forget classic arcade games.
Gamers that hold these games, and their consoles or computers, above all else are surely retro gamers. So, what makes them tick? Here are a few ideas:
As games moved from the arcades into people’s homes in the ‘80s and ‘90s, kids looking for mere entertainment got a whole lot more. They got to ride the crest of a wave of progress that saw gaming become what it is today.
Looking back at those awesome times of hanging out with friends and sitting way too close to the TV (because of the ridiculously short controller cables) is a definite factor in retro gaming.
The original Nintendo console basically took the arcade controller, with its directional stick and two buttons, and put it on a gamepad. And, that’s all it needed. After all, games were two-dimensional and just required movement, jumping, and (often) shooting.
Modern games are super technical, with multi-button controllers often using the same button for multiple functions. Sometimes it’s good to just step back into the instant fun of arcade style games, which have next to no learning curve but offer just as much fun.
3. The Personal Challenge
Though the gameplay and controls of retro games is simple, those games know how to challenge you more than an argumentative spouse. After all, you have limited lives and no chance to save (unless you’re playing on a re-released retro console).
If you want to beat a game, you’ve got to do it with the lives you’re given (and earn in gameplay). And, you’ve got to do it in one sitting. And, if you do, you don’t get your score posted on an online leaderboard. You just get pride… and maybe the appreciation of an audience if you’re streaming it on Twitch.
4. The Cool Geek Factor
So, we talked about nostalgia. But, not all retro gamers came to the party when these games first came out. Some are younger gamers who like the simplicity, the challenge, and, because uncool is now cool, the geek factor!
Yep, there’s a purity to retro gaming that makes it super quirky and super cool. If you listen to cassette tapes and wear pump-up trainers while playing, you’ve unlocked untouchable geek status.
Check out our retro gaming tech here!
New Generation Gamers
How do we define new generation gamers? They’re the ones with the darkened gaming dens full of RGB lights and light-up gaming chairs, multi-monitor setups, and all the latest games.
They’re likely on Twitch or YouTube and they probably consume at least one energy drink per gaming session, which can easily last all night.
So, what’s the motivation for these gamers? Let’s take a look.
1. The Futuristic Feel
You just need to take a look at the PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X, or a modern gaming PC to understand the modern gamer’s infatuation. The gaming dens we mentioned put you in a futuristic lair of next-level entertainment.
Everything lights up with cool colours, often with phasing or breathing effects. And, the chairs and desks (and even beds… yeah, gaming beds) are specifically designed for ultimate support. It’s like the ultimate retreat from reality.
2. Increasing Realism
Everything about modern games is getting ultra-realistic. Cinematic sequences flow seamlessly into gameplay and the characters move and look like real people, making it feel like you’re in a movie… or sometimes in real life.
With all that going on, new gen gamers aren’t easily impressed by pixelated characters jumping up and down in a 2D environment.
3. The Online Challenge
Modern games have amazing storylines written by incredibly imaginative writers. But, a lot of modern gamers blow past those and seek out online multiplayer modes. Why? Because they get to test their skills against other gamers instead of AI.
This challenge takes it to the next level. After all, if you can beat other gamers from around the world, you know you’re good.
4. The Rockstar Factor
eSports gamers are pretty much pro athletes in the modern age. Some make huge money and get massively famous playing games professionally, and some are even hired by sports teams to represent them in the virtual world.
So, if you’re an up-to-the-minute gamer with all the latest tech and ton of knowledge about current releases, you’ve got a bit of celebrity going on.
Check out our gaming tech here!
Retro Gamer or New Gen Gamer: Which one are you?
In the end, the cool thing about the gaming community is that you don’t have to pick sides. So, whether you prefer the old-school simplicity or the modern wow-factor, no one is going to hate you if you veer the other way for a few hours of fun.
It’s perfectly possible to put down your 5th gen controller and pick up a handheld arcade console on the train. Or, take a break from your classic Pac-Man machine to rock a bit of the latest PC release.
Games are all about having fun. So, as long as you’re doing that, you’re not going to find yourself in the middle of a turf war. Not yet, anyway.