Published 1 August, 2013 | by Michael Petch6
RETRO: Our top 3 console revisions
Our beloved consoles often get a new haircut or go on a diet and loose a few pound. Here are our top three game console revisions.
The Mega Drive is a fantastic system that needs no introduction. The mega-cd was a pretty good addition with some great games like Sonic CD and Snatcher and is well worth a look if you missed it. The problem is the tower of Babylon you have to create to play the full catalogue (let’s not even get into the 32X). It’s huge! The initial Mega Drive revision demanded a new Mega-CD adapter, but again this was a bit of an ugly beast. So, two fugly options for Mega-CD play. That was until Sega went and released the stunning Multi-Mega.
This beauty combined CD and cartridge yet somehow managed to be half the size of a standard MD alone. It even has a battery compartment and audio out to allow you to use it as a portable CD player. That’s not exactly going to come in handy frequently (or ever in this day and age) but it’s a cool option. The light up display for CD playback is all kinds off cool. How many consoles can you think of that have a built in display like this? Build quality is excellent and the buttons have a nice click. Unfortunately the £350 price tag at time of launch made this a luxury indulgence. You could purchase the separate elements much cheaper. Sales were slow and thus prices are now high. Expect to pay over £200 for a boxed example today. Outside of Europe JVC released the Wondermega which offered similar functionality, but for size and looks you can’t beat the Multi-Mega.
Sony Playstation 2 Slim
Probably the least exciting entry in this list I hear you groan, but for me it’s rather relevant. You see, even rich and famous LevelComplete.net game writers have limited house space in the hustle and bustle of 21st century London. Gone are the days where your Atari 2600 (the original, not the Junior) had the luxury of a whole coffee table to itself, with only the top loader VHS or Betamax for competition. The PS2 entered my life rather late so I still have a lot of catching up to do, yet the space it swallowed under my TV was rather valuable. Now I have the slim and, damn, I keep forgetting I own it. It just seems to blend in, hiding under the SMS that dwarfs it, slowly biding its time, slowly turning retro without me even realising it. Admittedly this camouflage does mean I forget to play those very games I bought it for in the first place but the fact I didn’t have to consign it to the loft makes it a worthy re-design for this list. Now if only they hadn’t made it a 80’s style top loader…
Nintendo Game Boy Micro
The Game Boy Pocket was superb. The transition from playing on a blurry green and grey brick to a slightly less blurry black and grey, er, half brick, was a revelation. Games once discarded as worthless were now revitalised. Fresh, clean, sharp and more portable. Ever since, Nintendo have ben revising the Game Boy range with only the GBC not receiving a significant worldwide update along the way. Who can forget the GBA SP, DS Lite and XL? It’s got to a point where Nintendo seem to be doing it on purpose, offering a slightly clunky design for the fans who will buy anything, then a re-design to milk the cow again and get the rest of the world interested. I’m not quite sure what they were thinking when they designed the Game Boy Micro but looking back it seems this redesign is the one that has really hit it off with fans. This thing is tiny, it’s got a metal body, its battery lasts for ages and the screen is lovely. Well, perhaps it’s a little too small and some text on the screen is hard to read but come on, it genuinely fits in your pocket without causing any odd worrisome bulging. Lovely. Just look at it! You can even switch the fascias. These are currently getting more and more expensive on eBay although you can probably grab a pink one cheapish if you lack any sense of decorum for about £25 (£40 for any other colour). Actually, now I think about it, the PS2 slim also had a pink version too…
Okay well these three are my favourites, but perhaps you have your own top gaming revision. The Atari Lynx II, perhaps? The N-Gage? Let us know in the comments. Our next retro article will feature our least favourite revisions. See you then!