Even though video game giants like Sony and Microsoft continue to release their "latest and greatest" hardware in the form of the Xbox One and the PlayStation 4, retro gaming is continuing to grow.
An interesting fact is that retro gaming isn't growing only with people who are old enough to remember the original "Final Fantasy" or people who were around when specials about "Super Mario Bros. 3" aired on prime-time television. Retro gaming is also growing among the younger generation of gamers - those whose first consoles included the Nintendo Wii and the PlayStation 2, among others. When you look at all that retro gaming has to offer, it is easy to see just why it is continuing to be such a popular trend in the video game community.
Despite all of their hardware advancements, there are certain things that modern day consoles can't do that retro gaming can offer in spades. When you talk about "multiplayer" with retro gaming, what you're talking about is what has since been dubbed "local multiplayer." If you wanted to play a game like "Super Smash Brothers" on the Nintendo 64 with your friends, you all had to physically be in the same room.
Online gaming first made an appearance two console generations ago, with hardware like the PlayStation 2. Even then, it was still in a very rudimentary form. While you could play online against other people, the online Gaming with Nostalgiacapabilities of these consoles generally amounted to downloading extra content, updating stats in sports games and more. Multiplayer was still handled locally and many people believe it was better for it. While the ability to play online with millions of people all over the world will make sure that you're never without someone to play with if you want to go head-to-head in the latest "Call of Duty" or "Battlefield" title, local multiplayer still had its fair share of advantages. It was much more of a communal experience. If you were playing against friends in the same room, it was much more intimate (and oftentimes a lot more fun) because you were all in the same area. You could trash talk your friends, take turns when you had more than two or four people who wanted to play, use split-screen gaming and more. While certain next generation titles do have local multiplayer capabilities, these titles are becoming few and far between.
Another thing that retro gaming has going for it is the fact that the games themselves had to rely heavily on gameplay above all else due to the limitations of hardware at the time. While there are a wide variety of different brilliant titles for consoles like the Xbox 360, the PlayStation 3 and the PlayStation 4, it is also increasingly common to see games that exist purely from a graphical standpoint. They may look amazing and can really push what modern day hardware architecture has to offer, but when you move beyond those graphics certain titles have very little left to offer. Retro gaming, on the other hand, couldn't rely on graphics because the hardware was much weaker. Instead, video game developers had to offer wholly unique and fun experiences to stand out from the rest of the competition. This is one of the many reasons that certain retro games, like the original "Super Mario Bros.," are still some of the best games of all time on any system ever released.
Yet another reason why retro gaming is becoming increasingly popular among video game players of all ages has to do with limitations of current hardware. The video game industry has placed an increasing emphasis on the online capabilities of their systems. There are certain aspects of consoles like the PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One that cannot be used without an Internet connection. Certain games don't have worthwhile single player modes, for example, because all development talent went towards making the best online multiplayer mode possible. If you don't have a working Internet connection in your home for whatever reason, the online multiplayer mode won't actually do you any good. Your console will be unable to connect to the Web to join Retro Gamingsessions, rendering the core reason you bought the title in question essentially worthless. Likewise, servers can go down at random intervals, rendering certain parts of a game unplayable. With retro gaming, there was no emphasis on the online capabilities of a system because such technology essentially didn't exist yet. If you wanted to play "Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars" on your Super Nintendo, you didn't have to worry about the speed of your Internet connection at home or whether that connection happened to be working at the time. You could put the game into the console, turn it on and play to your heart's content. You didn't have to worry about anything else.
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