While clone versions of classic systems are not a new thing by any stretch, I think we can all agree that Nintendo’s NES Classic Mini kicked off a new gold rush for companies repacking their old games in small plastic forms. Since then, Nintendo has released the SNES Classic Mini, and there have been plenty of rumblings to suggest that more is coming from Nintendo.
So that got me thinking. What awesome artefacts from Nintendo’s past could be recreated for modern audiences? I’ve been brainstorming, and these are just some of the ideas I’ve come up with, most of which will probably never happen – But wouldn’t it be nice?
Game Boy Classic Mini
An obvious choice would have to be a brand new version of the world’s favourite handheld, the original Game Boy. At the time of the little grey block’s release, it was already using outdated hardware in a bid to keep the price down, so it wouldn’t be too difficult to make a new version that holds that design philosophy.
There’s no reason why Nintendo couldn’t offer a scale replica of the original Game Boy, or even it’s improved Pocket edition. But there is one thing that definitely needs to change – That blurry, green-hued screen. Let’s replace that old-fashioned screen with a proper backlit and bi-verted version, like the type modder currently put in their modified Game Boys. Or how about using a modern LCD or OLED screen but offer different emulation filters to mimic the original dot matrix display with green or black colours, as well as the user-configurable colours in later Game Boy models and of course an unfiltered screen.
Let’s get some of the system’s best games on there: Super Mario Land, Link’s Awakening, Wario Land, of course, you have to get Tetris on there as well. And while we’re at it, how about a couple of Pokemon games and also add some sort of wireless link capability for trading and multiplayer?
Or we could go a little further and add Game Boy Color games too, like the two Legend of Zelda Oracle games.
R.O.B. Classic Mini
Look, most of us know what the Robot Operating Buddy or ROB is. We’ve had an NES Classic Mini, so why not manufacture a tiny working replica of it’s most famous peripheral?
Not only would it work as an excellent display piece, but it was a pretty cool addition to the existing Nintendo Classic Mini. Granted, there weren’t that many games released for ROB, but it would just be awesome to have a tiny ROB that didn’t cost an arm and a leg.
Considering we know him more as a cameo character in series like Smash Bros. Starfox and Mario Kart, and he’s even had two different amiibo figures, it’s about time he had some sort of meaningful comeback, so why not now in the form of a ROB Classic Mini.
Game & Watch Classic Mini
I already mentioned a Game Boy Classic Mini, but why doesn’t Nintendo go back further at release a new range of Classic Minis, celebrating its range of Game & Watch LCD handhelds. Granted, Nintendo has not been shy of making new versions of Game & Watch games, either in physical form or in compilations – But wouldn’t it be great to have a single Game & Watch handheld that played them all?
Much like my proposed Game Boy Classic Mini, it could be a cheap handheld with a modern screen and the facility to play most if not all of the Game & Watch library. Nintendo could even add some sort of digital museum that had more info about these classic games and of course, it wouldn’t be Game & Watch without a clock, so how about making it a mini alarm clock?
These old LCD games are still quite fun and there are definitely plenty of gamers and non-gamers my age that played with one of these devices at some point. Game & Watch most definitely deserved a comeback!
Arcade Classic Mini
We’ve already seen Classic Mini ports of games like Donkey Kong via the Nintendo Classic Mini, but It would be even better if we could play the original arcade versions. Sure, we’ve started to see classic Nintendo arcade games pop up on Switch as part of the Arcade Archives branding, but as we’re beginning to see tiny arcade machines like the Data East collection and Rampage, I’d love for Nintendo to release their own range of classic arcade cabinet replicas, that are also playable.
Good quality scale replicas of classic Nintendo arcades would look great on anyone’s shelf, and despite all the remakes of Nintendo’s console games, we rarely see authentic ports of their arcade output, and that’s a shame as these releases do have a great deal of importance in Nintendo’s history, especially considering we’re more familiar with the NES ports of many of these cabinets.
Classic Nintendo Toys Classic Mini
Finally, I want Nintendo to go even further back and celebrate even more of their history. Before Mario, and before Donkey Kong – Nintendo had been creating non-electronic products since the 19th century, from laminated cards for the traditional Japanese card game, hanafuda, to all sorts of plastic toys – Even their own version of LEGO.
So why not come back to these weird and wonderful toys? How about a new version of the classic Beam Gun, the inspiration for the NES Zapper? There’s the Ultra Hand, a weird extendable hand that was created by the father of the Game Boy, Gunpei Yokoi?
These weird and wonderful pieces are an important part of Nintendo, something the company itself remembers as they occasionally find themselves references and cameoing in some of their games like the WarioWare series. What could be more retro than toys from the 70’s, eh?
That’s a handful of ideas I would love to see happen in real life, and I hope you agree with my selections, but I want yours – Let’s not limit this discussion to Nintendo systems, share your ideas for cool classic editions of retro consoles in the comments, because I’d absolutely love to hear them.
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