Hardware Classics - News

November2016

  • Hardware Classics SNK Neo Geo AES

    The future is now (even more expensive)

    The SNES and Mega Drive / Genesis may have dominated the console landscape in the early '90s, but they were by no means the most powerful machines of their era. That distinction goes to SNK's Neo Geo AES, often described as the "Rolls-Royce" of game consoles. It's a good analogy to make, as the machine was...

August2016

  • Hardware Classics Nintendo Super Famicom

    Still super after all these years

    Originally published way back in March 2013, we thought we'd re-share this feature on the Super Famicom as part of our celebrations for the Super NES turning 25 years old in North America. To many, it's the greatest video game console ever made. The Super Famicom — or Super Nintendo Entertainment System as it...

June2016

  • Hardware Classics Pokémon Mini

    Nintendo's smallest console, in both size and stature

    It's somewhat ironic that one of Nintendo's most obscure consoles is so strongly aligned with one of its most instantly recognisable brands, but understanding why the Pokémon Mini wasn't quite as successful as it probably should have been is relatively easy; it was marketed poorly, the games...

  • Hardware Classics Nintendo 64

    Will you still love me when I'm 64?

    To mark the 20th birthday of Nintendo's 64-bit wonder we're republishing this feature on the console, which originally went live on the site in December 2014. The Nintendo 64 is a console which divides opinions, even today. For some, it was an unforgivable fall from grace after the dizzying heights of the...

  • Hardware Classics Game Boy Pocket

    A refreshed icon

    It would be fair to say that the Game Boy's longevity surprised everyone, including Nintendo. Originally released in 1989, it was still going strong by the middle of the following decade and experienced a notable boost thanks to the timely introduction of the first Pokémon titles, Red & Blue. The momentum provided by these...

January2016

  • Hardware Classics Bit Corp Gamate

    ​From Taiwan with love

    Given that we've covered pretty much every retro console of note in our Hardware Classics series, it was almost inevitable that we'd be forced to investigate systems which could hardly be considered noteworthy from a commercial or critical standpoint. That's certainly the case with Bit Corp Gamate, a handheld console...

  • Hardware Classics Sega Game Gear

    Getting into Gear

    It's easy to see the thinking behind the Game Gear, the machine Sega positioned as a Game Boy-beater in the early '90s. The firm's Mega Drive / Genesis platform was doing a fine job of stealing away market share from the aging NES, and Sega no doubt assumed it could do the same in the portable arena with hardware that was more...

  • Hardware Classics Nintendo Super Scope

    In your sights

    Despite their ingenious nature and futuristic feel, light guns have been part of the video game landscape since the industry began - in fact, crude examples of the tech can be found as far back as the 1930s. In the 8-bit era both Nintendo and Sega produced their own pistol-like light guns in the form of the NES Zapper and Master...

April2015

  • Hardware Classics Sega Dreamcast

    The last throw of the dice for Nintendo's old rival

    Sega's Dreamcast holds a special place in the history of home video game entertainment. It was an innovative beast, being the first home console to offer online connectivity out of the box and setting the modern trend for sourcing internal components from PC manufacturers. It also proved to be...

March2015

  • Hardware Classics Sega Mega CD

    Mega Seedy

    The rise and fall of Sega Enterprises is a classic tale of hard-won success being scuppered by a bewildering lack of focus and an incredible degree of overconfidence. The company scored an almost impossible victory by bloodying the nose of the all-powerful Nintendo in the early '90s and was arguably the first console maker to bring an...

November2014

  • Hardware Classics The Sega Genesis Nomad

    The less-travelled roadie

    During the early '90s Sega's hardware department effectively went crazy. Flushed with the success of the Genesis / Mega Drive in North America and Europe, the company produced a series of commercial duds in an attempt to buttress its 16-bit business in the face of stiff competition from rival Nintendo. The first endeavour...

October2014

July2014

  • Hardware Classics Sega Master System

    Everyone's favourite underdog

    If you're reading this outside of Europe, then there's a very good chance that your perception of the Sega Master System is one of complete and utter failure. The 8-bit system wasn't even close to contesting the might of the NES in North America or the Famicom in Japan; although Sega at that point was a well-known...

April2014

  • Hardware Classics Sega Saturn

    Out of this world

    Following their epic tussle for supremacy during the early part of the decade, the remainder of the '90s were difficult times for rivals Sega and Nintendo. The arrival of hardware newcomer Sony — and its phenomenally successful 32-bit PlayStation system — totally changed the landscape of the video games industry. Sega and...

March2014

  • Hardware Classics SNK Neo Geo Pocket Color

    I'm not boy

    As the '90s drew to a close Nintendo's massively popular Game Boy handheld — which was almost a decade old and had already seen away more powerful rivals like the Atari Lynx and Sega Game Gear — was about to face a fresh wave of competition. The Bandai WonderSwan was perhaps the most interesting challenger — on paper, at least...

  • Hardware Classics Bandai WonderSwan

    What the creator of the Game Boy did next

    Although Nintendo's lofty standing in the games industry cannot be attributed solely to a single person, it's fair to say that without the talents of Gunpei Yokoi the Kyoto firm wouldn't be where it is today. Yokoi was employed by Nintendo in 1965 and his inventions — such as the Ultra Hand and Lover...

May2013

  • Hardware Classics Nintendo Virtual Boy

    Nintendo's nadir, or misunderstood masterpiece?

    According to the history books, the Virtual Boy is Nintendo's biggest failure — both commercially and critically — in the hardware arena. Launched in 1995 to almost complete consumer apathy, it bypassed Europe entirely and was discontinued the following year. It is also thought to be the reason...

March2013

  • Hardware Classics NEC PC Engine

    Emotion Engine

    It's a common misconception that the Nintendo Super Famicom and Sega Mega Drive were close rivals in their native Japan. In reality, Sega was in fact third in the pecking order, and it was NEC's PC Engine which fought so bitterly with Nintendo for domination of the sales charts. A collaboration between hardware manufacturer NEC an

  • Hardware Classics Sega Mega Drive

    The genesis of Sega's superstardom

    It's fitting that the first non-Nintendo entry in our Hardware Classics series should be the Sega Mega Drive. This sleek 16-bit powerhouse remains Sega's most commercially successful console, having shifted around 40 million units globally. Famous for being the first console to challenge Nintendo's dominance in...

February2013

  • Hardware Classics Nintendo DS Lite

    This is how you redesign a console

    Let's be brutally honest here — the original DS design was ugly. Quite what Nintendo's designers were thinking when they came up with it we'll never know, but the dumpy, two-tone casing hardly got pulses racing, even back in 2004. It felt like a system that was rushed out of the door purely to meet a deadline,...

  • Hardware Classics Nintendo AV Famicom

    Give the dog a bone

    The Nintendo Entertainment System — or NES, for short — is arguably the console on which Nintendo's current lofty status was built. Launched in Japan as the Famicom, the 8-bit platform is home to an almost endless list of solid-gold classics, including Super Mario Bros., The Legend of Zelda, Metroid,

  • Hardware Classics Nintendo Game Boy

    Monochrome masterpiece

    The Nintendo DS may be the biggest selling handheld console of all time, but you could argue that this is only the case because of the vital groundwork laid down by the Game Boy. The original monochrome brick was pushed onto the market in 1989 in the wake of Nintendo's popular Game & Watch range, and would go on to sell...

  • Hardware Classics The Legend Of Zelda Game Boy Advance SP

    The Triforce is strong in this one

    Nintendo's Game Boy Advance is one of the company's most beloved handhelds. It had a hard act to follow, coming after the blockbuster successes of the original monochrome Game Boy and the Game Boy Color, but it managed to shift almost 90 million units globally. However, in typical Nintendo fashion, it took a...

January2013

December2012