Considering the rather stunning success of Nintendo’s “NES Classic” mini console emulator, and also considering rumors that Nintendo is preparing to release a “SNES Classic” later this year, would anyone be surprised if other console makers got in on the action?
Sega already has a history of licensing out their name to third-party manufacturers, who have created either reproductions of the Sega Genesis console, or simply released emulators (like the NES Classic) with a certain amount of games already built-in. Unfortunately, most of these devices have been built for the Brazilian market, where the Sega Genesis was a huge hit. But I would be shocked if Sega hasn’t already started plans to build their own “Mini” emulator unit for the worldwide market, either themselves or (more likely) through a third party.
But what about other console manufacturers, who have no such history? I would also be shocked if Sony and Microsoft haven’t at least considered releasing a “Playstation Classic” and “X-Box Classic” respectively. Considering that ROMs of Playstation 1 games can be played on a Raspberry Pi 3, and original X-Box games can be emulated on a mid-level computer, I see no reason why those companies wouldn’t at least explore the possibility of putting out a classic, emulator version of their original consoles.
Unless they hate money, of course.
Basically, all of these companies are leaving money on the table, every single day they delay in releasing their own, emulator-based “Classic” versions of their Retro consoles. And it isn’t just the big names, companies like Coleco and Atari would do well to consider this option, as well, rather than just licensing out their names for others to make money off of. Actually, considering the difficulty there is with truly emulating certain old consoles, such as the ColecoVision and Atari 5200 (both of which have rather non-standard controllers), putting out “classic” versions of these consoles, with reproductions of those funky controllers included, would probably be a big hit with older gamers.
Gamers like me, with disposable income and a heapload of nostalgia to appease.
Anyway, my point is this: If console manufacturers were clever, they would look at the rapid growth of retro game emulation, and jump in on that, before the idea of people making their own emulators with single-board computers becomes mainstream. Nintendo has, at least to a small degree with the NES Classic, and may do so in the future if the rumors of an upcoming SNES Classic prove to be true. But Sony, Microsoft, Sega and many more should get in on the game, while interest is still at a ridiculous high, especially those companies that aren’t exactly in the public eye much anymore.