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The Top 5 Retro Consoles That I Like But Never Got to Own

Last Updated on March 1, 2024

Which retro consoles would you like to own?

We all have different consoles that we enjoyed when we were young. Back in the 1990s, most households had either a Sega Genesis/Mega Drive, or Super Nintendo, or Playstation, or even an Amiga computer.

I owned a Sega Genesis when I was young, but as much as I loved it, there is a downside. Pocket money rarely stretched to what we wanted to buy, which mean chosing games carefully and putting dreams of different consoles to one side. There are many different consoles that I would really loved to have but it circumstances prevented it.

However, these five consoles are still on my wish list and hopefully when the time is right, and luck is on my side, I will buy them. Here – in no particular order – are the five consoles that I really like and aim to own one day.

1. Sega Saturn

Sega Saturn - Wikipedia

Sega Saturn was the successor to the Genesis and was in competition against the Sony PlaySstation and Nintendo N64 in the 32-bit market.

In Japan, a popular guy name Segata Sanshiro was featured in several Saturn ads and it was really successful in their home town and even outsold N64 but fell short against PlayStation. However, in the US, we all know what had happened. Lack of communication and trust between the American and Japanese offices, a lack of Sonic games which even included the highly anticipated Sonic X-treme, the complex build of the machine and Sega’s mismanagement all led to a failure of the Saturn in the US and Europe.

This remains really sad as the Saturn had so much potential. Sega Saturn in Japan had a lot of good games, more than enough to convince me that the console was worth buying. Heck, some of them had better ports than the PlayStation – look at the Marvel vs Capcom games.

While I was completely into PlayStation at the time, the more I looked into the Saturn library though, the more my interest in the Saturn grew. These days, it’s tough to find with inflated prices excluding all but the most dedicated collectors. In Australia, the Model 2 boxed costs A$366.49! Nevertheless, I am determined to bring the Sega Saturn to my home and play the wonderful games that the Saturn has offered.

One day.

2. Neo-Geo AES

Neo Geo (AES) Rom Set : SNK Corporation : Free Download, Borrow, and  Streaming : Internet Archive

Ah yes, the Neo-Geo AES. Back in the 1990s, quality of games on this platform were like nothing seen before. The King of Fighters, Metal Slug, Samurai Showdown, etc. – the list goes on and on.

What’s special about the console is that you get the arcade experience at home, which really shows how powerful the console was. I remember reading articles about the Neo-Geo AES and I being really excited about owning one. It was literally anyone’s dream to get one of those consoles.

But those dreams came crashing down when the price of that consoles was announced. About $650!!! And the games were expensive as well! As a result, it was only owned by people who are able to afford it.

While it seemed ridiculous compared to the competition, I grew to understand why the prices were so high. Neo-Geo games are high quality and the SNK team pushed the technology as far as possible at that time.

3. Neo-Geo Pocket Color

Neo Geo Pocket Color - Wikipedia

This one was completely different. Until a few years ago, I had never known that SNK has actually made a handheld console. A friend of mine showed me and I was wowed by it.

The Pocket Color even had a microswitched joystick and a collection of unmissable games such as SNK Vs Capcom: Match of the Millennium, Card Fighter Clash.

Its demise was due to bad luck, given the positive reviews it received, but SNK was losing money, fast. Looking at the reviews, I knew I had to try to get one at some point so wish me luck there.

4. PC Engine

File:PC-Engine-Console-Set.jpg - Wikimedia Commons

One of NEC’s finest consoles, it was very popular in Japan and even managed to beat the Sega Mega Drive due to its anime-style games and its small size making it fit nicely into a Japanese household. It was renamed as TurboGrafx-16 in North America where the situation was completely the opposite.

It failed to break into the market and the Sega Genesis beat the PC Engine by a wide margin. No doubt down to cultural differences, since anime and manga was a niche market at the US at that time. Despite that, I really loved the small size of the PC-Engine and I enjoyed the idea of buying one on the import market.

Unfortunately, there is a language barrier. Since the PC-Engine is tailor made in the Japanese market, the texts are mostly Japanese which can make it difficult for non-speakers to understand what is going on in the games. Perhaps a crash course in Japanese should ship alongside every PC Engine…?

5. Sega Game Gear

File:Game-Gear-Handheld.jpg - Wikipedia

At that time when Game Boy was selling like hot cakes and taking the world by storm, several companies tried to compete with Nintendo’s handheld. Think Atari Lynx, TurboExpress, etc.

Sadly, they all came out short against the Game Boy. But one handheld console that managed to put up a fight against the Game Boy is the Sega Game Gear. Unlike the Game Boy, it featured full color backlit screen for clearer gaming. Although bulky and featurng many games ported from the Sega Master System, it was a the smart choice for anyone who felt monochrome grpahics belongedin the past (or in the office).

Sadly, the Game Gear’s battery life was much shorter than the the Game Boy’s, lasting only a matter of hours rather than day (3-5 hours vs. 10-30 hours!) That huge difference in battery life put potential buyers off buying the Game Gear, many preferring the Game Boy instead.

These days, I have had second thoughts about this. The Game Gear had great games that are unavailable on the Game Boy, e.g. Sonic the Hedgehog, Land of Illusion, etc.

Now if only I can find some way to solve the battery life issue…

Which classic retro console do you still want?

These retro consoles are still available to buy on eBay or turn up in garage sales and charity shops. Often, they’ve been through many pairs of hands.

But which classic retro console do you still want to get your hands on?

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