In the current gaming world, we are largely obsessed with evolution and innovation. This applies to both individual platforms and the type of games that we like to enjoy, while it also relevant to the way in which we access our favourite titles.
This trend has reversed slightly in recent times, however, thanks primarily to the rise of retro gaming. This takes us on a journey back to the days of the Sinclair ZX Spectrum and the Commodore 64, which brought simple and now iconic titles to our attention before the IBM PC changed the computer world forever.
This generation of gaming holds huge importance in the modern age, as for the majority of Millennials this represents their first experience of desktop and console gameplay. So while these devices may have offered slow processing speeds, limited gameplay and relatively poor graphical representation, they continue to hold sentimental value as an adult’ gamers’ first true love.
While there have always been attempts to recreate Spectrum and Commodore games for new and old generations alike, these have largely failed due to a lack of technological advancement. The landscape has changed significantly during the last 18 months (and in 2015 in particular), as new emulation platforms have been designed to capitalise on the power, depth and quality provided by Windows 10 devices and Apple Macs.
In terms of Windows-centric emulators, DOSBox is renowned as the preferred option. This is an accepted if unofficial standard when operating DOS-based games, so it is the most effective emulator when accessing old retro titles. MAME (Multiple Arcade Machine Emulator) is another option for Windows users, and one that is far more user-friendly.
Overall, the accessibility of these emulators has been effortlessly combined with modern desktop processors in 2015, creating a retro gaming experience that has enabled an entire generation of players to turn back the clock.
In terms of the future, there are two key points to consider. The first is the pace of innovation in the contemporary gaming market, which has already distinguished early social and casino games such as Texas Hold ’em Poker as retro titles. These games are also enjoying a renaissance thanks to outlets such as Poker Online UK, while sheer pace of this evolution means that the retro gaming market continues to grow with every passing year.
Secondly, we must also consider that developers are increasingly likely to create modern iterations of classic retro games. The aforementioned Texas Hold ’em Poker has inspired the increasingly popular PayPal Poker, for example, while traditional arcade games are also inspiring an entire generation of themed slots, bingo titles and episodic adventures.
If developers are able to recreate classic gaming experiences in a modern setting, we can probably expect so-called retro games to gradually find their way into the annals of history over the course of the next decade or so.