In praise of the big pixel: Gaming is having a retro moment - GulfToday

In praise of the big pixel: Gaming is having a retro moment

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Gamers play during the first day of Europe's leading digital games fair Gamescom.

Clunky games consoles with blobby pixels might not be the latest thing -- but they're still cool even if you're no longer at school.

Video games producers plying their wares at Gamescom this week in Cologne may primarily be out to push the frontiers of hi-tech and virtual reality as they eye a bigger slice of a booming market.

So-called "retrogaming" -- digging out favourite classic games of yesteryear to be played on equally ageing hardware -- is right on trend at Gamescom, Europe's gaming fair.

Prehistoric pixel paradise

"Retro is everywhere -- in films, music, cars, clothes. So why not games?" asks Christian Gleinser, creator of a cohort of new games which work on computers 'boasting' 1980s graphics.

"People like to have fun among friends and appreciate the ease of use, the short charging times and even the old pixels," says Gleinser against the fair's musical backdrop of the likes of Sonic, Mario Kart or Pokemon.

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Gamers play during the first day of Europe's leading digital games fair Gamescom.

What is striking is how the rising retro trend has lifted the average gamer age as veterans who got the bug in the 1980s and 1990s pass on their memories and old-time savvy to youngsters, often their own, even as the latter more often than not are coming to the genre via shiny and new hardware.

Durable trend?

Given the trend many console makers are retooling their old machines and dusting off catalogues boasting dozens of the top hit games of times past.

An example is Japanese group Sega, which had found itself unable to stand its ground in the face of new-fangled competition from the likes of Sony's PlayStation and Microsoft's Xbox.

For retro fans Sega is now proposing its Mega Drive Mini, replete with 42 games.

Agence France-Presse