Gaming

Gaming

STOA Replay Arcade Cabinets

In this day and age where gaming is a literal profession for some, nearly as much attention is given to video game systems of old as it is to newer games. Case in point: the sold-out Nintendo NES Classic Edition, the Analogue NT, and now STOA’s Replay Arcade Cabinets. These retro gaming cabinets are premium and bespoke, above all else, and feature seamless designs, high quality paint jobs, and a laser-cut LED-backlit logo. It’ll look at home in any self-respecting man cave and boasts the same big colorful buttons and precise joysticks that you used to abuse in the arcade back in the day, though it ditches the cathode ray tube monitors for modern LCD monitors with a scanline generator to fill every other line on the monitor with a black line, so it looks just like it should.

Learn more at STOA – $5,000+

GET IT: $5,000+

Gaming

Nintendo 2DS XL

That’s not a typo: the Nintendo 2DS XL drops the whole 3D bit from the 3DS, perhaps because a third dimension didn’t really bring much to the gaming experience. It scraps the 2DS’ original “wedge” doorstop shape for a more palatable clamshell design that folds down way smaller while still offering more functionality, including 82% larger screens, a C Stick, ZL and ZR buttons besides the traditional shoulder bumpers, and full compatibility with the 3DS XL’s games. Of course if you’ve already got a Switch perhaps it’ll be a bit redundant, though it is quite a bit smaller and plays a whole different set of games all while lasting a touch longer on battery.

Learn more at Nintendo – $150

GET IT: $150

Home

Atari Pong Coffee Table

Air hockey tables are sort of like Pong in real life. And so is the Atari Pong Coffee Table. Instead of playing Pong on a screen this coffee table recreates the game in the physical world using magnets underneath the surface, complete with paddles, a cube for a ball, and the same simple to pick up but hard to master gameplay. When you’re not challenging friends to rounds of Pong it doubles as a coffee table with covers that fold down over the controls on either side. The retro-styled cabinet also boasts four USB ports to charge several devices simultaneously as well as speakers for recreating the game’s original sounds (as well as playing music when it’s off-duty).

Hit up Kickstarter for details – $990+

GET IT: $990

Gaming

Analogue Nt Mini

If a single model — the original included — truly satisfied NES-hungry retro gamers perhaps there wouldn’t be a new one released every other month or so. Analogue’s Nt Mini aims to fill that craving once and for all thanks to stellar build quality coupled to 1080p upscaling, an HDMI output along with RGB, and HiFi components to get that 8-bit music sounding better than ever. Unlike the Nintendo Mini the Nt Mini is compatible with actual game cartridges and will play any and all of Nintendo’s original releases lag-free, guaranteed, since the system runs on a Altera Cyclone V FPGA that’s engineered and outfitted with all the core functionality of the original NES. It’s also cuts cords thanks to compatibility with 8Bitdo’s NES30 wireless controller and retro receiver and boasts a transparent polycarbonate baseplate below its machined aluminum shell that lets you peer into its inner workings.

Learn more at Analogue – $450 [via]

GET IT: $450

Gaming

RetroBlox Modular Retro Game Console

It’s so far been impossible to find one emulation-based gaming console that’ll play every single one of your retro games without lag or issues. The RetroBlox Modular Retro Game Console aims to do just that by way of Element Modules that swap out various modules each compatible with old school cartridges — as well as controllers and other hardware — from the NES, SNES, and Sega Genesis, amongst others. An included CD/DVD optical drive also handles disc-based games like those from the PlayStation and Sega CD. Other features include an SD card slot for saving copies of your game ROMs to your digital collection to then play without the cartridge, native upscaling to 1080p, and streaming capabilities to show off your endeavors on Twitch or YouTube.

Learn more at RetroBlox – $TBA

GET IT: $TBA

Tech

Gamevice Controller

Gaming on an iOS device has its perks over traditional handhelds like the GameBoy and the PS Vita, namely a much better display and greater performance. But it lacks tactile buttons and often enough that makes all the difference. The Gamevice Controller equips your device with what you’ve been missing, adding dual joysticks, a D pad, four A/B/Z/Y buttons, triggers on either side, plus bumpers, basically turning it into a Nintendo Switch of sorts. It clips on to either side of an iPhone 7, iPad Mini, or iPad Pro, plugging into the Lightning port while adding a pass-through Lightning port on the outside in case you’ll need to charge while you play, not to mention a headphone jack that iPhone 7 users will appreciate. It’s also lighter than the previous generation Gamevice since the battery has been removed, instead sipping a tiny amount of power from the Lightning port.

Learn more at Gamevice – $100

GET IT: $100

Gaming

Nintendo Switch

Nintendo’s next generation console — the Nintendo Switch — is finally here, and it’s trying its hand at being both a gaming handheld and a dedicated television-connected console. The core device is more tablet than set top box but you wouldn’t know that until removing it from its television stand, with two Joy-Con controllers that convert from the console’s wireless controller to halves that slide onto either side of the tablet for on-the-go gaming. It won’t get Game Boy-like longevity when used as a standalone portable but at up to six hours it’s battery life is still respectable, especially considering its 6.2-inch multitouch 1280×720 display. The Switch is also powered by Nvidia Tegra hardware, works with a more traditional Switch Pro controller (also wirelessly, like the smaller Joy-Cons) and has a pop-out kickstand to prop it up if you’re multiplayer gaming on the go. And with The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild announced as a launch title, better take some time off when it hits stores on March 3rd.

Learn more and preorder at Nintendo – $300

GET IT - $300

Gaming

8Bitdo NES Classic Retro Receiver

The NES Classic is the hottest gamer gift this holiday season. Problem is Nintendo cursed its controllers with cables one-third the length of the original’s, which unsurprisingly complicates gaming on the device. 8Bitdo’s NES Classic Retro Receiver addresses the issue by cutting the cord entirely and letting you use one of a myriad of wireless controllers, with one NES30 controller included. Setup is as simple as plugging it in and pairing a controller to it. It’ll game lag-free, though for multiplayer you’ll need several Retro Receivers since the console itself can’t receive two controller inputs through one controller port.

Pick one up at Amazon – $40

GET IT: $40

Gaming

Sega Genesis

Missed the boat the first time around due to something trivial like not yet being born the year it was released? Now’s your chance since the Sega Genesis is back in production, albeit for a limited release. Officially licensed by Sega and produced by TecToy, the 16-bit console looks very similar to the original, still plays all the same games, and includes one controller. There’s no HDMI port so you’ll still need to plug it in via old school RCA cables but it does feature a slot for an SD card to play the 22 included games so that you won’t need to go hunting for game cartridges before you can fire this baby up.

Find it at TecToy [Brazilian site] – roughly $120

GET IT: ~$120

Tech

Razer Blade Pro Gaming Laptop

Gaming on a laptop? You’d better believe it. Razer’s Blade Pro handily outdoes all portable computers before it. This notebook is decked out with a quad-core Intel Core i7, two identical SSDs in RAID 0 (from 256GB each to 1TB each), and 32GB of DDR4 RAM, for starters. Importantly, Razer managed to squeeze in a desktop-class Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 GPU, which supplies ample graphics power to play the latest titles on ultra-high and at 4K resolution on an external display or on its own IGZO LED-backlit 17.3-inch multitouch display which, at 3840×2160, is just a few horizontal pixels short of being labeled 4K itself. It also boasts plenty of other braggart-worthy features, including a tactile low-profile backlit mechanical keyboard that feels as satisfyingly clicky as desktop-sized ones, a spacious glass trackpad with a scroll wheel up top, and a 0.88-inch thin CNC aluminum unibody chassis that somehow contains all of the above. Even its power adapter is fairly slim, especially considering it’s 250W.

Learn more at Razer – $3,700+

GET IT: $3,700+

Gaming

PlayStation 4 Pro

We don’t have a 4K TV just yet, but we don’t need one to appreciate the shame of playing 1080p games on such a capable display — and worse, having to wait until the next generation consoles to do so. But if you do have one, the PlayStation 4 Pro is the answer. While it unfortunately won’t play 4K Blu-ray disks (normal Blu-ray works) it will support sharp 4K gaming as well as 4K streaming. All PS4 games are compatible regardless of whether they’re PS4 Pro Enhanced, and many older games (retroactively applied by developer-dispatched updates) will benefit of some form of enhanced visuals, resolution increases, or better frame rates, several of which are noticeable even without a 4K television. And you can get one way before Christmas.

Arriving November 10th. Preorder at Amazon – $400

GET IT: $400

Tech

Playstation Now For PC

Playstation Now lets you stream PS3 games — but up until now you’ve needed to own a modern and pricy Sony console. Playstation Now For PC does away with all that extra hardware, instead letting you use your computer to play. You’ll need a compatible Windows PC with some half decent specs as well as fairly fast internet (5Mbps+) and a DualShock 4 controller that can either plug in via a USB mini cable or be used wirelessly with a DualShock 4 USB Wireless Adapter — but that’s it. It makes us wonder if dedicated gaming console’s days are numbered.

Learn more at Playstation Now or preorder the adapter at Amazon ($25) – $20/month subscription

Gaming

Nintendo NES Classic Edition

Finding an original NES is rare. One that still works flawlessly, a little rarer. But if your primary goal is to play the classics without fiddling around with and blowing dust out of fickle cartridges, the Nintendo NES Classic Edition is the plain logical choice. Styled like the original but smaller, this system features modern amenities like HDMI and mid-game suspend points (to save your game and continue later), and still works with up to two of the same NES Classic Controllers as the original console, with one included in the box. No cartridges necessary either since it comes with plenty of games in memory, including Mario Bros, Super Mario Bros 1 through 3, Metroid, The Legend of Zelda, Zelda II: The Adventure of Link, and 23 more classics.

Arriving November 11th. Learn more at Nintendo – $60