When does a Video Game console become Officially Retro?

When does a Video Game console become Officially Retro?

  • Never, because in my eyes, like PCs...all video game consoles can be modified to be new again, lol.

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Nintendo Switch
Oct 8, 2005
I just read this article on Consoles going Retro and so forth and thought I should post here.


When Does a Game Console Go Retro?
Commenter GiantBoyDetective wonders when video games and their consoles make the transition from recent to retro in today's nostalgic installment of Speak Up on Kotaku.

How old does a game have to be to be considered "retro"?

I would definitely consider anything Super Nintendo or older as retro...at least in my eyes. I suppose the Nintendo 64 is kinda retro now. So is the limit around 10 years or more like 15?

Wikipedia, grand master of wisdom/opinion, states that "retro style" is something that "generally implies a vintage of at least 15 or 20 years" and then it goes on to state that the Dreamcast is part of "retro gaming"...obviously those two facts don't quite match up.

What do you guys think?

1000 years from now, I myself will be considered Retro.


Image disclaimer: Definitely not the complete set by far. First generation (1972–1977)

History of Video Games

First generation (1972–1977)

Second generation (1976–1984)

Third generation (1983–1992)

Fourth generation (1987–1996)

Fifth generation (1993–2006)

Sixth generation (1998–)

Seventh generation (2005–)

Eighth generation (2011–)
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Tough call. I suppose no longer being produced is as good of a definition as any.

Does it really matter?
Well...IMHO...Yes, because I've seen many retro websites (forums) that have many people requesting or screaming out, "We need an Official PS2 thread!!!" only to be ignored, because the forum Admin/Mods there have THEIR OWN OPINION about said console, and totally disagree with it being Retro due to the fact that it's still selling in normal-everyday retail chain stores, etc.
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Well retro refers to things of the past. It is hardly the past if it is still actively being sold (officially). For me that condition is both required and sufficient to define retro.

The websites/forums you talk about can easily solve that issue by officially presenting their own working definition of retro and leave it at that. People will moan about such threads anyway but at least you can quickly point them to the working definition and end discussion.
  • when the console/handheld has stopped being produced/sold
  • when the next version of that console/handheld has been released (or the company announced that they won't release a new version)
  • when the next version is becoming more populair/mainstream than the current version

for instance, I don't consider the nintendo ds retro. the nintendo 3ds has already been released but it isn't mainstream enough for people to move from the ds to the 3ds. however I consider the gba retro, despite being less than 10 years old (the gameboy micro was released less than 6 years ago).

the term retro also has different meanings in different areas. video games moves very fast due to technology. cars for instance move a lot slower, so it takes longer for them to be called retro.

note that this also says nothing about the 'retro feeling'. a big factor for the retro feeling is that the person has play the game when he/she was younger. for instance, I don't get the retro feeling (that much, anyway) when playing old nes games, even tho my brothers owned a nes (I didn't played as much on it as my brothers, I liked my gb more). but I do get that feeling when playing gb© or even reading about n64 games. I'm sure I wouldn't get a retro feeling when playing atari games, simply because I've never played them before.