Old Video Game Systems

  • Super Nintendo’s Satellaview

The Satellaview was an add-on subscription service for the Super Famicom (the Japanese version of the SNES) that allowed you, via satellite, to download games and stream satellite radio—in 1995. Through Satellaview, Japanese gamers had access to a bunch of exclusives, including a Chrono Trigger “visual novel” sequel (Radical Dreamers) and two new Zelda/Zelda-related adventures, presented with so-called “SoundLink” live audio voice acting. That’s right: live voice acting. Many of the games, in an odd and early example of DRM, could only be played during designated times, much like watching live TV, enabling actors to perform live voiceovers during cutscenes experienced by all gamers simultaneously, like a radio play.

  • Virtual Boy

A re-released Virtual Boy would also be a big hit at barcades, where many patrons are planning on waking up with headaches, eyestrain, and nausea anyway. It just so happens to be the rare console you could comfortably play (relatively speaking) while seated at a bar or high top table, so it’s a perfect fit. Keeping tipsy gamers from chucking it across the room after a frustrating round of Teleroboxer could be a challenge, but all things considered, it’s a hell of a lot cooler than a sticky old Megatouch machine.

  • Gamecube

The Nintendo 64 was such a popular console it will almost surely get a re-release at some point, but its successor, the GameCube, isn’t as safe a bet. It’s the third worst-selling Nintendo console of all time, with only 21 million units sold in its lifetime.  But its fans are fervent: GameCube owners bought more games for the console than other Nintendo system in history, and the controller design is legendary. Even in the Wii and Wii U eras, Smash Bros. aficionados, for example, kept using GameCube controllers, thanks to backward compatibility on the Wii and a game-specific adapter for the Wii U. Nintendo recognized the desire to use the controller for other Wii U games, because it created official GameCube-style controllers for the system—an unprecedented move. Considering the rabid fanbase and insanely popular controllers, a budget-friendly re-release of the GameCube with wireless, Wavebird-style, Switch-compatible controllers would be an excellent bit of fan service—especially considering the baffling lack of GameCube titles on Nintendo’s Virtual Console.