While I cover cutting edge categories such as digital video distribution and home automation, many who know me realize my category expertise only rarely translates into being an early adopter tech consumer. As a leading indicator, I still drive a car with roll down windows.
This brief story goes back roughly two years when I went on a mission to introduce my children to the video game console that took the world by storm in 1985; The Nintendo Entertainment System (NES). For $100 Amazon sellers offered re-furbished units, and a few dollars more got you a couple of NES Max controllers with the all-so-important turbo buttons. From there all we needed was a few good friends willing to dig up their 30-year-old collection and we had a game library larger than I recall anyone did back in the 80s. While I can’t seem to beat my 9-year-old daughter at Track and Field archery, I only let my son win every other time we duke it out in Blades of Steel.
On the heels of its investment success in Pokemon Go, Nintendo has announced the NES Classic Edition. It comes pre-loaded with 30 games, uses a modern HDMI cable and will be priced at $59.99, far lower than the investment I made in the re-furbished unit. This blast from the past is sure to be a holiday gift hit when it comes to U.S. retail in November.
It turns out my retro style may have been a couple years ahead of the curve rather than another sign that I’m living in an era past. Indeed, the NES re-launch is another sign of classic technology resurfacing. In the music industry, they can’t press vinyl records fast enough to satisfy consumer demand. In mobile, Motorola was rumored to be bringing back the iconic RAZR flip phone, yet the promo video that sparked the rumors was just that, a marketing tactic to evoke nostalgia and remind consumers of how Motorola changed the mobile world in 2004. Perhaps, old school is the way of today’s early adopter; caught between desires for new technologies yet equally drawn to the simplicity of yesterday’s popular devices.