When Nintendo resurrected the NES in shrunken form, it had no idea what it had unleashed. Frantic shoppers punched each-other’s teeth out for a chance to own the diminutive console and make their thumbs ache reacquainting themselves with Super Mario Bros. and Mega Man 2.
But these consoles are so dinky that there’s still loads of room under our telly. So Stuff demands to see the following retro consoles (as zapped by shrink-ray) before Santa shows up drunk in December. And, no, one of them isn’t the Amstrad CPC Mini. We’re not masochists.
The Sega Dreamcast Mini
Sega’s final console was such a commercial flop that the company stumbled backwards on to a massive spike, discharged all of its golden rings into the air, and pretty much gave up on hardware entirely.
The thing is, the Dreamcast mostly failed because people are massive idiots and couldn’t appreciate the majesty of an arcade at home. But imagine it now, as a 70-quid mini console, plugging into your telly and giving you an instant fix of Crazy Taxi, Jet Set Radio, and Virtual Tennis. Nuts to the Mega Drive Mini, Sega – we want this.
The Commodore Amiga Mini
Amusingly, there actually was an Amiga Mini, and Stuff even reported on the thing six years ago. But it was really a PC with the word ‘Amiga’ scrawled across the front in pen, and the Commodore logo awkwardly stamped on to the lid.
We want something much better than that – akin to The C64 Mini, and able to let you instantly delve into Lemmings, Cannon Fodder, Speedball 2, SWOS, Chaos Engine, and Turrican 2. Only this time with a joystick that doesn’t make you want to angrily shake the device’s creators and ask them just what they were thinking.
The Nintendo Classic Mini: N64
Late 2016: a tiny NES. Late 2017: a tiny SNES. Clearly, a tiny N64 is the most obvious thing in the world for Santa to eject from his sack this Christmas – which means it almost certainly won’t happen.
But imagine if it did: Super Mario 64; Mario Tennis; 1080° Snowboarding; Perfect Dark; The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time; quite a lot of digital fog.
Sure, the PlayStation had the cool factor during that generation of consoles, but we’d sooner belt along with F-Zero X than have to nurse yet another twitchy Wipeout ship home.
The PlayStation Mini
Although, that all said, if Sony’s reading, we certainly wouldn’t say no to a lovely PlayStation Mini either. After all, Sony’s console was a watershed moment in gaming, barging into the market and casually tossing the competition aside.
Despite the console’s tendency to force-feed you 3D – regardless of whether or not the game or genre benefitted from it – the PlayStation back catalogue is packed full of amazing games. And given that even an Android smartphone can competently emulate the console these days, a tiny box for the telly seems like a no-brainer.
The Nintendo Classic Mini: Game Boy
We’ve already sort of had this one in the shape of the Game Boy Micro, a handheld console so small that you could conceivably lose one down the back of an atom. But that tiny device still required you to shove cartridges into it like some kind of barbarian.
So we want a miniature Game Boy that’s absurdly thin, which can perhaps be shoved into a wallet, and yet that’s packed full of amazing games. Short of that, Nintendo might consider releasing a Game Boy app for Android and iOS. (And pigs might soar across the sky.)
The MAME Mini
RepliCade is rethinking the classic arcade cabinet, transforming Centipede and Tempest into tiny, oddball handhelds. Our dream mini console, though, goes further.
This little device would be like the RepliCade, but have a store so you could squirt officially purchased ROMs into it. You’d be able to play on the device, or via HDMI out to your telly. And then you’d wake up, realise this was just something you’d read on Stuff, angrily fire up MAME, and realise because of pesky licensing and reality we just can’t have nice things.