The Latest Gaming Craze: Nostalgia

This holiday season will bring lots of shiny new gadgets and gizmos, but save a place under the tree for a time warp to bright, flashy arcades and shag-carpeted living rooms. And while you’re reliving the good old days, you can show the younger generation what it’s all about.

Let’s step into the wayback machine. It’s 1972, and you’ve just set another Pong high score at your local arcade. Or maybe it’s Christmas morning 1977, and you just unwrapped the best gift ever: an Atari 2600, giving you the incredible ability to play video games in your own home. Fast forward a bit if you were a child of the ’80s and ’90s, a staunch fighter of the legendary console wars who repped their support for Mario or Sonic with pride. Your gaming glory days hail back to a time when you didn’t need 4K graphics and a Wi-Fi connection—just a steady supply of quarters and a whole lot of patience.

At QVC, our throwbacks aren’t limited to Thursdays. This holiday season’s Atari Flashback 8 Gold Deluxe HD Console with 120 Games & Accessories (E231059) includes classics like Frogger, Pitfall, Space Invaders, and a whole lot more. Like previous Flashback models, it’s designed to look like the Atari 2600, but it has a few modern touches like wireless joysticks and a graphics bump. Your kids may beat you in Madden, but just wait until you put them to shame with your Pong skills!

Atari’s not the only former console publisher getting in on the retro action, though. Manufacturer AtGames has also produced a SEGA Mega Drive HD Classic Game Console with 81 Games (E231200). It features the classic half-moon, six-button controller in a wireless design, and multiple titles from the flagship Sonic the Hedgehog series. It also has an HDMI port, so you can watch Tails destroy your attempts to get the Chaos Emeralds in glorious 720p.

“My cousin Tom received Pong for Christmas and invited all his friends over to play. We couldn’t believe you could actually play a video game on your TV! Talk about modern technology!”

—Rick Domeier, program host

Most of us don’t leave the house without a half-dozen portable devices nearby. You have your smartphone, tablet, maybe a laptop, a Nintendo Switch so you can play Mario Odyssey between meetings at work (just kidding, boss!)… Back in Atari’s heyday, just being able to play video games in your own home without quarters was a major feat, so handhelds were obviously out of the question.

In 2017, that’s simply unacceptable.

Blending the classic with the modern, the Atari Flashback Portable with Headphones and A/V Cable (E290485) runs on a rechargeable battery so you can play 60 Atari games on a plane, train, or automobile (provided you’re not driving, of course). Or if uninterrupted Pac-Man on your commute isn’t quite your jam, maybe the titles on the SEGA Genesis Ultimate Portable Game Console with 85 Games (E231241) are more appealing. As ’90s kids will remember, SEGA did make an attempt at the handheld market with the Game Gear, but it was no match for Nintendo’s Game Boy (possibly because it weighed a ton and required approximately 207 AA batteries). Those days are long gone—now you can play Mortal Kombat or Golden Axe anytime, anywhere.

“I loved Frogger because, unlike most video games, I got attached to this little frog! It was like a pet, and I cared about him getting to the end. His little froggy life depended on it!”

—Sharon Faetsch, program host

Technology evolves at a rapid pace, and video game consoles are refreshed every few years, but that doesn’t mean the games we grew up on should be left in the dust. Now, instead of scouring thrift shops and dropping serious money on rare cartridges, these gems are readily available in a plug-and-play format that actually works with modern HDTVs.

Pong is the granddaddy of them all! I remember my grandparents got it. They put it on the television and we all gathered around, completely amazed.”

—Tara Cahill, InsideQ copywriter