Is 2020 the year for fusing retro entertainment with state-of-the-art technology?

Do you remember the age of 16- or even 8-bit video gaming? Were you a serial button-masher on your handheld controller, while getting to grips (how laughable does that sound now?) with your D-pad? Retro, classic games that filled our living rooms with joy and no shortage of thrills and spills are back in a very big way. Yes, that’s right, 2020 is the year that the gaming industry appears to be pining for nostalgia, whilst giving these old-school gems a state-of-the-art refresh.

There are no better examples of the gaming industry bringing retro games and trends back into fashion this year than this trio of developments:

Discover the upgraded Nintendo Game Boy

Fans of Nintendo’s classic Game Boy handheld gaming device will be delighted to hear that the iconic games console has been faithfully reimagined by American tech firm Analogue. The all-new Analogue Pocket is designed as a 21st century revamp of the Game Boy console family. Better still, the Pocket has been built to be compatible with all 2,780 of Nintendo’s games developed for the 1989 original Game Boy, like the original Super Mario game now available on PC, as well as the Game Boy Colour and Advance reboots.

The Analogue Pocket does not permit digital downloads or online emulations. Instead, the Pocket is designed for retro cartridges to be inserted in a nostalgic nod to the Game Boy’s ground-breaking mobile gaming capabilities. The real update for the Pocket is its visuals. Its high-definition (HD) colour display is said to be ten times more powerful than the Game Boy original. A rechargeable lithium-ion battery will also ensure longevity in terms of gameplay and mappable buttons will make gaming tailored to the individual.

Modernising retro casino games with live streaming tech

Some of the classic card games you’ll find at a land-based casino date back centuries. For instance, blackjack is said to have originated in France in the early 18th century. Similarly, the original form of roulette also appeared in France during the 18th century. In recent months, live streaming technology has helped to revolutionise the way people consume and enjoy these retro-style casino titles online.

The beauty of a live dealer casino is that it puts players firmly at the heart of the action. All table games are managed by professionally trained dealers and croupiers, so you can be sure that the game is managed properly – and in real time. Live streaming also increases immersion and engagement for players, with real-time sensors utilised to keep the action flowing and allow them to interact with their dealers just as they would at their local brick-and-mortar casino.

Handheld 'pets' are back in vogue

Calling all millennials – remember those pesky handheld digital 'pets' that you used to carry around in your pockets at school? Tamagotchis were one of the biggest entertainment crazes in the 1990s. Unveiled by Japanese developers Bandai back in 1996 and in the US 12 months later, Tamagotchis became faithful friends to youngsters – providing you fed and watered them! Simulated games were all the rage back then, with the fun yet educational game SimEarth giving players a chance to design their own worlds.

Now, Bandai has taken the decision to bring them back for the next generation of Tamagotchi 'parents', boasting a wave of new features. According to a recent article on Tamagotchis by Vice, the all-new 'Tamagotchi On' will reach US retailers this summer, costing $60 USD, compared with $17.99 in 1997, which in today’s real terms amounts to a little over $28 USD. However, when you consider the new colour screen and the increased functionality of your Tamagotchis (a chance to play games with them, go shopping and even make friends and get married), this is another prime example of a retro fad getting a 2020 reboot.

With classic titles like Crash and Spryro being rebooted to great acclaim over the last few years, and with the announcement of the Game Boy and Tamagotchi reboots mentioned above, it's clear to see that we're just scratching the surface of what's in store when it comes to our nostalgia being indulged.