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Tag Archives: Retro

Play Your Favorite Classic Handheld Games From The Comfort Of Your Browser

Game & Watch Donkey Kong Jr. (Image courtesy Pica Pic)
By Andrew Liszewski

If March Madness isn’t already gobbling up most of your free time, I’ve found something that will. As long as you still hold a candle for the segmented LCD handheld games of the 80’s & 90’s. Created by someone calling themselves Hipopotam, Pica Pic is an interactive website showcasing their collection of old-school electronic games. But it’s not just a gallery of photos that would maybe kill a half an hour. No, these are fully playable versions of each game lovingly recreated in flash. (Finally, a reason to love like not hate flash!)

They’ve gone as far as to remap the controllers and buttons for every game to keys on your keyboard, and of the 19 obscure titles available there are a few that are recognizable including Donkey Kong Jr. pictured above and a Tiger Electronics version of the The Terminator that I found pretty confusing. There’s even a Game & Watch multi-screen version of Zelda that’s unfortunately not playable just yet, but will have me checking back in the near future as I really want to give it a go.

[ Pica Pic – Hipopotam’s Digitalised Collection Of Handheld Electronic Games ] VIA [ Notcot ]

FujiFilm’s Retro-rrific FinePix X100 Officially Priced And Dated

FujiFilm FinePix X100 (Image courtesy FujiFilm)
By Andrew Liszewski

‘Tis the season for new camera announcements, and if you’ve drooled over the retro charms of Leica’s P&S digicams but scoffed at their price, FujiFilm might have an alternative for you. Their FinePix X100 will officially be available in our neck of the woods come March for $1,199.95, and while expensive, it’s still thousands of dollars cheaper than Leica’s offerings. But what does your grand+ get you? Well besides the magnesium alloy body and “leather-like” accents, the X100 boasts a 12.3MP APS-C CMOS sensor, a fixed non-swappable 23mm F2 lens and an ISO range of 200 to 6400, which can be expanded to 100 and up to 12,800 as needed.

Round back you’ll find a healthy 2.8-inch LCD display sporting a 1,440,000 dot high-res image for framing or reviewing shots, but that can be switched off in lieu of using the X100’s classic optical viewfinder. They can even be used together in a hybrid fashion for showing additional shooting data on the LCD whilst framing through the viewfinder. If video is important to you there’s an acceptable 720P ‘HD’ movie mode that can capture clips using the camera’s aperture-priority mode for pleasantly defocused backgrounds, and an HDMI Mini port allows you to connect it directly to a hi-def TV. And for you Hipstamatic lovers, the X100 even has FujiFilm’s ‘Film Simulation Modes’ which makes your photos look like they were shot with the company’s Velvia, PROVIA and ASTIA color reversal film stocks.

[ PR – FUJIFILM Announces The FinePix X100 Premium Digital Camera Built By Photographers For Photographers ]

TDK Revives The Boombox – Time To Stock Up On ‘D’ Sized Batteries!

TDK 3 Speaker Boombox (Image courtesy Uncrate)
By Andrew Liszewski

There have been a few attempts to revive the iconic 80’s ‘boombox’ over the years, and while TDK’s new 3 Speaker Boombox doesn’t look like something you’d find in a classic Run DMC video, it tastefully spans the gap between old and new aesthetics. Sound is delivered via a pair of 6-inch coaxial drivers and a high excursion 6-inch subwoofer, while a combination of touch screen and simple dial controls give the boombox a clean, uncluttered finish.

In lieu of a cassette slot, the boombox features USB, 3.5mm and auxiliary ports that let you connect your iPod, iPhone, media players or even a flash drive full of music. And it’s also able to charge your iDevices while playing music from them with an included Apple dock connector cable. But what I like best about TDK’s boombox refresh is that instead of being powered by a built-in rechargeable battery, it actually has a compartment on the back for holding 12 ‘D’ sized batteries which is totally old school. (It will of course will run off AC too.) Pricing and availability are TBA.

[ TDK 3 Speaker Boombox ] VIA [ Uncrate ]

Simon Flash

Simon Flash (Images courtesy Pocket-lint)
By Andrew Liszewski

So it’s not really accurate to say that like Scrabble, Simon is the lastest Hasbro game to get the electronic treatment because Simon was actually one of the first electronic games on the market back in the 80’s. But this updated version called Simon Flash certainly expands what the original Simon was capable of. Not to mention making it far more portable.

Simon Flash is composed of 4 blocks that light up red, blue, yellow and green, and in addition to letting you play a traditional game of Simon where you repeat an ever expanding sequence of colors, the cubes include other game variants too. Like the classic peg-based game Mastermind, for example, where you work to figure out a secret color combination in a set number of moves. There’s no word on when Simon Flash might be available, but your safe bets are sometime in the Summer or just in time for the Christmas holidays.

[ Pocket-lint – Simon Flash hands-on ]

Incipio’s Rad Game Boy iPhone Case That Will Never See The Light Of Day

Incipio Game Boy iPhone Case (Image courtesy iLounge)
By Andrew Liszewski

iLounge came across this totally awesome Game Boy inspired iPhone 4 case at Incipio’s booth at CES last week, and I almost feel like a tease even bringing it to your attention since due to licensing issues the company has no plans to put it into production. The realistic looking buttons, 4-way controller and even speaker grill are basically just a means to show off the company’s design and production capabilities, and to break the hearts of retro gaming fanatics.

[ iLounge – Incipio shows Game Boy iPhone case, advanced designs ]

College Humor’s Forgotten 80’s Nintendo Games

By Andrew Liszewski

College Humor reminds us that not every single game available for the NES back in the day was a runaway hit like The Legend of Zelda or Mario Brothers. I never really got into the Rain Main or Dirty Dancing games, but playing the Dig-Dug clone Baby Jessica Well Rescue was always a good time.

[ College Humor – Forgotten 80’s Nintendo Games ] VIA [ Coudal ]

Now That’s What I Call MIDI – Volume 1 (Hopefully)

Now That's What I Call MIDI (Image courtesy Internet Archeology)
By Andrew Liszewski

A website called Internet Archeology has dedicated themselves to recovering and preserving the graphical artifacts of the early internet in order to better understand and appreciate the birth of the internet culture. And while their efforts have so far focused on graphics and imagery, they’ve recently created a Kickstarter project to attempt to preserve a bit of early internet audio in the form of a vinyl record featuring MIDI versions of hit songs from the 90’s.

They’re trying to raise just $2,500 in order to press 500 limited edition copies of the record which will include 16 songs from the likes of the Backstreet Boys, Blink 182, Nirvana and even Jay-Z. You can reserve your own copy of Now That’s What I Call MIDI with a pledge of just $25, while $40 gets you 2 copies and $150 get’s you 10 copies if you want to get next year’s Christmas shopping done really, really, really early.

[ Kickstarter – Now That’s What I Call Midi ] VIA [ Internet Archeology ] VIA [ PSFK ]

[ Internet Archeology ]

Laser-Etched Bamboo Mario Sprite Set

Laser-Etched Bamboo Mario Sprite Set (Images courtesy Etsy)
By Andrew Liszewski

Magnetic poetry? Screw that! Here’s a cooler way to decorate your fridge/filing cabinet/anything a neodymium magnet will stick to. From Etsy seller Aristomatic comes these sets of laser-etched bamboo magnets that are designed to look like sprites from the original NES version of Super Mario Brothers. Everything from boring old ground blocks to pipes and piranha plants are included, letting you recreate a favorite level, or just go all Shigeru Miyamoto-style and design your own! The large set pictured above will set you back $150, but Aristomatic also has a couple of smaller sets available for about $45-$50 if Christmas shopping has left your credit card maxed out.

[ Super Mario Brothers Sprite Magnets, Bamboo Large Set ] VIA [ The UberReview ]

LOAD ”A Sneak Peek At The Commodore 64x” ,8,1

Commodore 64x (Images courtesy Commodore USA)

Like myself, I’m pretty sure the first foray into personal computers for a lot of you was the Commodore 64. But if it wasn’t, and you’ve wondered why so many people are fond of that brownish, taupe over-sized keyboard, now’s your chance to experience it for yourself. Commodore USA has just posted a collection of specs and photos of their new Commodore 64x, which is an updated version of the original.

The new C64x however is a fully functioning PC as we know it today, with a mini-ITX PC motherboard featuring a Dual Core 525 Atom processor, an NVIDIA Ion2 graphics chipset, 2GB of RAM expandable to 4, a Blu-ray drive and all the ports and connectors we’ve come to expect. It’s also got Cherry brand key switches so the keyboard feels like those beloved IBM keyboards of yesteryear. But most important of all, the C64x lets you boot into an authentic Commodore 64 emulator for loading classic titles. How I’ve managed to live all these years without access to Print Shop Deluxe is beyond me.

[ Commodore USA – Commodore 64x ] VIA [ Chip Chick ]