Happy little retro miracles

Sure, retro bargains are sometimes hard to find. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t look.
I’m not that far removed from a very interesting week spent in Japan, in which (amongst many other things) I indulged my passion for retro gaming. That’s a topic fully for another day, but one takeaway I did glean very quickly is that the days of real retro “bargains” are all but over.

Didn’t stop me buying a few things, including a few choice PlayStation 1 games I’ve wanted for years. That was without buying a Japanese PS1, however, because I could never quite find one where the price was right; either they were fully boxed, pristine and super-pricey, or they were sitting in a 100Y junk drawer. Call me crazy…

Nobody? Really?

OK, have it your way…. anyway, something tells me that a console that costs you around a dollar and is sitting in a drawer labelled “junk” probably isn’t going to work. I’d resolved myself to playing them through emulators, given that legal cases around original PS1 modchips make them a big no-no to import… and in any case, their heyday was two full decades ago!

Then on the weekend, I was indulging in a little op-shop browsing when I spotted an original PS1 sitting in a corner. It had been tested (clearly this is an op shop with a friendly resident sparky onboard) and claimed as “working”. My own model is a PSOne — the type with the screen, although that’s gone all wobbly on me.

Anyone know of a fix? Heh. It just occurs to me that what’s basically wrong with it is the… Vertical Hold.

No, that wasn’t worth it.

Anyway, I figured if it was working at its asking price, I may as well pick it up for my existing PAL games. Been a long time since I’ve owned a regular old school PS1.

And work it does and (you’ve probably guessed this already), it’s also multi-region.

That probably means it’s modded, but then burnt CD-R games were never my thing and I’m not about to test that particular functionality.

Got plenty to play instead, including my copies of Bushido Blade 2, Xi Jumbo and Tobal No 2 picked up from Japan. If you’ll excuse me, those dice won’t flip themselves…

About the author

Alex Kidman is a multi-award winning Australian technology writer, former editor at Gizmodo, CNET, GameSpot, ZDNet, PC Mag, APC, Finder and as a contributor to the ABC, SMH, AFR, Courier Mail, GadgetGuy, PC & Tech Authority, Atomic and many more. He's been writing professionally since 1998, and his passions include technology, social issues, education, retro gaming and professional wrestling.

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