The new classic: Original Nintendo re-enters the market at a premium price

August 13, 2015
3 min read

The technology landscape is often described as fast-moving and ever-evolving, a world where last year is practically the stone age. Although it’s easy to see the avid anticipation for new gadgets and devices ranging from smartwatches to virtual and augmented related technology, it’s impossible to replace some of the classics.

And when it comes to classic gaming, it’s difficult to beat Nintendo. In fact, according to Mintel’s upcoming Gaming Consoles US 2015 report, 33% of adults who play video games associate the Nintendo brand with the word “classic,” compared to just 21% who say the same about the Microsoft Xbox brand.

Analogue Interactive is hoping to leverage the nostalgia that the Nintendo brand creates with its recently announced product, the Analogue Nt, a high-end remake of the original Nintendo Entertainment System (NES). Although the internal components are all identical to the NES, including the processor and graphics, the outer case is made of aluminum. As of July 2015, the device is available for pre-order for $499.

Retro gaming: The consumer perspective

In 2014, 468 new products used the word “retro” in marketing, according to Mintel GNPD

Mintel’s Attitudes Towards Gaming US 2015 report shows that older generation Nintendo consoles (before the Nintendo Wii) have a significant audience – 17% of internet users aged 18+ report owning or playing consoles such as the Nintendo 64 or older devices. For comparison, just 14% of adults said they play or own a Nintendo Wii U.

The demographics behind console ownership paint an even more interesting picture. Consumers aged 18-24 are the most likely to own older consoles, despite many of this group being too young to have played when even the Nintendo 64 was first released in 1996 – consumers aged 19 would have just been born that year.

The power of nostalgia extends well beyond gaming and into other areas of technology, as exemplified by the Mintel Trend Never Say Die, which describes how many consumers are highly interested in culture and products that were popular when they were too young to experience. Spotify has leveraged this trend with its Taste Rewind feature. Taste Rewind will curate a playlist of songs from each of the last five decades based on three, user-selected modern artists.

Additionally, in 2014, Mintel’s Global New Products Database (GNPD) tracked 468 new products that used the word “retro” in packaging or marketing.

Nostalgia is a powerful influencer driving some consumer purchases, and it is clearly paying dividends for Analogue Interactive. According to the company’s website, the first wave of Analogue Nt devices has already sold out. With the gaming industry, specifically, there is ample opportunity to put a new spin on the old classics and create products that meet modern tastes while still resonating with their original audiences.

Bryant Harland is a Technology and Media Analyst at Mintel. He brings almost a decade of experience working in the tech arena, most recently as a Senior Technology Writer with Brafton News.

Bryant Harland
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