Since I’ve only been collecting retro games since 2011, my collection is far from complete and comprehensive. However, I have amassed approximately 550 titles over my gaming infused life so it’s not small by any means – kind of a weird in-between, if anything.
Its current state is not its original form – I’ve been living where I currently reside for nearly a year and the bulk of it was moved across about four months ago from my folk’s house. Here’s a post on my old website if you’re curious about how it used to look, and here’s a video on my YouTube channel about moving it across (including a delightful romp through Ikea).
Since I’m yet to own my own place completely, different versions of the retro room over the years have always been somewhat implanted into their existing environments. It takes over the primary purpose of the room, don’t get me wrong – it’s like a rash that envelopes it. However, I am looking forward to the day when I can afford my own place and have an entire dedicated room. It’s going to be rad, as the kids say.
Here’s an overview of the area: you can see the consoles, the games and the TV. As you can see I’ve set up everything in a way that doesn’t disrupt the room too severely. The shelf, for instance, is placed in-front of the rooms existing shelving in case it needs to be moved out. I don’t own the house I live in, I’m in a long-term housesitting arrangement – so when I leave it’s set up in a way that minimal amounts of original furniture will have to be moved back to their original positions.
Here’s a photo of the console shelf with the exposure set to be more akin to how the human eye sees it. The lighting is a relatively new addition and is something I’ve been wanting to do for years. I used LED strip lighting which was quite simple to setup, although basic wiring and soldering skills are required. If you want to learn more about how I did that, then the process is detailed at the end of the video linked above.
As for the consoles themselves, I’ve obtained just about all the staples over the years. Probably the only console missing on my wish list is the Sega Saturn, although they weren’t so common in Australia.
If you’re wondering why there are two PlayStations and two SNESs, it’s because the two in the top-right corner are Japanese (with the SNES technically being a Super Famicom). Collecting Japanese games in Australia is cheap because of our relative geographical nearness. All that’s required to get them running in a step-down transformer since they run on 110v compared to our 240v. I also own an original Famicom and you can just see it to the right of the Atari ST. I’m not perfect and forgot to take a photo including it.
This is my switching system. Everything apart from the Famicom, Atari 2600 (not pictured) and Atari ST are connected to this and ready to be played at a button push. On top, you’ll also see my Elgato switching system for recording footage – but more on that in a second.
Sadly, everything is connected by composite since that’s all the TV supports. I have a humungous Sony Trinitron in storage (the legendary retro gaming TV) so having the component capable consoles hooked up in HD will one day be a possibility. The reason it’s not setup now is a logistical one – the Trinitron weighs close to 80kg! I’ll use it one day – maybe when I have my own fabled retro room – but for now, composite will have to do.
I’m into handheld gaming and keep a few on top ready to play. While I keep the chargers or batteries close by, I much rather play them on the TV for the bigger image and so I can record. How I do this varies on the console. The PSP is the easiest since it’s the 3002 model that supports composite out (you can see the cable poking out next to the Japanese PlayStation). The original Game Boy is easy too since I own a Super Game Boy – I just plug it into the SNES and off I go.
A little trickier is the Game Boy Color and Game Boy Advance. I do have a Game Boy Player for my GameCube but since I don’t have a boot-up disk (and I’ll be damned if I’m going to pay the exorbitant going price for one) I’m currently working through alternatives.
That leaves the Sega Game Gear (probably my favourite handheld) since it never had any commercial means of video out. Like the Game Boy Player, however, I’m working on it. I have a spare Game Gear which has a broken LCD (but has its capacitors replaced) which I’m planning on modding. Watch this space.
Because of my YouTube channel, I record quite a bit of footage. This is achieved by an Elgato Game Capture HD which is sadly now discontinued. This model supports native recording of composite and component which is not included on newer models (which are HDMI only) so hopefully, it never breaks on me. To have this work at the push of a button requires its own mess of wires; if you’re interested on how, I have a post on my old website explaining it.
The Elgato plugs into my laptop which sits close by on the coffee table. It’s easily accessible since I usually sit in a bean bag rather than the couch (I like being close to the TV).
The following photos detail my games collection if you want a closer look. As you can see, I collect for all the systems I own as well as PC. Just about all of it was bought from thrift stores – I love thrifting! I won’t delve too far into my PC collection for this post as I have a dedicated setup for it. Stay tuned for an upcoming post on the subject.
I’ve seen several different methods of storing controllers and accessories over the years on the web from dedicated drawers to door mounted shoe racks – mine, however, are stored quite simply. The accessories (spare video cables, chargers etc.) are in the box on the left and are admittedly not as organised as they could be. The controllers, on the other hand, are separated by console and stored in zip locked bags. This means I simply just find the bag for the console I need when searching and this also prevents them from getting tangled with each other.
So, there you have it – that’s my retro room. It may not be the biggest or most exciting, but it’s mine and I’m proud of it. Thanks for viewing! Here’s a photo of my cat because everything on the internet needs cats.