Nicholas Friedman // Staff Writer
Though the feeling of waking up to a brand new Nintendo console on Christmas morning is long gone, retro video games have continued to stay readily available.
Game Exchange and Movie Trading Company are two shops in Denton that specialize in these older games, giving Denton residents a chance to relive gaming memories all over again.
Game Exchange sales associate Austin Patterson said that his store has a hard time keeping Nintendo 64 games in stock because of the demand from college students.
“Nintendo 64 games are the most popular because that’s what our generation grew up with,” Patterson said. “Mario Party, Super Smash Bros., Mario Kart. Stuff like that. College kids like to turn those games into drinking games, so they’re always looking to buy them.”
Game Exchange sells everything from the original Nintendo consoles to the new PlayStation 4 and Xbox One games.
“It’s a 50/50 split between people buying retro games and consoles and newer games and movies,” Patterson said. “I think most people want a physical copy of older games instead of downloading a digital one on the new systems.”
Even the new consoles, despite the fact that they offer older games, can’t seem to kill retro gaming, Jason Notte said in an article from The Street, a financial news site.
Notte said that even though Nintendo offers its older games through the Virtual Console on eShop, something Sony offers with PlayStation Now, it is unable to capture the tangibility of a cartridge or disc. Notte relates this to the idea of vinyl records coming back as a medium in music.
“Much as vinyl lovers will rave about the ‘warmth’ of their record’s sound as opposed to digital tracks, retro gamers prize the aesthetic experience of the games they love,” Notte said in the article. “Old video games provide the tactile and aural experience that their mobile, online rehashes just lack.”
French junior Jarret Berman said that even though he likes having the physical cartridges, when it comes down to it he just wants to play the game.
“There’s a lack of graphical prowess in older games and this allows them to be more focused on gameplay and story,” Berman said. “My favorite retro game is Chrono Trigger for the Super Nintendo. I’ve always been a story-driven gamer and the lore makes me really happy.”
Berman said that games are harder to find, which causes him to look toward digital offerings.
“Sometime the stores’ selections don’t have what I’m looking for, but I do enjoy having the cartridges,” Berman said. “Hopefully more of those are available for download on consoles like the 3DS. This way I can shop for games and still support the company directly.”
Movie Trading Company assistant manager Cameron Hayes said he always played Nintendo games as a kid and that stores like his do well because they allow access to games people thought weren’t around anymore.
“Nostalgia is a key part of this kind of thing. We can’t even keep Nintendo 64 controllers in stock,” Hayes said. “The people that grew up having stores where they could buy games like this now have another chance.”
Hayes said that Movie Trading Company is looking to host events for retro video games or card games once the company gets settled into its location, because it just opened a few months ago.
The fact that both Game Exchange and Movie Trading Company sell similar products can lead to competition, Hayes said.
“Of course there is always going to be competition between stores like this,” Hayes said. “But each store specializes what they have in their own way to keep it unique.”
Feature photo: Super Mario Brothers/Duck Hunt Nintendo Entertainment System game at Game X Change located at 610 W. University Drive. Game X Change has hundreds of vintage games for NES, Super Nintendo and SEGA. Photo by Edward Balusek / Staff Photographer