After deciding that I really wanted to play a bunch of ridiculously old games, there was only one choice: I had to sell my Xbox One. So I packaged it up along with my scant few games and pawned the whole beast off to the highest bidder, funding the purchase of a video processor whose sole purpose is to make 240p games look awesome on an HD TV. You know – like the Sega Saturn and the Neo Geo. The relevant machines in today’s gaming landscape, right?

I got rid of – what is for all intents and purposes – a thriving modern console so I could play old machines that haven’t seen a new release in decades. While that might seem absolutely insane to most people who consider themselves deeply invested in video games, there is a logic behind the decision. For a start, it’s looking increasingly likely that a new Xbox One model is right around the corner. Even if a new Xbox One wasn’t on the way, though, I’d still find the XRGB Mini Framemeister. 

Yes, that is the actual name of the video processor and not an old Simpsons joke about gaming consoles. It’s also a device offering greater opportunities to me as a player, as a critic, and as someone interested in how game design from the past 30 years has trickled into what we’re playing today. Games don’t stop being fun, fascinating, or relevant just because they didn’t come out in the past year. The problem is that playing games made before 2005 is an increasingly dicey proposition and not just because of the prohibitive cost of vintage hardware and games. 

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