If you want to relive the glory days of gaming, also known as the period where a game didn’t need a multi gigabyte update to play first you might be wondering how you can play old console games on a modern TV.
There are several options available to you, ranging from using an RCA/Scart-to-HDMI adapter to playing games on a retro gaming console or emulator.
In this article, we’ll explore five different ways you can play your old console games on a modern TV.
How to Play Old Games Consoles on Modern TV
Use an RCA/Scart-to-HDMI adapter: Your old console has an RCA or Scart output, you can use an one of these adapters to connect it to your modern TV. This will allow you to play your old games on high definition TV’s. For example a simple £10 HDMI adapter for the Playstation 2 works wonders and also gets rid of that washed out look that older systems seemed to have as well. There are more expensive options too like the Framemeister but for general retro gaming on a budget, eBay is your friend for these devices.
Get a retro gaming Mini console: There are several retro gaming consoles on the market that allow you to play old console games on a modern TV. These consoles come pre-loaded with a selection of games, or you can often add your own games via a USB drive or SD card or there are ways to enable it. Examples out there already are the SNES Classic, Megadrive Mini and even older machines like the Commodore 64 and most recently the Amiga 500 Mini.
Use an emulator: An emulator is a piece of software that allows you to play games from a specific console on a different device. There are several emulators available for different consoles, and you can use them on your desktop PC, Laptop or a device like a Raspberry Pi to play your old games on a modern TV running Retroarch as the user interface to list and play the games across various consoles. However be warned. The downloading of ROM files for old games machines is piracy and therefore illegal so you do so at your own risk.
Use a dedicated retro gaming device: There are several devices on the market that are specifically designed for playing old console games on a modern TV. These devices often come pre-loaded with a selection of games, or you can add your own games via a USB drive or SD card and even play games via the original cartridges. Examples of dedicated retro gaming devices include the RetroN 5 and the Hyperkin. Again the loading of ROMS on to these cartridges carry the same risks as going down the emulation route.
Mod your console. If you’re good with a soldering Iron or know someone that is and want to connect your old console to the your shiny new TV then there are quite a few instructional videos on YouTube showing you how to modify your old console to have an HDMI port. This is a risky one for anyone who doesn’t have the skills to do this but its still an option for those that are happy to tinker about with it.
Forget about using a modern TV altogether and use the original console with a CRT TV: Yes you heard us right, you could just go old skool instead. If you have an old CRT (cathode ray tube) TV gathering dust in the attic, you can use it to play your old console games just like you did back in the day. CRT TVs are still compatible with most old consoles, so this is a good option if you want a truly authentic experience and are a must have for old light gun games as modern TV’s do not work with them. However for playing retro games on TV’s they were originally designed for is the best way to play according to purists.
As you can see there are several options for playing old console games on a modern TV and one for going down the purist route.
These include using an HDMI adapters that take the signal from the original consoles output and display it on a modern TV, a retro gaming console connected the old fashioned way to a CRT TV, an emulator on a PC or Raspberry Pi computer or a dedicated retro gaming device.
Each option has its own benefits and drawbacks, so you’ll need to consider your own needs and preferences when deciding which one is best and most convenient for you.
Whether you want the authentic experience of using an old CRT TV or the convenience of a dedicated retro gaming device, there’s an option out there that can help you play your favourite old console games on a modern TV.
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