Personally, I tend to believe that it’s the craziness – and great loss – of 2016 that has made consumers nostalgic for bygone tech, but it’s the manufacturers who’ve stepped up in a big way to bring back some of yesteryear’s favorite gadgets. From cameras to video game consoles to a Microsoft SQL server, everyone seems to be kicking it old school.
Is that still a phrase? Can we use that? Okay then, read on.
The obvious first choice in the list is Pokemon, who once again became a worldwide phenomenon with its mobile app-based game. While that seemed to be an even shorter flash in the pan than the original, there are still some die hard fans out there trying to catch them all, as well as third-party retailers trying to capitalize on the new-found popularity of the game.
One of the bigger surprises of the recent holiday retail shopping spree was the resurgence of e-ink based reading. While a number of companies left their e-readers behind in favor of do-it-all tablets, consumers showed (not for the first time) that sometimes they really just want to read a book. Kindle stepped up its e-reader game and is still turning a profit off of (gasp!) simply reading.
Polaroid brought back its instant print camera, something that had gone away in the era of storing everything in your phone. It’s possible that the recent craze of instaprinting is due to the fact that today’s demographic of picture taking aficionados wasn’t born for the last round, and thinks it’s some sort of new alien technology. Regardless, Polaroid is only one of many companies releasing a camera and/or pocket-sized printer for tangible instant gratification.
But nothing has screamed “shut up and take my money” lately like the relaunch of Nintendo’s game console, affectionately rebranded for today’s consumer under the name NES Classic. Of course, in true “this is the 21st century” fashion, hackers have already cracked the hard-to-find-in-stores console and added new games to it, proving that some things really aren’t as old school as we’d like to believe.