5 Interesting Facts About Retro Video Games

Do you consider yourself an avowed expert when it comes to retro video games? We’re willing to bet we can still astound you with these surprising facts about classic arcade games.  

Wanna give your knowledge a try? Let’s dive into crazy trivia about your favorite arcade games and video games. 

1. Nintendo Innovations

Did you know that Nintendo was the first video gaming system to include a directional pad? The Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES) had right- and left-shoulder buttons before they were cool. 

And without the Nintendo 64, analog thumbsticks would’ve never become a thing. 

The innovations don’t stop there. Nintendo was the first gaming system to feature Wii motion tech. Both Sony and Microsoft turned down the company who created motion sensor games, but Nintendo picked it up and the rest is history.

2. Atari Cool

Want to discover more mind-boggling facts about the best arcade games and video games of all time? Here are a couple more facts that’ll blow your gaming mind…

The PlayStation 2 ranks at the top of the most popular video game consoles of all time. In fact, it’s sold more than 155 million units. 

But did you know that the design for the PlayStation 2 was actually modeled after the Atari Falcon Microbox?

Say what?!?! Yes, you read that right. After Atari went belly up, Sony bought the rights to the design, which means a little piece of Atari lives on in every PS2 gamer.

3. Mr. Needlemouse?

When programmer Yuji Naka came up with the idea for a simple game about a character rolling through levels in long tubes, he wasn’t sure which animal to use. In fact, his first concept included a rabbit who could stop and pick up things. 

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Soon, he realized that the rabbit ears were a serious pain to illustrate. He also reasoned that picking up items bogged down the action of the game unnecessarily. 

Naka returned to the drawing board to redesign his concept. After toying with the idea of an armadillo, Naka settled on a hedgehog. Sonic the Hedgehog was born… although he still required a name change from Mr. Needlemouse! 

4. Mario’s Mustache

What would Mario be without his iconic mustache, hat, and overalls? Yet, this design almost never happened. Video game designer Shigeru Miyamoto envisioned a very different appearance for Mario.

But he found himself struggling with the limited video game graphics of the day. For example, Miyamoto had trouble giving Mario a distinguishable nose. So, he finally settled on the legendary mustache to set Mario’s face apart from his nose. 

Miyamoto gave Mario a hat because hair was too difficult to render using the graphics capabilities of the day. Finally, Mario ended up with overalls because it was the only way players could see his arms moving. 

5. Speedy Invaders

This last fact further illustrates how the advantages and disadvantages of early gaming technology impacted the way the first video games looked and performed. Remember that classic, coin-operated marvel, Space Invaders? 

As you shoot and destroy formations of space invaders intent on subjugating the earth, they move faster and faster. This crescendo of speed leads to some hair-raising moments and lots of button mashing. 

Shockingly, the increase in speed should’ve never happened. The game’s creators envisioned the momentum of the invaders remaining the same throughout. 

But in all actuality, as players shot down more and more spaceships, the computer had fewer objects to draw. The result? As the numbers of invaders decreased, their sped increased. 

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Retro Video Games Rock

Let’s be honest. Retro video games still rock. The more we learn about them, the more we love them. 

Want to dive into some more fascinating facts? Blow your mind with our interesting facts blog