Do you remember receiving your first gaming console as a kid in the 80s or 90s with the jubilation, high pitched screaming and undiluted hysteria as if it was a big fat Christmas miracle??
Did you then think long and hard about where exactly you were going to safely store it to basically end up having a setup similar to this…
As a grown up and a lover of retro game consoles/refusing to move on from my childhood, I too showed little respect to my Sega Mega Drive that is currently squashed between a Nintendo Wii, Nintendo DS, SNES mini, Virgin Media TV box and some stray DVD's that I can't be arsed to put back in their case… And now when I want to play, my precious Mega Drive will decide if it will work or not and I am pretty sure my negligence has contributed to it being temperamental as feck! So, I’ve decided to take it down to the guys at The Rage in Dublin who will have a look and try to fix it, but I also need to have a long hard look in the mirror and think about how to store and maintain my retro game consoles if I want to continue playing them until I'm at least 85 years old.
Location Location Location
Any high-powered gaming system needs ventilation. So shoving it on an enclosed TV stand or cabinet screams all kinds of no. The heat from the consoles need to go somewhere so let it out damn it! You also want to eliminate as much dust as possible getting into the game consoles and dark corners are dust mite friends, so avoid. There are a few entertainment centres and TV stands ideal for gaming consoles but of course it depends on your budget and where in your home it is intended for. I mean sure, a stand which is practical with ventilation is great, but you also would want it to look good too. Here are a few of my top picks.
Budget - Basic Chrome 3 Shelf Unit £29.99
Mid Range - 4 Cube Shelving Unit £37.50
Ok lemme throw some more cash at this - Wood TV Stand 2 Shelf Storage Unit £45.99
Pricey enough - Glass 4 Shelf Unit £84.06
The easiest and laziest form of cleaning a gaming console is to simply blow the dust away from the system. Yeah… stop doing that! All you’re doing is moving the pesky dirt sprites from one surface to another. So, yes you may think that you’re clearing away the dust from your SNES, but you’ve probably just blown all the shit from the vents onto another electrical device! Use a vacuum cleaner. Presto! Pull the dirt out and away every 6 months. This may seem tedious and annoying, but in the long run it will certainly help.
You can also find a local retro gaming specialist near you who should be able to run a diagnostic check on your system to see that it is operating as it should. Retro gaming consoles today are considered a rare vintage item and so we should treat them with care like an archaeological find fit for the Antiques Roadshow. Because remember, when they're really broken, you can't just pick out a new one in the Argos catalogue and hope Santa will hook you up!
Here’s a few takeaway tips you should always adhere to if you essentially don’t want to fuck up a good thing!
* Do not stack game consoles on top of each other. The heat emitted is zero fun and can cause the gaming systems to have a meltdown.
* Use storage shelves and entertainment units for your game consoles that have open backs. This helps the air circulate so the system doesn’t overheat.
* Dust and electronics do not mix. Keep your retro gaming console clean with a vacuum cleaner.
* Retro gaming consoles are notorious for those long ass controller leads that drape across the floor. When you’re not playing, pack these away carefully. As watching someone catch their foot on the lead and drag your entire console down to the ground in slow motion… is truly heart breaking!