THE BEST 8-bit

Arcade1Up PartyCade Portable Arcades

Arcade1Up PartyCade Portable Arcades

Arcade1Up created these retro video game systems that you can put on a tabletop or mount on a wall. Each one features a 17″ color LCD screen, arcade-quality joystick and buttons, and comes loaded with eight licensed games. QVC sells the Asteroids, Pac-Man, or Ms. Pac-Man variants, while HSN has a Centipede version.

Cairo Throw

Cairo Throw

Artist Susan Kare is known for her design of the system icons used on the original Apple Macintosh. In addition, she created the Cairo “dingbats” typeface, which can now be enjoyed on one of Areaware’s woven 50″ x 70″ blankets, crafted from 100% organic cotton. Available in black/white, green/pink, or grey/yellow.

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Game Cartridge Wood Coasters

Game Cartridge Wood Coasters

Fans of 8-bit console gaming and adult beverages will love these wood coasters from Cutting Boredom. Each of the six available designs envisions a drunk version of a classic NES game, with titles like “Drunkey Kong” and “Mike Tyson’s Pass Out!!” Each one is printed in color then sealed with a two-coat polyurethane finish.

Pretty Eight Machine on Vinyl

Pretty Eight Machine on Vinyl

Created by Brendan Becker aka Inverse Phase in 2012, Pretty Eight Machine is an awesome tribute to the music of Nine Inch Nails, performed on 8-bit gaming and computer sound chips. Now, you can pre-order it as a vinyl double album. The set includes 13 tracks from the SE release, and will be pressed on splatter art discs.

8-Bit Boston

8-Bit Boston

The Boston track Foreplay/Long Time is a masterpiece of 1970s prog rock, kicking off with an epic instrumental intro, leading into a rock-and-roll classic. 8-Bit Universe presents an equally entertaining chiptune version of the nearly 8-minute long track.

Arcade1Up Pong Pub Table

Arcade1Up Pong Pub Table

Arcade1Up continues to build out its collection of retro-inspired video game cabinets with this stand-up system that lets four people play Pong at the same time. It also plays Warlords, Circus Atari, Tempest, Super Breakout, and a couple of other Pong variants. Pre-orders start shipping 4.1.2021.

Jeremy Messersmith: Video Games

Jeremy Messersmith: Video Games

Jeremy Messersmith’s heartfelt folk tune looks back fondly on his childhood days playing video games. The track is accompanied by a wonderful papercut animation by Eric Power that includes imagery from classic games like Joust, Ms. Pac-Man, Galaga, Tetris, and Asteroids. From the album Mixtape for the Milky Way.

Brava Fabrics Pac-Man Collection

Brava Fabrics Pac-Man Collection

Celebrate your love for Namco’s classic arcade game with this series of premium wearables from Brava Fabrics. The collection includes a mix of cotton shirts and wool sweaters embellished with pixel art characters. Our favorites are the printed long-sleeve shirt and the less subtle, holiday-friendly Jacquard sweater.

8BitCADE XL

8BitCADE XL

This DIY handheld gaming system offers gamers an opportunity to learn about electronics. The system features a 2.42″ monochrome widescreen and comes with 200 Arduboy games pre-loaded into its memory. Advanced users can even program their own games for it. Available with or without a tool kit.

10 Hours of Chiptunes

10 Hours of Chiptunes

Do you need a break from your regular music playlists? Then open up this video, hit play, and drop it into a background tab. Jorf assembled this epic 10-hour and 53-minute mix of 227 tracks programmed by various chiptune musicians and played with the classic 8-bit sounds of the Nintendo Entertainment System.

No Quarter Arcade Tables

No Quarter Arcade Tables

NoQuarterArcade handbuilds these sweet mid-century modern style arcade tables which play a wide variety of classic arcade games. They come with authentic arcade quality controls for two players, and pre-loaded with a number of games. They sell a 60-in-1 version, as well as a 412-in-1 version, and an 800-in-1 version.

Where Is My Body?

Where Is My Body?

This upcoming 8-bit title from GreenBoy Games gives you a new reason to dust off your old Nintendo Game Boy. Where Is My Body? sends a disembodied hand on a quest to find the rest of its body. Gameplay takes inspiration from adventures like Maniac Mansion and The Secret of Monkey Island.

LEGO Nintendo Entertainment System

LEGO Nintendo Entertainment System

The coolest item to come out of the partnership between LEGO and Nintendo (so far) is this brick-built replica of the classic NES game console. The 2646-piece set comes with a retro TV set that displays a level from Super Mario Bros., which actually scrolls when you turn its crank. Drops 8.1.20 on LEGO.com.

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Game Screen Generator

Game Screen Generator

Also known as “The Death Generator,” this fun website lets you render classic video game screens with your own custom text. There are over 150 game screens to choose from, including Super Mario Bros., Sonic the Hedgehog, The Oregon Trail, and Metroid, many of which offer configurable backgrounds and characters.

SEGA Game Gear Micro

SEGA Game Gear Micro

A diminutive version of SEGA’s 8-bit Game Gear handheld. The system measures just 3.1″w x 1.7″h x 0.8″d, and will come in four colors, each with four games. Its 1.15″ screen is so tiny that they’re selling a magnifier called the “Big Window Micro.” Launching in Japan on 10.6.20 for about $45 each. Collect them all!

Game Boy Alarm Clock

Game Boy Alarm Clock

Nintendo fans, start your day with Paladone’s officially-licensed Nintendo Game Boy alarm clock. It looks just like the classic 8-bit handheld. Use its D-pad and buttons to set the time and alarm, which plays the chiptune theme music from Super Mario Land.

Stranger Things Mini Arcade Machine

Stranger Things Mini Arcade Machine

This tiny 6.5″ tall arcade machine features graphics inspired by Stranger Things‘ Palace Arcade, along with images from Namco games Dig Dug, Galaga, Galaxian, and Pac-Man. It’s fully playable, with those classic 8-bit titles, plus 16 Stranger Things-themed games.

GameBud 8-Bit Handheld

This basic, bargain priced handheld gaming system comes loaded up with 400 old-school 8-bit games. It’s got a 2.8″ color LCD screen, and a TV-out port in case you want to play on a bigger one. Grab one for $19.95, or a pair for $34.99 in The Awesomer Shop.

Quadracade

Quadracade

This iOS game asks you to play not one, but four retro 8-bit games simultaneously on screen. There are 30 virtual game cartridges to play (with more to come), and you can earn power-ups to slow down games or earn bonus points. Drops 2/20/20 on the App Store.

Pixel Plants

Pixel Plants

Chicago-based Etsy shop Pixelixir makes these adorable 8-bit pixel art flowering plants, perfect for video gamers who lack green thumbs. They’re made from fused beads and each one includes a planter and rocks so they’re ready to display.

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Gamecase Gaming Power Bank

This unique battery pack lets you play retro style console games while your phone charges. It packs an 8000 mAh battery, a built-in gamepad, and a 2.8″ color screen. It comes loaded with over 400 games from the 8-bit era.

LIVEN 8Bit Warps

LIVEN 8Bit Warps

Sonicware’s little electronic music maker cranks out some seriously fat sounds. It packs four synth engines, including 8-bit frequency modulation, as well as a step sequencer, effects, and looping, all for less than 200 bucks. It has 27 keys, MIDI in/out, stereo in/out, headphone out, and can run on batteries too.

smART Pixelator

smART Pixelator

This high tech art toy lets you take any image and convert it into a pixel art template. Use your phone to upload a pic, and the smART Pixelator’s LEDs light up so you can place colored pegs, beads, or sequins in the right spots. With its interchangeable frames or hot-melt beads, you can save your designs permanently.

Arcade Game Typography

Arcade Game Typography

The 70s, 80s, and 90s gave us tons of classic arcade games, and along with them came lots of great pixel art. Typeface designer Toshi Omagari’s book catalogs some of the many cool pixelated fonts which were used for displaying scores on arcade machines. ReadOnlyMemory has a limited-edition hardcover version as well.

Mini Handheld Game Console 2.0

This cheap and tiny handheld gaming system comes packed with 268 retro games. The titles are from the 8-bit Nintendo era, and while some appear to be based on legitimate game ROMs, others are clearly homebrews and obscure titles. Still, for just 16 bucks, it’s a fun little stocking stuffer.

Tetris: Big Band Cover

Tetris: Big Band Cover

The 8-Bit Big Band offers up another phenomenal cover of a classic video game tune. This time, they take on block-stacking fun of Tetris, adding a bit of swing and a cinematic flair to the Soviet-era sounds of the theme song.

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