Retro Gaming Shops - Warez (Winton, Dorset)

Warez-Retro-Gaming-Shop-UKThere are, perhaps surprisingly, a handful of retro gaming shops scattered across Dorset - with one of the largest being Warez in Winton. Opened in 2013, I personally stumbled into it completely by accident – only realising it existed due to spotting a R.O.B. in the window and investigating further. Near the end of the high street it has gained a loyal customer base due to its regularly held tournaments, involving both card, board, and computer games.

I was kindly allowed permission to film inside, and also managed to get the Warez staff to answer some questions about why they decided to open and the most interesting items they've stocked in the last couple of years.

Shop Tour of Warez

Interview with Warez

Give us a brief description of Warez and why you decided to open the store:

We opened Warez in February 2013 after knowing each other for a while and realising we all liked retro gaming – we couldn’t think of anywhere locally that provided games or consoles for those of us who grew up with the older machines like the Amiga or the Mega drive or the Famicom. We also wanted to provide somewhere people could actually play the games and experience using the older consoles for themselves.

How hard is it to compete against people buying games online, and what do you do to combat this?

People nowadays of course can easily find games and consoles online, and it provides the convenience of delivery, however, for really good prices people usually have to risk bidding in an auction rather than coming into a shop and paying the stated price. There are the usual perils of lost or damaged items in the post and so on, and we test all our items so that we are confident that they work. Also, we try to keep our pricing along the price range of online items.

What system and games do you get asked about the most?

The system we get asked about the most varies dependent on a number of factors, but I would say that our location near Bournemouth University means that the students tend to ask about the Nintendo 64 as that was the console they grew up with. Again, games vary - we often get asked about the popular franchises like Zelda or Final Fantasy though.

What accesories do you get the most requests about?

Accessory-wise, most people are after extra controllers to play multiplayer games or replace old or damaged ones, but we sometimes get asked about something unusual like a Gameboy to gamecube converter or a R.O.B.

What’s the most interesting thing someone has - or perhaps attempted to - trade in?

The most interesting things people have tried to trade in are actually nothing to do with retro gaming – the first few months we were open someone asked if we would like to buy a hedge trimmer! But sometimes we do get people bringing in real gems, such as the Vectrex or a pristine boxed Ocarina of Time.

Do you do telephone/internet orders? What’s the best method of contact for you regarding purchases & enquiries?

We do take telephone and internet orders, although we need to update our website as it doesn’t have our full range on yet. I would say the best way for someone to order or reserve something is to either pop in to the store or phone us.

What are your team’s favourite systems and games?

We have our favourite modern systems and games too of course, but we do love our retro consoles…

Retro System - Amiga 1200 (with HDD)
Favourite games- Hired guns, Xcom enemy unknown, Syndicate, Cannon fodder, Frontier Elite II ... Too many, too many!

System – Mega drive
Favourite games – Sonic series, Wing commander series, Toejam&Earl

System – NES (Super Famicom in Asia J)
Favourite games – Mario series, Tetris, Joust, Balloon Fight and Parodius

Link: Warez Official Website

Link: Warez Facebook page

Last Updated ( 14 May 2015 )  

Simon Reed

An avid collector of retro handhelds since getting a Game Boy Pocket back in the 90s, perhaps his most embarrassing gaming moment was when he got involved in an eBay bidding war...for a Tiger game. Also has a interest in sports and likes to write features connecting them with games whenever possible.

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(Link to this comment) Punisher 2015-07-16 21:22
I think they are more into cards than retro gaming to be honest. I live around the corner from the shop.

The prices are also based on eBay prices which makes it a pain, but they have a shop to pay for! So it's understandable.

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