Given Gamestation and CEX have long since left the retro gaming world behind, British gamers have found their daily hunts for classic games harder than ever. With just a few retro gaming specialist stores left dotted around the country, we must reluctantly wave goodbye to one of the more notable ones in the heart of London.
Many of the older generation of retro gamers will recall the glory days in London- a CEX store dedicated to selling retro games, countless import specialists and the likes of Game Focus also catering for our pixelated needs. During this time one could easily stroll into the city centre and leave with bags overflowing with the likes of PC Engine, Super Nintendo and Mega Drive games to name a few.
This incredible time wasn't exclusive to London though. Many other places around the country have been lucky enough to have a central location for retro games. Another one we fondly recall is Chip Shop 2000 which was situated in Liverpool. Unfortunately though, this Merseyside based shop quickly became known as the 'retro gaming museum' due to everything being either overpriced or behind a glass cabinet. Nevertheless we'd always stop by to enjoy the sight of shelving packed to the brim with all the classics, just like yesteryear.
Sadly though, the arrival of eBay and other sources of retro gaming purchases have since muscled in on the once untouchable stores, leaving them with a dwindling profit margin. While CEX and Gamestation bailed out much earlier, the likes of Game Focus have enjoyed a healthy slice of the pie since, despite the profit margin continuing to raise questions.
Earlier this week the front of Game Focus looked barren. Upon the unopened shutter lay a note declaring that London's last remaining retro gaming haven had opened for the last time. To commemorate this saddening event, we've hand picked a video from YouTube providing a guided tour of Game Focus in its heyday.
While we are incredibly lucky to have the likes of eBay (and our very own Buying & Selling forum) for our internationally connected retro gaming bargains, where does this leave the future of retro games on the high street? Here's to hoping the likes of RetroStation in Birmingham, Electric Town in Ripon and Castleford, and Retro Play Games in Manchester continue to lead healthy lives filled with 1UPs!
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