Some of these recreations have been better than others, and some have likewise been more official than others too. That said, the nostalgia factor is strong enough that people and their funds have been duly separated in pursuit of most of these machines. Which makes the ones that remain absent all the more obvious.
In particular, I’m looking at Sega, who guards the keys to its Dreamcast cupboard with some vigour.
Sure, we’ve had a pack of Dreamcast games released on other formats in the past, and there’s that best-not-talked about moment when Samba De Amigo made it to the Nintendo Wii and managed to mess up the control system. But for a much-loved console, it’s surprising how little Sega's been willing or confident to trade off it.
Sega has form in producing a retro console remake, of course, choosing to jump straight over its Master System and produce a Mega Drive Mini instead. It’s certainly one of the stronger reissued consoles too, and it’s been a good seller too since it was launched last autumn. Wisely, Sega’s not chosen to introduce retro remakes of the assorted Mega Drive add-ons, that still rankle decades later. We're not over it.
But also, it’s not announced a further console remake either. It’s got two subsequent machines in its armoury, and whilst a remade Sega Saturn would push to the niche side of gaming, surely there’s a big clunking arrow somewhere pointing at the Dreamcast.
Those who had a Sega Dreamcast already know it to be one of the finest games consoles of all time, with a collection of extraordinary games. For a machine deemed in commercial eyes to be a failure – prompting Sega’s exit from the hardware business – it’s hard to think of any machine that had such a hit rate of superb titles.
The likes of Crazy Taxi, Virtua Tennis and Soul Calibur generally grab the headlines, but what about Capcom’s pair of Power Stone games, that aside from a PSP release have all but been forgotten about? Four player Power Stone 2 remains a gaming highlight waiting to be rediscovered.
What the VIC-20 announcement demonstrates is that – with no disrespect to the chirpy computer of old – retro machines need not be heavily mainstream, and designed to sit near the entrance of Game. Back when we were allowed in Game.
Clearly something with a Sega logo on it will have to match slightly weightier expectations, but – along with a mini-Nintendo 64 (surely on the way), a dinky Dreamcast feels like a gaping gap in the retro console remake armoury.
For now, the VIC-20 will have to do.