Retro Gaming Is Growing So Fast In Japan That Second-Hand Stores Are Making Their Own Famiclones 1
Image: Damien McFerran / Time Extension

Japanese second-hand retailers Bookoff and Geo have produced their own Famicon clones in order to keep pace with the rising demand for classic games, The Japan Times has reported.

Last August, Geo – which buys and sells CDs, DVDs and video games – released the Famicom-compatible "Retro Game Computer" console for ¥2,178 (around $14.50) and promptly sold through the initial 3,000 unit run by October. It plans to manufacture the device as a regular product moving forward.

Rival store Bookoff followed suit, launching its 8Bit Compact V2 console in December, priced at ¥3,980 (around $27). The store reports that sales of retro games – including Famicom and Super Famicom games – increased by nearly 60% in 2023.

Suruga-ya, another Japanese reseller, tells The Japan Times that "sales have doubled at some stores thanks to renewed awareness among young people and foreign tourists to Japan."

Famiclones aren't a new thing – they've been around since the '80s – but the fact that retailers are now producing their own consoles to sell alongside pre-owned games shows just how popular retro gaming has become in Japan.

Thanks to Lewis Packwood for the tip!