PRGE 2017 Who needs modern games?
Portland Retro Gaming Expo is the largest retro gaming expo in the United States. People come from all over to attend, but even after it's 11th year the convention still feels like a local thing. This is a great feeling, there is so much to see and do at PRGE. Join The Gamers Lounge as we talk about what we saw and did at the Portland Retro Gaming Expo 2017
I have already talked a little about this on the podcast a few weeks ago. The show traditionally runs from Saturday and Sunday at the Oregon Convention Center. On Friday the arcade is open to convention attendees. The convention has a lot to offer, including the freeplay arcade, console freeplay area, Tetris Championships, gaming tournaments, a diverse array of guest speakers and many vendors. There is something for everyone. I usually go for the speakers and the vendors. $35 for a weekend pass is a great deal.
Some of this year’s speakers included topics on Arcade repair, resellers, strange video game history, oddball consoles, art of Atari, unreleased NES games, and so many more. A small sampling of the guest list for panels included the Metal Jesus crew Ben Heck, the Retronauts Crew, David Crane, and Howard Scott Warshaw. Videos of the panels have been uploaded to Youtube.
One of the biggest draws is the video game museum and this year the feature was The 40th anniversary of the Atari 2600. There was a big exhibit with walls of games, there were rare games on display for the Atari as well as other systems. What would PRGE be without the vendors? There were plenty of them and I saw a few high priced and sought after items. I had a list of things I wanted to find. I didn't find much on my list. That copy of Futurama for PS2 was gone within the first 20 mins of the doors opening.
I did see a few Neo Geo systems and some $100+ SNES games. There were some TurboDuo games and some CDi games as well. I almost picked up a Neo Geo X, the small emulated Neo Geo system. I saw lots of PS2s and Xboxs for around $40, SNES consoles were $50, Genesis was $40-$40. There were N64 and GCs, no vendors had the same prices. I saw PS2 memory cards for $1 up to $10. Vendors expect you to haggle a little it seems and I was able to get a few good deals. There was a crackdown this year on homebrew and my understanding was if the game had never been released in Japan or Europe than vendors were not allowed to see homebrew carts of that particular game.
Besides the games there are booths with art: anything from wooden signs, to crocheted video game mascots. Seedi was there this year making a push for its IndieGoGo. I was able to play their console and was impressed at the Neo-Geo CD playback. By the end of the weekend I had a great time and I cannot recommend attending Portland Retro Gaming Expo enough.