If you thought the golden era of plug ‘n play consoles was long gone, then guess again! Some companies experimented with these non-cartridge, pre-loaded consoles to a degree back in the 90’s, with the fever culminating with consoles like the AtGames “Flashback” series of Atari & Sega consoles, Sony’s PlayStation Classic and the most popular of them all, Nintendo’s NES Classic.
The great thing about these products is that all you have to do is plug them into your TV and connect power and you could start to play. No cartridges or ROM configurations to worry about, and generally you can use the original controllers with them too. The quality of said devices has often left much to be desired, however. Since they are glorified emulation boxes, often the emulation was off on the graphics or the sound; sometimes the selection of included games would also leave fans scratching their heads. Overseas, such consoles came around in a variety of bizarre knock-offs and bootlegs, often including a giant number of poorly coded bootlegs and games you didn’t really want to play. Nevertheless, these devices made for amazing birthday presents since they were cheap and came packed with tons of games, much like the infamous “brick game” or Tiger Electronics devices.