Seattle Retro Gaming Expo 2016


Last Saturday, I decided I was going to get up early on a weekend for once and ride my bike seven miles to an event someone who runs a retro gaming blog wouldn’t dare miss: The Seattle Retro Gaming Expo.

The exhibition hall was smaller than I expected, and the whole event took place in one large room. The space was mostly taken up by vendors of retro games/ consoles/ peripherals, as well as artists with their work for sale, and museums and other organizations advertising their business.

There was an arcade section with classics like Rampage: World Tour, Mortal Kombat, Q*bert, Final Fight and more. I played Rampage for a little while, and the cabinet was in surprisingly great condition. There was also a console area with random games set up like Katamari Damacy, Contra, Super Mario Bros. 3, Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2 on Dreamcast, Star Fox, and more.



The star of the show for me and many others, was the appearance of the mythical Nintendo PlayStation. Owners Terry and Dan Diebold were in attendance with their incredible discovery, and had it powered on, running a copy of the Japanese version of Street Fighter II. I was utterly shocked to see the prototype console right here in Seattle, as I hadn’t seen it mentioned on the SRGE’s website. It’s a beautiful and important piece of video game history, and it was an honor to get to see it in person and even touch it. I can say I held the controller to the Nintendo PlayStation — in my own two hands!

You can go check out Sam Machkovech’s more in-depth look at the Nintendo PlayStation at SRGE 2016 over at Ars Technica.


A very enlightening stop was Rob Barlow’s Xbox booth. He had tons of cool, rare/ one-of-a-kind Xbox stuff he’d collected from his time working at Microsoft.

Chief among them, for me, was his First Edition Japanese copy of Phantom Dust. It was pretty amazing to find an extremely rare copy of an already rare game. Barlow had worked as Product Lead on Phantom Dust (among many other Xbox titles), where he ensured the game and its packaging met quality standards for release.


Another great piece in his collection was this Japanese copy of Kingdom Under Fire: The Crusaders, one of my favorite Xbox games. It’s really nice seeing these games still sealed, as well.


This is the Xbox Text Input Device (TID), according to Barlow. It is a one-of-a-kind prototype that never saw a full release until the Xbox 360’s Chatpad. The controller is also a unique prototype of the Xbox Controller S: It still has the sticker on the back with the word “Vertigo”, which was the name of the (first) original Xbox controller.


The Kasumi Xbox, another one-of-a-kind piece at his booth. You can read the details in the photo.

It’s also worth mentioning Barlow had a PAL copy of Silent Hill 2: Inner Fears for Xbox. He said he hadn’t been able to find any info on it online, but it appears to me to just be the version of the game released in the PAL region.


The artist vendors had some awesome stuff, and I couldn’t pass up on getting a couple of Undertale sprites!

The SRGE was a very cool experience, and I can’t wait to go back next year. I’ll keep an eye out for other retro gaming events to cover in the near future.


Check out all the photos I took below!


~ by The Retro Gamer on August 2, 2016.

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