September has never been one of my favourite months, Summer has been and gone, as a child it was the month that signalled ‘back to school’ and now that I’m older it’s a reminder that we’re heading for the final quarter of the year and Christmas won’t be far behind (yes, I said it!).
This year however there is something that I’m actually looking forward to in September, the SNES Mini Classic. So in the build up to its release and with Sonic Mania and the remaster of Crash Bandicoot also adding to the Retro resurgence at the moment I thought it might be nice to take a break from the latest releases and look back over the gaming archives for a few of the more Memorable (for me at least) September console releases that have been sent our way with the introduction of the Autumn breeze.
(Note: Nintendo will be excluded from this list)
Who knows, maybe there will be something here for you to include in your retro playlist.
Small Disclaimer: This list is in Release Order, and does not signify any preference by me of one console over another (They are all Amazing for what they gave us!)
While I didn’t actually have one myself (released a little before my time), the Atari 2600 has to be on this list as it will always be remembered as the 1st real game console that people had at home, it was released in September of 1977 originally under the name of the Atari VCS, then in 1982 was renamed to the 2600. Prior to its release the only game consoles that had been seen were ones that had games built directly into the console, so this really was a pioneer in terms of bringing games to the home. Most of the classic games you will find for this console are the ones that almost everyone will know (unless you have lived under a rock for 30 years), as they were all huge arcade hits of the time (Pacman, Asteroids, Space Invaders). As well as providing some of the very first Movie Games you could play at home in ‘E.T the Extra Terrestrial’.
The C64 was released in September of 1982 by Commodore International Ltd. While it was released as an early version of a Personal Computer I’m sure a number of you will openly admit (myself included) it was our first ‘Game Console’. The games were on either a Cassette tape or a floppy disk drive (cue the ‘what’s that?’ comments from our younger readers).
In 1990 (8 years after the original release) they also released a C64GS which was the official games console version of the system. Some of the more popular games on the system were things like The Last Ninja, IK+ (International Karate) and Sid Meiers Pirates! (A version of this was re-released back in 2004 on various platforms).
The Sega Master System was released (in Europe) in September of 1987. While a lot of people pass this system by in favour of the NES for me this was the first time I’d had an actual games console that didn’t require 20 minutes to load up a game. In 1990 Sega released the 2nd version of this console which had a nice added bonus of a built in game (Alex the Kidd in Miracle World or Sonic the Hedgehog in some of the later ones). For me there were some great titles on this machine that bring back a lot of memories, Alex the Kidd as mentioned earlier, Wonder Boy, Out Run, Double Dragon, Prince of Persia.
The Mega Drive was released (In Europe) in September of 1990. This is one of my favourite consoles even today as its simple controls and addictive games make it a joy to just sit and play after a long day. It was the mainstay console for most of my friends and I remember a lot of the advertisements even now ‘What Sega Do, Ninten-dont’.
It was also introduced during a time where Gaming in general was on the rise and as such along with the SNES it resulted in the beginning of gaming TV Shows as Gamesmaster appeared on our screens in 1992 to give us the latest info and ‘cheats’ to get through the games. Apart from the obvious classic in ‘Sonic’, this console also provided some of the classics that we all remember and love even today such as Golden Axe, Streets of Rage, Road Rash, Premier Manager (first appearance), Worms, and many more.
Now here we are at the final entry of our list and I think it’s only fitting that we end with the first entrant by a company who are still a major player (if not the Number 1) in the game console industry as we know it today. Sony introduced the PlayStation 1 back in September of 1995 (God I feel old!). In my opinion this console was a huge step forward in gaming when compared to the previous gen and provided us with some truly wonderful things we hadn’t really experienced before (Memory Cards, Multi-tap just to name a couple). FMV intro’s finally made their way into games and were actually acceptable (Yes I’m looking at you Sega CD!), as well as a huge collection of games including classics such as Silent Hill, Resident Evil, Tomb Raider, Crash Bandicoot.
Before signing off here (and going to play some Retro games) I think it’s only right to give a nod to a few of the classic Games which have also brightened our Autumn time.
- Metal Gear Solid (September 1998)
- Crash Team Racing (September 1999)
- Super Mario Bros (September 1985)
- Tetris (Game Boy Version) (September 1990)
I’d like to think this trip down memory lane has either reminded you of games/consoles long forgotten or for our younger readers has opened your eyes to a whole new world of possibilities.
It’s amazing to think how far we have come from games like Pacman to visual masterpieces like The Witcher: Wild Hunt in what is a relatively short amount of time overall. Looking back over it I find myself even more excited to see where the next 10-20 years will take us (even more so with the introduction of VR now). The great news is that we will all be able to experience it together and hopefully the next Generation will provide as many memories as the ones before.