See, I think I'm right on this. But if I'm wrong, I'll be pleasantly surprised.
I'm not wrong, though.
Yay. I need Golden Axe on another platform. Right now, I've only got it on Genny, Genny CD, GBA, and perhaps PC somewhere? ( I at least have Sonic on Windows.) Obviously not enough.
Is there really a market for these things? Obviously so, but why? Why do people keep shelling out for the same game beyond the convenience of only having one console hooked up to the TV? Certainly not b/c 14 year-olds are clammering for Altered Beast.
If we're trying becoming multi-consoled households, why not hook up the classics? Remakes like the new Atari console that can be modded to plug in carts gives me hope.
Because "Now it appears that gamers won't have to buy a Wii just to play Genesis games," is about the dumbest thing I've ever read. IF YOU WANT TO PLAY GENESIS GAMES, BUY A GENESIS. Or Saturn. Or Dreamcast. Or gba. Or PC. etc etc.
rufbo: I suspect, in the future, that will be true.
The retro gaming market is really a kind of artificial construct, created by the industry expectation that consumers view old systems as valueless as soon as the next comes out. So old systems stop being sold and games dry up and some games with a good reputation become rare and so on.
The willingness of game companies to sell (and consumers to buy) retro compilations should eventually cause them to realize that old systems are still interesting even after their traditional expiration date. When the kill date for old consoles softens into a kind of extended period of low production, the retro market will shift to accommodate it.
On a positive note, you won't have to worry about whether or not the battery still works before you try to save.
Collection discs are (or at least can be) more convenient than owning the systems themselves. You just need to maintain one current system and it takes a lot less space.
As well, I've already got a DVD player, VCR, PS2 slim, PS1 (for imports), and Gamecube connected to my TV. If the drive worked in it, I'd as likely have my Dreamcast there instead of my PS1. My other systems are in boxes or stored away. It just isn't practical to have them out and about just because I might strike the mood to play River City Ransom...
Retro compilations also have the advantage of exposing people to a few new (to them) games that they might otherwise never touch. Even if you'd never buy "game X" on its own, you'll probably play it at least a bit if it is on a compilation that you bought for "games Y & Z". The main collector equivalent is buying a grab bag box of carts...
Also, the Wii and 360 aren't necessarily the death knell of compilations.
A decent number of people will likely ignore both of those systems and either stick with a PS2 or splurge on a PS3, both of which are markets that still support compilations.
While the DS could download classics, there is still the handheld market of both the DS and PSP for compilations.
There is still the potential of museum compilations, though these fell out of favor through little or no fault of the concept (but rather full fault of the execution.) Emulation of games, combined with a storehouse of knowledge and information about the games.
And there is still the enhanced and remake compilation option, which could easily include emulations of the originals. (Though this might be far enough from "big emulation compilation" to discount in favor of your point.)
Baines: I suppose I may be simply underestimating the value of playing on the nostalgic hardware, which is part of the reason I believe the Jakks 10-in-1 did so well, in spite of having a one-player version of a two-player paddle game on a joystick (*sigh*) -- as well as undervaluing 14 year-olds who want to play Pitfall. I'm pretty comfortable I'm not on the latter, however.
For me, paying $30 for a game that I'll play about as many times as I'd turn on the classic system, were it handy, at some point finally hit me as an idea where it wasn't worth the extra dough. I like having Golden Axe on the GBA, and your portable argument carries a lot of water, but ultimately what we've got are nostalgic 30-somethings with too much disposable income who aren't going to get a return equal to what they're paying. Discovering Kabobber was not a plus for the Act Anth.
This is why, I'd argue, you haven't heard of which system is pulling down Kaboom! just yet. Or at least I haven't. Us 2600philes are aging ourselves out of the new conosle market... slowly, but proverbially surely. Like it seems Matt did for a while with the 2600, my only real interest is in backfilling for the system I *didn't* have, the NES. And even then, I'm doing it with a NEX.
Man, I do wish I had the Activison collection for gba though... How many copies of Pitfall would that make for me? Hrm, at least (2600, Mac, Mayan Adventure hidden game on Genesis [32X?], PS2) five.