Hi Lifehacker, I’ve been a gamer for most of my life, and as a consequence I have amassed a somewhat sizable collection of ‘vintage’ video games and consoles. I currently have an Atari, Sega Mega Drive, PS1, PS2, PS3, Xbox 360, and am looking to add a few more into this collection (Super Nintendo, Commodore 64…). All the consoles and games are different, and there are varieties of both discs and cartridges. So my question is, what’s the best and safest way to store them all? I want to be enjoying these classics for years to come!Thanks, Spaced Out
As a game collector since the 8-bit era, I long ago realised that holding onto all my game boxes wasn’t feasible. Instead, I keep my collection in a variety of space-efficient storage solutions — my Amiga games reside in plastic disc containers, my PS2 games are in CD folders, my Xbox 360 games are in a DVD filing cabinet and so on. In addition to freeing up a lot of room, this translates to quicker access and arguably keeps them better protected. As an added bonus, this also gives you a perfect excuse to fob mates off when they ask to borrow your games (“sorry, but I don’t have the box”.)
Admittedly, getting rid of your game boxes can be a traumatic experience — it’s akin to tearing the beautiful covers off all your books and only keeping the text. For this reason, I still have most of my collector’s editions and retro boxes, but these are kept empty and out of the way. If you’re incapable of tossing your game boxes out you could always wrap the boxes in plastic and keep them stored in your shed or garage. If you plan to sell your games at a later date, this is obviously the route to go down.
The next step is to keep your games properly categorised: at a glance, one disc or CD looks much like another. I keep my collections alphabeticalised but you could also group them according to publisher, developer or genre. Database applications such as Sisimizi can also help you to keep tabs on all the games you own.
Organising your console collection is a slightly trickier proposition. We’d advise finding a permanent residence for them beneath your TV, as opposed to pulling them out when you need them. Basically, the less time you spend lugging them about, the longer they are likely to last. Your best bet is to buy or build a home entertainment stand with lots of spacious compartments. IKEA is usually a pretty good bet, especially when combined with some DIY shelf hacks. Just me sure that the shelves or compartments aren’t dust magnets.
If you’re feeling ambitious, you could also try combining some of your console into a single “Frankensystem”. This video from the guys at Revision3 will talk you through the steps. Another intriguing solution we’ve seen involves fastening your consoles to wall racks — although I’d be paranoid about them falling off in the night.
Finally, if any readers have a storage solution of their own, share your tips in the comments section below.
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