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10 Best Retro Game Consoles (2024): Evercade, Polymega, Analogue Pocket, and Controllers

10 Best Retro Game Consoles (2024): Evercade, Polymega, Analogue Pocket, and Controllers

It’s a shame that two of the best retro gaming consoles in recent years, the NES Classic Mini and the SNES Classic Mini, have been discontinued. Both feature great designs with a miniaturized look that’s true to the originals, silky performance, and strong game lineups of Nintendo’s greatest hits. You can still buy them online (usually from third-party resellers), but prices are seriously inflated. The SNES Classic Mini, for example, was $80 at launch, but a reseller has it for more than $300 on Amazon right now. You might have better luck buying one used.

Nintendo fans keen on some classic gaming action might be better served by snagging a Switch and buying a Nintendo Switch Online membership ($20 for a year) to access more than 100 NES and SNES titles (here’s the full list). Add the Expansion Pack ($50 for a year) and you can get these N64 games too. If you’re craving some old-school pocket-sized Nintendo fun, check out the revived Game & Watch ($50) line. They are limited to a couple of games each, but when those games are Super Mario or Zelda titles, that can be enough for hours of fun.

The Analogue Mega SG ($200) (8/10, WIRED Recommends) is expensive, and it doesn’t come with any games or controllers (they cost $25 apiece). But it can play old Sega Genesis cartridges, so it’s a solid choice if you have a box of them in the basement. Thanks to an FPGA chip, this console runs the original games just as you remember them.

There are plenty of classic arcade games available on PlayStation 4 or 5. If you opt for a PS Plus Premium subscription ($18 for a month or $160 for a year), you get the Classics Catalog, packed with old PlayStation games.

The Xbox Series X|S boasts the best backward compatibility, as Microsoft’s newest consoles can play Xbox One, Xbox 360, and original Xbox titles. You can also find classic titles included in our favorite gaming subscription, the excellent Xbox Game Pass Ultimate ($17 per month).

If you have Valve’s Steam Deck, check out the comprehensive EmuDeck to emulate a wide variety of old systems in style.

PC gamers also have an enormous choice of emulators. I like RetroArch because it emulates multiple systems, but if you have a favorite old console and want to get close to that original experience, you can likely find a tailor-made emulator to scratch that itch.

Do you miss all those Flash-based browser games you used to play in the office when you were meant to be working? Read our guide, How to Play All of Those Old Flash Games You Remember.

The Panic Playdate ($199) (7/10, WIRED Recommends) isn’t strictly a retro console, but it is fun, creative, and quirky, and it has a distinct retro feel. It even has a crank for an all-new way to interact with games!

The Analogue Duo ($250) (6/10, WIRED Review) makes TurboGrafx-16 and PC Engine games look incredible on any HDMI screen. It boasts HuCARD and CD-ROM functionality, so existing games work regardless of media, region, or other requirements. Sadly, it’s pricey, controllers cost extra, and there’s no openFPGA support.

24 Mother’s Day Gifts We’ve Tried and Love (2023)

24 Mother’s Day Gifts We’ve Tried and Love (2023)

SPEAKING AS A mom myself, I know that the best gift you can give your mother is you. Whether you plug in your hybrid or hop on a cheap electric bike, you should see her if you can (we get it if you think air travel is scary, though). If you think you’d like to bring her a gift, now is the time to start thinking about it, because Mother’s Day is approaching on May 12. Scrambling for ideas? We’ve got a bunch of gift recommendations below.

Your mom may be the person who loves you the most in the world, but she’s probably got a lot of other things going on, like traveling for work, working out, or hanging out with friends. I consulted other WIRED parents for their favorite picks. These are our top gift ideas to help moms work from home, annotate their books, or dip into the world of gaming in their downtime. While you’re at it, check out our many other buying guides, like the Best Gift Ideas for New Parents, Best Kid Podcasts, or the Best Kid Tablets.

Updated April 2024: We significantly revamped this guide by deleting old picks and replacing with newer ones, including the Creative Aurvana 2, the Tom Bihn Nomad Tote, and many others.

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6 Best MagSafe Power Banks for iPhones (2024): High Capacity, Slim, Kickstands

6 Best MagSafe Power Banks for iPhones (2024): High Capacity, Slim, Kickstands

Here’s the low-down on the MagSafe standard and MagSafe power banks.

What is MagSafe?

MagSafe is the name of Apple’s accessory system that’s integrated into the iPhone 12, iPhone 13, iPhone 14, and iPhone 15 range. A ring of magnets on the back of the phone (and in MagSafe-enabled cases) lets you attach various magnetic accessories, like a battery pack that recharges the iPhone wirelessly, so you don’t need to hold it or carry a cable.

Does MagSafe reduce battery life?

There isn’t much evidence that MagSafe charging negatively impacts battery health, but it is less efficient than wired charging and can sometimes generate heat, which may degrade your battery faster. But other factors are more important if you want to preserve battery health (such as never fully draining your battery).

What rate can MagSafe power banks charge at?

Most MagSafe power banks we have tested wirelessly charge at a rate of up to 7.5 watts, but Anker’s Qi2 power bank can charge at up to 15 watts.

Is USB-C better than MagSafe?

Wired charging is faster and more efficient than wireless charging, so if you plug your phone in via cable to any of the power banks above, you can expect to get more power more quickly than you will using MagSafe or Qi2. MagSafe is simply more convenient.

What are the downsides of MagSafe?

Only some of Apple’s iPhones (12, 13, 14, and 15 series) support MagSafe, and it’s not officially compatible with Android phones. MagSafe is also less efficient than wired charging. Lost energy during wireless charging generates heat, which can have a negative impact on battery health.

Why do MagSafe power banks get hot?

MagSafe is not as efficient as wired charging, and power lost during wireless charging generates heat. MagSafe’s magnets reduce this problem, compared to Qi wireless charging, by ensuring the charging coils are aligned.

Best Grills (2024): Charcoal, Gas, Pellet, Hybrid, and Grilling Accessories

Best Grills (2024): Charcoal, Gas, Pellet, Hybrid, and Grilling Accessories

Snow is Melting, birds are migrating, and pitmasters are dusting off their smokers—just kidding, pitmasters never let dust get on a smoker. But grilling season is on the horizon. It’s time to think about getting out the grill, and maybe even replacing it. It’s a little overwhelming though. Which is the right grill for you?

We’ve been testing grills for years—searing, smoking, grilling, and even baking on them in all kinds of weather—to find the best choice for everyone. Below, you’ll find our top picks for each category (charcoal, gas, pellet, hybrid, and other types) as well as a few alternatives, plus general buying tips if none of these capture your fancy.

For all your outdoor needs, be sure to check out our other buying guides, like the Best Portable Grills, Best Grilling Accessories, Best Camping Gear, Best Tents, and Best Binoculars.

Updated March 2024: We’ve added some updated testing notes for various grills, a new section on high-quality charcoal, and updated links and prices throughout.

Special offer for Gear readers: Get a 1-year subscription to WIRED for $5 ($25 off). This includes unlimited access to and our print magazine (if you’d like). Subscriptions help fund the work we do every day.

16 Best Gaming Headsets (2024): Wired, Wireless, for Switch, PC, Xbox, PS5, and PS4

16 Best Gaming Headsets (2024): Wired, Wireless, for Switch, PC, Xbox, PS5, and PS4

Audio quality: It seems like it would go without saying, but we’re saying it anyway: You can’t always tell from a spec sheet how a headset will sound. A well-made stereo headset can sound better than a poorly made 7.1 Dolby Atmos surround sound set. Check reviews to get a sense of how a headset performs in real life.

Surround sound options: Modern headsets have gotten very good at recreating or simulating surround sound in headsets with systems like Dolby Atmos for Headphones or DTS:X. These systems are particularly impactful in games where you want to be able to hear exactly where an enemy is firing at you from. Be sure you can turn the surround sound on or off.

Comfort: This is another subjective category, but if you’re going to wear a headset for hours while you’re gaming, it’s important that it doesn’t hurt. A heavy headset pressing against your temples can give you a headache after a while. Look for headsets that have adjustable, ergonomic designs, plenty of cushioning, and are generally lightweight.

An adjustable boom microphone: If you plan to use your headset for online gaming, a good microphone is important. Many headsets come with boom mics that can be positioned in front of your mouth. Some are removable, while others can simply be rotated or bent away from your mouth when they’re not in use. Make sure you get the kind that’s right for your needs.

Visible mic muting and indicator LEDs: It’s important to know when you’re broadcasting audio so you don’t accidentally share your private conversations with your teammates. Some mics mute automatically when you flip them upward, while others use a dedicated mute button. We particularly like headsets that include red LEDs that indicate when you’re muted, which can be helpful.

Mic monitoring so you can hear your voice: If you want to keep tabs on how you sound to your teammates, and not sound like you’re yelling while playing, mic monitoring is a feature that lets you hear your own audio through your headphones. Optimally, you can adjust its volume. When you listen to a podcast or radio talk show, chances are those folks are using some form of mic monitoring so they can hear themselves, as well as others.

Equalizer (EQ) and customization tools: Games, movies, and TV shows are mixed differently, and when you’re listening, you might want to emphasize different aspects of the audio signal. Custom EQ presets let you set different balances for watching a movie versus playing a game, or even have different balances on a per-game basis.