The Old and New of Console GamingFor anyone in their late 20s to early 40s, chances are a Nintendo was present in your childhood. If it was your first “gadget,” it may even have been love at first sight.

And now, for Nintendo lovers, the Nintendo Entertainment System is back and better than ever with the NES Classic Edition. It’s tiny, but designed to look just like the original NES. Setup is a snap. Just plug it into your TV’s USB port. Hit the power button and you’re greeted with a screen where you can browse games and options. You can even select a CRT filter that replicates the lines and look of an old TV.

Overall, the mini NES is a wonderful little holiday diversion. Thirty games are nothing to sniff at, and when they include such classics as the original Super Mario Bros. Trilogy, The Legend of Zelda, Castlevania and Metroid you can count on many dozens of hours of excellent retro gaming.

Many of these games are also really hard---frustratingly hard, even, compared to today's offerings---which means you'll get even more time out of the NES Classic.

And while these are all fantastic journeys down nostalgia lane for older gamers like myself, they're also a great way for younger gamers to take a walk through history and play a bunch of fantastic video games that came out before they were a twinkle in their parents' eye.

The games all run smoothly, though they'll only occupy a square on your widescreen TV. Nintendo didn't remaster them to display at modern resolutions, unfortunately.

You can also run the console off of any USB power, which is awesome, so you can just plug it into your laptop and play it right there on your laptop screen (or desktop, etc.) It's very portable and lightweight.

The color is sharp, the timing dead on and each pixel is a perfect square so you see the games exactly as designed. At 60 bucks, it’s a great way to spend your Christmas money on something for yourself.