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In ~1997, Bandai released the first Tamagotchi. A few years ago, they re-released it (the original version) to capitalize on nostalgia. Only they didn't really. The re-released "original" Tamagotchi was only 80% the size of the original, with a completely differently sized/shaped screen, the iconic icons removed from the interface, and not at all the same behaviour for the actual interface. It was changed around, simplified, altered.

When Nintendo released their "NES Classic Edition" (and later, their similar SNES), there wasn't even an attempt to make it like the original experience. The re-released console was physically much smaller, had no functioning cartridge slot, completely different connectors for the controllers and output, and didn't even have a "NES on a chip" inside; it was just some generic hardware with a software emulator on it, and an interface which allowed "rewinding" the games and state saving/loading, which people of course started abusing and which completely changes the way the games are played unless the player has extreme self-control and goes out of their way to not abuse the feature.

Growing up, I had a classic IBM Model M keyboard. When it eventually broke, a few years ago, I went looking for a modern replacement. I found this company that sold what they claimed were "exact replicas" of the IBM Model Ms, so I ordered one -- and paid dearly for it. When I received it, it felt completely wrong, and I'm not just talking about the lack of an IBM logo. In spite of their claim of using the same molds/factory as IBM did (they had allegedly bought it), it was significantly more "plasticy" and fragile, and just felt completely "off" overall. It soon broke, and I never got used to it. I later got another old, original IBM Model M and the difference in feeling between that and the replica was like night and day.

I could go on and on with countless examples like the ones above.

Why do they do this when the entire point is to profit on nostalgia? I still don't understand what kind of person would knowingly buy those re-released things instead of the actual thing, when you clearly seek the sentimental nostalgia. It's like messing with and corrupting your memories with this weird thing which is neither a "new" thing, nor the original.

Sure, simplify the internals for cost reasons. Make 99% of the space inside the newly released NES empty, with just some "NES on a chip". But at least keep the physical dimensions and the same controller connectors, etc. I can perhaps understand including a HDMI output for new TVs (although plying it like that is of course heresy), but at least also have the original outputs so that it's possible to connect it to a classic TV.

Are people really content with some rogue approximation with the original logo slapped on it? Do they actually not notice any difference, even though the whole point is that you want the genuine experience that you once had, many years ago? To me, this is really strange, and I don't understand it.

Can somebody explain why the companies do this and why people seem to buy it anyway? And is there anything to suggest that, if they did it properly for once, they wouldn't actually make more money due to the glowing reviews and word of mouth talking about how it's just like the original thing, down to the smallest detail?

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Can somebody explain why the companies do this [...]?

Well

people seem to buy it anyway

so it makes them money.

Can somebody explain [...] why people seem to buy it anyway?

Well, you seem to have bought several of these items, so you probably have a better insight into the why than most.


I would also like to point out that it is unclear whether all nostalgic rereleases are indeed phony in some way or if these are some outliers. I seem to recall that the cola companies rerelease older flavorings as classic every now and then (not sure if it is the actual older flavoring though).

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    $\begingroup$ P.s.: I was surprised you left the rereleased Star Wars Episode IV (a.k.a. Episode VII) off your list! $\endgroup$ – Giskard Jun 25 at 2:11
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    $\begingroup$ I thought our society collectively decided to pretend Episodes VII-IX never existed $\endgroup$ – 1muflon1 Jun 25 at 10:30

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