The recently released Motorola RAZR is one of the clearest examples of the exploitation of nostalgia in the production of goods. But this clamshell is not the only such example – at least one can still recall the 'revived' Nokia 3310 and 8110, NES Mini and Playstation Classic.
- RAZR from Motorola – an unexpected success story
In all of them, in addition to the nostalgic component, there are other distinctive characteristics. In the case of Motorola we have a foldable display and the associated convenience – a large diagonal screen in a compact body. In the case of Nokia – support for modern communication standards in a push-button telephone, synchronization of the phone book with a smartphone, and more.
- Review of push-button phone Nokia 3310 (2017)
- Review of Nokia 8110 4G phone
But the importance of the 'retro look' and associated marketing strategy is simply impossible to deny. Without it, they would hardly have created such a stir, because at one time the corresponding Nokia models and the clamshell from Motorola were just that cult. And they left such a strong imprint on the mass consciousness that it stuck in it for a very long time. For example, it's hard to count how many popular jokes and memes there are about the Nokia 3310.
- Sofa Analytics №138. Nostalgia as an emotion that sells
This wave of consumer nostalgia has increasingly inspired manufacturers and developers to create new products. Today we will talk about exactly those cases when this is embodied in software – applications for smartphones and computers.
If the implementation of the material revival of the same Nokia 3310 is controversial, then with the software everything is a little easier. One of the most frequent answers to the question 'What do you remember the most about old Nokia phones?' is the game 'Snake'. The game was called Snake II in the original, but in fact, it did not differ much from the first version (in model 6110). The snake was still crawling across the screen and still absorbing the 'apples'. True, it became possible to pass through them, and also a choice of maps with an additional maze was added. In general, this game was not new, its history goes back to the 70s. But thanks to the Finnish company, it became extremely popular – on the phones of that time, games were rare, and I had to while away the time with what was available.
After going through dozens of remakes and re-releases, including from the gaming giant Gameloft, the game Snake lives on today. But in these very remakes and lies the problem – it's all 'not that'. The developer dsd 164 decided to fix this issue and released the game Snake 97. Not only is the game itself absolutely identical to the original (there are even sounds!), But here the controls are also performed via virtual buttons on the image of classic Nokia models.
If you choose models 3210, 5110, 8210 or 8850, then the game will be the first version (just Snake). And if you select 3310, 3410 or 7110, you will be able to play Snake 2. The game is as addictive as it was twenty years ago, and after a while even the image of a push-button phone on the screen seems almost real. In general, such a boost for warm nostalgic feelings, and grateful reviews confirm this. You can download the game in the App Store, Google Play and Microsoft Store.
Perhaps a slightly less popular, but no less cool entertainment for the then owners of a Nokia phone – creating monophonic ringtones manually in the Composer application. And in this case, we should also thank the 3310 model – it is thanks to it that this fun has become mega-popular. Codes were passed from hand to hand, they were used to fill in the fields in school notebooks, and users-composers competed in the ability to squeeze the maximum amount of music out of this monophonic 'tweeter'. But what can I say, whole books with melodies were released in due time!
There are still a lot of such nostalgic ones, for them the 3310 Composer application appeared, however, only on the platform from Google. There is only one alternative available to device users Apple: the paid program Composer monophonic ringtone oldstyle. And even that, judging by the reviews, does not work. In 3310 Composer, you can, as before, create your own melodies, listen to them and put them on the ringtone. But, in addition to this, you can also share the code of the created melodies with friends and upload them to the cloud storage, available to all users. Naturally, you won't be able to put a MIDI code on a call in its pure form, so the program can export 'music' to mp3 and even wave format. So you can finally enjoy the monophonic themes from Brigade and Boomer in your $ 500 armature headphones.
Madness about 'Tamagotchi' – gadgets with virtual animals – at one time covered many children. The various creatures living in the tiny plastic 'egg' asked for food, demanded petting, grooming and cleaning of the toilet, and also tended to 'die' if the owner did something wrong. And this 'something wrong' happened very often, which made the unfortunate schoolchild again beg his parents for money for the next 'pet'. Some especially impressionable children even buried their 'tamiks' in the ground, arranging a funeral ceremony for them.
In our time, the concept of a virtual pet has not only died, but even developed even more and turned into a dozen applications for smartphones. The animals have become more demanding and more complex, and visually they already look more like real prototypes than a bunch of pale pixels. Bandai, the company behind the original toy, has been developing the My Tamagotchi Forever app for several years. In concept, it is close to the original toy, but has a modern aesthetic. But for those who miss black and white screens with a small resolution, third-party applications are available. They do not use the very word 'tamagotchi' – protection of intellectual rights, all cases. One of the most popular apps in this format is the free Wildagotchi, available for Android, iOS and even Windows Mobile.
The functionality of the game is roughly similar to the original toy, only here you can still open other animals as the current animal 'grows'. Just like the old Tamagotchi, there are mini-games that are unique to each pet. Those who never became a 'good mother' in childhood have a chance to rehabilitate themselves.
Casse-o-player and DeliTape
Let's be honest, how many of you miss tapes at all? I do not mean their nostalgic image a la 'I listened to my first Eminem album on a cassette to holes', but the physical cassette itself? Personally, I hated them when they were in use, and breathed out calmly when they died out. Chewed film, the need to turn the cassette, the need for manual rewinding (to save batteries), not the best sound quality on most of the copies sold – all this really bothered me. If you disagree with me (be sure to write about this under the article), then I have great news for you – you can still listen to cassettes on your smartphone, and there are applications for this.
Just kidding. You will not be able to listen to cassettes directly. For example, the DeliTape application plays online radio stations, and on the screen shows a visualization of an audio tape playing, and in very good quality. There are skins of the famous Hitachi C90, Goldstar CRX90 and several cassettes from other manufacturers. It is interesting that the name of the track being played is even written on cassettes, as if by hand. The format of online radio is not very successful in this regard, nevertheless, such cassettes were previously used to record whole albums or their personal mixtapes (selections). And then it turns out that you have to listen from what they give. For some reason, the developer removed the app from all Android stores, even from the Amazon one, and now only the device version Apple remains.
But for devices based on Android a more advanced application is available – Casse-o-player. It reproduces files from the local library, allows you to create playlists (the very same mixtapes) and contemplate 63 variations of cassettes with excellent details such as spinning reels. In addition, here you can rewind virtual 'cassettes' with the appropriate sound and even enjoy the play of the 'analog' arrows of the VU-meter. Of course, the title of the track is also 'handwritten' on the cassette. You can endlessly admire the rotation of the coils, but you still won't be able to listen to a real cassette. Although this format is quite to my liking.
One of the most iconic audio devices in history is the classic iPod. Introduced by Steve Jobs in 2001, this digital player has become a worldwide hit, comparable in popularity only to Sony Walkman cassette players. Over time, the player acquired a color screen, the ability to watch videos and a huge (at that time) hard drive of 120 and 160 GB.
- MP3 Player Review Apple iPod Classic
In addition, after some time, other versions in the line began to sprout from the main 'iPod' – Mini, Nano, Shuffle. And one of the most memorable features used in many players Apple is the so-called Click Wheel. This is an unusual control that allows you to scroll through lists in a circular motion along the touch ring. It also served as physical playback control buttons.
- Remembering the iPod
At the time, it was a very intuitive and, perhaps, the most convenient way to control a compact player. Especially for those who had a large music library (and for 160 GB it can be very large). And so this ring sunk into people's memory that many do not even remember about the first two generations of 'iPods' without it.
First generation iPod from 2001
In 2014 Apple the last generation iPod Classic with Click Wheel was closed. And it seems that very little time has passed, but the people's melancholy has already matured. A developer named Louis Anslow recently released an app for iPhone called Rewound, which allows you to have plenty of nostalgia and reminiscence. It repeats both the appearance of a classic player and the behavior of this very touch wheel. In general, everything is as in the example above with the cassette, only for music lovers of the younger generations.
By the way, the application is not positioned only as an 'ipod emulator'. The look is completely customizable, and you can download themes to change it right in the application. That is, hypothetically, in this application we will be able to see the appearance of the same cassette Walkman. Or even Zune and iRiver (let's see how many people remember such names). Unfortunately, there is no such application on OS Android. So for a dose of 'nostalgia', either take your old iPod off the dusty shelf or buy a new one iPhone.
What do you think about the active use of images of devices that have outlived theirs in the modern world? Can nostalgia help to create something interesting, or are all these attempts initially doomed to short-term popularity and oblivion? For what other device from the past would you like to have a similar application now? As always, I invite you to chat in the comments.
- Parasitism on nostalgia