If you’re a fan of old school games like The Legend of Zelda or Sonic the Hedgehog, you’ve probably seen them played on a tiny TV screen or even worse, a phone.
If the idea of playing on one of these screens is too much to bear, but you don’t have an extra $200 lying around for a large projector and wall mount then read on! Today, I will break down my top 5 picks for best projector for retro gaming and show you the pros and cons to each pick.
At first glance this may seem like an easy enough task because there can be so many different options when it comes to selecting your next projector. To avoid giving you the impression that I am about to waste your time, I wrote this article assuming that you want to play retro games on a home projector.
Before we get started with our top picks we need to take a look at the actual definition of projection so you know what we mean when we say retro projector.
What is retro gaming?
For the purposes of this article, retro gaming is defined as any video game that was originally released before the year 2000.
This means anything from the original NES to the Playstation 1 and everything in between. Some of these games are up on free sites like archive.org and gamejolt.com where you can play them in your browser. There are even some popular open source emulators that you can download and install on your computer to run games like Sonic or Zelda.
How to buy the best projector for retro gaming?
Before we jump right into our top 5 picks, we need to take a look at some key points to keep in mind when looking for the best projector for retro gaming.
Color accuracy is everything! You want the image projected on your screen to be as close to the original game as possible. This is why good projectors are worth every penny! Projectors like this should have an ACP color chart which is a type of testing that ensures that the image does not appear washed out or oversaturated.
I recommend finding a projector with an HDCP 1.3 rating because they are more than capable of producing a 120Hz signal and the most lifelike image possible.
Brightness is another great factor to look for in a retro gaming projector. Just like any computer monitor, the brighter it is, the better. It doesn’t matter if you point it at a white wall or black one, a bright projector is a must!
You need to take into consideration that any cooling system can make a projector louder than usual so be sure to do your research before purchasing one with an internal cooling fan! I recommend looking for one that will be easy on your ears but still cool enough without starting to overheat.
You want a projector that will fit your needs but will also not be too large to handle. Try to find one that has a decent screen size and is easy to set up! I recommend one that is about the same height as your TV or lower if you need an external mount.
Speaking of price, this is an important factor to keep in mind as many projectors can be pricey so it pays to do some research before purchase. Look for one that is within your price range but also has the features that are important to you!
Top 5 Best Projectors for Retro Gaming Reviews
Now let’s see the top 5 best projectors for retro gaming:
This retro gaming projector is another great choice if you want a retro gaming projector. This particular one has a resolution of 1920×1080 and has a 3600 lumens brightness rating. It also has a lamp life of 15000 hours which will provide you with many hours of use! I like how the lamp is removable because it makes it easy to change when the life runs out.
It has an HDMI input and an RGB input so you can attach high-quality gaming consoles or computers with ease. It also has a VGA port for computers that don’t have HDMI support.
The best part about this projector is the quiet operation. It Enhanced Gaming Mode which enables lightning-fast response time while you are playing. It also has a dynamic contrast ratio of 500, 000: 1. This helps to increase the high-contrast level so the image will be more lifelike.
Its Game Display Mode gives you the option of darkening the game image when necessary to easily see important details. It also has a pre-calibration mode that can be accessed when necessary which is great if you are planning to use it for a game tournament. There is also a secondary lens for a brighter picture and sharper focus.
good build quality
ability to use HDMI or VGA devices (depending on your computer’s configuration)
ability to use an external light source with RGBW technology for a higher contrast ratio and brighter image!
Optoma H190X is another great retro gaming projector on the list. This is one of the cheapest projectors for retro gaming you can find online, but don’t let its low cost fool you.
It is a high-quality product with features that will satisfy anyone who is looking for a projector for retro gaming. It has a resolution size of 1080p which makes for excellent image clarity. This retro gaming projector can display images up to 13.6 feet away from the screen.
This is also an HDR model which means it has extra functionality and features that will enhance the image even more! You can easily set up filters to get the best possible color quality for your specific viewing environment by accessing the integrated user menu. I like how this projector has an easy retrieval option for whenever you want to retrieve any important files that need to be displayed on your screen.
One of the best parts about this projector is it uses DLP technology and has a 30,000:1 contrast ratio. This means that the colors will look vibrant and will be extremely vivid! You will really have no complaints about the image quality on this projector. This is an ideal projector for retro gamers.
It really has a long lamp life of 15,000 hours so you can watch it for hours at a time without having to replace the lamp more often. This projector also has a USB port so you can connect flash drives or other devices with ease for easy access.
1080p resolution makes this product suitable if you are looking for retro gaming
Some complaining about the light not being bright enough
Optoma GT1080HDR is a 1080p gaming projector that is great if you are looking to play retro games or watch movies from your games consoles. It has a 50,000:1 contrast ratio which makes for excellent color performance. This means that you will get amazing brightness and clarity even outdoors for the best possible picture.
This projector is really good for retro gaming as it comes with Enhanced Gaming Mode. This model has a low input lag of 16ms at 1080p and is great for first-person shooters, racing games, fighting games, and other types of video games. It also has a short throw lens which means that you can set up the projector in one room with the screen while watching from a distance.
The brightness of this projector is 3800 lumens which makes for an impressive picture. It also has a lifespan of 15,000 hours so you can watch it for a long period of time without having to buy new parts! It is quite a bit more expensive than most of the other devices on this list, but it really is worth the money for those who are interested in retro gaming or even modern gaming and want to take their console gameplay to another level!
This DLP projector is ideal for any gamer. I really like the fact that it has an HDMI input and a VGA input so you can plug in your gaming console, gaming computer, or anything else you want to play on the projector. Keep in mind that with an HDMI connection, you will need to use an HDMI cable instead of a VGA cable! This is a great option for retro gaming.
It also has a USB slot which is great if you have your own movies or games that need to be played on this projector. I like how easy it is to readjust the projector and find the best possible position for gaming!
One of my favorite things about this projector is that it has a short throw lens. This means that you can dedicate one room for gaming and movie watching while everyone else can watch from a distance! It has a wide range of colors and has no trouble adjusting to different lighting conditions so you can play whenever you feel like it!
The brightness of the projector is around 4000 lumens and it has a contrast ratio of 50000: 1. The resolution is 1920×1080, just like most projectors that you will find on this list.
The lamp is long-lasting with a lamp life of 15,000 hours. It has a resolution size of 1080p which makes it a perfect projector for retro gaming!
Good quality picture for lower price range
HDMI and VGA inputs for easy connection to consoles and computers
USB slot for files that need to be shown on the screen!
A wider range of colors, able to adjust to different light levels!
This is my top pick for the best projector for retro gaming. There are quite a few features that make this a great projector. First of all, it has an accurate color wheel with a 15,000-to-1 contrast ratio.
The projector has a 1080p native resolution and a resolution of 720p through 3D. This is quite impressive especially when you look at the price! It has RGBRGB color and 6x speed color wheel which means that the image will be as close to the original as possible.
This Xenon lamp projector comes with a tripod stand and weighs in at around 7.93 pounds without the stand. I recommend buying another mount or tripod if you need one because it’s not very easy to carry around.
This projector has a very short throw which means that it sends the image a few feet away from the screen, perfect for cinematic movie watching!
It has a 1.0 gain lens which ensures that objects that are far away will be clearly seen so you don’t have to worry about someone in the back row being too close to you! Interestingly enough, this is great for retro gaming because it lets most people sit in front of your game but still see it clearly without having to move around.
easy to use
excellent screen size
ability to project movies and games up to 300 inches (depending on the film)
uses a short-throw lens for cinematic movie watching at a distance of around 3.5-10 feet! Great for gaming!
Short throw lens could cause problems for gamers who are sitting too close
Overall, we thought that these were some of the best projectors for retro gaming in this year. We are always trying to find ways to make this list even better so if you have any suggestions on how we can improve, please let us know in the comment section below! We appreciate everything you have shared so far and hope you enjoyed this article as much as we did writing it!