We were thrilled to be contacted a short while back by 8 bit Evolution, a US based company specializing in supplying custom modded and fully refurbished consoles to retro gaming enthusiasts. Established 3 years ago, 8 bit Evolution has 11 people on their team, all of whom are dedicated gamers themselves, enthusiasts intent on breathing new life into old consoles. At the time of writing the 8bit Evolution website has dozens of different modded Game Boy Advances, Game Boy Micros, Nintendo SNES, Nintendo 64 and Sega Genesis consoles in stock, in addition to T-shirts, custom enamel pins and and Perler bead art. The stunning and varied custom paint work on the handhelds and custom consoles is undertaken by Carly, Ryan and James, who will also mod machines to your individual specifications.
“ 8 bit evolution breathes new life into retro game consoles, giving them the second chance they deserve! We meticulously clean and refurbish every console we touch, putting as much love into each piece as the enjoyment they have brought to our lives as life long video game enthusiasts. “
They were kind enough to send along one of their beautiful custom backlit Game Boy Advances for us to try out and when it landed on our doormat we weren’t disappointed. The one-off GBA we were sent has been meticulously refurbished from the ground up, with a brand new shell, new buttons, a scratch resistant lens upgrade, a full internal clean, a new backlit upgraded LCD and custom 8bit Evolution holographic sticker.
“Well,” I hear you say. “How does it stack up?”
True to their philosophy of bringing old consoles back to life, upon opening the 8bit Evolution box there is no sign at all that the console has been previously used. From the custom airbrushed paintwork over a brand new case (in this case a space scene) to the new buttons and shiny new label on the back, the machine is as fresh as it was when it first left Nintendo’s factory back in the noughties. And there is something slightly different looking about that screen… which hints at its best feature, and one which can only be truly appreciated when you switch the unit on.
The biggest let down of Nintendo’s otherwise wonderful 32 bit handheld was its lack of a backlit screen, something the guys at 8bit Evolution have succeeded in putting right. Behind the new scratch resistant lens lies a fully backit LCD screen which enables you to play under all lighting conditions. I tried the GBA outside in bright light and indoors in subdued lighting the new screen worked a treat, lots of contrast and a nice bright screen made playing games a real go-anywhere affair, making my old GBA redundant in the process.
Retro gaming on vintage handhelds is certainly fashionable right now, but using a custom console from 8bit Evolution like this in public will make you a whiplash hazard, as passers-by stop dead in their tracks to double-back at your awesome retro art!
Order from 8bit Evolution using the code: rgc10 for 10% off plus free shipping!