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15 gadgets every 8-bit gamer needs

If you're a gamer who loves the 8-bit era, you have no excuse not to own at least half of the items on this list! This gallery picks up from assuming you already own at least your favorite 8-bit system...
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By Stephen Chapman, Contributor on
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1 of 15 Stephen Chapman/ZDNet

Put simply, the GP2X Caanoo is a handheld console that plays every single one of your favorite 8-bit games (as well as quite a number of 16-bit games). You have to download the emulators and ROMs, but the system is open source and has a thriving developer and homebrew community. If you've ever wanted to play your favorite 8-bit games on a handheld console, this is a great way to do it!

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2 of 15 Stephen Chapman/ZDNet

Watches are fast becoming a thing of the past, thanks to the ubiquity of clocks on just about every digital device surrounding us everywhere we go. But you're an 8-bit fan, which means you probably still wear a watch -- even if only as a fashion statement. Well, as you can see here, simplicity never looked so awesome. Grab yourself an 8-bit watch and show everyone just how fashionable pixels really can be!

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3 of 15 Stephen Chapman/ZDNet

If you didn't know, there are console modders and hackers everywhere who come up with the most amazing creations. As you can see here, a particular individual created a handheld NES console within a Mario Bros./Duck Hunt NES cartridge. How awesome is that? Apparently, it plays a whole slew of 8-bit games in addition to NES games. If you'd like, you can build your very own by reading through this thread on the Ben Heck forums.

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4 of 15 Stephen Chapman/ZDNet

Ah, the good old 8-bit hand pointer! Now, instead of using it to click through your favorite old computer games, you can make it hold stuff up for you. Hang it up somewhere where people can see it and you're sure to be the envy of every 8-bit fan you personally know!

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5 of 15 Stephen Chapman/ZDNet

The Pitfall Croc Doormat. If you don't know what it is, then you just won't understand why it's so full of win. However, if you do know what it is, then you understand why you absolutely need one!

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6 of 15 Stephen Chapman/ZDNet

As a guitarist and an 8-bit gamer, the NES guitar was a no-brainer for me to own. But even if you don't play guitar, having this fine instrument hanging on your wall will produce a level of street cred higher than any you could achieve in River City Ransom.

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7 of 15 Stephen Chapman/ZDNet

This is a pair of Converse shoes with an original Super Mario Bros. pattern on them. Seriously. Link for additional info. That is all.

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8 of 15 Stephen Chapman/ZDNet

If you thought the GP2X Caanoo was awesome, wait until you get a load of the Open Pandora! Yes, it will cover all of your 8-bit gaming needs, but it's so much more than that. It will even run PC games, in addition to allow you to browse the Web, remotely administer systems, and much more. It is arguably the ultimate in non-mass-produced handheld console systems!

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9 of 15 Stephen Chapman/ZDNet

8-bit oven mitts! Can you say "BurgerTime?"

10 of 15 Stephen Chapman/ZDNet

After purchasing your 8-bit watch and Super Mario Bros. Converse shoes, why not keep the 8-bit lovin' flowing with an 8-bit tie? Perfect for just about any occasion!

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11 of 15 Stephen Chapman/ZDNet

Remember how I said there's a thriving console mod/hacker community? Well, that very community is where this, the fully-functional NES controller coffee table, was birthed. If you look closely, you will see an actual NES controller on the corner of the table. This could easily be the center piece in a person's gaming room. Bonus that it will actually work as a controller, too!

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12 of 15 Stephen Chapman/ZDNet

In addition to your 8-bit hand hanger, Atari coat hangers are a surefire way to make you an instant hit amongst your 8-bit friends. Not to mention, they just plain look great in that retro sort of way.

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13 of 15 Stephen Chapman/ZDNet

The Pixel Mouse is a fresh, new take on something that's as old and timeless as the hand mouse pointer is. Live it up in pixel heaven as you surf the Internet for your favorite 8-bit emulators and ROMs to store and run on your GP2X Caanoo or Open Pandora!

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14 of 15 Stephen Chapman/ZDNet

The next time someone says they're going to eat your lunch, promptly show them your NES lunch box and note their reaction as they quickly become confused by your 8-bit offering of something related to the word "lunch." That, or just use it to, you know... carry some lunch in. Whatever you choose to use it for, you're sure to get a reaction from fellow 8-bit lovers!

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15 of 15 Stephen Chapman/ZDNet

The last item on our list isn't a gadget, but rather, an active, in-development indie game that combines Super Mario Bros. with Portal. Honestly, you just have to see it for yourself to grasp the magnitude of awesomeness it is comprised of. Unfortunately, there's no release date set as of yet, but the developers keep fairly consistent updates on their blog. This will be a must for those of you interested in a product combining 8-bit gaming with mechanics from a modern-day masterpiece!

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