TAMPA (FOX 13) - Call it a major comeback: The retro video game industry is thriving. And few know it better than the owner of used a video game store called "RU Game?" in Tampa.
Shane Butcher's store specializes in the old school. The oldest video game system he has in stock is the Atari 2600 from 1977.
Butcher says his business started off to serve a niche market, but popularity has boomed in recent years. He's gone from a flea market stand to three stores.
Vintage video game fan Richard Colhouer says the reason for the revival is simple.
"It's really just the memories you have connected to the different games," Colhouer said.
Back in the day, there was no online play. You'd hop on your bike and cruise down to your friend’s house and play on their system.
Today, original consoles have gotten reboots and apps make classic gaming possible. But Butcher says customers still want the real deal.
"It's not the same, it’s just not the same as holding an original controller and hooking it up to your TV," he said.
"Video games are kind of like books, you know there are good books and bad books, but whenever you find a really good book you're able to connect with it," adds Colhouer.
RU Game? has locations on Fowler Avenue and in the Westfield Brandon Mall.