Gaming may be at its most advanced point in history, but many people still want to play the old-school games that started it all.
Retro gaming has grown in popularity in recent years, with old games being ported to newer consoles, classic devices being re-released, and social settings reintroducing features from classic arcades. In this article, we will discuss the best projector for Retro gaming.
Isn’t it too fancy to watch movies or play games on your projector? When a flat-screen HDTV cannot accommodate all of the millions of pixels on your Ultra HD 4K video, your projector will naturally come to the rescue to give your gaming or movie-watching experience a more cinematic feel.
Retro projectors produce large, bright, crisp images with low input lag. Because they are small, you can use them anywhere in your house or even take them outside when traveling.
These projectors work with modern digital devices such as iPod or MP3 players, DVD players, digital cameras, and the most recent pre-HDMI game consoles.
So, what is the best projector for retro gaming? Should you get one that works like an alternative HDTV but requires you to plug in extras like an A/V to HDMI converter?
Should you go with a retro projector to go with your retro games?
Best Projector for Retro Gaming-Ultimate Buying Guide
The best retro gaming projector should have VGA, HDMI, and HD ports for projecting retro video games, TV shows, and movies via analog S-video or composite A/V connections.
Following are the aspects one should keep in mind before buying the best projector for Retro Gaming.
For High graphics gaming, you should have the best projector for Xbox 360 from our researched article.
LCD or DLP displays are available in projectors. The latter is preferable for retro gaming because they provide a clearer image, improved horizontal scrolling in many older games, and eliminate tinted edges on bright static objects.
You may, however, encounter some issues, such as a rainbow effect and greyish-black levels.
Older low-resolution CRT monitors have the same pixel color issue, so for a retro feel, get an older LCD monitor. The most recent projectors of this type have higher resolution and produce images without the rainbow effect, which is ideal for retro gaming.
4:3 Aspect Ratio and SD Resolution
Look for a CRT-style A/V standard definition projector that can handle about 15.75 kHz native RGB. You can look for such retro gaming projectors by paying attention to the specifications on the Internet, on various forums, or directly on the Amazon website.
There are still 4:3 projectors available for use in business presentations, but they require a VGA to A/V adapter. Even so, it’s not guaranteed that you’ll be able to use them with your Genesis and Super Nintendo games.
In the end, it’s best to get a CRT-compatible or A/V-compatible machine. Also, check out our article Best projector for Nintendo Switch
Objects are displayed as sharply as possible in this mode, allowing a device to project clear images with a high level of detail. This mode allows you to experience stunning visual effects while playing your favorite game.
Input lag is another important feature of gaming projectors. Modern projectors typically have a low latency of around 30ms.
Aim for a value of less than 35ms when selecting the best projector for retro gaming. The less input lag there is, the smoother your gaming experience will be. This low latency is ideal for fast-paced retro games as well.
This is one of the most important factors to consider. The resolution of old projectors for retro games is 480p or 320p. However, 480p is only adequate for a small office display.
Modern projectors have significantly higher resolutions. If you don’t want a blurry image, choose a projector with a 720p resolution. These models are less expensive than projectors with resolutions of 1080p and higher.
There are inexpensive, low-resolution projectors for A/V connections and retro games available, dubbed Eye Drops or Eye Clops.
The issue is that you get what you pay for with them. You can have fun with a speaker-sized cube of a projector for only $30 without feeling cheated.
Instead of being bulky and large like Sony projectors from the same era as the NES, SNES, and Genesis, these are new, modern projectors marketed for kids because retro games and their simpler graphics appeal to that age demographic.
Top 5 Best Projectors for Retro Gaming in 2022
Epson Home Cinema 5050UBe
Gamers will have a clearer and crisper image with the Optoma HD146X projector than with older projectors.
It is capable of displaying high-definition movies and retro games. The projector provides vibrant color, excellent contrast, and crisp detail.
It is difficult to find projectors with 1080p resolution; however, a Full HD resolution is required in a modern projector. It provides an excellent balance of clarity and color output.
If you’re projecting on a screen larger than 100 inches, the higher resolution will undoubtedly provide crisper images. Viewing modern content on this projector is also made easier by the Full HD resolution.
You can turn your living room or outdoor space into a 3D gaming zone with Full 3D support. DLP projection technology can generate 3D images.
To get the full 3D experience, you’ll need DLP-link 3D glasses, which are reasonably priced.
The Optoma HD146X is a versatile projector with a brightness output of 3600 lumens. It can be used in the office, classroom, sports bar, living room, and even outside.
This projector is also easy to transport because it weighs just over 6 pounds.
If you prefer gaming on a large screen, nothing beats gaming on a projector. Most projectors suffer from significant input lag.
The Optoma HD146X, on the other hand, has a low input lag of 16ms, making it ideal for playing fast-paced games without any issues.
It’s also simple to use and comes with a three-year limited warranty. This means that if you purchase this projector, you will always have access to assistance if you require it.
It has a large enough screen to allow for a comfortable gaming experience. The Optoma HD146X includes a powerful speaker system built into the base unit, eliminating the need for separate soundboards.
A microphone is built into the front to provide a true surround sound experience.
BenQ HT2050A is one of the best projectors for retro gaming, Do you want to set up a low-cost gaming projection system? The BenQ HT2050A is the right choice for you.
If you’ve ever owned a cheap projector or never owned one, the image quality on the BenQ HT2050A will astound you.
While it lacks HDR, its 6x RGBRGB color wheel and 96 percent Rec.709 color space coverage ensures vivid color reproduction when watching movies and playing games.
Because this is a DLP projector, expect the usual drawbacks of DLP (Digital Light Processor) projectors, such as the rainbow effect and grayish-black levels.
On the other hand, this is a brand-new, never-before-seen way for you to indulge in retro gaming to your heart’s content.
To be more specific, BenQ’s main selling point is its adaptability, as it can support most gaming consoles, media players, PCs, Macs, and so on via A/V, USB, and HDMI ports.
You can adjust the projection in both vertical and horizontal directions using the 2D keystone adjustment feature.
While most budget projectors have vertical keystone adjustments, a horizontal keystone adjustment allows the projector to be placed on either the left or right side of the room and still project a perfect rectangle.
The Lens Shift feature is typically found in high-end projectors. This feature allows you to adjust the projection by 10% up or down. As a result, you can fine-tune your projection without moving the projector.
It is ideal for gaming due to its low input lag. You don’t need to add a delay to the sound to compensate for the video lag.
You don’t even need to plan your moves ahead of time to make Mario jump over cliffs or Link zap the Moblins to smithereens.
The 10W stereo speakers provide adequate sound quality for casual gaming or movie viewing. To get the full audio experience, however, it is best to invest in an independent sound system to improve overall sound quality.
While this isn’t a feature or function of this projector, a longer warranty period is certainly a reason to rejoice. The warranty period on the BenQ HT2050A is three years, as opposed to one year on the BenQ HT2050.
If you want a projector that will fit in any room and work well with retro gaming, the AZEUS RD-822 is one of the best options.
When it comes to high definition, it is widely regarded as the best. One of the reasons that this projector is regarded as the best is because of its large screen size and the excellent picture quality that it can produce.
Many people believe that the AZEUS RD-822 is the best projector for retro gaming because of the great features it provides and the various types of programs it can support.
Many devices can be connected to this projector via various ports these days, and it can be used as a projector for games or television.
You can connect this to your television to play more of your favorite games. You can also connect this projector to your computer and access your hard drive to play your favorite games.
Some even claim that if you use this with your home theatre system, you will not have too many problems as a result of the projection device.
The native resolution of the AZEUS RD-822 Video Projector is 1280*720P, with a support resolution of 1920x1080P. 3000:1 contrast, 50,000-hour lamp life, and display sizes ranging from 40″ to 200″.
Smartphone Connection Made Simple Simply connect your iPhone/iPad to the display using a Lightning to HDMI adapter (for iOS) or a micro USB/Type C to HDMI adapter (for Android) If you want to upgrade your projector to the latest version, an adapter is not included in the price.
If you are searching for an affordable and best projector for retro gaming this could be an ideal deal to make.
Epson Home Cinema 5050UBe
With the Epson Home Cinema PRO-UHD 5050UB HDR Pixel-Shift 4K UHD 3LCD Home Theater Projector, you can enjoy your video games and multimedia content on a large screen.
It employs pixel-shifting technology to project 4K UHD resolution onto the screen when used with compatible content. It supports HDR10 and HLG to produce a wide color gamut when used with compatible source content and equipment.
It has a color and white brightness output of up to 2600 lumens and a dynamic contrast ratio of 1,000,000:1 to help produce details even in dark areas of the image.
The projector includes two HDMI inputs for connecting digital HD devices like a gaming console, Blu-ray player, or cable/satellite box. For added convenience, the Home Cinema 5050UB comes with an IR remote control.
This 3-chip projector features advanced 3LCD technology that pushes the LCD (Liquid Crystal Display) projector type to its utmost limits in terms of quality and color vibrancy, without the rainbow effects of DLP or the cost of LCoS (Liquid Crystal on Silicon) projectors.
In terms of retro-gaming quality, Epson delivers quality digital image processing for A/V connections while also providing the “bonus” service of handling 4K content at 2,600 lumens.
Because LCD projectors have handled A/V outputs for much longer than DLP projectors, they should be more compatible with analog technology.
The main disadvantage is the lower lumens, so you’ll have to close those blinds when playing Super Mario Bros. 1–3 or any N64 classic like Pilotwings or Ocarina of Time.
Furthermore, customers on Amazon have complained about certain Epson units’ bulbs burning out.
Your gaming consoles provide a well-rounded experience, which warrants a well-rounded projector. That is exactly what the ViewSonic PX748-4K is.
This gaming projector is less expensive than the Optoma UHD35, but it has some comparable features.
For sharp, true 4K resolution, it employs a DLP display with XPR technology. Its support for HLG and HDR technology adds to its sharpness and accuracy.
At 240Hz, the frame refresh rate is on par with the best in the home theatre space, ensuring clarity even when watching sports or other fast-paced content.
In addition to its 240Hz refresh rate, the ViewSonic PX748 has a measured input lag of 4.2ms. That’s as close to instant as a home theatre projector gets, and it’s fast enough to satisfy even the most competitive online gamers.
It’s ideal for console gaming, with a USB-C input for devices like the Nintendo Switch that can charge while you play.
ViewSonic PX748-4K works best with wired content sources. It has two USB ports for peripherals and two HDMI ports, but it lacks the integrated streaming platforms and other wireless content options found on many modern projectors.
It has network connections for LAN-based home automation systems, but it isn’t the best option for Alexa or Google Assistant-based smart home entertainment setups.
The ViewSonic PX748 is a very reasonably priced 4K projector that offers excellent value when you consider the bright lamp and low lag, a rare combination of features at this price point.
However, it has some limitations. Its lack of wireless connectivity may pose a problem in modern home entertainment setups, and its longer throw distance limits its use in smaller spaces.
However, for many users, its responsiveness and image quality make it a very appealing option.
YABER Y30 Native
When looking for the best projectors for retro gaming, the clarity of the projection and responsiveness of the game is everything.
You can use your HD projector to play your NES, SNES, Sega Genesis, Sega Master System, PlayStation 1-3, Xbox, and Xbox 360, among other systems.
This is how Yaber beat out industry titans like Epson, ViewSonic, and BenQ.
Despite being a “no-name” projector, it produces native 1080p projections that look fantastic with upscaled 8-bit, 16-bit, 32-bit, 64-bit, and beyond games.
In fact, it has A/V connections for both modern and retro gaming. It can run both the Sony PlayStation 4 and the original PlayStation, or PSX.
The same goes for Xbox and Xbox360. There are also the Wii, Wii-U, Switch, NES, SNES, and Nintendo 64.
We tried everything and it all worked fine, plus the ratings are comparable to what we got from BenQ and others.
It even has a cutting-edge cooling system and hi-fi stereo sound.
Naturally, the cons for all of these advantages include a percentage of units breaking down and complaints about poor construction when compared to the other retro-gaming projectors on this list.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are projectors good for retro gaming?
Older low-resolution CRT monitors have the same pixel color issue, so for a retro feel, get an older LCD monitor. The most recent projectors of this type have higher resolution and produce images without the rainbow effect, which makes a projector good for gaming.
Are projectors too slow for gaming?
Below 40ms is still acceptable, and below 60ms isn’t ideal but should suffice for casual gaming and offline games. Even in single-player games, a latency of more than 65ms is noticeable. The best gaming projectors have a low input lag.
What is the best device for retro gaming?
The Retroid Pocket 2 is a powerful, Android-based emulation system. It can play games from the Nintendo 64 and PlayStation (as well as some PlayStation Portable games), and it looks and feels fantastic.
By reading our article, you must have gotten a complete guide about the best projector for retro gaming, A/V connections on a more modern projector can allow it to connect with a vintage console, though you may have to deal with game lag such as a “game mode” or low latency features.
When gaming and dealing with in-game obstacles that require twitch reflexes, a more vintage projector that can handle A/V connections usually has less lag.
Keep in mind that many of these vintage projectors are large, bulky, and heavy. There are more compact options, but they are usually expensive, scarce, or unavailable.