I’ve fallen in love with retro game console restoration channels on YouTube and TikTok.
Helsinki-based Odd Tinkering is a YouTube channel dedicated to the methodical cleaning and restoration of old gadgets. The entire channel scratches a deeply Millennial itch to fix broken items rather than throw them away. However, what makes Odd Tinkering special is that they specialise in restoring unloved video game paraphernalia to pristine and, often, working condition.
The video that caught my eye involved the restoration of a battered old Nintendo 64.
Everything about this video is utterly soothing. Beyond the pleasure of watching someone perform a careful restoration on a badly degraded retro console, I think it’s also the first time I’ve ever clearly seen the board inside the N64. There might also be an ASMR aspect at play here — the audio is extremely crisp, every part of the cleaning process captured in great detail.
Odd Tinkering has tons of these videos. They followed up the N64 restoration with an N64 controller as a companion piece. They’ve restored both the original PlayStation and its slim PSOne variant. There are videos about getting an original Xbox and a Red Ringed Xbox 360 back on their feet. They’ve fixed Dreamcasts, Game Boys, controllers, and even rarities like a Casio Heli-Battle handheld.
Each video is clear, concise, utterly satisfying and a little bit inspiring if I’m honest. I find myself looking at the yellowed old Super Nintendo on my shelf. Perhaps I should take Odd Tinkering’s advice and try my hand at a bit of retro console restoration myself? I’ll let you know how I go.
You can check out Odd Tinkering’s channel here for more.