Akihabara, Tokyo's electronics goods district, is kind of world famous as a sort of geek heaven. Whatever you're looking for, be it parts for a really old laptop, parts for a really new PC, an obscure cable for some obscure device, or yes, any videogame that has ever existed, you'll probably find it there.
Not far from JR Akihabara Station, in a back alley full of PC parts shops and maid cafes and above an amateur radio store, you'll find three floors of retro gaming awesomeness at Super Potato. You'd probably almost walk right past it as you pass through a sea of maids handing out flyers, if you didn't look up. Oh, and the fact that they blast the NES Super Mario Bros. theme song from a speaker in the window non stop, all day.
The first floor of Super Potato is the most interesting if you're at all interested in retro games. Everything from PC Engine and Mega Drive, to Super Famicom and all the related goods and accessories you can imagine live here. Prices range anywhere from ¥50 (50 cents) and up to hundreds or thousands of dollars if the game is rare enough. Famicom consoles are stacked on top of each other and surrounded by old CRT TVs setup with consoles so you can play some of the classics. Want a Japanese Power Glove? Some Super Famicom rarities? It's all here. They even have a Virtual Boy demo kiosk setup from when that ill fated piece of hardware launched. They have a few lying around if you want to buy one as well, and can afford the now collector's item.
Making your way up to the second floor you'll find your 32 bit and up type stuff. PlayStation, PS2, Saturn, Dreamcast, and game soundtracks are the main attraction here and there's no shortage of.... anything you want. Unlike in North America where popular titles like Final Fantasy Tactics or Xenogears are near impossible to find in boxed disc form, these titles are all widely available in Japan and at reasonable prices. I wouldn't be surprised if Super Potato has the entire PSX library of titles in the store. A quick check for some obscure titles confirms that they have them in stock, it's a really impressive collection, and all for sale.
Walking past a display cabinet for some of the more rare and expensive games I found a Metal Gear Solid Premium Package signed in 1998 by Hideo Kojima just sitting on top of the case. Not for sale of course, and fortunately for my wallet.
So what's on the third floor of Super Potato? Why a retro arcade of course. It features some old table top style classic games like Space Invaders as well as some older cabinet games like Street Fighter II. The ceiling is decked out with camoflauge giving the whole room a bit of a jungle feel, and this is topped off by a life sized statue of Snake from Metal Gear Solid 3. Until recently, the most awesome thing on this floor was a full on throne made of glued together Famicom cartriges. Unfortunately the last time I was here it appeared to have been broken and could no longer be sat in. This time it was completely gone. Rest in peace, Famicom throne.
Over the last few years the number of awesome gaming related shops in the area has been decreasing, but Super Potato remains one of the coolest places in Akihabara, and probably the world, to check out (and shop for) some gaming history. They have another location in Osaka's Den Den Town as well which is smaller, but has an almost equally impressive library of classics. If you ever make your way to either area, you'll want to stop by Super Potato.