Call it a comeback: 1/3 of UK millennials bought retro tech in the last 12 months

Despite the masses of innovation in smartphones, PCs, AI, VR and pretty much every corner of the technology landscape, new research has shown just how beloved tech from the past is amongst the British public.

Over 70% of Brits own retro technology, according to a survey conducted by pay-as-you-go energy provider Boost. Surveying the buying habits of over 2,000 Brits, the report shows that over a third of both generation Z and millennials were found to have purchased retro technology over the last 12 months.

In the research, retro technology was defined as being released before the year 2000. It found that the favourite retro gadget of gen Z (ages between 16-23) is this instant camera, for millennials (aged between 24-42) it’s pre-2000 gaming consoles, and for gen X (43-54-year-olds) and baby boomers (55-73-year-olds) vinyl records are their retro tech of choice.

For gen Z, almost one in five (18%) said they use retro technology to “take their minds off today’s problems”. Nearly half of Brits (47%) said retro technology “reminded them of when they were young”, with almost a fifth (23%) saying “it’s more fun than today’s technology”.

Retro tech used in pop culture is proving to be well-liked by young generations. 21% of gen Z own an instant camera like the one seen in Netflix hit Stranger Things, whilst 20% of millennials are in possession of a cassette player, revived by the Marvel film series Guardians of the Galaxy.

“Technological developments continue to drive the energy industry forward. At Boost, we’re rolling out smart meters and mobile technology to help our customers take control of their energy use. Yet, when it comes to recreational technology, the trends from the 1980’s and 1990’s are making a nostalgic comeback,” commented Justin Cockerill, managing director of Boost.

“Our findings show how cycles of fashion, entertainment, and culture drive younger generations to retro technology. If you’ve got an old games console in the attic, dust it down and pass it on – there’s almost certainly someone out there who will continue to enjoy it.”

With the third season of Stranger Things coming to Netflix in July, this summer might see even more 80s-influenced tech flying off the shelves…

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