No Classic but an important time capsule.
Sony became the latest video console company to jump on the retro/nostalgia bandwagon this month with the release of the PlayStation Classic.
Hardcore gamers and fanboys with realistic expectations won’t be disappointed. But everyone else more than likely will be.Damien Lucas, gaming columnist
Following in the footsteps of Nintendo, Sega and Atari, the PS Classic is a dedicated mini console that emulates games originally released on its groundbreaking 1994 PlayStation console.
Sony would probably have preferred to wait until the PlayStation’s 25th anniversary next year to release the Classic, but with Christmas looming and a tangible sense that the retro trend could be something of a fad, I guess it was too big a risk financially.
So what’s in the box, how do the games hold up over 20 years on and most importantly is it any good?
The PS Classic is around three times smaller than the original machine and still looks super cool two and a half decades on. It comes with two replica original (pre-analog thumbstick) PS Controllers, HDMI cable and USB Micro-A to standard USB-A cable.
The AC adapter for the console is sold separately which is a bit of a cheek in all honesty given the Classic will set you back around £90.
It includes ports for both controllers, HDMI output, and power via USB.
The PS Classic comes preloaded with 20 games, running off the open source emulator, PCSX ReARMed. I won’t list them all here but the standouts are Battle Arena Toshinden, Final Fantasy VII, Jumping Flash!, Metal Gear Solid, Ridge Racer Type 4, Resident Evil: Director’s Cut, Tekken 3, Cool Boarders 2, Rainbow Six, Twisted Metal, Destruction Derby and Grand Theft Auto.
Many will be disapointed by some notable ommissions including Tomb Raider, Crash Bandicoot and for me personally Bloody Roar.
Unfortunately that’s not the only downside.
The device does not interface with the PS Network and games will not be added post-launch and time has not been kind to some of the earlier titles given the huge advances in video game and TV tech since then.
That is hardly Sony’s fault, though, and it must be remembered this is doing what it says on the tin, ie bringing back the classics tp be preserved for the current and future generations.
Overall the PlayStation Classic looks superb and makes for a great conversation piece in the living room.
Hardcore gamers and fanboys with realistic expectations won’t be disappointed. But everyone else more than likely will be.
As I touched on earlier the release feels a tad rushed and some may say halfhearted. And the PlayStation, with everything it did for video gaming, deserves more.
But while the experience is tinged with disappointment, if the PS Classic is nothing more than an attractive time capsule then for me it serves its true purpose.