After witnessing the success Nintendo has had with the NES Classic Edition and the Super NES Classic Edition, Sony is ready to get in on the nostalgia trip this holiday season. Sony announced the upcoming release of the PlayStation Classic, a miniature HD version of the company’s first video game console that helped revolutionize the video game industry.
The PlayStation Classic will be available in stores beginning December 3, 2018. That date is not just significant because it means the PlayStation Classic will be one of this year’s hot holiday items, but because it will mark the anniversary of the release of the original PlayStation in 1994. Sony announced the miniature version of its first home console will be sold at a price of $99.99 and will be packed with 20 games, an HDMI cable, a USB cable to power the system (an actual AC adapter will be sold separately, which is a bit annoying), and two wired controllers duplicating the look and feel of the original PlayStation controllers (before the controllers added analog sticks).
At $99.99, the PlayStation classic is about $40 more expensive than the NES Classic Edition (which is packed with 30 games and one controller) and $20 more costly than the Super NES Classic Edition (with 20 games and two controllers). But keep in mind why the price might be more expensive. It all comes down to the games.
Sony has not released a full list of the games that will come packaged with the PlayStation Classic but has announced the games will include Final Fantasy VII, Jumping Flash, Ridge Racer Type 4, Tekken 3, and Wild Arms. The inclusion of one of the best Final Fantasy games alone should interest a number of fans of the original PlayStation, although the Final Fantasy series has been available on multiple current systems for a while now and will soon be making its way to the Nintendo Switch and Xbox One as well.
We’ll have to wait and see what other games will be included in this new retro-themed mini system. Sports games helped make the PlayStation a hit but the licenses to old sports titles may be tricky and those games simply would not really hold up well by today’s standards. In fact, a number of games from the original PlayStation era may have a difficult time standing the test of time. And considering a number of the best games from that era have either been made available on modern consoles or given remake treatment, one wonders just how much interest there will be in a PlayStation Classic. Crash Bandicoot was essentially Sony’s mascot at the time, but the trilogy of Crash games has recently been given a full makeover for modern consoles with the Crash Bandicoot N-Sane Trilogy, and Spyro Reignited Trilogy is on the way this November. But who wouldn’t love to take another crack at PaRappa the Rapper?
The package looks fantastic and will definitely be a nice item for all PlayStation fans to have. And for those of us who missed out on the PlayStation era and were sticking with our Super NES and Nintendo 64 during that time, there may be some intrigue to checking out the system and some of its finest games for the first time. But there are a few lessons that it seems Sony did not learn from Nintendo with this mini console.
The first mistake Sony made is actually with the controller. It would have been nice to have the analog stick version of the controllers included, but instead, you get the original controllers. This may have been a cost concern too, as the controllers that will come with the system may be cheaper to reproduce. But the wired connection is a disappointing feature. One of the biggest complaints about the NES Classic and SNES Classic was the length of the controller cord. We don’t know how long the PlayStation Classic controller’s wires will be, but odds are pretty good that will be one of the main complaints as gamers just want to plug in their PlayStation Classic to their TV and entertainment center and sit back on the couch and play without being restricted by a wired controller. Sure, it is true nostalgia to have a wired controller, but why not just make these wireless out of the box?
Of course, third-party accessory manufacturers will have you covered with wireless options, similar to how they have sold additional controller options for the NES Classic and Super NES Classic. But this feels like a missed opportunity for Sony. Although the design shown off in a promo video appears to be similar to the controller ports of the original PlayStation, it is unconfirmed if you can dust off your old controllers and use them on the system. The connections appear to be smaller than the original PlayStation controller ports. The same is true for the memory card slots. They may just be part of the design, the way the controller ports on the NES Classic and SNES Classic were, but the system will include a built-in memory card for internal storage for your saved games.
The lack of an AC adapter may bother some people. Nintendo’s mini consoles were also powered by a USB cable, but they also included a power adapter to plug those USB connections in. Maybe you have a spare adapter laying around, but consumers should be aware there is a chance they may not be able to play their PlayStation Classic right out of the box without an add-on item. Expect sales teams at Best Buy and Gamestop to remind you of that as they look for an item to add-on to your purchases and direct your ire at Sony for that.
What do you think about the PlayStation Classic? Are you ready to dip your toes back into the prime of 3D polygonal gaming this holiday season?