PlayStation Classic: Cynical Cash Grab or Good Old Fun?

PlayStation Classic
Hello.

Okay, we thought we’d wade in on the PlayStation Classic debate. For a start, we want to make folks aware of it in case they would like one – they’re available from 3rd December. But at the same time we want to mock Sony’s blatant theft of Nintendo’s concept, which appears to have culminated in an underwhelming and overpriced product.

PlayStation Classic

Nintendo’s two Mini Classic consoles – the NES and SNES – met with rave reviews between 2016 and 2017. They also wowed the general public. You can still buy them, if you want, although the production run ends in 2019 (if we remember correctly).

Nintendo’s gaming rival, Sony, quietly picked up on the idea and, wouldn’t you know, the PlayStation Classic is out shortly. You get 20 games pre-loaded onto it and can plug it into your TV to enjoy a range of classics circa 1995 gamers remember so fondly.

But that’s where the problems start (for us, at least). We liked the PlayStation, but only a die hard fanboy would defend it now. Many of the console’s titles have aged atrociously. And Sony seems to have given no thought to that at all, instead relying on gamer’s nostalgia to just mindlessly buy the product.

There are some amazing games on the PlayStation Classic, such as the legendary Final Fantasy VII and Metal Gear Solid. But with the former you can pick it up off Steam for a few quid. You can also get it on your iPhone. It’s even coming to the Nintendo Switch next year! So it’s hardly a rarity.

And the hodge podge of other titles makes us think Sony went into this one with only cash on its mind. Cool Boarders 2? Really!? Whilst Nintendo’s Mini Classic consoles were lovingly put together and feature some astonishing all time classics, Sony has gone for a bare bones experience with some inexplicable emissions from the line up.

We’re certainly not getting one. Mainly because the reviews flowing in are far from glowing. For example, Time Magazine called the PlayStation Classic, “too frustrating to love”. Various other disheartened PlayStation fans have, on YouTube, vented their disappointment over Sony’s lazy approach.

And whilst the PS4 is a fantastic console, it serves to remind us that Sony’s first effort really has aged poorly. It isn’t alone – Sega’s machines at the time have the same issue. And we also think it’s why Nintendo shouldn’t aim for an N64 Mini. That era marked the first venture into 3D – it was exciting, at the time, but looks and performs dismally now.

This is something Nintendo’s older, less powerful games consoles avoid. The SNES’ games are still utterly magnifcent (other than Star Fo 1 and 2 – an early demonstration of polygons in games – kind of highlighting our point), thanks to that sprite-based, colourful, 2D setting. Just compare the above SNES Mini trailer to the PlayStation Classic’s games.

But Sony has gone for it anyway, in what looks like something of an own goal for the Japanese gaming behemoth. Our advice – skip this thing. Get yourself a SNES Mini instead. Or if you want to experience the PlayStation’s very best titles, hunt a few of them down on Steam. Or pick up a PSOne off eBay.

6 comments

  1. If it’s one advantage to these mini-consoles, it’s that you get to experience games you otherwise wouldn’t have picked up. Otherwise, I too have to question Sony’s decision to do this. There’s a reason why retro-minded indie games tend not to emulate the PlayStation look; it’s because it really has not aged well. It was impressive back when 3D was new, but it looks very ugly now. This isn’t to say graphics make the game, but I’ve found that console games from that era that have held up have done so in spite of themselves.

    Liked by 1 person

    • A Mini PS2 would have been fine by me. I’d have queued up for that. But it is due that the graphics look pretty terrible, but more importantly the game mechanics mean the titles just play really badly.

      10 years ago I remember returning to Driver. It was stunning at the time. But a jerky, disastrous, inane mess on return. Ho hum.

      Liked by 1 person

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