There's plenty to love about Sony's PlayStation Classic
Sony's answer to Nintendo's tiny nostalgia machine hit the market just in time for the holidays.
While the console has received plenty of criticism for a lack of hit titles and some other hardware oversights, the PlayStation Classic is still a worthwhile throwback for die-hard fans who want to revisit a mix of beloved titles and deep cuts from Sony’s gaming past.
From a design perspective, they nailed it. It's compact enough to fit in next to other classic systems and the detailing is an excellent recreation of the original. Included are two original PlayStation controllers, an HDMI plug, and a USB power plug. Interestingly, the PlayStation Classic doesn’t come with a power brick, meaning you will either have to pick up a USB power brick or use a USB plug.
The console comes preloaded with 20 games. They are as follows: Final Fantasy VII , Grand Theft Auto, Metal Gear Solid , R4 Ridge Racer Type 4 , Tekken 3 , Twisted Metal Battle Arena Toshinden , Cool Boarders 2 , Destruction Derby , Intelligent Qube , Jumping Flash! , Mr. Driller , Oddworld: Abe's Oddysee , Rayman, Resident Evil Director', Cut , Revelations: Persona , Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo , Syphon Filter , Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six , and Wild Arms .
When this list was announced, reactions were mixed. Where was Crash Bandicoot? What about Spyro? Personally, I wished a few fondly remembered titles like Soul Edge, PaRappa the Rapper, WipEout, and Chrono Cross had made the cut. But ultimately, the lineup is a breath of fresh air. Many of these games haven't seen a re-release in a while, while more popular series, like Tomb Raider, have been remastered and rebooted for this generation to stellar results.
The graphics are certainly a throwback—those sharp polygons and harsh pixels look even more rigid on modern day televisions—but whether that's good or bad is in the eye of the beholder. While I’d be hard pressed to say that this look has aged well, it was very effective at bringing back old memories. At the very least, it’s stunning to see how far gaming has come in terms of style and technical capabilities.
This throwback wouldn’t be complete without the hardware to match, but this proved to be a flaw in my experience with the Classic. While it makes sense to have the original PSX controller, with four symbol buttons, a D-Pad, and dual trigger buttons, the DualShock’s joysticks and rumble are sorely missed here.
Overall, the Classic is a welcome addition to any PlayStation super-fan’s collection. Players may be put off by the controllers and game selection, but as a throwback and celebration of the console's legacy, there is still plenty to love here. With a DualShock and either DLC or add-on games, this system could be excellent.
For now, here’s hoping for Sony’s continued success and a PS2 Classic soon.