Taking a page out of Nintendo’s playbook, Sony decided to release the PlayStation Classic just in time for the holidays for $99 (a far-cry from the $299 price tag that the original came with), complete with 20 popular titles for the console that started it all for Sony and two “PS1” controllers.
Now that the mini PlayStation has been out for nearly a week, however, reactions from the community in general seem to be mixed. Some think that the console is worth for the price as it is — a nostalgia blast for times when you want to relieve better days. Meanwhile, there are those that think that it’s not worth buying, that it’s a mere cash-grab Sony put up to try and cash in on the yuletide season.
So, which is which? Is the PlayStation Classic a cash grab? Or is it worth the price of admission?
We’re here to make a case for both.
Why the PlayStation Classic Is Worth the Money
Fully equipped with 20 classic (and not-so-memorable) titles, the PlayStation Classic offers a healthy mix of content for older gamers who are looking to look back on day’s past and younger players who want to see what it was like to play games early on in the 3D era.
Metal Gear Solid, Final Fantasy VII, Resident Evil: Director’s Cut and Twisted Metal are just a few of the titles that defined its era and should keep any interested gamer entertained for hours on end.
Not to mention, the reimagined version of the classic is pretty much plug and play. You buy it, plug it in, and that’s it. It works pretty much right out of the box. This is unlike the old PlayStation where you’ll have to jump through hoops to try and get it to work on a modern television. Plus, cycling through the multiple games available is easy enough, and with a built-in memory card system, players should have no problems saving their hours of hard work and progress.
Finally, at $99, the PlayStation Classic is an aggressively priced console that comes with just enough features to appeal to the mass consumer.
Why You Should Skip the PlayStation Classic
Look past the nostalgia, however, and it won’t take long for reality to hit you real hard.
The library of 20 games is nice, but it’s not huge. It’s just 20 games, which is enough to tide you over for a couple of dozen hours, but after that, what’s next? Barring an internet update in the future, you can’t exactly just download or add more games to it. It also doesn’t help that the PlayStation Classic doesn’t at least come with a controller with a longer cord.
We’re all for replicating the experience here, and it’s not like we’re wishing the controllers were wireless or anything (that would be nice though), but it would be great if you could enjoy playing more than 36 inches away from your TV set.
Then there’s the fact that the 3D graphics just didn’t age well.
Back then, titles such as Final Fantasy VII boasted graphics that, at the time, many considered as a technological marvel. However, more than two decades later, incredible is the last word that pops up in your mind once you start playing these old games. In fact, just to put it bluntly, the games are pretty hard to look at.
The limitations of the technology of its time become painfully obvious the moment you boot up Final Fantasy VII, which is very much like the majority of SNES games, whose graphics have aged relatively well.
So, basically, once you’re done playing, you’re essentially paying $99 for something that you’ll probably end up storing on your shelves, right beside the original PlayStation that the mini-console was supposed to replace. Granted, most people spend more for things that they’ll end up using less, but other than the nostalgia blast, the PlayStation Classic really doesn’t have much going for it.
Before anything else, please understand something — I’m not hating on the PlayStation Classic in any way. I’d have the same exact sentiments with the graphics for any console released during the same era re-released for the modern audience. It’s near-impossible to deny how fast the eyesore that is early 3D graphics quickly kicks in, especially when there’s very few games to keep you entertained.
I’d still buy the PlayStation Classic though. Because, well, why not? It’s $99 for a console that cost $299 when it first released. It may not have all of the best PS1 games, but it does have quite a few classics (and others that are worth playing). I’d wager a lot of people will have the same thoughts as well.
I’d be hesitant to call the PlayStation Classic a must-buy. It’s more of a good-but-not-great sort of thing. If nothing else, it’s an excellent novelty item and a great gift for yourself, as well as your loved ones, this holiday season.