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Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Sony Introduces the Playstation Classic


Sony has officially announced that they are now jumping headlong into the retro console business.  They are introducing the Playstation Classic.  Here is what we know, what we want, and what we think they did wrong.

The Playstation classic takes on the famed look of the original PSone (PSX to some of us old school gamers), but 45% smaller in comparison.  The device definitely resembles that of the original, even down to the ribbed sides.  The controllers even have the proper original Playstation look to them!

Something one should take into consideration with this new retro console is the very same thing that is frustrating gamers with other systems.  The CD tray is a "faux tray".  In other words, it does not open...at least that is what we are speculating.  We think it is a safe wager at this point in the retro gaming scene.  Even if it did open, you would not be able to place a proper disc into the tray due to the reduced size in comparison to the original hardware.

Now what good is this thing if you can't use discs?  Well, don't worry.  Sony promises us 20 built in games.  What are those twenty titles?  Well, fifteen of them are a total mystery.  We do knwo what five of them are going to be though!  We get the classics Final Fantasy VII, Jumping Flash, Ridge Racer Type 4, Tekken 3, and Wild Arms.  Wild Arms is a very good RPG with a western theme.  It also had some gorgeous anime cutscenes mixed in.  Was it a classic?  Depends on whom you ask.  The others definitely have their place, and were shining examples of the power of the PSone back in the day.

There is speculation that the internal hardware will offer the user the ability to enjoy classic PSone games with "better graphics".  Even though the unit uses HDMI for a/v output, this does not mean that the titles will receive any type of graphical enhancements (smoothing, perspective correction on textures, etc.).  Considering the SNES Classic from Nintendo offered very little in the way of any type of visual corrections, it would come as no surprise if Sony followed suit.

Whatever other games Sony decides to include will most likely be titles that have made their way into the "Greatest Hits" line up.  Those were the games that supposedly sold exceptionally well, and would also be titles that would hold the most nostalgic grip for those purchasing this little console.  Some titles I would want to see is something from the Spyro franchise, Crash Bandicoot, Resident Evil Directors Cut, Metal Gear Solid, Wipeout, Warhawk, and...well, a few more of course.  Tell us your choices for addition in the comments.

Whoa, whoa, whoa.  We aren't done yet.  We still need to talk about what we think they did wrong!

We love the fact that Sony is going with USB controllers, so that definitely opens up some possibilities because we do NOT like the fact that the included controllers are digital only.  No dual analog here.  This honestly limits you to what games that will come included with the unit.  Any title that required Analog in some fashion will NEVER be included.  Gamers that relied upon the analog to give better control to games that offered support will have to deal with digital only.  However, as we said that the input is USB, perhaps we will see the ability to use our own controllers?  That would be great.

Another thing we feel that Sony is getting wrong here is the massive reduction in size to the unit eliminating the potential to include disc support.  Since there is no mention of expandability to the unit, and the games that will come pre-installed may not be totally worth it to all gamers, just as one can say with any "Classic" or "Flashback" console.  With the unit having USB for power, one shouldn't be surprised if the unit is hacked shortly after its release.

The unit will be available to the US market December 3, 2018 with a MSRP of $99.99.  This will include the unit, HDMI cable, USB cable, and two controllers.

Images all from the official Sony Playstation Blog announcement

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