Sony Playstation Classic: Thoughts

This morning, Sony announced that it’s getting in on on the “Classic” console craze. The “Playstation Classic Edition” is set to release December 3rd and offer up 20 built-in games for an MSRP of $99.99.

As with Nintendo’s NES and SNES Classic edition, the console will be much smaller than the original (45% smaller, according to Sony). The controllers will be USB-compatible, which is a nice touch given that it opens the door for them to be used on other devices such as PCs and Raspberry Pi builds unlike the controllers bundled with the NES and SNES Classic (both of which use Nintendo’s proprietary ports). As with the NES and SNES Classic, you’ll have to provide your own AC Adaptor. You won’t need memory cards, as the unit will provide its own save feature.

While not all of the games to be included are known at this time, we do know that Final Fantasy VII, Jumping Flash, Ridge Racer Type 4, Tekken 3, and Wild Arms will be packed in.

 

One interesting aspect of the unit’s design that Sony has not yet commented on is one of the back ports. On the original console, this port was marked Serial IO and was used by cheat devices such as Game Shark. Whether it’s just for aesthetic purpose or hiding another feature remains to be seen.

As the Sony Playstation was my first real console growing up, I’m thrilled to see that this will be out on the market soon for those like me with nostalgia for the console and for younger audiences that might have started off on a later generation of the Playstation line. I will say, however, that my expectations as a consumer are just a little higher given the considerably higher price point. With the numerous complaints that have been projected towards both Nintendo and Sega’s line of “classic editions”, I have my fingers crossed that Sony has observed what went wrong with those particular products and will deliver the best of the bunch. Here are a couple things I’d love to see in this product:

Longer Controller Cables

goodoldays

If there was one thing that bothered me about the NES and SNES Classic Edition, it was that the cables were simply too damn short. For modern gaming set-ups, we are no longer playing on 20 inch screens and having our faces literally glued to them. Purchasing cable extenders is pretty much a necessity for these units. I don’t think it’s asking for too much to be able to play a modern system from a comfortable distance out of the box without having to go out and purchase anything extra.

Access To The PS Store/ Transferring

store

A feature that was sorely missed in the NES/SNES Classic was the ability to purchase and download more games. A way to hack the units and add more titles were available almost immediately after launch and is quite easy to do even for the non tech-savvy individual, but I’m hoping we won’t have to resort to that with the Playstation Classic. With the Playstation Store offering a ton of PS One Classics, including heavy hitters like Spyro the Dragon and Crash Bandicoot, this would be an incredible feature to have. Even better if we’re able to transfer previously purchased PS One titles to the system via a PSN ID, but I won’t hold my breath.

Controllers with Analog Sticks

diagram

As we can see with this photo from Sony, the two controllers included are NOT replicas of the DualShock controllers sporting analog sticks, which would soon become a staple of modern game consoles. This is somewhat of a disappointment, but it could very well be due to the built-in games being early titles that didn’t make use of the sticks. Hopefully, we’ll see some replicas of the dualshock pads sold separately if there’s a (legal) means of obtaining more games.

What are your thoughts on Sony’s stab at a “Classic” console. Feel free to connect with me on here or over @RetroOutcast on Twitter!

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