PlayStation Classic Review – A great piece of hardware that delivers a nostalgia hit but little else

The PlayStation Classic offers a charming, if somewhat jarring, nostalgia trip to a formative time in the gaming industry.

Following the success of Nintendo’s ‘Classic Edition’ series of console releases, Sony has followed suit with a reissued version of its original PlayStation.

The PlayStation Classic comes with two controllers and 20 games
Sony Computer Entertainment

The console itself is tiny is a tiny and loving replica of the original, much like Nintendo’s offerings, and comes with two original PlayStation controllers.

These are the very first-generation ones, before the DualShock came out — so there are no analogue sticks and no rumble, even though both of these features did eventually arrive for PS1 shortly after launch.

It comes with 20 built in games and inbuilt memory capacity so these are in fact redundant but kept, we assume, for nostalgia reasons.

The game selection itself is quite good though remarkably there was no room for any Tony Hawk games, Gran Turismo, Crash Bandicoot, Tomb Raider or WipEout — all of which I’d consider classics of the console and defining games of the generation.

The original GTA game was played from a top-down view, and actively encouraged behaviours such as mowing down pedestrians

Full list of Games inside

If you buy a PlayStation classic in the shops here, these are the games you can expect to find on it:

Battle Arena Toshinden

Cool Boarders 2

Destruction Derby

Final Fantasy VII

Grand Theft Auto

Intelligent Qube

Jumping Flash

Metal Gear Solid

Mr Driller

Oddworld: Abe’s Oddysee

Rayman

Resident Evil Director’s Cut

Revelations: Persona

Ridge Racer Type 4

Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo

Syphon Filter

Tekken 3

Playing the device itself, however, is a charming experience.

The controllers, revolutionary in their time, remain functional despite the leaps made in the industry, though analogue control is sorely missed.

All the games remain playable, though returning to childhood classics such as Grand Theft Auto and Syphon Filter is somewhat jarring given just how far console storytelling and gameplay has developed since they were made.

It does however give a reminder of the pioneering nature these games had for modern day first and third person shooters, for example, or the open expansive environments we saw in later Grand Theft Auto titles.

What is the PlayStation Classic?

It's a mini version of the original PlayStation, coming with two wired controllers and 20 games.

The Sony PlayStation Classic will be released worldwide on Monday, December 3, 2018.

The console will include two original controllers as well as a HDMI socket however gamers will have to supply their own compatible USB AC adaptor.

It serves as Sony’s first attempt to release a mini retro console, following in the footsteps of Nintendo who have achieved great success with the NES Classic Mini and a SNES Classic Mini.

The miniature console will be approximately 45% smaller than the original grey PlayStation console.

You can see the full list of available games here.

Some of the emulation could have been done better — and is done better on some third-party devices we’ve seen.

The games’ dated graphics feel all the more dated for being rendered and then upscaled–a little added visual fuzz or similar to more accurately reflect how they would have looked on the CRT tellies they were meant for would have gone a long way.

Ridge Racer Type 4 was the final Ridge Racer game to be released on the original PlayStation
NAMCO

One other huge omission is the absence of any sort of parental controls.

The whole box is rated 18+ because of games such as Grand Theft Auto and Resident Evil, and there’s no way of locking out the adult-oriented games if you want to share the joy of the games of your childhood with your children.

Not being able to leave a child with great games like Intelligent Qube, Rayman and Oddworld because there’s no way of stopping them switching on GTA instead feels careless, and like a significant missed opportunity.


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