Over the past few years, retro mini-consoles have become extremely popular. Just a few months ago Sony announced that it was entering the market with its own retro mini-console. Celebrating the 24th anniversary of the PlayStation’s launch, the PlayStation Classic was launched on December 3, 2018. That’s exactly 24 years to the day of the Japanese launch.
Featuring 20 PlayStation favourites, the PlayStation Classic is a great new way to relive the classics. Battling it out with Sega and Nintendo at the time, the PlayStation took the gaming world by storm. From Final Fantasy VII, to Metal Gear Solid, the PlayStation Classic includes some of the biggest games that made PlayStation a household name. And, helped sell over 100 million consoles world wide.
What’s included in the box?
Packed within the box of the PlayStation Classic you will find the following contents:
- PlayStation Classic retro mini-console
- Two wired PlayStation controllers
- HDMI Cable
- USB cable (to power the system)
It’s important to note that the PlayStation Classic does not include an AC adapter to plug into the wall. You can plug the USB cable from the PlayStation Classic into a USB port on your TV, use the USB AC adapter from your phone, purchase a USB AC adapter separate, or use the USB AC adapter from another mini retro console you may already own.
Replica PlayStation console
I was surprised as just how small and lightweight the PlayStation Classic is. Compared to the original console, the PlayStation Classic is a whopping 45% smaller. You could easily toss it in a backpack and take it over to your friend’s house for a day or night of classic PlayStation retro gaming.
Furthermore, the PlayStation Classic closely resembles the original console with the iconic PlayStation logo on the lid. It even includes faux memory card slots above each of the controller ports for authenticity. Additionally, the power, reset and open buttons are all functional.
Unfortunately, the lid of the PlayStation Classic does not open. Instead, the open button acts as a change disc function for games with multiple discs such as Final Fantasy VII and Metal Gear Solid. The back of the mini-console has a HDMI port, which outputs video in 720p and a USB port to hook up the USB cable to power the unit. I was really impressed with the build quality of the system and holding the PlayStation Classic in my hands for the first time brought back a lot of great gaming memories I had with the system through out the mid 90s and early 2000s.
Two classic PlayStation controllers
The PlayStation Classic comes with two PlayStation controllers that originally launched with the PlayStation back in 1995. So, this means the Dual Analog or DualShock controllers are not included. Initially, I had mixed reactions about this. I immediately realized that this was probably the reason Ape Escape was not included as one of the 20 games.
To my knowledge and memory there are no other PlayStation games that required either of these controllers. It definitely enhanced the experience but you could play the vast majority of PlayStation games without it. It’s most likely this reason and cost saving reasons that the original controller was packed with the PlayStation Classic.
Speaking of which, the two included controllers look and feel like exact replicas of the original PlayStation controllers. They even include the iconic PlayStation logo and the exact button layout as the original controllers. This means that you can enjoy two-player multiplayer with the 10 pre-loaded games that support it. Better yet, the controllers come with a lengthy 1.5m cord. While it was a bit disappointing that we didn’t get Dual Analog or DualShock controllers, the two controllers that are included are sturdy and well constructed.
20 Classic PlayStation games pre-loaded
Now that we’ve talked about the hardware, the big question is how are the games? First, it is important to know that you cannot connect the PlayStation Classic to the internet and download additional games. Though it would have been a nice feature, I wasn’t really expecting it.
There are many timeless classics included with the PlayStation Classic. Tekken 3, Metal Gear Solid, R4 Ridge Racer Type 4, Resident Evil Director’s Cut, and Rayman are all fantastic games. The list of games are as follows:
|Battle Arena Toshinden||Rayman|
|Cool Boarders 2||Resident Evil Director’s Cut|
|Destruction Derby||Revelations: Persona|
|Final Fantasy VII||R4 Ridge Racer Type 4|
|Grand Theft Auto||Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo|
|Intelligent Qube||Syphon Filter|
|Jumping Flash!||Tekken 3|
|Metal Gear Solid||Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six|
|Mr. Driller||Twisted Metal|
|Oddworld: Abe’s Oddysee||Wild Arms|
There are however a few games that one would think would be included such as Crash Bandicoot, Spyro the Dragon, and Tomb Raider. I can only imagine that both Crash Bandicoot and Spyro the Dragon were not included as both of these games have recently seen HD remakes on current consoles. Regardless, the 20 games that do ship with the PlayStation Classic are a decent representation of PlayStation.
Retro 3D graphics and controls
The PlayStation brought state of the art 3D graphics home and were quite impressive for its time. However, aside from the upscaled 720p resolution—none of the graphics or textures have been upgraded. This means, that the games look and play just like they did all those years ago.
As a result, for those that did not enjoy these games growing up might not see what all the fuss is about. I was in my last year of High School when the PlayStation launched. And, revisiting these games again even with all their blemishes was an enjoyable trip down memory lane. With this in mind, games like Rayman, Mr. Driller, and Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo are superb 2D games that look and play fantastic on the PlayStation Classic.
As far as controls are concerned, some games haven’t aged that well. Thus, at times games such as Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six can be frustrating. Additionally, some of the games are PAL/European versions and thus suffer performance issues.
The PlayStation Classic is a worthwhile walk down memory lane with a few hitches
At the end of the day, the PlayStation Classic isn’t perfect and could be better. However, it is a worthy addition to those looking for some PlayStation retro mini-console fun. The mini-console is virtually identical to its bigger brother. The two PlayStation controllers that come packed in feel good in your hands and are built well.
When it comes down to the 20 pre-loaded games, there is something for everyone. While the games included might be missing some iconic PlayStation brand games, it’s a fairly solid list of titles. For the most part, those who grew up with the PlayStation will have a greater desire for the PlayStation Classic than those who didn’t.
If you are looking to take a stroll down PlayStation memory lane either by yourself or with a friend, the PlayStation Classic is a solid and legal way of doing so.