Sony has officially launched the PlayStation Classic through its YouTube channel. The new console is essentially a reissue of its 1994 sales success, with updated 2018 hardware for an improved but more limited gaming experience.
The move is not a big surprise, since Nintendo has released NES and SNES reboots well received in recent years. In a line similar to its old rival, Sony expects PlayStation Classic to bring retro games to the modern era and be a collector's item for any avid player.
The original PlayStation was a great success, confirming Sony's position as the daddy of the console industry. It was the first game system to send more than 100 million units, easily surpassing the sales of the rival Nintendo 64 (of which we have not yet seen a restart).
The updated console mimics the design of the original, but is 45% smaller. It will have an HDMI output, two replica controls and physical buttons like those found in the 1994 version.
Twenty games will be included in the initial launch price, including Final Fantasy VII, Jumping Flash, Ridge Racer Type 4 , Tekken 3 and Wild Arms. These are the only five games shown in the preview, but Sony promises to reveal the rest of the microconsole library in the next few months, before its scheduled release on December 3.
The price of this nostalgic trip? £ 90.
This raises the question: will anyone really want to buy the PlayStation Classic?
At the time of writing this article, the original PlayStation can be purchased for only £ 23. The actual games themselves, however, are not as affordable. A quick look at Amazon shows that Spyro, Crash Bandicoot and Rayman will cost you more than € 20 each.
These days, you can also buy a PSP, PS Vita or PSTV at a low price and play a whole plethora of PS1. games that can be downloaded from the online store, without the defective cables and buttons found in the original console.
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So there are other options, but PlayStation Classic definitely has the potential to be a success story. The Nintendo Mini NES Classic sold out just a few weeks after launch, and some third-party units sold up to £ 1,000 at a time.
If Sony can produce a solid lineup when it reveals the 15 games included, while producing a handy console that maintains a retro game feel, they could have a gem in their hands.