When the PlayStation Classic original price was announced, we didn’t even know the full lineup of its games. But still, the original $99 price tag seemed high, but many people (myself included) had faith it would be worth the price and the wait. It wasn’t. Sales weren’t as brisk as retailers would have liked, and its $99 list price soon gave way to a $59 semi-permanent sale price.
While the initial PS Classic announcement was met with tons of excitement, that excitement began to fade as more details on the PlayStation mini console began to trickle out. Sony held off releasing the full list of games, which seemed suspect in the eyes of many. But the 20 included games run the gamut from must-have classics to sort-of-overlooked to “why would I want to play that?”
So is the PlayStation Classic worth $40? Ultimately it comes down to personal preferences and what you’re willing to accept from the mini PlayStation in terms of functionality. The included controllers are period-appropriate to the first generation of PlayStations, but they make playing later games needlessly difficult, since they lack the analog sticks of the DualShock line. Emulation is… odd, with PAL versions of some games included instead of the NTSC versions we enjoyed here in North America. That means some of the games run slower than you might remember; just barely, but just enough to throw you off your game. All is not lost, however: you can make the PlayStation Classic play games at the correct framerate, it’s just not correct out of the box.
Here are the games included with the PlayStation Classic:
- 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
- Resident Evil Director’s Cut
- Revelations: Persona
- Ridge Racer Type 4
- Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo
- Syphon Filter
- Tekken 3
- Tom Clancy’s Rainbow 6
- Twisted Metal
- Wild Arms
It’s a pretty decent list, and the all-in-one mini console design is all the rage. For video game collectors like myself, it’s pretty hard to pass up at $39.99, even if it is ultimately a disappointment (in our PlayStation Classic review, we gave it a 5.5). Still, it’s cool-looking, and the packaging and included literature is period-correct, so Sony got some of the details right.
But if you’re still not on-board at $40, a quick reminder: the PlayStation Classic is hackable. In fact, it’s probably a lot easier than you think. You can begin to hack the PlayStation Classic by plugging in a Corsair keyboard, for example. Do so at your own risk, because there is the chance you could brick the console.
Oh, and don’t forget a USB wall adapter. Sony didn’t put one in the box.
Seth Macy is IGN’s tech and commerce editor and collector of retro-inspired video game objects. Talk about the crushing weight of Sony PVMs with him on Twitter @sethmacy.