I’m not really one for looking backwards, but sometimes Nostalgia just hits you in the face whether you want it to or not. This was the case for me when I first opened the PlayStation Classic Console, which was kindly sent to us by PlayStation.
Everything about the box feels like a perfect look into the past world of PlayStation but in miniature form. The design of the packaging is perfect, while upon opening the box itself the first thing you are greeted with is the sight of a miniature PlayStation and it looks wonderful. Delving further into the box you are greeted with manuals which also have a familiar look to them, then further still, the original PlayStation controller, which is light as a feather, and as we know now, sadly missing any analogue sticks.
Setting the system up is easy, plug in the controller, attach the HDMI to the TV and the USB cable to a power outlet and away you go. It couldn’t be simpler and harks back to the days of a less complicated console.
So on the face of it, the PlayStation Classic is perfect in every way, certainly from an aesthetic point of view, but it’s when you turn it on you begin to realise its limitations.
First up you have a fairly basic menu, it does its job, of course, allowing you to carousel around to your choice of game. The problem is there’s just not many of them. Now don’t get me wrong, from a personal point of view I think the choice of 20 games Sony has chosen to include offers a perfect mix of nostalgia. All of the titles I loved on the original PlayStation such as Destruction Derby, GTA, Ridge Racer, Cool Boarders and Rayman are all included, as are the likes of Metal Gear Solid, Mr Driller, Twisted Metal, Wild Arms, Tekken 3 and more. However, for the cost of around £90, the selection seems, well, a little stingy.
Another problem comes with the controller. Now I’ve been playing on PlayStation for a long time now, but I don’t recall the last time I played without analogue sticks and upon loading up and playing my favourite of the bunch, Destruction Derby, the controls certainly took some getting used to. I guess it’s because I’m just so used to playing with the sticks now, but it was so awkward and difficult.
Another thing is the graphics are awful. Like I say, I’m not really much for nostalgia and therefore I would quite happily take a brand new or remastered Destruction Derby over what’s on offer here. I really love that game, but playing a version that looks this old, with awkward controls and a huge black border either side of the action makes me wonder why I’d want to waste my time.
Consoles such as Nintendo SNES Mini and PlayStation Classic are a fantastic look into the past, but they make you hanker for the future even more. Who wants to play a really terrible looking version of Destruction Derby when you can play a game such as Gran Turismo Sport or Forza Horizon 4, which in comparison, make your eyes bleed with their beautiful graphics.
Am I impressed with PlayStation Classic? As an ornament for my PlayStation Nostalgia shelf? certainly. As a games machine? Not so much. Perhaps if there was a greater choice of games and a lower price then I could justify recommending this machine to everyone, but as it stands I just can’t, no matter how much it pulls at the nostalgia strings from the moment you see this tiny machine staring at you from the open box.