Critics not terribly impressed with PS1 Classic

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#1 Edited by uninspiredcup (29208 posts) -

A terrific console, under-served. It's sad that groups of unpaid gamers can make better emulators than Sony. Maybe hire them or at the very least inspect the (unofficial) competition.

http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2018-11-08-weve-played-the-playstation-classic-and-its-a-disappointment

Edit: They did, literally directly used it.

A listing of licenses for open-source software accessible in the PlayStation Classic’s menu said that it uses the open-source PlayStation emulator PCSX ReARMed.)

We've played the PlayStation Classic, and it's underwhelming

Mediocre emulation and an anaemic list of games - though there's still some magic there

I first heard of it through a playground rumour; whisperings there was a machine that could run Ridge Racer, the game that had been wowing us all over the summer holidays at whatever low-rent seaside resort our families had dragged us to. And what's more, someone knew a friend of a friend who had one - who'd imported one from Japan and had Namco's polygon-rich racer playable in their own living room.

First contact came that autumn, in a friend's bedroom on a 14-inch CRT that offered a small window into the future with WipEout, and the next few months were spent campaigning to get one for Christmas. And when it finally came, it felt like something else; more than a mere new generation, the first PlayStation marked the beginning of the modern era of gaming.

And so coming face-to-face with one in Sony's offices, all these years later, is an emotional experience, like chancing upon an old friend. Strange how a little grey lump of plastic can prove so powerful to someone of a certain age, though even now looking at the original PlayStation it still looks like a relic from the future. And, just as it is when you return to your hometown after years away, it seems so much smaller than you remembered it.

Then, just next to the original PlayStation, is the PlayStation Classic, which is smaller than you might have imagined it. Some 45 per cent smaller, in fact, although it's perfectly formed, an impressive miniature that looks like one of the originals had been left in a hot wash. It's lighter too, of course, coming in at 170g - though lifting up the original console, it's remarkable how light that feels compared to the unwieldy bricks of today.

The PlayStation Classic's controller, meanwhile, is a 1:1 likeness of the original (and that's the original original, remember - this isn't the DualShock that was introduced in 1997, and as such it lacks rumble and those two analogue sticks). It is ever so slightly lighter in the hand, though that's simply down to the fact there's a slimmer cable protruding from it - and at that cable's end is a USB A connector, itself protruding from a plastic nubbin that perfectly mimics the connector on the original PlayStation controller and that slots neatly into place on the console. It really does all look the part.

The console hardware itself has some neat functionality too. Around the back it's powered by micro-USB, and there's a single HDMI out, while on the top of the console the three buttons are all put to use. The power button is self-explanatory. The reset button throws you out of any particular game and into the PlayStation Classic's main menu, while the eject button is used to change discs in games that are split across several CD-ROMs, such as Final Fantasy 7.

As a piece of simple engineering, then, the PlayStation Classic is a triumph; a perfectly adorable, shrunken down version of the original that would look just splendid on your shelf. It's only really when you plug it in to play that things start to fall apart a little. The front-end is responsive if not exactly attractive - though its graphical stylings are at least period correct for the mid-90s games it's hosting. There are next to no options - you'll have the ability to enable a screensaver, tinker with power saving modes and language and... That's it. There are no screen filters, and nothing to try and soothe the transition of these games onto TVs that they were never designed for.

The output is 720p, a logical enough choice given the majority of the games here are 244p and upscale fairly cleanly with small black borders either side of the image, but it can't hide the fact that something feels offabout how these games look and play. Getting the relatively crude 3D work of original PlayStation games to play nicely on modern displays was always going to be a tougher task faced than by Nintendo with its previous 2D-dominated Classic consoles, but the soft scaling doesn't help its cause, and there's noticeable lag - minimally so when playing a 30fps game such as Ridge Racer Type 4, but much more pronounced in 60fps games such as Mr. Driller or Tekken 3. They feel soupy in the hand - though that's as much the fault of modern displays compared to the more responsive CRTs these games were designed for than anything else.

Some problems are more specific to the PlayStation Classic, though again they're ones you can't necessarily blame Sony for. The game selection is, to put it politely, anaemic, with titles that made PlayStation a household name - WipEout, Gran Turismo, Tomb Raider - entirely absent. Part of the problem is also part of the original PlayStation's pioneering; as arguably the first console of the modern era, it's also one of the first bogged down with issues of licensing when it comes to music tracks brought in from elsewhere, or in the case of Gran Turismo with auto manufacturers. Getting hold of those licences again could be a pain - in some cases, it's an impossibility.

The result, though, is that next to the stellar line-ups of the NES Classic and SNES Classic, it all feels underwhelming, and not exactly representative of the original PlayStation in its prime. This is, at best, a functional take on the mini-console phenomenon, and a cute stocking filler for the coming Christmas period - even if the price doesn't quite reflect that. It most certainly is not a decent emulator, and far from the best way to play this (limited) selection of games.

For all that, though, and for the disappointing feeling that the PlayStation Classic is something of a missed opportunity, there's still magic to be found here. Having messed around disapprovingly with the menus, I settled after an hour or so on Jumping Flash, that bizarre first-person platformer that has always sat awkwardly, brilliantly, between the soft abstraction of 16-bit games and the more recognisable, harder edges that the PlayStation was about to usher in, and all of a sudden I'm transported back to Christmas Day, 1995, and am filled with that same sense of wide-eyed wonder. The PlayStation Classic is far from perfect, then, a slightly murky window onto a historically important machine, but for all the missteps taken here, the original brilliance still manages to occasionally shine through.

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#2 Posted by Boycie (4598 posts) -

I had 2 on pre-order to flip on ebay, but Sony seems to have made shitloads so there won't be a shortage like with the Nintendo mini's so I cancelled them.

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#3 Edited by uninspiredcup (29208 posts) -

C64 Mini where it's at.

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#4 Edited by Blackhairedhero (2352 posts) -

These games should all be backwards compatible so no thanks.

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#5 Posted by Boycie (4598 posts) -

@uninspiredcup said:

C64 Mini where it's at.

If that had been a real keyboard maybe... Way better than the Spectrum Vega though at least.

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#6 Posted by drummerdave9099 (3931 posts) -

It's an extremely disappointing lineup of games. I'll be looking into purchasing a modded one that's not missing any of the big titles.

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#7 Posted by enzyme36 (3821 posts) -

Useless tech... all these classics need to end. I cant imagine anyone actually picks these up to game anyway, and they are more of a (crowded) shelf piece.

Holding back virtual console/ psone classics to sell the games we already bought back to us in the form of these mini systems... is criminal.

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#8 Posted by Bread_or_Decide (27395 posts) -

Its the lineup of games that's the problem.

And I'm telling you, it's not as "magic" in the nostalgia as Nintendo's minis. Nobody thinks fondly back to those ugly blocky games without analog stick control.

Avatar image for uninspiredcup
#9 Edited by uninspiredcup (29208 posts) -

@enzyme36 said:

Useless tech... all these classics need to end. I cant imagine anyone actually picks these up to game anyway, and they are more of a (crowded) shelf piece.

Holding back virtual console/ psone classics to sell the games we already bought back to us in the form of these mini systems... is criminal.

See nothing wrong with classic consoles. They rekindle experiences of days past in a way roms by themselves cannot.

So long as they aren't shite, as the majority of Segas (and apparently this) tend to be.

The Sega Collections "game room" is a great gimmick though.

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#11 Posted by Boycie (4598 posts) -

@enzyme36 said:

Useless tech... all these classics need to end. I cant imagine anyone actually picks these up to game anyway, and they are more of a (crowded) shelf piece.

Holding back virtual console/ psone classics to sell the games we already bought back to us in the form of these mini systems... is criminal.

I think the classic mini serve a purpose for those that loved gaming back in the day and never really got on with gaming once the controls got more complicated.

My gf for instance loves Mario and Sonic etc but has absolutely ZERO interest in modern gaming or the fact you can emulate stuff. I once tried to explain about emulation but she fell asleep half way through.

We have both a NES\SNES classic and they get used all the time.

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#12 Edited by enzyme36 (3821 posts) -

@uninspiredcup@boycie : Dont mind me... I am still bitter that these were announced right after I shelled out 300 for a switch, and hearing loose promises about how you will get your virtual console games back. Still waiting. If you are actually into these systems for playing... I am positive you are out of inputs on our TV. Practically, they dont make sense in digital age.

Also yes.... the sega collection on steam is pretty solid, the lineup is fantastic. Looking forward to the switch port to to finally get all the Phantasy Star games on the portable... and can retire my old DS lite's gba slot.

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#13 Edited by uninspiredcup (29208 posts) -

@enzyme36 said:

@uninspiredcup@boycie : Dont mind me... I am still bitter that these were announced right after I shelled out 300 for a switch, and hearing loose promises about how you will get your virtual console games back. Still waiting. If you are actually into these systems for playing... I am positive you are out of inputs on our TV. Practically, they dont make sense in digital age.

Also yes.... the sega collection on steam is pretty solid, the lineup is fantastic. Looking forward to the switch port to to finally get all the Phantasy Star games on the portable... and can retire my old DS lite's gba slot.

Ya, Sega pretending the MS/GG don't exist is getting old.

Avatar image for Bread_or_Decide
#14 Posted by Bread_or_Decide (27395 posts) -

@boycie said:
@enzyme36 said:

Useless tech... all these classics need to end. I cant imagine anyone actually picks these up to game anyway, and they are more of a (crowded) shelf piece.

Holding back virtual console/ psone classics to sell the games we already bought back to us in the form of these mini systems... is criminal.

I think the classic mini serve a purpose for those that loved gaming back in the day and never really got on with gaming once the controls got more complicated.

My gf for instance loves Mario and Sonic etc but has absolutely ZERO interest in modern gaming or the fact you can emulate stuff. I once tried to explain about emulation but she fell asleep half way through.

We have both a NES\SNES classic and they get used all the time.

I used them both maybe one hour.

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#15 Posted by Archangel3371 (26440 posts) -

I really enjoy the NES and SNES Minis, they are currently hooked up and get played from time to time. I was thinking about getting the PS1 Mini but the more I keep thinking about it the less interested I am in wanting it. The games included aren’t really that good, with the exception of a few, and the impressions on it overall just seem to be quite “meh”.

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#16 Posted by dotWithShoes (5480 posts) -
@enzyme36 said:

Useless tech... all these classics need to end. I cant imagine anyone actually picks these up to game anyway, and they are more of a (crowded) shelf piece.

Holding back virtual console/ psone classics to sell the games we already bought back to us in the form of these mini systems... is criminal.

Idiotic opinions should be criminal too, but here we are.

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#17 Posted by Coolyfett (5867 posts) -

Coolyfett remembers when the NES Classic dropped and there was a lot of excitement for them. Coolyfett missed Generation 5 so didnt know much about PS1 & N64. Coolyfett did not think Sony was going to make a mini so he purchased a PlayStation TV and put PS1 classics on that. From the lineup the PS1 Classic is releasing, Coolyfett has only 5 of those games on the PSTV. The hardware is cute but for this line up its not worth 100$

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#18 Posted by Rockman999 (7294 posts) -

The PS Classic really wasn't needed. Sony already had a successful platform to sell PS1 games on PSN.

The mini console stuff is really for Sheep cause Nintendo is still stuck in '93 so their VC platform was woefully lacking. $60 for 20 downloadable NES games is a steal cause only sheep are dumb enough to buy NES games one a piece at $10.

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#19 Posted by Zidaneski (8731 posts) -

Hardly any games I wanted from that era are on the mini. Even if it only came with one game, legend of legaia, I would of bought it.

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#20 Edited by uninspiredcup (29208 posts) -

@boycie said:
@uninspiredcup said:

C64 Mini where it's at.

If that had been a real keyboard maybe... Way better than the Spectrum Vega though at least.

I like the design of that. Shame about everything else.

Good thing about the C64 mini, lets you use external games with no messing about. Alot of the C64 licenses, nobody even knows who owns them now as back then it was such a homebrew approach.

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#21 Posted by KBFloYd (21066 posts) -

720P? jesus sony.

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#22 Posted by Techhog89 (3091 posts) -
@boycie said:
@uninspiredcup said:

C64 Mini where it's at.

If that had been a real keyboard maybe... Way better than the Spectrum Vega though at least.

They're making a full-size version with a keyboard.

Avatar image for Bread_or_Decide
#23 Edited by Bread_or_Decide (27395 posts) -

I may cancel my preorder...I'd rather play FF VII on switch anyway.

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#24 Posted by VFighter (4040 posts) -

@KBFloYd: If I'm not mistaken isn't that what both the nes and snes mini output to? So where's your "720p? jesus nintendo"

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#25 Posted by robert_sparkes (1755 posts) -

To be honest I didn't expect it to be as well received as the nes and snes classics. 720p shows a complete lack of effort.

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#26 Posted by worknow222 (1809 posts) -

I am up for classic consoles if A they could play the discs/ cartridges of the system or B they would let us download more games.

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#27 Posted by NathanDrakeSwag (12508 posts) -

The weak selection of games, $100 price point and non-analog controllers makes this an easy pass for me.

I still have a working PS1 too.

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#28 Posted by ProtossRushX (4709 posts) -

Dude nobody is impressed with the lineup, maybe if its hacked nad has like 50 actual good games it could be a fun novelty item with the controllers

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#29 Posted by commander (15263 posts) -

The only classic thing I would ever buy is a porsche classic.

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#30 Posted by FinalFighters (3004 posts) -

Hard Pass

i already have most of these games via the PS Store on my PS3.

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#31 Posted by Sevenizz (2213 posts) -

Easy pass for me. The playstation brand never reeled me in.

Although I did like Destruction Derby, but it’s not worth a full price for the mini. Maybe in a few years when they pop up in flea markets dirt cheap.

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#32 Posted by DocSanchez (4919 posts) -

No idea why anyone would buy this when the majority of these games have been available for next to nothing on multiple download services for well over a decade.

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#33 Posted by pyro1245 (4268 posts) -

Probably a better idea to just get the games you actually want to play on a less..... useless platform.

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#34 Posted by Vaidream45 (1434 posts) -

@uninspiredcup: woah! They are using the same emulator as I use for ps1 games. Are they at least going to upscale it to 1080? Cleans the games up as much as it can when you do that. I was hoping this would be an internal emulation like Nintendo did. Hmmm...so bad game selection, 3rd party emulation, and no dual shock? I’m definitely passing on this one.

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#35 Posted by BenjaminBanklin (3290 posts) -

Some of the games are the PAL versions. Does that mean they're 50fps? This thing sounds like a cash grab in the end. This thing isn't about "gaming" anyway, just junk to collect.

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#36 Posted by Migina (17 posts) -

It's probably the games, but watch it sell out.

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#37 Posted by 2Chalupas (6924 posts) -

@Bread_or_Decide said:

Its the lineup of games that's the problem.

And I'm telling you, it's not as "magic" in the nostalgia as Nintendo's minis. Nobody thinks fondly back to those ugly blocky games without analog stick control.

Eh, I still think pretty fondly of the JRPG's especially. There's plenty of games that didn't age well, but also plenty that did. I agree the lineup is far from ideal though. But that's the issue with all these retro consoles, 20 or even 30 games isn't really close to enough to please everyone. Esp on a console with such a vast number of games as the PS1. The SNES and NES should have had closer to 100 games, the games are so tiny they should have basically included every single game they had the code for and that didn't have legal/license issues. The PS1 was going to be more storage limited, but they still should have targeted a higher number - and i bet they could have padded it with some games that had smaller ROM's. 2D games tend to be smaller AND hold up better.

@DocSanchez said:

No idea why anyone would buy this when the majority of these games have been available for next to nothing on multiple download services for well over a decade.

Yep, I don't know how many PS1 games I have available to DL on my PS3, but it's alot more than 20, I already have a handful of that 20 plus a bunch of others. There are well over 200 PS1 games available digitally. Of course if they ever "cut off" the PSN for PS3 users then you have to actually have those games backed up on the console. They better have some sort of "backwards compatibility" solution for PS4 or PS5 before that happens.

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#38 Edited by Zaryia (6703 posts) -

Emulation still best on PC.

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#39 Posted by qx0d (140 posts) -

The problem is the games. Instead of PS1-defining classics like Tomb Raider, Silent Hill, Resident Evil 2 and 3, etc, it has games like Cool Boarders 2, Destruction Derby, etc. I was surprised to see Rainbow Six on the list, it looked so unexpected and out-of-place.

It's just not the games most people want.

People want what the name says, they want classic PS1 games, not a lot of mediocre games. And 20 is not that many. They should've at least had 40 and they all be classics.

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#40 Posted by Vaidream45 (1434 posts) -

Oh man I just saw that UI and it’s terrible. Also just to add salt they don’t include the usb ac adapter. Oh and the controllers are usb but it’s closed to only accept the crappy non dual shock controller included. I’m starting to think Sony outsourced this to another company like Sega did with At Games. This is not up to Sony’s usual standards at all.

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#41 Posted by cainetao11 (35689 posts) -

I have a fully BC PS3 so Im not interested in this trash.

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#42 Posted by Gatygun (1297 posts) -

Why people even buy this junk is beyond me.

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#43 Posted by PC_Rocks (1434 posts) -

Wow, they didn't even bother to emulate it themselves and just copied a free Emulator on PC.

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#44 Posted by goodzorr (411 posts) -

My release day PS3 still works and I have a decent whack of PS1/PS2 games I can play on that, so for me this seems a waste of time. Unlesssssss, it's significantly quieter than my jet engine powered PS3 haha.

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#45 Posted by Bread_or_Decide (27395 posts) -

@zaryia said:

Emulation still best on PC.

Thieves.

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#46 Posted by Zaryia (6703 posts) -
@Bread_or_Decide said:
@zaryia said:

Emulation still best on PC.

Thieves.

Better than PS Classic. I own all of those games for decades now.

Avatar image for uninspiredcup
#47 Edited by uninspiredcup (29208 posts) -

@Bread_or_Decide said:
@zaryia said:

Emulation still best on PC.

Thieves.

True. But he's still right. It is significantly better, they put more effort into it and refine it over years.

Sega, instead of pulling a Nintendo going round trying to close sites, added a "Sega Room", improved the quality of the roms, and added online multilayer games to games like Streets Of Rage, as well as the ability to mod games.

And here we have a much bigger, more successful company, just shitting crap out for it's game-changing console that got them where they are now.

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#48 Posted by X_CAPCOM_X (8274 posts) -

The lazy UI and use of open-source software is just absolutely shameful. What a horrible way to reintroduce a legacy. Nintendo got it right with their "mini" console.

@uninspiredcup said:
@Bread_or_Decide said:
@zaryia said:

Emulation still best on PC.

Thieves.

True. But he's still right. It is significantly better, they put more effort into it and refine it over years.

Sega, instead of pulling a Nintendo going round trying to close sites, added a "Sega Room", improved the quality of the roms, and added online multilayer games to games like Streets Of Rage, as well as the ability to mod games.

And here we have a much bigger, more successful company, just shitting crap out for it's game-changing console that got them where they are now.

Also this. While Nintendo did their "minis" better than Sony, they are still second to Sega in this regard.

Avatar image for Wasdie
#49 Posted by Wasdie (53576 posts) -

I've not been very impressed with the thing either. Medicore game selection, especially with how amazing the PS1's library is, and poor emulation is a downer.

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#50 Posted by PSP107 (17284 posts) -

@worknow222 said:

I am up for classic consoles if A they could play the discs/ cartridges of the system or B they would let us download more games.

Game, Set and Match.

The majority of the games NES/SNES mini and PSclassic have suck. So it would of been nice if you could add to the library.

We have orginal systems anyway.