PlayStation Classic reviews are in: Here's what the critics think

Did Sony strike gold with the PlayStation Classic? Or is it just a big hunk of pyrite wrapped in a vintage-styled plastic shell? Reviews are in for the latest micro-console sensation, and the first from Sony...


Did Sony strike gold with the PlayStation Classic? Or is it just a big hunk of pyrite wrapped in a vintage-styled plastic shell?

Reviews are in for the latest micro-console sensation, and the first from Sony. Just like Nintendo's NES and SNES Classic, PlayStation Classic is a pint-sized replica of the original PlayStation (or PS One, as it is now known). It's pre-loaded with 20 games, a list that includes a mix of bona fide favorites and surprising deep cuts.

But is it any good? The $100 item is certainly adorable in the same way as Nintendo's competing products. It's also more expensive than either of those. And while the mix of games covers a wide gamut, some have criticized a few notable absences and others have pointed out that games from the PS One era aren't really worthy of "classic" status just yet.

Let's see what the critics think.
It's adorable

Michael McWhertor, Polygon

The PlayStation Classic is a cute, simple, little thing, measuring a wee 4 inches by 5.75 inches by 1.25 inches — roughly the same footprint as one of the two included PlayStation gamepads — and I love the way it looks. It’s a faithful re-creation of a classic console, on a diminutive scale.

Adam Ismail, Tom's Guide

With a footprint measuring about 6 x 4 inches, and a precision-cut plastic shell that replicates every label, button and panel gap on the original system, the PlayStation Classic couldn't possibly be any more adorable. Well, unless it were a spitting image of the PSone redesign, but we can forgive that — the 1995 profile bears more historical significance.


The reset button is a pain

Chris Kohler, Kotaku

PlayStation Classic also replicates one of the slightly annoying features of Nintendo’s boxes: To get back to the game selection menu, you have to reach over to the console itself and press the Reset button. The button that would have opened the disc drive on the actual PlayStation is functional on the Classic as well; you use it to change discs during multi-disc games. Power is still Power.

Andrew Webster, The Verge

[T]here is no home button or any way to exit a game from the controller. Every time you want to switch games, you need to get up and physically hit the reset button on the PlayStation Classic. It’s a needlessly frustrating feature, especially since it was probably the biggest issue with the NES and SNES Classics. If Sony is going to copy Nintendo’s idea, the least it could do is fix some of the problems.


But maybe that's the point

Michael McWhertor, Polygon

The PlayStation Classic has a set of virtual memory cards that store saved games, mimicking the PlayStation’s physical cards. Save states let you quickly hop out and then back into a game in progress, meaning that you won’t have to struggle to find a typewriter in Resident Evil: Director’s Cut if you’re pressed for time. Just press the Reset button on the console, and you’ll be dropped back into the game selection menu, where your game will be saved. It’s the system’s nicest feature.

Samantha Cole, Motherboard

Other reviewers have complained that having to press the physical reset button on the PS Classic console to return to the main menu and switch games, instead of using a controller button, is a pain in the ass. I agree, but again, this is arguably part of the experience.. Besides, I’m already sitting tits-close to the thing; I want to hit the button. I hit the button just for the hell of it.


It's light on features

Adam Ismail, Tom's Guide

In fact, there are no options to adjust the visuals of the 20 games whatsoever. I searched desperately to find a way to choose between sharp pixels or some kind of CRT mode, like the NES and SNES Classic allow. Given all the attention lavished on accuracy in the retro gaming scene nowadays, I'm astonished that Sony evidently made no provisions for any of that.

Chris Kohler, Kotaku

“Bare-bones” is probably the most accurate summation I can give of the PlayStation Classic so far. There are no special screen borders or graphic display options. There’s a QR code that will load up manuals on the PlayStation website, but it wasn’t functional during the preview event. There’s a screensaver option that will dim the screen after a few minutes. Even the game selection menu itself is strictly utilitarian; there’s no nostalgic theme song or other cute additions.

Most seem to agree: Games are the big missing piece

Anthony Ha, TechCrunch

[There's] something inherently awkward about where these games fall in the broader evolution of the industry: They don’t have the “classic” look or easy-to-learn gameplay of 8-bit or 16-bit Nintendo titles, but they still feel primitive by the standards of today’s consoles. So you don’t get the nostalgia hit of an older game, or the genuinely impressive visuals and depth of a new one.

Michael McWhertor, Polygon

The system is hampered by a list of games that fail to match its “classic” distinction, presumably for business reasons — licensing issues or newly released remasters, for instance. Ultimately, the absence of so many PlayStation classics detracts from the experience of the PlayStation Classic.

Adam Ismail, Tom's Guide

And then there are the games themselves, which leave the PlayStation Classic feeling like a picture-perfect representation of the worst years of an otherwise prolific body of work. The plastic shell is a nice tribute, but it rings hollow without many of the titles that defined the system.

Tristan Ogilvie, IGN

It’s basically the gaming equivalent of getting front row seats at a Guns ‘n’ Roses concert and having the band not play anything off Appetite for Destruction.

Source: Mashable



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