Sony is following in Nintendo’s footsteps and bringing back its original PlayStation console nearly 25 years after its initial release. The miniature gaming device called the PlayStation Classic, Sony announced Tuesday. The device will cost $99.99 ( €99.99 / 9,980 yen / £89.99) and, similar to Nintendo’s NES and SNES Classic consoles, will come pre-loaded with 20 “genre-defining” titles, including Final Fantasy VII, Tekken 3, and Ridge Racer Type 4. The device will launch globally on December 3rd.
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In addition to a standard mini-PlayStation, buyers will also get two classic PS1 controllers for games that support local multiplayer when they purchase the bundle. We don’t yet have a full list of games, but Sony’s press release confirms two other titles: Jumping Flash and Wild Arms.
The idea that Sony is getting into the nostalgia gaming console seems valid. However, since they don’t provide any type of backwards-compatibility, it seems like a cash grab for them. Sony hasn’t been quiet about their non-motivated move toward backwards compatibility, especially when it is one of Microsoft’s big selling points.
“When we’ve dabbled with backwards compatibility, I can say it is one of those features that is much requested, but not actually used much,” Shawn Layden, in charge of global game development at Sony, said in an interview. “That, and I was at a Gran Turismo event recently where they had PS1, PS2, PS3 and PS4 games, and the PS1 and the PS2 games, they looked ancient, like why would anybody play this?”
The Answer is Yes
Now, I grant you that this was back in June of 2017. I’m sure after the feeding frenzy of Nintendo’s NES and Super NES consoles, they saw the light. One of the big reason Microsoft is doing well with retro games versus Sony, is ease of use. If you own an Xbox 360 or original Xbox disc of the game, you can load it into your console and it does the rest of the work for you.
That isn’t to say that no one will pick up the retro console. Many people will. However, the $99 price point was how much you could get it for when the PlayStation 2 came out. I remember seeing the console for $100 on clearance when PS2 consoles were flying off the shelf. The $70 price point of the NES and Super NES consoles were more cost-effective.
However, Sony is probably doing what Nintendo should’ve done initially. Release a lot of them. I refused to scour online sites waiting to get one of those retro consoles. So, by creating an artificial demand, they lost out on potential customers. Those potential customers that would see it on the shelf and impulse buy. Now, with Sony, they will mass market the console and people will impulse buy the console and Nintendo will wonder what they did wrong.
So what I’m trying to say is, if I walk into a Best Buy and see a PlayStation One console… I’m grabbing it. Your move, Nintendo.