December 30, 2018

The New PS1 Mini Angers Some, but Will Still be Huge Success

Gabi Weiss ‘20
Image result for ps1 mini

In 1994, after a deal with Nintendo failed to come to fruition, Sony released the first PlayStation to critical acclaim. One of the most technologically advanced systems at the time of its release, the PS1 went on to sell over 100 million units worldwide, the first console to ever do so.
Now, almost 25 years after the system’s initial release, Sony has announced that a miniaturized version of the console will be released – including 20 full, classic games. Titles include gems such as “Final Fantasy VII,” “Tekken 3,” “Wild Arms,” “Ridge Racer Type 4” and the cult classic “Jumping Flash.” Fifteen more games are still unconfirmed, but fans have speculated about titles such as “Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2” and “Metal Gear Solid” potentially being among the list of games on the system.
The PlayStation Classic isn’t the first console to be released with retro games for newer gamers; far from it. Corporations like Atari and Sega have been releasing “flashback” consoles for years, partnering with distribution companies like AtGames, who handle the emulation and software. It was only recently, however, that the trend really started to hit the mainstream, with Nintendo’s NES Classic Edition mini taking the gaming world by storm. Nintendo followed up with the announcement and release of the SNES Classic Edition mini, and with both systems nearly selling out only days after their respective releases, it seems that a new wave of Classic mini consoles would take the market by storm, which is exactly what the PlayStation Classic is poised to do.
The system is approximately 80 percent smaller than its original counterpart, weighing only 170 grams, almost an eighth of the weight of the original. The system, unlike some of the other retro consoles, does not have any way to play games meant for the original system aside for the 20 that will be pre-packaged. So if gamers want to play one of the games from the original console on a higher-resolution, faster model and that game is not on the list of 20 pre-packaged games, they can’t. While a deal-breaker for some, the lineup of games will surely be enough to entice gamers who have never seen the original system.
The original PlayStation was a cultural icon. It was the one of the first gaming systems to use 3D graphics and the first 3D graphic console to hit the mainstream. It also brought Sony into the console market, beginning a legacy of PlayStation systems that is continued to this day, with the recent PS4 Pro. Most gamers of the era, however, associate the original playstation with an immense lineup of classic games, from mascot platform games such as “Crash Bandicoot” and “Spyro,” to sprawling role-playing games such as “Final Fantasy VII,” to thrillers such as the critically-acclaimed “Metal Gear Solid,” and even 2D platform games such as “Castlevania: Symphony of the Night.” The PlayStation Classic has so much potential remaining in the 15 unannounced games.
There is some backlash to the Classic, however. Dedicated Sony fans point out that the PlayStation 4 is already compatible with many classic Sony titles. The system, they say, is not worth the price. Others argue that the system’s games have aged especially poorly in comparison to the Nintendo classics. The original PS1’s mere 2MB system memory and 500KB texture memory led to many games having pixelated, low-poly graphics that will not look very good at all, especially on large, modern TVs. Some have also complained that the PlayStation Classic does not support any controllers with analog sticks. This means that fan-favorite games such as “Ape Escape” and a variant of “Resident Evil 2,” which had required analog sticks, will not be playable on the system, to the disappointment of their fanbases.

The PlayStation Classic will include two PS1-styled controllers, an HDMI cable and a microUSB-to-USB cable for power. It will go on sale for $99.99 on December 3 and is currently available for pre-order.


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