The PlayStation Classic is less than a week away from release, bringing with it 20 games from the era of the console, along with an interactive menu, two PS controllers and a sleek build that looks like it’d fit right in with your game library.
That said...some early reviews have been less than positive. In fact, some outlets believe that Sony may have missed the point with its debut plug-and-play system, which is plagued by a myriad of issues that may be hard to overlook.
So what reasons are there to keep you from picking up the system at launch? Here’s a round-up of the largest issues, based on what we’ve seen from several reviews.
How hard can it be to make games appear at a proper resolution on your television screen? Apparently, to Sony, it’s pretty hard. Some reviews have pointed out how some games display at 50Hz compared to the standard 60Hz, meaning that they’re running off of the PAL format rather than the traditional NTSC.
This only affects half of the game’s releases on the Classic, such as Tekken 3, Grand Theft Auto, Cool Boarders 2 and Battle Arena Toshinden. But this is apparently a big deal when it comes to reaction time with some games.
For instance, with this Ars Technica review, the reviewer noted that “the slight timing change does seem to affect the tight move timings in a game like Tekken 3.” As a result, some fighting and action games may feel “off.”
Sony didn’t provide an explanation as to why they went with this option, other than possibly rushing the unit out to make its December release date. But it’s somewhat inexcusable, especially for those that wanted a “perfect” PlayStation experience with the games involved.
The PlayStation Classic does come with two old-school PlayStation controllers, emulating the original models that came with the console when it launched. And to some, they’re novel choices when it comes to certain games.
However, the lack of any kind of DualShock support is throwing some reviewers off. In fact, a couple even noted that games such as Metal Gear Solid and Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six are unplayable with the standard D-pad, in comparison to the analog stick on the DualShock. And we can only imagine what kind of trouble you’d have with games that require even more precision.
While not everyone is going to mind the lack of DualShock support, there are some folks that prefer that to the original pads. And, alas, Sony isn’t offering the new controllers with the PlayStation Classic. So you’re either stuck with the past design, or nothing at all. For some folks, it’s an easy choice.
With the PlayStation Classic, you kind of expect a package that covers the era of the original console, including items that highlight what made the era so unbeatable, such as instruction manuals or museum pieces taken right out of the era of “U R NOT RED E.” Alas, we don’t get them.
In fact, the PlayStation Classic appears to be plainly put together. Even the main menu where you select the games that are on hand is as basic as they come, with barely any descriptive terms of what they’re about, or even an attract screen. Instead, you just pick and choose.
For some that prefer simplicity from their system, this isn’t a dealbreaker. But considering Sony made serious bank from the PlayStation in its time, you’d think that it would be more in the mood to celebrate the era, rather than just put something simple together. This adds more possible proof that the PlayStation Classic was rushed to market.
The PlayStation Classic console in itself is sleekly built, with a design similar to the original system, but with a 40 percent shrunken down (and sturdy) build. It’s pretty cool. However, some reviewers had issues with what else was -- and wasn’t -- included.
First off, the controller cords that come with the peripherals are questionably short, measuring about a meter and a half. This harkens back to an issue with the NES Classic controllers, where you had to sit near the system in order to comfortably play games. It’s not the end of the world, as Playstation 1 controllers were almost the same length. But still -- an extendable option should’ve been offered.
And then there’s the lack of a power cable. There is a USB cable that you can plug into a nearby device, but there’s no AC adapter. And this is something that has irked a lot of folks, considering it costs, what, a few bucks extra to throw in there? We have a feeling a lot of folks are going to be angry about this come Christmas day.
And finally, we have the big point of the system that has turned off a lot of players -- the selection of games. Thanks to licensing issues, it’s pretty easy to see why we don’t have obvious favorites like Crash Bandicoot or Spyro the Dragon. But it seems odd that some other titles were left out for no reason at all.
For instance, why no Warhawk? Here’s an action game that truly defined the PS era. And maybe Twisted Metal 2: World Tour instead of the first game, since it was a bigger hit on the market. And we could go on about others like Jet Moto, Klonoa: Door To Phantomile, WipEout, Ridge Racer, Namco Museum and others being left out.
There are some decent games here, like Jumping Flash!, Intelligent Qube and Syphon Filter, but enough to sell a plug-and-play system? Some may argue otherwise.
Now, there is the possibility that, like the NES and SNES Classic, this could be hacked to make room for other games. Thus, why you may want to wait to see what can be done with it. Who knows, hackers may actually create a more memorable UI and game library than Sony ever could. And that may be the thing that will justify investment in the system.1comments
As it stands, some critics like the nostalgia, but they aren’t too fond by the lack of features and good game emulation. It’s something Sony may want to keep in mind if they ever consider working on a PlayStation 2 Classic.
The PlayStation Classic releases on December 3 for $99.99.