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PlayStation Classic is out & receiving "Do Not Buy" recommendations (did Sony even develop it themselves?) *updated 12/5/18

Forums - Sony Discussion - PlayStation Classic is out & receiving "Do Not Buy" recommendations (did Sony even develop it themselves?) *updated 12/5/18

Sony's PlayStation Classic is set to release on December 8th.  When it was first announced, expectations were high, and a ton of people were excited and debating abou the must-have games that would inevitably fill its library.  But, the hype train on this console started to derail when Sony announced the complete list of games at the end of last month.  Entire franchises were left off the system, notably Gran Turismo, Crash Bandicoot, Tomb Raider, and Spyro the Dragon.  Some other iconic games from the PlayStation era that are noticeably absent from the Classic include Castlevania Symphony of the Night and PaRappa The Rapper.  In their place were some very odd choices that were clearly filler to round out 20 titles in as cheap a manner as possible.  The original PlayStation sold over 100 million units, yet 6 games in the PlayStation Classic's library did not sell over 1 million copies.  Meaning, a vast majority of this holiday item's target consumer base probably never even heard of some of these games.  Speaking personally, I owned a PlayStation back in the day and spent quite a lot of time on it, but I have never heard of Mr. Driller or Jumping Flash.  I didn't play or own every single game on the NES or SNES Classic library's either, but at least they were high enough profile games that I was aware of them, and so each represent a significant portion of their respective system's fan base.

Apparently though, the library selection was only the first red flag of bad things to come.  The first hands on impressions of Sony's PlayStation Classic are coming out, and they are mixed at best.  While the design aesthetic of the console itself has been praised, concerns have already been raised about the presentation of the interface and software.  The UI has been criticized.  It has been reported that each game only supports one Suspend State.  The user is not given any option to personalize their game presentation through filters, scanlines, or adjustable aspect ratios.  As a result, just how poorly many of the PlayStation era games have aged is put on full display.  Lag issues have even been brought up which is truly troubling.  It has been reported that the PlayStation Classic is run through an open-source emulator, rather than any proprietary means.  Which is truly perplexing since Sony has years of experience emulating their PS1 era titles on their numerous other hardware devices.  An interesting theory has been proposed that Sony did not even develop the PlayStation Classic in house, but instead out-sourced it to someone else.  More and more, it is becoming clear that this system was a cheap as possible holiday cash grab by Sony to get the consumers $100 with the least effort possible.  Even if not out-sourced, the laziness involved in the finished product is all too apparent.  If this system had been done right, I would have surely bought one.  I own an NES Classic, SNES Classic, ColecoVision Flashback, FC3 Plus (plays original cartridges of NES, SNES, & Genesis – which if I only cared about Nintendo games, I would have stuck with my FC Twin which only played NES & SNES carts), and was a backer of the Collectorvision Phoenix (which didn't reach fund goal, but is going to pre-order since enough interest was shown).  So, I am no stranger to Retro mini consoles.  However, I will not shell out $100 to Sony for a product that they didn’t bother to put any effort in outside of the mini console design.  

Between the final announcement of games, and the mixed reviews from the first hands-on impressions, a staggering amount of people who had previously pre-ordered this system day 1, are now announcing that they have cancelled those pre-orders.  On the other side of the coin are people who say that because the unit will inevitably be hacked, everyone should shut-up, throw their money at Sony, and be happy the thing exists.  But, consumerism doesn’t work that way.  It’s not my job to make the PlayStation Console worth owning after the fact.  It was Sony’s job to make the unit worth purchasing before it reaches the retail level.  I’m going to vote with my wallet and tell Sony that if they want me to buy a product from them, they have to actually put the effort in and entice me to do so.  It’s my hope that others do so as well.  Lazy cash grabs should not be rewarded.  

“When it comes to settings, the Classic is very barebones. The system runs at 720p with no options for alternate resolutions or aspect ratio adjustments. There are no borders or filters either--so forget about simulating the scanline look that other retro consoles offer. While scanlines are often a novelty feature for classic game bundles, many of these games haven't aged gracefully, and an option to place a filter could help make them look less harsh.

When you quit out of a game with the reset button, a suspend save point is automatically created that you can use to pick up where you left off. Unlike the NES and SNES Classic there's only one suspend save slot and each time time you reset you're asked if you want to overwrite that save.

Polygonal models hold up when scaled on a modern TV, but the same can't be said for certain UI and other static images. The rendered backgrounds in Resident Evil suffer and text in Ridge Racer Type 4 is so blown out it can be difficult to read.  Again, this is a case where a scanline filter might have helped out.

Overall our early impressions were pretty mixed. The PlayStation Classic does exactly what it's supposed to do; let you play a limited selection of PlayStation games at 720p over HDMI. However, it does feel a bit barebones, especially with the lack of DualShock controllers. 

https://www.gamespot.com/articles/the-playstation-classic-is-charming-but-it-wont-bl/1100-6463110/

“Getting the relatively crude 3D work of original PlayStation games to play nicely on modern displays was always going to be a tougher task than that 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

The game selection is, to put it politely, anaemic, with titles that made PlayStation a household name - WipEout, Gran Turismo, Tomb Raider - entirely absent.  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.

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

As for the development of the unit possibly being out-sourced, I got that theory from watching an interesting ReRez video that went up yesterday:

My apologies if I didn't embed the video properly, here's the link:

https://youtu.be/QUJaPuMEZKg  

 

Update 12/5/2018:

The PlayStation Classic is now available to the general public, and it has been receiving some savage reviews on YouTube.  In between my creation of the post and the release of this mini-console, it was revealed that Sony opted to use the PAL versions of 9 out of the 20 games on the system.  This equated to slower framerates than North American gamers remember playing their games at back in the day.  Remarkably though, even the NTSC games on the system are said to have noticeable lag and sluggish controls.  The system does not even come with a power supply.  Sony is relying on the consumer to use their own USB power supply to power the system that Sony is selling them for $100.  The problem with this?  Some purchasers are winding up with fried systems from trying out different USB that the mini console wasn't designed for.  Which is what can happen when the manufacturer relies on the consumer to supply their own parts to make the product they bought operable.  So many corners have been cut with this mini console, it's an easy no buy for me.  I really hope this thing bombs rather than cash in on unsuspecting people's nostalgia.  At a $100 price point, there is no reason for the end product to be of a lower quality standard than the Atari minis from AtGames.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hrhUbqU7g4g   (Do NOT Buy the PlayStation Classic!! Pure Broken TRASH? - Console Review) - DreamcastGuy

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZGrVVSumjCY (The PlayStation Classic is ABSOLUTE TRASH! | RGT 85) - RGT 85

Last edited by Mandalore76 - on 05 December 2018

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It does seem it's not up to the quality of the other classic consoles, though as Eurogamer notes, it's a little more difficult to get PS1 right then Nes/Snes.

Anyway, as with the others I think these are only really collectors items, practically I have no use for them. If I wanted to emulate a game I'd do it on something I already own, or build a similar classic system with a Raspberry Pi.

It doesn't surprise me if this has been rushed out the door for the holiday season, at least it looks nice.



PS4 Pro, Nintendo Switch, PC: i5-4670k, RX470.

They never advertised it as anything else but a working PS1 in a smaller form factor.
And that's what you've got.



twintail said:
They never advertised it as anything else but a working PS1 in a smaller form factor.
And that's what you've got.

Indeed. Not Sony's fault that only now it dawns on people that the PS1 was overrated.

User was banned for this post. ~ Pemalite.

Last edited by Pemalite - on 11 November 2018

Legend11 correctly predicted that GTA IV (360+PS3) would outsell SSBB. I was wrong.

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Seems a little bit half-baked. I can accept that it doesn't do anything other than play those 20 PS1 games, but if the emulation is bad with noticeable lag then that is a deal-breaker. Hackers will probably end up improving the device considerably but that shouldn't be necessary



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Yeah, I'm disappointed. I rushed to pre-order this, thinking that Sony would deliver a great library and solid emulation. I teetered after the full roster was announced and then cancelled my order when these previews surfaced.



I honestly don't understand why anyone was/is interested in this, muppets.



Everything else I could work with, but the roster of games on the thing just killed it for me. There's just almost nothing I care about or don't already own on it, which is a shame because there are so many amazing games that they could have put there.



It's just not good. The game list already squashed any hopes I had in getting it, but now to see the other issues it has...nah. Even if it was outsourced for them to put their name on it is disappointing. It's like the SEGA and AT games situation, but obviously to a lesser extent. And if you're going to use a PS1 open source emulator...don't use PCSX. If you're going to make a product like this, at least put your best effort into it because the market that buys these things, wanting an official PS branded retro console (not a Raspberry Pi, we freaking get it) it's just kind of lackluster as a whole. Again, nowhere near the quality of AT games but still.

Some are saying that the final product might be different than what other outlets got to play and I hope that's the case.



Veknoid_Outcast said:
Yeah, I'm disappointed. I rushed to pre-order this, thinking that Sony would deliver a great library and solid emulation. I teetered after the full roster was announced and then cancelled my order when these previews surfaced.

I cancelled mine as soon as I saw the library, this just seems to justify my decision. I had two preorders for it as well, one was for collection and the other was to play. Hopefully they redo one next year or in a few years.