Modern gaming is an incredible place technologically, and in the scale and depth of what is offered – but few gaming experiences are as powerful as the first ones to embed themselves in your memory.
The PlayStation Classic is Sony’s play on a strategy started by Nintendo two years ago – miniature remasters of classic consoles that come soaked with nostalgia to trigger the memories.
The £90 Classic comes with 20 games preloaded, including the original titles from some modern-day heavyweight series including Metal Gear Solid and Grand Theft Auto, as well as cult favourites such as Final Fantasy VII.
There can be endless debate over the final 20 to make the console, depending on taste, but those that have made the cut offer a broad spectrum of some of the biggest and best titles released on the platform.
In terms of craftsmanship, it is identical to the original PlayStation console, just 45% smaller. All three of the main buttons from the original console are not only working buttons on the Classic, they each have a function too.
The Power button is still used to turn the console on and off, while the Reset button returns players to the menu screen when in a game – creating a resume point save in the process. The Open button has been repurposed – no longer needed to open the disc tray, it’s now used to jump between virtual discs.
This is relevant for games such as Final Fantasy VII and Metal Gear Solid, which originally shipped with multiple physical discs. To replicate the authenticity of that experience, the Classic asks players to switch between virtual discs at the same point as in the original games.
The Classic comes with two wired, original PlayStation controllers, with half of the 20 games supporting split-screen multiplayer.
The set-up is straightforward as well, with an HDMI cable in the box to connect the console to a TV, alongside a USB power cable – although it should be noted that a plug is not provided, and users will need to source one themselves.
The games have also been recreated with loving accuracy, with menu sound effects – for example, the responses and noises Abe makes in the menu screen of Oddworld: Abe’s Oddysee – and other long-forgotten moments flooding back as you play.
There is no doubt Sony has recaptured the spirit of the original PlayStation, and in the process created something that will resonate with many gamers who can remember the console first time around.
In short, all the little touches are here to make using the Classic an enjoyable trip down memory lane, physically as well as from a gaming perspective.
Sony has clearly put time and effort into creating and honing this experience, and by all accounts it has succeeded.
It has a higher price tag than either of Nintendo’s classic consoles, but the size and more detailed nature of the some of the pre-installed games accounts for much of that increase.
There is every chance the PlayStation Classic will be the must-have toy of Christmas 2018.