PlayStation Classic Mini console

PlayStation Classic Mini console (Image: SONY)

The PlayStation Classic Mini is Sony’s attempt to cash in on the retro console craze kickstarted by Nintendo.

Clearly inspired by the success of the NES and SNES Mini, the PlayStation Classic is a miniature replica of Sony’s first foray into console gaming, the PSOne.

And just like its Nintendo forebears, the PlayStation Classic Mini is guaranteed to put a smile on your face when you get it out of the box and boot it up.

Small enough to fit in the palm of your hand, Sony’s bite-sized PSOne replica is an adorable console that really looks the part.

It comes with two wired controllers, a HDMI cable to connect to your TV and 20 built-in games. 

It looks like the PSOne, the controllers feel like they did back in the 1990s, and that original PlayStation startup intro will leave you feeling warm and fuzzy inside.

Unfortunately, however, while the PSOne Classic isn’t short of charm, it is short on quality, suffering from some of the same problems as the NES and SNES Mini – and then some.

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Undoubtedly the biggest problem is the games list, which feels far from definitive.

There’s no room for bonafide PlayStation classics like Wipeout, Crash Bandicoot, or Tomb Raider, but there is room for the terrible Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six, which isn’t a game I’d associate with the PSOne.

Where’s Wipeout? Where’s Gran Turismo, Spyro and PaRappa the Rapper? We’d take Legacy of Kain, MediEvil or even Pandemonium over Rainbow Six.

It’s understandable that licensing issues and other problems may have prevented a few firm favourites from making the list, but the sheer number of high-profile absentees is unforgivable. 

It’s a real shame, because there are some gems to be found on the PSOne Classic.

PlayStation Classic Mini

PlayStation Classic Mini (Image: SONY)

The visuals and voice acting may not be up to much – although the terrible audio is part of the charm – but Resident Evil Director’s Cut is still absolutely brilliant.

Same goes for Final Fantasy VII, which may boast the greatest soundtrack in video game history. Two of the most influential games ever made, both stand the test of time.

Then there are iconic releases like Metal Gear Solid, which is trickier to handle than we remember, but still very much worth a play.

Wild Arms is a charming JRPG – and one of the better looking games on the list – while Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo hasn’t aged a bit.

Intelligent Qube is excellent, Revelations: Persona is worth a look, and I was surprised by how well Ridge Racer Type 4 and Tekken 3 hold up. I even enjoyed the original Grand Theft Auto once I got used to the awkward controls.

Other games like Jumping Flash, Battle Arena Toshinden and Cool Boarders 2 haven’t aged anywhere near as well – which is a shame, because I used to love Cool Boarders 2.

Resident Evil and Final Fantasy VII

Resident Evil and Final Fantasy VII (Image: SQUARE ENIX CAPCOM)

Once a sign of the PlayStation’s superiority over 16-bit mainstays like the Mega Drive, the blocky, jagged visuals now look massively inferior to the sublime sprite-based offerings found in the SNES Mini’s limeup of games.

Indeed, the ugly visuals coupled with the lack of analogue sticks makes some of the 3D games difficult to play. 

Speaking of the controllers, the PlayStation Classic wires are far too short, similar to the SNES and NES Mini pads. Likewise, the PlayStation Classic doesn’t come with a USB AC adaptor, so you’ll have to supply your own.

It all adds up to the feeling that while the PlayStation Classic is a small console with bags of charm, there are big problems that stop it from reaching its potential.

PlayStation Classic Mini console

PlayStation Classic Mini console (Image: SONY)

The PlayStation Classic Mini has a December 3 release date. Here’s a look at the games list in full…

• Battle Arena Toshinden

• Cool Boarders 2

• Destruction Derby

• Final Fantasy VII

• Grand Theft Auto

• Intelligent Qube

• Jumping Flash

• Metal Gear Solid

• Mr Driller

• Oddworld: Abe’s Oddysee

• Rayman

• Resident Evil Director’s Cut

• Revelations: Persona

• Ridge Racer Type 4

• Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo

• Syphon Filter

• Tekken 3

• Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six

• Twisted Metal

• Wild Arms

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