It was bound to happen. With Sony releasing the news of the Playstation Classic line-up, it’s no surprise that it would cause despair for some fans asking why their favourite game isn’t included. But while the Nintendo classic line-up had its fair share of that, it seems to be far greater for Sony. And honestly, it’s not that surprising.
When the console was first announced it raised a few eyebrows with its old, non-Dualshock controller, taking us way back to the beginning of the Playstation era. People suggested this could be because they plan on releasing a new, updated, Dualshock controller with another Classic console at a later date, and with the games line-up fully revealed, it just adds some more fuel to the fire.
First of all there are some games that are definitely considered iconic Playstation experiences. Resident Evil: Directors Cut, Tekken 3, Final Fantasy VII and Metal Gear Solid are all accounted for, however there are some notable absences. Most notable for myself is, how do you have a console celebrating the history of the Playstation brand and not include a Tomb Raider? Yes, like all early 3D titles they’ve aged poorly, but still, Lara Croft was for a long period of time synonymous with Sony’s console. The same can be said about Crash Bandicoot and Spyro, both of which’s absence could possibly be traced back to Activision’s need to resell remastered versions.
The Crash Bandicoot N-Sane Trilogy was huge, far surpassing anyone’s sales expectations, and with the Spyro Collection on the horizon, it’s no surprise that Activision would want to keep all of its properties close to its chest. Although I’m sure Gex was still available if Sony wanted to dig deeper into the platforming mascot archive.
Like a lot of people when it came to the original Playstation a lot of my personal memories involved more licensed fare. The big one was Tony Hawk Pro Skater 2 (another Activision product) and this is where you get into the sticky mess of re-licensing products. Not just with the skaters themselves, but with the amount of music that to be honest is just as important to the full experience. Music is a common issue, as with the arrival of the CD game format comes the ability to put some high quality licensed tracks on the soundtrack. None were more influential at the time than Wipeout. A Playstation mainstay that has been put out to pasture with the death of its original developer, it was huge for the console and to see it not included is quite sad.
Wipeout may perfectly encapsulate my feelings of this entire classic console. Desperate to capitalise on the success of Nintendo Classics range, Sony saw dollar signs in their eyes and greenlit the entire console before thinking of what licensing tasks they would need to accomplish. In the end it seems like they just found what games they could get for the most minimal effort imaginable. Well, it’s either that or they are already prepping the next Playstation Classic for 2019.
This is all subjective though. I mean, maybe for someone the original Grand Theft Auto and Rayman were just as influential as a Wipeout or Gran Turismo. I can speak for myself though and say I’m far less interested in it than I was when it was first announced. And now at the time of writing some more impressions are coming out regarding the hardware and it doesn’t sound great with input lag being a big offender and the fact that when played on our modern TV’s text can be displayed as quite blurry.
I’m sure more impressions will appear as we get closer to release, but for now, nothing here is making me press the pre-order button, and that’s a shame.