Hands-on with PlayStation Classic

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Hands-on with PlayStation Classic

System UI, virtual memory card management and more detailed ahead of 3rd December release

PlayStation Classic

“This thing is tiny!” That was my first thought upon meeting PlayStation Classic in the flesh. It’s around the size of a small paperback novel. It even fit snugly it into my back pocket. It’s slim, trim, and charmingly reflects the visual look of the original PlayStation in almost every way.

Next came the controller, a recreation of the model that launched alongside PlayStation. I wrapped my hands around it, and the feel of those ergonomic grips sent me tumbling back to 1995, when I was huddled in a friend’s basement playing Battle Arena Toshinden for the first time. The directional pad felt a bit more comfortable to me, but otherwise, it was almost a carbon copy of the original controller.

I turned on the PlayStation Classic system and was pleased to see the original opening screen, compete with the teeth-rattling original system sound. Here, I noticed the logo was updated to Sony Interactive Entertainment. How things change!

PlayStation Classic
PlayStation Classic | Full Gallery

Then I browsed the 20 pre-loaded titles, a lineup that includes essential classics like Final Fantasy VII, Metal Gear Solid, and Tekken 3. While navigating through the UI — which is charmingly rendered with a lower-res aesthetic circa 1995 — each title depicts its original year of release, publisher, and the number of players supported.

I moved to the memory card management screen and encountered a UI that appeared to be nearly identical to its original incarnation… right down to that rainbow-hued Delete button.

Speaking of memory cards, PlayStation Classic adds some nice quality-of-life improvements in regards to saving game progress. At any time, you can press the Reset button on the system to exit your game and return to the main menu. Pressing the Reset button creates a Resume Point, which means you can play another game and return later to pick up your progress.

You can also use in-game save functionality to create traditional save files on the unit’s virtual memory card. In a nice touch, each game can accommodate 15 save slots’ worth of save files, so you’ll have plenty of headroom.

PlayStation ClassicPlayStation Classic

Meanwhile, the system’s Open button has limited application, and is solely used to change “discs” in multi-disc games like Final Fantasy VII and Metal Gear Solid. It’s a cool touch and well implemented.

Then I fired up Twisted Metal, Grand Theft Auto, Jumping Flash, and a few other titles. Overall, the games played as I remembered them, 4:3 aspect ratio and all. I noticed that some of games on PlayStation Classic are sourced from PAL (European) versions of the games, with the remainder being NTSC (American) versions.

Overall, PlayStation Classic’s cute formfactor, nostalgic interface, and overall ease of use point to a well-designed trip down 32-bit lane.

Let me know if you have any questions, and I’ll do my best to answer in the comments!

PlayStation Classic

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  • Was there video filters to simulate CRT or the likes? You mention PAL games, that worries me, some of those ran at 50Hz instead of the full 60Hz what is the situation here? Thanks

  • Few Things that’d be nice to know:

    “At any time, you can press the Reset button on the system to exit your game and return to the main menu. Pressing the Reset button creates a Resume Point, which means you can play another game and return later to pick up your progress.” – So one Save State per Game?

    Are Save States (not virtual saves) permanent?

    Any Info on what Games are sourced from PAL?

    Given that the controller ports SEEM to be normal USB ones, any chance that PS3/PS4 Controllers may work with the Classic? Maybe adding DualShock and Analogue Control where supported?

    Any system wide options? Maybe faster-loading & Texture Filtering Options like they were built into the PS2?

  • QUESTION! Can we play the games in streched screen mode, I like this so we can use the full tv screen.

    • I’m guessing that you could override the automatic TV settings (that puts the video in 4:3 format) to manually stretch the image.

    • If you were an absolutely despicable person, you mean? Stretching out 4:3 to widescreen? No no no no no no no.


      No no no.

      Why on earth!?

    • @Alex79uk Why on earth?

      Well looks like maybe because earth is flat. I mean also stretched!


      But of course I can’t imagine to play 4:3 stretched to 16:9 for longer than a few seconds… and only on the black loading screen ;)

    • I totally agree with you here! Playing 4:3 games with streched 16:9 aspect ratio is like raping your eyes! These classics need to be played how they were originally intended to be played. Yes, black borders aren’t nice but that’s the way it is.

  • Looks like that’s USB ports in the front of the console. Would it be possible to use a wireless PS4 controller if you got a Bluetooth dongle to connect with?

    • That would be nice. I’m actually surprised that the first iteration of PS controllers was used, instead of a Dual Shock, which was also introduced with compatibility for these games. Bluetooth would be a nice finishing touch to to put retro into modern times.

    • Unlikely, as the device itself would still need drivers for the dongle.

    • Yes but maybe just the standard buttons would work. DS was heavier and felt just better in hands.

  • Why would you use pal versions? No one is ok with that. That is horrible

    • Matter of taste I guess? NTSC had better framerate, since it supported 60Hz where PAL only 50Hz. That allowed for higher resolutions on PAL games though. Both things could have been noticed back in the day. Both had their cons and pros.

    • Because this is PAL territory, duh.

    • @Viryu The number of PAL PSOne games with a “higher resolution” than their NTSC equivalent is almost zero. In most cases the higher resolution of PAL was used to show black bars at the top and bottom of the screen, which had the additional effect of altering the aspect ratio, squishing the image vertically. There were essentially no “pros” to PAL on PSOne.

    • Because the ones making decisions are idiots.

  • Nope. Would much prefer PS1 support on the PS4 and it’s insane that it still hasn’t happened after all these years. Foolish mortals…

    • Agree with this. I have a bunch of PS1 games owned on PSN I’d love to be able to play on the PS4. I can’t be bothered getting my PS3 out to play them, so use the Vita, which isn’t always ideal depending on the controls. Add to this for some ridiculous reason there are still PS1 games you can get on the store which don’t allow you to play on Vita. Theme Park and Theme Hospital, Resident Evil 2… I can’t think of a single reason for locking Vita out, but they have done.

    • The reason some of them aren’t playable on the Vita might be down to the emulator not working with them, or causing some errors. The PS3’s emulator didn’t work properly with some disk based games, like DoA and the disk based FF VIII.

    • Resident Evil 2 is perfect on Vita.

  • Waste of money. [DELETED]

  • Posts “Let me know if you have any questions, and I’ll do my best to answer in the comments!”



  • This is a good post. It’s nice to see a a hands-on preview before release so that I can confirm a purchase. ‘The directional pad felt a bit more comfortable to me’, that’s very interesting to know because I was concerned that the D-pad would be a real problem with 3D games. 50hz screen refresh for PAL EU region games was another question I had in mind, too. If it is only a few games that are in the PAL format I’m not too disappointed. In fact, I am closer to pre-ordering a PS Mini console now.

    Question: Does anyone know if the neat ‘Dinosaur Demo’ which showed off the 3D capabilities of the little grey box be included on the main menu UI? That would be cool.

  • I’m now debating whether to cancel my pre-order. On one hand I love the look of the unit as it brings back memories of first picking mine up from Dixon’s on September 29th, 1995. On the other hand the game selection seems questionable and, from what I’ve read elsewhere, the emulation isn’t the best.

  • This had better allow us to add games on. The line-up is pathetic.

    Could have used real classics, Spyro, Crash, WIpeout. Literally all of those could be played with the original controller.

  • I’m assuming you can extend the controllers with a normal USB extension cable (only 1.5m why?? Who sits this close to their TV??). If so, doesn’t that result in the plastic cap on the end of the cord hanging in the middle of the cable, or can it be clipped onto the extension?

    I might cancel my pre-order. 50Hz PAL, yuck. Have we not suffered enough?

    • I can’t understand it either… why make them so short as i don’t think it is the cost related issue. Maybe it’s just a cultural thing, you know Japanese gamers sitting so close to their TV’s :D

    • The cable is probably only 1.5m to mimic the original PS1 controller cables (which were even shorter than that, and even shorter in the original launch console). Or something along those lines..

  • One feature which would have been nice would have been to have the memory card slots actually read memory cards (it may do this but it’s not listed). That way progress from the original titles could be used. The PS3 had cheap USB PS1/PS2 memory card readers available so it wouldn’t be expensive.

    15 save files only seems a bit limiting. For games like RR4 you need the slots for the decal editor and other things, and for FF VII you can have loads of saves!

  • I would love to see the somekind of backward feature so that we can play PS2 and PS3 games on PS4 there are some games that i missed from that era that i would try and some that i want return to and i think that would be nice. This PlayStation classic is nice looking thing but i think it will be mostly be brought by colectors who will keep them displayed and thats shame but i hope it gets picked up by younger generations who didn’t have the chance to play it and are curious where and how the PlayStation story started…

  • Internal hard drive storage amount?

    • Probably not going to be more than 16gb, as that’s more than they need.

      PS1 disk images are up to 700mb, but can be as low as 30mb. The 20 Memory cards and restore points are going to be a few mb.

  • Sony on why the Vita failed “people don’t want dedicated devices anymore”

    Here have a micro console for a handful of games we could just release on the PS4 anyway. o_0

  • Regarding the 50hz PAL versions concern – One thing I think we forget a lot in the UK is that the PAL versions often have language options above just English. This may be why Sony is still looking to use PAL versions in the Playstaion Classic.

    Interestingly, the open source emulator that the device uses has the ability to force 50hz games to play in 60hz, and not mess up timings, music, FMV etc. However, it doesn’t work on all games, and whether this function is actually going to be used in the PlayStation Classic is another question.

    My hope is that Sony are trying to please as many people as they can here by having PAL games forced into 60hz, so Europe gets language selection options, and where doing that would cause issues, we get an NTSC version instead. All games would be in 60hz therefore, and some would have beneficial language options for Europe.

    That would explain why some games are PAL and others are NTSC versions.

    If this is the case, that’s great! If someone from Sony c…

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  • To everyone who has any questions about this PS1 Classic, the answer is YES, as soon as this devices will be hacked, which will be fast, seeing as people behind this are lazy as hell and decided just to use a random ARM based board like Raspberry Pi thrown in an open source PS1 emulator PCSX ReARM, make a custom shell and menu and sell it for 99$.

    This is just a quick cash grab and nothing else, i may buy one after it’s hacked.

    • Same here _o/ thinking of buying one only to wait for the patch. Launch december 3rd – I guess by the end of the year there will be a patch. After that I´ll squeeze all the PS1 Wipeout-games there and then it is perfect. [I have all of them as 100% real physical PS1-discs]

  • Will we see more ps1 games for the ps classic in the future or is it just those 20 games that we are getting i mean i have looked at it and I am not impressed.

  • Look at all the “big brains” at work! How about: if youre a retro gamer and enthusiast, sit back and enjoy the retro gaming and all that it is and quit crying because this mini console isn’t designed to be a PS4, period…

    or B. Just dont buy it

    Problem solved!

  • ” I noticed that some of games on PlayStation Classic are sourced from PAL (European) versions of the games, with the remainder being NTSC (American) versions.”

    No buy then, what idiot added the PAL versions…

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