PlayStation Mini – Amazing or out of ideas?

And while I initially jumped on the HYPE train, now that I’ve slept on it, I’m getting less and less excited.

Disappointing lineup announced so far

It is exactly that. Jumping Flash, while groundbreaking at the time (pun intended), has aged poorly and never seems to make the PlayStation top 20 lists. Wild Arms is a solid RPG that in 1997 was quickly usurped by the incredible Final Fantasy VII (in my opinion, the only standout game in these initial five). Ridge Racer Type 4 is a fun but limited racing game that pales in comparison to Gran Turismo, TOCA, Colin McRae, etc. Tekken 3 is a good game, but my gut says that its predecessor should have been given a thumbs up (more fun, and I don’t much care for Tekken Force).

The other thing to note is that the developers here are Namco, which was Squaresoft (now Square Enix, of course), and Sony Computer Entertainment. This suggests minimal third party involvement in the total lineup, will there be any of the big titles created by Capcom or Konami? Only time will tell.

no double shock

Really. And the inclusion of the Ridge Racer Type 4 (which, as many have pointed out, was designed with analog in mind) is perplexing to add to the mix with this in mind. The reasoning behind this could be more covert than we anticipated. Of course, less plastic equals less cost, that much goes without saying, but it’s not like the Dual Shock was a last-minute introduction to the lifecycle of the original PlayStation. By removing the analog capability, the drive has drivers that are not compatible with any other device (they seem to have a custom accessory instead of USB). Imagine if you bought this for £89.99 and it came with two controllers that used USB connectivity and were PS4 compatible. I don’t think Sony’s finance department is particularly happy about it.

£89.99 and does not include adapter

Minor compared to my other points, and we all have hundreds of Android adapters lying around the house, but another corner cut to ensure the RRP of the product doesn’t exceed £100.

Fewer chances to hack and include as many games as you want

Nintendo, on purpose or not, has made its NES and SNES mini easy to hack and there seem to be several ways to hack each unit. Clarification on the internal memory of each drive would be helpful here, but even with a standard 16 or 32GB SD, this allows for entire NES and SNES libraries to be added. The PlayStation is a CD-based system, of course, with CD-quality sound. Any emulation fanatic will tell you that even one-disc PS games will set you back 400-700MB, and my recent download of FF7 from the PS Store weighed in at just over 1GB. Therefore, there is a real possibility that the drive’s storage will be entirely occupied by the 20 anticipated titles.

The drive does not have USB plugs (that I know of), unlike the C64 Mini, which removes the ability to store and play ROMs from an external flash drive or the like. The only way to get in seems to be the power outlet, which is more of a hassle, but I’m sure it’s not impossible for some of you.

Why have they done this?

Why not! Christmas is coming and we retrogamers need things to put on our lists. It’s an official collectible product of a much-loved console and you’d be foolish not to jump on the bandwagon, which Sony is used to (hard?).

What else could they have done with this console?

Many of the announced improvements would be solved by buying a slim Vita or PSP… Joking aside, a key issue is the addition of HDMI output only. True fans will point out that this was not how the original console was enjoyed, and it will also lessen the fog of many of the console’s 3D titles, thus exposing how many of them have aged poorly over the years.

Will I get one?

Maybe. The fact is that PS titles are available to buy for free for Sony handhelds and if you were to buy a second-hand PSOne and those five titles mentioned, it would probably cost you less than £90.

It’s clear that the remaining 15 tba titles will have a big impact on those sitting close like me, but given the likely shallow net when it comes to third-party involvement, I’m not holding out much hope. Will Sony risk putting some of the console’s rarest titles in there? Or keep the bread and butter of popular titles? Roll in December.

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