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blast from the past

Is Sony’s tiny PlayStation Classic this year’s must-have Christmas present?

Here's everything you need to know about Sony's micro console

The PlayStation is arguably one of the most important consoles ever created.

Now, gamers can own their very own slice of history with the new PlayStation Classic – a modern-day take on the 1994 masterpiece.

Priced at £89.99, the PS Classic comes bundled with 20 top games (more on this later), two classic controllers and is small enough to hold in one hand.

Considering one for Christmas? Here’s everything you need to know about it.

Small but mighty

The Classic is around 40 per cent smaller than the 1994 original

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The Classic is around 40 per cent smaller than the 1994 original

The PS Classic weighs roughly 170 grams (0.37 lb) and is about 149 mm × 33 mm × 105 mm (5.9 in × 1.3 in × 4.1 in) in size.

It’s approximately 80 per cent smaller in volume than the original PlayStation and 45 per cent smaller in width and length.

It connects to your TV via an HDMI cable and comes with an old-school instruction manual and packaging.

Under the bonnet, the Classic rocks an entry-level ARM Cortex A35 quad-core cluster with an integrated PowerVR GE8300 GPU and 1GB of DDR3 memory.

Add to the mix 16GB of flash storage (which replaces the old memory card) and it trumps the original PlayStation in every possible way.

At least it should do…

Emulation quality

The Classic supports 720p output, which critics say can lead to the image being blurry on large screens

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The Classic supports 720p output, which critics say can lead to the image being blurry on large screens

Some critics (including the brilliant team at Eurogamer) have pointed out that the emulation quality isn’t up to par.

Not only do some games run at slower frame-rates than on the original hardware, but they’re also displayed at 720p – which results in the image looking blurry.

This is especially frustrating, given Sony’s illustrious heritage in developing decent emulation models.

Take the PS2, for example. Its MIPS III ‘Emotion Engine’ allowed for sublime emulation of PS1 games – offering faster loading times and texture smoothing.

Even the PSP received support for PS1 games, as it shared the MIPS architecture.

Games 

The original GTA is one of the 20 games included on the system

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The original GTA is one of the 20 games included on the system

There’s a real mixed bag here, but something for everyone.

Now, this is important… No games will be added post-launch, so these are the only titles you can play on the system.

Metal Gear Solid, Grand Theft Auto and Final Fantasy VII are perhaps the picks of the bunch (and have all aged surprisingly well).

Rainbow 6 is easily the weakest game of the lot – it’s especially awful.

The full list of classic titles is below:

  • 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®

Final Fantasy VII is every bit as magical as you remember

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Final Fantasy VII is every bit as magical as you remember
  • 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 6
  • Twisted Metal
  • Wild Arms

Check out the full reveal trailer below!