The verdict is in: the PlayStation Classic falls short of expectations.

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24 years after the release of the original PlayStation, the PlayStation Classic has arrived, although not to fanfare or critical acclaim. It turns out that despite being more powerful than its full-sized counterpart, the PlayStation Classic is an example of how newer things aren’t always better.

Digital Foundry report that, while an attractive package on the outside (complete with 3 fully working buttons on the actual console and a controller that resembles the original non-DualShock controller), the Classic just isn’t good on the inside. Sure, the game selection on offer is interesting and full of decent titles, but any positives of the console are weighed down by the negatives.

The classic is limited to 720p output, but has no filters, scanlines, or adjustments available. It’s also locked to RGB full range. When you first start up a game, you’ll be instantly hit by several display issues – most notably, the image quality is extremely blurry as a result of poor scaling and heavy filtering. It doesn’t help that 9 of the available games are the PAL versions, meaning that they run slower and tend to lag during gameplay. There’s also audio issues galore – the music randomly slows down during parts of Final Fantasy 7 and Ridge Racer Type 4 randomly has sudden glaring reverb.

One of the most significant problems is performance. The Classic is powered by open-source software, utilising PCSX Rearmed. PCSX Rearmed is a widely available arm port of the PCSX emulator and it’s not a ‘great one’ for a retail product like this. PAL games, such as Tekken 3, run slower than their original counterpart. Grand Theft Auto seems to run just below 20fps, making it feel ‘borderline unplayable’. Ridge Racer Type 4, while an NTSC game, has a bad framerate and has a noticeable slowdown on PSC that isn’t there in the original game. These issues all combine to paint an overly negative picture of the games, meaning that if you’re purchasing the Classic in order to experience some sweet childhood nostalgia, you’ll wind up with a subpar experience.

Despite all this, if you can look past the wide variety of issues, there is still fun to be had. I’m not too sure what fun there is, and Digital Foundry wouldn’t recommend replacing your original PlayStation with the Classic, but it looks cute and it could always double as a fairly fancy paperweight.

Source: Digital Foundry

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