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PlayStation Mini: Incredible or Boring

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PlayStation Mini: Incredible or Boring?

So far, the lineup has been underwhelming.

That’s exactly what it is. While groundbreaking at the time (pun intended), Jumping Flash has aged poorly and never appears in anyone’s top 20 PlayStation lists. The competent RPG Wild Arms was quickly surpassed by the incredible Final Fantasy VII in 1997 (The only standout game in these initial five, in my opinion). Ridge Racer Type 4 is a fun but limited racer that pales in comparison to Gran Turismo, TOCA, Colin McRae, and other popular racing games. Tekken 3 is a good game, but my intuition tells me that its predecessor should have won (it’s more fun, and I don’t like Tekken Force).

Another thing to note is that the developers are Namco, formerly Squaresoft (of course, now Square Enix) and Sony Computer Entertainment. This suggests that there will be little third-party engagement in the overall portfolio; will there be any of Capcom or Konami’s outstanding titles? Time will only tell.

There is no Dual Shock

Seriously, and, given this, the inclusion of Ridge Racer Type 4 (which, as many have pointed out, was created with analogue in mind) is perplexing. The motive for this could be shadier than we think. Of course, less plastic means less cost; it’s a no-brainer, but the Dual Shock was not a last-minute addition to the original PlayStation’s lifecycle. Because analogue capabilities were removed, the machine now has controllers that are incompatible with any other device (it appears as though they have a custom attachment as opposed to USB). Imagine if you could get this for £89.99 and it came with two USB-connected controllers that were PS4 compatible. I doubt Sony’s finance department would be pleased with that.

£89.99 without the Adaptor

Minor compared to my other issues, since we all have hundreds of Android adaptors hanging around the home, but another cost-cutting measure to keep the RRP under £100.

There is Less Room to Hack and Integrate as Many Games as You Like

Whether by design or not, Nintendo made its small NES and SNES easy to hack, and each unit appears to have multiple hacking options. Clarification of each unit’s internal memory would be helpful here. However, even with a typical 16 or 32GB SD card, this enables the addition of whole NES and SNES libraries. Of course, the PlayStation is a CD-based system with CD-quality sound. Even one-disc PS games will set you back 400 to 700MB, according to emulation fans, and my latest download of FF7 from the PS Store came in at just over 1GB. As a result, there is a serious risk that the unit’s storage will be completely consumed by the 20 intended titles.

Unlike the C64 Mini, the gadget lacks USB connections (as far as I can determine), removing the ability to store and play ROMs from an external flash drive or similar. The only way in appears to be through the power socket, which is more difficult but not impossible for some of you great folks.

Why Did They Do This?

So why not? Christmas is approaching, and we retrogamers need items for our wish lists. It’s a collectible official product of a beloved console, and they’d be foolish not to jump on the bandwagon, as Sony is accustomed to (harsh?).

What Else may This Console Have been Used for?

Many of the alleged benefits might be resolved by purchasing a Vita or a slimline PSP. Aside from that, a crucial question revolves around the addition of HDMI out only. True fans will point out that this isn’t how the original console was played, and it will also reduce the fog in many of the platform’s 3D titles, revealing how many of them have aged poorly over time.

Will I Receive One?

Maybe. The fact is that PlayStation titles are readily available for purchase for Sony’s portable devices, and if you picked up a used PSOne and the five titles mentioned, you’d probably pay less than £90.

It is obvious that the remaining 15 TBA titles will have a significant impact. I’m on the fence, but given the likely narrow net in terms of third-party involvement, I’m not holding out much hope. Will Sony take the risk of including some of the console’s rarer titles? Or should you stick to the tried-and-true titles? Come on, December.


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