But Where Are…?
The question many people are asking is why certain games are missing from the PlayStation Classic games list. Despite our expectations, there is no sign of Crash Bandicoot, Spyro The Dragon, Wipeout, Gran Turismo, Tomb Raider or Medieval – all major PlayStation franchises. There is the question of licensing arrangements. While Sony wouldn’t have issues arranging game rights (especially as many of the mentioned titles are Sony releases) problems arise when you look at them in more detail.
As with later games in the series, Gran Turismo features a wide range of fully licensed cars and music tracks. It’s unclear how long the license agreements last for either but it’s quite possible that one or both sets of licenses would need to be renewed for a release as part of a console. This would also explain why the game hasn’t been released digitally through the PlayStation Store. The same issues could also be affecting the original Wipeout game and its soundtrack. However, as its sequel is available to download, there is no logical explanation for its absence.
Looking at the games that are absent, there’s another common factor amongst many not included in the PlayStation Classic games list. So why are these games missing? In the case of Crash and Spyro, it could be argued that the existence of new, remastered versions would take priority over old PSOne games. However that logic would also mean that Final Fantasy VII should have been excluded as well. Similarly while not recent we have also seen HD remakes of Metal Gear Solid and Oddworld: Abe’s Oddysee. Bearing that in mind there is a very strong chance that anyone who owns any other console in the PlayStation family will own one or more of these already.
With just 20 games on offer, variety is essential. It’s understandable the Sony wanted to showcase some of the best games that the PlayStation has offered in its lifetime but the PlayStation Classic has had to deal with a couple of limitations. First are the controllers. Having digital only joypads has meant that some of the later games that need the analogue sticks have had to be omitted. Equally, there is only a finite amount of storage space on the console itself. Sony have stated that additional games can not be added to the PlayStation Classic which would indicate that internal storage is limited to the included games, the system software itself and space for save states.
That being the case choosing the right 20 games was critical. While you can’t please everyone, a balanced selection was essential. Sony needed to recognise that not all gamers enjoy the same genres. Diversity was essential from RPGs to platform games, puzzle to driving games, beat-em-ups to shooters but it doesn’t feel as if that’s really there. With no arcade shoot-em-ups or even run-and-gun titles, a single sports title and lacking some of the “must have” games it seems like a strange selection.
On closer inspection of the full PlayStation Classic games list, it doesn’t even appear to be based on the best selling PSOne titles. Comparing the the top twenty all time selling games for the PlayStation (according to Vgchartz) with the PlayStation Classic shows a vast difference with only four games appearing in both. The majority infact are outside the Top 100 games sales wise. That doesn’t mean they weren’t popular critically but they certainly weren’t the biggest releases for the platform. That does lead us to question the reasoning behind the games that are included.
obviously we don’t have a PlayStation Classic in our hands right now. Some of the games listed are true classics and have stood the test of time remarkably well. However, from playing some recently on original hardware there are some that have dated very badly and could have been better to be left out for other titles instead. As of yet we don’t know the technical specifications of the console or how the emulation is being handled but we’ll bring you a full verdict when we get our hands on one in December.