Believe it or not, the PlayStation Classic has finally come around to being a good purchase. Sony's much-maligned miniature console that celebrates one of the greatest devices in the history of the industry was inexplicably a let down when it released late last year, thanks in part to a small and overly-niche library coupled with software that was basically just an emulator being housed in a fancy PS1 cosplay.
The results were staggering - Sony's miniature console was by far the worst-performing one since they began being popularized by Nintendo, and will likely lag behind Sega's offering when all is said and done as well. For a collector's item that seemed impossible to strike out on, Sony somehow managed to do just that, flying in the face of the NES and SNES Classics, both of which were huge profit generators for Nintendo. The NES Classic was such an unexpected and massive hit that Nintendo had trouble keeping them available for nearly a year after release, and the SNES Classic nearly mirrored that problem before subsequent supply releases helped fix that particular problem. For Sony, though, the PlayStation Classic has simply fallen into a disappointing spiral of increasingly severe discounts.
A by-product of that spiral, though, is that the PlayStation Classic has suddenly become a good purchase for what it is. As of this writing, a brand new version of the device can be had on Amazon for just over $25 USD with free shipping. For a device that has a great, nostalgic aesthetic and a serviceable emulation system, that's not a bad price. Consumers also get a games library of 20 different games and, while some of them leave a lot to be desired, here's a reminder of the headliners: Final Fantasy VII, Grand Theft Auto, Metal Gear Solid, Resident Evil: Director's Cut, Twisted Metal, Tekken 3, Wild Arms, and Oddworld: Abe's Oddysee.
From an objective standpoint, that's a pretty good value already, with plenty of classics to occupy players' time. That there are hidden gems among those iconic PlayStation hits is another incentive for fans to give the device a shot. The newest price almost equates each entry in the PlayStation Classic's games library to $1 spent, and it's hard to imagine many consoles - classic or otherwise - offering that kind of value in the near future.
Of course, even if consumers agree with the sentiment that it's now worth owning, the PlayStation Classic is still a colossal misstep for Sony. It could've been the biggest miniature console ever released, but a failure to really put the effort in on Sony's part hampered a promising device. To its credit, the Classic does seem to get a little bit more criticism for its games lineup than it deserves, but that's likely because the price tag was so high at launch that having many titles nobody would have selected to put on the console was a major turn-off. Now that it's about a third of the cost of a new game, though, the PlayStation Classic deserves another chance.