Short answer: not very well.
Here’s the official list (minus the previously announced titles):
- Battle Arena Toshinden
- Cool Boarders 2
- Destruction Derby
- Grand Theft Auto
- Intelligent Qube
- Metal Gear Solid
- Mr Driller
- Oddworld: Abe’s Oddysee
- Resident Evil Director’s Cut
- Revelations: Persona
- Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo
- Syphon Filter
- Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six
- Twisted Metal
And here were my predictions (I’ve bolded the ones I got right and italicized the ones where I got the franchise/IP correct):
• Castlevania: Symphony of the Night
• Final Fantasy Tactics
• Legend of Dragoon
• Mega Man Legends
• Metal Gear Solid
• PaRappa the Rapper
• Resident Evil: Director’s Cut
• Street Fighter Alpha
• Tomb Raider
• Twisted Metal 2
• Vagrant Story
Also, Battle Arena Toshinden 2 was part of my ‘outside chance’ list, so...
All in all, the PlayStation Classic’s lineup is approximately as disappointing as the SNES Classic’s. There’s a half-dozen titles I genuinely love, another handful I like well enough (but also wouldn’t have included), and a majority I’m either lukewarm on or actively dislike. (Seriously, the presence of Rainbow Six is just offensive.)
Surprisingly, the Japanese version didn’t fare much better in this regard (barring Saga Frontier and Parasite Eve), but I think the main issue with the Western release is just that...it’s a blanket release for both Europe and the Americas. And that alone mucked up the list a bit.
Destruction Derby was huge in the UK, but a drop in the bucket everywhere else. Grand Theft Auto did well everywhere, but, again, sold particularly well in the UK. I actually don’t know how well Rainbow Six did overall, but given the UK’s frequently Western-centric taste, it wouldn’t surprise me to find out that it was another runaway hit across the pond.
Beyond that, you’ve got the all too common occurrence of including an original release when a superior (sometimes vastly so) sequel exists (Battle Arena Toshinden, Jumping Flash, Twisted Metal), and then a whole lotta stuff that’s just sorta there.
I know Intelligent Qube is a big get for some. It was never on my radar, though, and I would’ve preferred Incredible Crisis if we’re talking cult games.
Revelations: Persona is kinda surprising. Though in light of the series’ borderline exclusive status on PlayStation hardware, not that much of a shocker when you stop and think about it.
One reason (the main reason, in fact) I believe we’re getting the announced lineup is file size. Only two games on the list top 500MB, with most falling comfortably under that size. I have a nagging suspicion that Sony was hellbent on the internal storage in the PlayStation Classic being no more than 8GB. I was originally thinking 16GB, but that’s also when I thought that games like PaRappa and Twisted Metal 2 were locks. (For reference, the original Twisted Metal is just shy of 78MB, while the sequel is nearly 500MB.)
Which means if this thing is hackable (and I hope to Christ that’s the case) you’re not gonna be sticking much more than twenty games on it regardless. (And likely less if you’re the type who wants to populate it with nothing but multi-disc JRPGs.) The only possible alternative would be USB storage. But even if some industrious hacker figures out how to implement it, you’d still be giving up a controller port for the option.
I’ll still be picking one up come December. The games on it that I love happen to be ones I really love (Final Fantasy 7, Metal Gear Solid, and Tekken 3 are easily my most significant experiences of the era and among my most formative gaming experiences overall.), and I’m eager to play them in a format so close to the original.
That said, and assuming the PlayStation Classic can be hacked, all but six of the games will be getting replaced. Three by superior sequels and the rest by PSX titles I actually care about.
So pretty much exactly how things went down with my SNES Classic.
As a side, here’s hoping Sony was smart enough to include the complete startup sequence. It’s iconic enough that I could see sales taking a hit (reviews would certainly be harsh) if it only features the second half a la PSOne Classics.