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A Sony PlayStation video game logo is seen at the Electronic Entertainment Expo.
Reuters/Lucy Nicholson
Retro is the way to go.
ONCE UPON A CONSOLE

With the PlayStation Classic, Sony joins Nintendo and Xbox on the nostalgia train

By Aisha Hassan

The retro design of the new PlayStation Classic, unveiled this week, is enough to send longtime fans down memory lane. That’s good for Sony, judging by how well nostalgia sells in the video-game industry.

The Playstation Classic is a miniature version of the original console, with similar controllers and packaging, and is scheduled to be released on Dec. 3, 2018, 24 years to the day of the original console’s release in Japan.

The original sold over 120 million units worldwide, and cemented Sony’s place in the gaming world.

Sony isn’t the only console maker mining the past for revenue. In 2016, Nintendo released the NES Classic Edition, a streamlined version of the original 1980s Nintendo Entertainment System. The mini-console sold more than 2 million units within five months. Another version released last year, the Super NES Classic Edition, has sold over 4 million units worldwide and provided a welcome boost to the company’s profits.

Industry observers have been quick to draw parallels between Sony’s and Nintendo’s use of nostalgia, even though Nintendo is a much older gaming company.

The Playstation Classic, priced at about $100, comes preloaded with 20 games, including fan-favorites like Final Fantasy VII. One downside is that users can’t download games to add to the preloaded ones.

Xbox is another brand that has focused on the popularity of its classic games. After Sony’s announcement, Xbox was quick to point out that its Xbox One allows players to revisit over 500 Xbox 360 and original classic Xbox titles for free, if they already own them.

Not to be outdone, Atari plans to launch its version of a throwback console next year, albeit with modern touches as it tries to make a comeback.

The retro console craze won’t ending any time soon. And the PlayStation Classic will be released near Christmas, the most nostalgic season of all.