Sony's PlayStation game console goes mini for a retro touch

TOKYO • Here is a Christmas gift idea for gamers.

Sony is rolling out a mini-version of its original PlayStation game console, seeking to tap a retro craze and nostalgia of gamers who grew up with the iconic device.

The new PlayStation Classic will retail for US$99 (S$135) while original consoles are on sale on eBay for about US$40 to US$60.

Sony's revamp, though, comes pre-loaded with 20 games, including classic titles like Final Fantasy VII and Tekken 3.

The PlayStation Classic is slated to be released in North America, Japan and Europe on Dec 3.

Sony is taking a page from the playbook of Nintendo, its Japanese rival and a master at reviving older systems.

Last year, Nintendo re-released its Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES) to wild success.

The SNES Classic had notched up 5.28 million unit sales globally as of March 31.

That version came on the heels of an even earlier throwback revival, of Nintendo's first NES console, which was one of the most sought-after products over the holiday season in 2016.

The PlayStation Classic is Sony's first retro console offering and comes as its PlayStation 4 continues to dominate the gaming console market.

The original gadget made its debut in Japan in December 1994.

To date, Sony has sold about 82 million PS4s, according to gaming site VGChartz.

While the classic versions are popular, they still do not compete with the latest models and all the technological advances in graphics and new games.

"It's not a financially relevant move; it's paying homage to where it all began," said Bloomberg Intelligence consumer electronics analyst Jitendra Waral.

"In the bigger picture, Sony's story remains focused on the PlayStation Network, the PS4 and the PS4 Pro."

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 24, 2018, with the headline 'Sony's PlayStation game console goes mini for a retro touch'. Print Edition | Subscribe