At the end of last year, Sony jumped on the retro console bandwagon with the release of the PlayStation Classic, a standalone emulator featuring 20 games from the original PlayStation’s lineup. Sales for the Classic have proved less than stellar since release, and it seems that Sony has decided to address this by lowering its cost significantly.
That is, the PlayStation Classic is now available at Best Buy and Walmart for $40. This price drop comes shortly after the console’s initial $100 price tag was slashed to $60 at the end of December. Indeed it appears that Sony is still attempting to solidify a price point that will feel acceptable to fans.
This situation is in marked contrast to Nintendo’s experience with the releases of its NES and SNES Classics. These, too, were officially-released emulators, featuring preloaded retro games, but many retailers could simply not meet the consumer demand for these consoles upon launch.
In fact, the desirability of the NES Classic led some desperate fans to purchase them for many times their MSRP through sites like eBay.
While the NES and SNES Classics had lower initial costs than the PlayStation Classic, $60 and $80 respectively, there is obviously more to the cold reception of Sony’s offering than price.
Some players may point to the PlayStation Classic’s games library as the primary culprit. While it does feature major titles like Final Fantasy VII, Metal Gear Solid, and Resident Evil, many fans have been quick to note the absence of classics like Tomb Raider and Crash Bandicoot.
Others may point to the emulator’s poor performance as the reason for its slow sales. It has been reported that there is a general decrease in how well the Classic can run its games when compared to the original PlayStation, and that is certain to matter when there is a $100 price tag attached.
That said, it remains to be seen if reducing the cost of the PlayStation Classic to $40 will be enough for fans to overlook its shortcomings. Regardless of the outcome, it certainly seems that Sony will need to reevaluate its strategy if it decides to dip its toes into the emulation pool again in the future.
PlayStation Classics can be purchased at this reduced rate from Best Buy and Walmart.