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WHY THE CONSOLE CLASSICS MISSED THE MARK

Is it worth re-living your childhood? Not so much.

Nobody can deny the popularity of the NES and SNES Classic Consoles. Both pre-orders sold out within minutes of their announcement and both were impossible to find after it's initial launch. And for the lucky few who were able to find the consoles, well they paid anywhere from 50 to 75% over market value (gotta love capitalism). After the disappointing sales of the PlayStation Classic it's time to come to terms with a harsh reality, the Classic Consoles are (and were) a mistake. Don't us wrong, commercially the NES and SNES Classics were a huge success, but after looking at the games that came pre-installed with the consoles, can we really say that it was worth investing all that money for a trip down memory lane?

 

Let's take a moment and break down the Classic Consoles. We are comparing the price of the individual games to that which are listed on the PlayStation™ Store via playtation.com and on the Virtual Console Store via nintendo.com (the prices are listed in red). Now keep in mind that some of the games are unavailable so it is hard to determine the current price of those games, so we took it upon ourselves to round down to the cheapest game in that specific Console Classic’s Library. Are we ready? As Mario would say “HERE WE GO!”

 

We'll start with the NES Classic (current MSRP $59.99.)

 

What's in the box.

• NES Classic Edition System

• 1 Wired NES Classic Controller

• HDMI Cable

• AC Adapter

• 30 pre-installed games:

The Games: (as listed via nintendo.com)

Balloon Fight™ ($4.99)

BUBBLE BOBBLE (Unavailable)

Castlevania™ ($4.99)

Castlevania II: Simon's Quest™ ($4.99)

Donkey Kong™ ($4.99)

Donkey Kong Jr.™ ($4.99)

DOUBLE DRAGON II: THE REVENGE ($4.99)

Dr. Mario™ ($4.99)

Excitebike™ ($4.99)

Final Fantasy® (Unavailable)

Galaga™ ($4.99)

GHOSTS’N GOBLINS® ($4.99)

GRADIUS™ ($4.99)

Ice Climber™ ($4.99)

Kid Icarus™ ($4.99)

Kirby's Adventure™ ($4.99)

Mario Bros™ ($4.99)

Mega Man® 2 ($4.99)

Metroid™ ($4.99)

NINJA GAIDEN ($4.99)

Pac-Man™ ($4.99)

Punch Out™ Featuring Mr. Dream ($4.99)

Super C™ ($4.99)

StarTropics™ ($4.99)

Super Mario Bros.™ ($4.99)

Super Mario Bros.™ 2 ($4.99)

Super Mario Bros.™ 3 ($4.99)

TECMO BOWL ($4.99)

The Legend of Zelda™ ($4.99)

Zelda 2: The Adventures of Link™ ($4.99)

Total Value (games only): $149.97

Popular Classics Missing: Bases Loaded, Blades of Steel, Double Dragon, Super Dodge Ball

 

Now let's look at the SNES Classic (current MSRP $79.99.)

•SNES Classic Edition System

•2 Wired SNES Classic Controllers

•1 HDMI Cable

•1 USB Cable with AC Adapter

•Operations Manual (with poster on the back)

•21 pre-installed games:

The Games: (as listed via nintendo.com)

Contra III: The Alien Wars™ ($7.99)

Donkey Kong Country™ ($7.99)

EarthBound™ ($9.99)

F-ZERO™ ($7.99)

Final Fantasy III (Unavailable)

Kirby's Dream Course™ ($7.99)

Kirby™ Super Star ($7.99)

Mega Man® X ($7.99)

Street Fighter® II Turbo: Hyper Fighting ($7.99)

Super Castlevania IV™ ($7.99)

Super Mario World™ ($7.99)

Super Mario Kart™ ($7.99)

Super Metroid™ ($7.99)

Super Punch-Out!!™ ($7.99)

Super Street Fighter II Turbo ($7.99)

Secret of Mana ($7.99)

Star Fox™ (Unavailable)

Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars™ ($7.99)

Super Ghouls ‘n Ghosts®  ($7.99)

The Legend of Zelda™: A Link to the Past ($7.99)

Yoshi's Island™ ($7.99)

Total Value (games only): $169.79

Popular Classics Missing: 2020 Super Baseball, Final Fight, Pilotwings

 

Now let's take a look at the most recent addition to the Classic Console Library, the PlayStation (current MSRP $99.99.)

•PlayStation Classic Edition System

•2 Wired PlayStation Classic Controllers

•1 HDMI Cable

•Virtual Memory Card

•20 pre-installed games:

The Games: (as listed via PlayStation.com)

Battle Arena Toshinden™ (Unavailable)

Cool Boarders 2 ($5.99)

Destruction Derby ($5.99)

Final Fantasy® VII ($4.99)

Grand Theft Auto (Unavailable)

Intelligent Cube (Unavailable)

Jumping Flash! ($5.99)

METAL GEAR SOLID (Unavailable)

Mr. Driller ($5.99)

Oddworld: Abe’s Oddysee® (Unavailable)

Rayman ($5.99)

Resident Evil™ Director's Cut (Unavailable)

Revelations: Persona (Unavailable)

R4 RIDGE RACER TYPE 4 (Unavailable)

Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo™ (Unavailable)

Syphon Filter (Unavailable)

Tekken 3 (Unavailable)

TOM CLANCY’S RAINBOW SIX ($5.99)

Twisted Metal ($9.99)

Wild Arms ($5.99)

Total Value (games only): $106.81

Mario's Take:

A while back I did some 1 Minute Rants on the state of these so called “mini consoles”, you can check them out here. The reason I feel retro consoles are a bad idea is, basically it’s not enough bang for the buck. So let’s mainly focus on the PlayStation Classic. It was a good idea and I was thrilled with the announcement and then I purchased it. My God what an awful experience. Why was it awful? Well because we only got a handful of an amazing library. Some games were even taken out and we were left with 20 games, COME ON!! 20 GAMES? That’s roughly 2 GB’s worth of games. Then price it at roughly $100 - $150 (aren’t still aren't sure of the price of the unavailable games) and you can see what this is looking like a real bad idea.

 

What makes matter worse is that we all know that down the line we know there gonna be a version 2 of these consoles and then we’re just collecting hard drives win cool casings. So let me ask you a question people. Do you really honestly think this is a good idea? I mean some people bought it, at least the retro gamers did. But we do know that the current gamers focused on Fortnite didn't go out looking for these classic consoles. Adults who actually think went out and bought these classic consoles and they realized that it's just not worth investing in these classic consoles that play on our nostalgia.

 

I mean a raspberry that I have, not only cost me $150, but it plays all systems. So if a Off Brand company can do it why can’t they? Oh right, yeah because your only in it for the dollar and not delivering a quality product. It still really bothers me that 20 games was a good idea. Sony really thought that 20 games was going to be a good enough reason to charge us $99.99. I’m also looking at you too Nintendo, you only have 21 for the SNES Classic. I think the greed has to stop and these companies need to actually make a quality items that retro gamers will actually enjoy instead of playing it for 2 hours and let it sit on the Mantle. But that’s a different rant for a different time.

Felipe's Take:

I’m sure you notice a trend going on here. With each release of a Classic Console we get fewer games for a higher cost. I'm not sure what goes into deciding which games make the cut but I think that the quality of the library could be better. We did add a small section of classic games that we think should have been added. After analyzing the games and the price, right off the bat we can see that there is some value in getting a classic console. So why is it still a bad idea? Well I can almost guarantee that older gamers, like myself, already have the classics in some way shape or form. Realistically, many retro gamers have emulators that have libraries twice or triple the size of what these Classic Consoles have to offer.

 

In no way shape or form am I telling you how to spend your money and if you feel that these Classic Consoles are a good value, then go right ahead and relive your childhood. Unfortunately I still feel that these Classic Consoles were a missed opportunity. Fist of all, the fact that you can’t install any games other than the pre-installed list of games really bothers me. Who wouldn’t want a mini version of their favorite retro console? It didn't help that the NES Classic Console only came with one controller with an extremely short cord, 5 feet shorter than the original version. Also, do we really need another console to hook up to our TV’s, I’m really starting to rub out of ports.

 

I know that it sounds like a “first world problem” but the fact of the matter is the publishers are a business, and businesses are in it to make money. The ideas may sound good on paper and they genuinely have good intentions, but their priority is to the business itself. That’s right, you guessed it, this means that the publishers are always finding new and creative ways to generate revenue. This is why the Classic Consoles are being pushed all of a sudden, it builds revenue and builds brand recognition.  

 

My thing is this, why not just release a software compilation instead of a compilation in the form of a console? The SEGA Genesis Collection has done very well and its is the best solution for retro gamers. In my opinion, this is by far the best way to distribute game compilations. I'm still waiting for SEGA to release the Dreamcast Collection Vol.2 (Please make it happen!) You can download it digitally and save yourself the trouble of more cables and clutter.

 

Seriously though, The Mini Console Classics sounded good on paper but it really missed the mark. Of course it gives you the nostalgia of reliving the golden era of gaming but that’s about it. But everything that has a good, will have a bad. Why am I going to spend more money on a mini console when I just spend hundreds on a current gen console with 4x the power and 5x the capacity. I can just download and play these games on my current console. I don't have to go out and buy anything new, I can just relive my nostalgia on my current system.

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