Nintendo struck gold with their Classic Series of consoles. Both their miniaturized NES and SNES consoles sold like crazy when they hit store shelves with many people still furiously mashing F5 to try to get one of these elusive throwback systems. But while they might be the gaming firm that most often calls back to their classics, Nintendo definitely doesn’t hold a monopoly on the idea and other companies could very much release their own, proper Classic Edition system. But who would? And who would we want to bring out a tiny version of their past game consoles? Here’s my take.
Oh hey! I already went on for a bit about how great a PlayStation Classic Edition would be an awesome idea (check out my original thoughts here)! And while, yes a PS One Classic Edition would be a prerequisite for Sony to release it’s not their only system which would be a worthy candidate. The PlayStation 2 was the most popular game console of all time and during its legendary run it accumulated a massive library of games, games that Sony has been reluctant to make available on their modern console. So why not release a mini-PS2 jam-packed with all the games the system was known for? Titles like God of War, Killzone, Final Fantasy XII, Grand Theft Auto III, Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty and Ratchet and Clank would all be fantastic to go back to and serve as a perfect introduction to Sony’s newer games and reboots on the PlayStation 4.
But if you have Sony, you need to have Microsoft in the discussion as well and, similarly to the PS2, the original Xbox would make a fantastic Classic Edition system. Like Sony’s system, the Xbox boasted a vast library of games, many of which were the superior versions of multiplatform games thanks to the power of the Xbox and the inclusion of Xbox Live in later releases, the latter being something that could easily make a return in an Xbox Classic Edition. Just imagine it, firing up your little Xbox console, picking up the still too big controller and jumping into online matches of Halo 2! It would be a nostalgia overload! And if you want 19 other reasons to want an Xbox Classic Edition then check out our recent Top 20 countdown of the best Xbox games here (part 1) and here (part 2).
Of course, there are definitely more companies out there that have produced gaming hardware and have a fast library of classic games available for re-release, and chief among them is Sega. The house of Sonic released four major consoles during its time as a hardware manufacture, each of which holds a special place in the hearts of those that bleed blue. While having a little Master System, Genesis or Saturn would be neat, I would personally want Sega to look to the Dreamcast to be their Classic Edition of choice. Mostly because the system, despite having a stellar lineup of games was only on the market for a couple of years before it was discontinued. That means that many of the Dreamcast’s gems (games like Power Stone and Skies of Arcadia) are still relatively unknown and could serve as a nice reminder why this console means so much to so many.
This next system is a bit out of left field but would make a very interesting addition to your collection of mini-game consoles. The TurboGrafx-16 may have been the bronze medal finisher in the 16-bit race but the system has a surprisingly robust lineup made up largely of Hudson Soft (RIP) and Konami titles and in many cases the superior versions of these games. Titles like Bomberman ’94, Castlevania: Rondo of Blood and the Bonk trilogy were all better on the TurboGrafx-16 and Konami (who know own the rights to the system and all former Hudson Soft assets) could help promote their solid back catalogue to a whole new audience.
But then again, who says you need to have released a game console to make a Classic Edition system? The door is wide open for any company with a history of great games to develop their own plug and play system jam-packed with some of the best games of all time. It would’t be totally surprising to see someone like Square Enix, Capcom, Bandai Namco or Ubisoft release a game system that comes complete with some of their best games. What’s better is that since these games wouldn’t be tied to a specific system they could potentially release little, console shaped ‘best of’ collections of their best works. I mean, if the thought of a Square Enix Classic Edition console filled with dozens of great RPGs doesn’t get you excited at the idea I don’t know what will.
In many ways, Nintendo has thrown open Pandora’s Box when it comes to Classic Edition game consoles and while we fully expect them to eventually release a Game Boy, Nintendo 64, Game Boy Advance and maybe even GameCube Classic Edition there’s absolutely nothing stopping any of the other players in the industry from doing the same. And while the prospect of replaying older titles may not have appeal to some gamers, remember that some of these games released before many of today’s players were even born, so they would not only be brand new to them but serve as perfect introductions to today’s gaming icons and franchises.