According to a recent interview with Sony Interactive Entertainment CEO, John Kodera, Sony are considering the release of a PlayStation reissue in the same vein as the NES Classic Edition.
The news emerged when Japanese web site Mantan Web spoke with Kodera, who acknowledged that the success of similar re-releases had not gone unnoticed. Sony are actively investigating possible avenues for development. In his own words, ‘There have been discussions about what kind of ways to make a classic console release happen. While there is nothing we can talk about at the moment, we are constantly digging up old assets and I think there are various ways of doing it’.
As you’ve surely guessed, this is in no way concrete confirmation that Sony are indeed making a PlayStation reissue console, but the specific terminology employed suggests they are taking the matter seriously and resources are being flung in the right direction.
Given the success of the NES and SNES Classic Editions, a PlayStation equivalent is bound to be popular, notably if we consider that the first PlayStation console significantly outsold its historical competitors such as the Nintendo 64 and Dreamcast. In addition, millennial gamers who experienced the PlayStation console back in the 1990s, and are eager to revisit their youth, are at an age where they have significant disposable income, almost guaranteeing a serious windfall for Sony. The power of nostalgia cannot be understated.
Even if a PlayStation reissue never sees the light of day, this may play into the hands of gamers who lament the lack of backward compatibility in the most recent PlayStation 4. Backward compatibility is one of the few arenas in which competitor Xbox is miles ahead, regularly offering handfuls of old classics to Xbox One owners. The thought of playing classics like Metal Gear Solid on a PlayStation 4 would definitely pique the interest of numerous owners, me included.
More long term, the appetite for classic games may at least prompt Sony to seriously investigate the inclusion of backward compatibility as they embark on the development cycle for their next generation console, which should logically be the PlayStation 5.