Ok, I admit….I’ve been sleeping on the PlayStation. Considering this a console I owned during it’s original lifespan, I am surprised and disappointed at how little collecting love I’ve given it over the years. Until the past couple months, I hadn’t bought a new game for my PlayStation in well over 10 years and honestly hadn’t even played it in probably just as long. I guess the easiest justification for my neglect would have to do with timing. The PlayStation was released when I was a young adult in college and I was 23 years old when I finally bought my very own in 1998. For that reason alone, the nostalgia factor could never meet or exceed that of the NES, SNES or Genesis. Also, I have to attribute the fact that many of the best games for the PlayStation require the player to dedicate a fair amount of time in order to master and complete, which can also become difficult as a player ages and takes on adult responsibilities. I was much too poor in college to own a PlayStation so the only memories I have of the console during that time period are the multiplayer and sports games that my roommates owned/played. I discovered what I consider the console’s strengths, RPGs and action/adventure titles much later and I’m glad I did have some time to play and complete many of the games in my collection. However, I know I’m missing out on a huge library of excellent titles. I believe that if I wasn’t already deep into collecting for other consoles (e.g. NES, Colecovision, Vectrex, Genesis/Sega CD) I would concentrate heavily on beefing up my A and B list titles for the PlayStation. It’s easy to find the games complete since most of them did not come with any unnecessary cardboard boxes that were easily tossed into the trash. Additionally, the PlayStation was one of the most successful consoles of all time (not counting handhelds, #2 only behind the PS2) which means a surplus of many of the most popular games. If I had to come up with pros and cons to owning and collecting for the PlayStation in 2017 it might look something like this.
- Tremendous library of games spanning all genres
- Consoles and games are easy to find
- Durable consoles, controllers
- Ability to save games to memory cards, which is better than saving to batteries that were used in cartridge games
- Many early 3D efforts have aged poorly
- Required to save games to memory cards, which is not as good as being able to save to the console hard drive
I only added 2 new games to my collection in the past month, Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back and Dance Dance Revolution. I knew the Crash Bandicoot series was popular on the PlayStation but 3D platformers weren’t (and still aren’t) my favorite so I dismissed the games as kiddie-fare back in the day. I only became interested in the series once I realized how revered they were by many gamers so I felt I should at least add a game or two from the series to my collection. I’ve played Crash Bandicoot 2 a few times since picking it up and have to admit it is fun…..for a 3D platformer. As for Dance Dance Revolution, of course I was aware of the arcade phenomenon of the late 90’s but it definitely wasn’t for me at the time. I only picked up this home copy due to it’s ubiquity and significance to the rhythm game genre which can be fun in small doses. I realize trying to play DDR using only a controller defeats the purpose of getting off your butt and moving around so I won’t likely play it much until I do someday get the DDR dance pad.
Added to my collection:
- Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back – game, manual, case
- Dane Dance Revolution – game, manual, case
In summary, the high quantity and quality of the games available for the PlayStation justify it’s dominance in the late 90’s. While I haven’t owned any Sony console since the PS2, the original PS is the one that I have the most fondness for as a gaming device. This console deserves all the love it gets from 90’s kids and gamers slightly younger than myself. While the Sega Saturn remains a misunderstood failure and the Nintendo 64 is the Nintendo fan-boy favorite, the Sony PlayStation is the least trendy (for now) 5th generation console to collect for. I also think it’s the most rewarding bang for your buck from a collector and gamer’s perspective. Pick one up a Playstation if you don’t already own one.
Overall Grade: A