Psst, kid. Wanna buy a PlayStation Classic? It's cheap! Retailers like Best Buy, Walmart, and GameStop recently cut the price of Sony's retro mini-console down to a cool $40 USD. That's quite a spill from the $99 USD price tag the PlayStation Classic commanded when it launched at the tail-end of 2018.
The PlayStation Classic is a mini-PlayStation that's pre-loaded with 20 games. Some of the games are still renowned for helping Sony's Maverick console score a victory over Nintendo and Sega back in the '90s, e.g. Final Fantasy VII, Metal Gear Solid, and Tekken 3. There are plenty of baffling choices too, like the original (and very outdated-feeling) Grand Theft Auto and Battle Arena Toshinden. Most of the games in the PlayStation Classic's line-up simply didn't age well, unlike the SNES Classic's stellar library.
Sony built and distributed the PlayStation Classic hoping to catch a piece of the "tiny console" nostalgia rush that kicked off in earnest with Nintendo's enormously popular NES Classic. Unfortunately, Sony's contribution to the craze staggered as soon as it left the gate. Its first week of sales was poor compared to the NES and SNES Classic's sales, and it never recovered. Retailers started discounting the console almost immediately, and well, here we are again.
PlayStation nostalgia should theoretically be a powerful drug (I have a great deal of nostalgia for the system myself), so what went wrong? Long story short, it doesn't seem like Sony exercised much care when making the machine. Most of its games are the PAL region versions, and run at 50hz. Its menus are bare-bones. The included controllers lack analogue sticks, which would be very helpful for enjoying the consoles' 3D games. Finally, its game lineup is quite poor. The PlayStation has a wonderful RPG legacy, but very few made it onto the system. In fact, a lot of excellent PlayStation games were overlooked in favor of jagged, polygonal titles that haven't aged well.
The PlayStation Classic might be disappointing out of the box, but some people bought the little machine to crack it and load it with their own games. If the idea has tickled the back of your mind at some point, now's not a bad time to try it out. Worst that happens is you're out $40. Alternatively, just wait until the price inevitably drops again.