A number of tweets have been doing the rounds today, claiming that the recently released PlayStation Classic mini-console could have featured a very different selection of games.
Now, obviously you could say that without going to the length of digging into the code. We all have our favourites that missed the cut. But apparently, the science behind the system, as posted by Sony itself, reveals that a whole bunch of original PlayStation titles were, at one time at least, potentially in the running for Classic inclusion.
In total, the code lists 36 games that were not featured on the PlayStation Classic. The above-mentioned Crash Bandicoot, Tomb Raider, PaRappa and Mega Man titles are joined by the likes of 'Silent Hill', 'Grand Theft Auto 2', 'Driver', 'Kula World', 'Gran Turismo', 'Vagrant Story', 'Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver', 'Medal of Honor', 'Toy Story 2', 'Fighting Force', 'MediEvil', 'Parasite Eve' and 'Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2'. (IGN has the full list, if you're curious.)
This does not mean that said games are on the console, simply waiting for some smart-arse to unlock them. If only it were so easy. The storage capacity of the PS Classic is only 16GB, which rules out it having 36 hidden games - and prevents there being any way to add them to the existing 20 without some serious DIY work.
Silent Hill gif
That isn't to say that some hacks won't be possible - Nintendo's two mini-consoles, the NES and SNES Classics, have both been modified to allow the addition of extra games. But the PlayStation listings for these games does suggest that they may have been tested, using the Classic's emulation software, before the various licenses were finally agreed. And, as is often the case with video game code, it's better to leave certain things in, and hope that they remain secret, than take them out and risk breaking a whole lot more stuff.
What's not in any doubt is that the PlayStation Classic, in so many ways, could have been much better. A few of these 'lost' games would have helped - but the performance of the mini-console is so imperfect that I'm not sure a Tomb Raider or Gran Turismo would have done all that much to turn the tide of customer dissatisfaction.
A Symphony of the Night, or a Snatcher, on the other hand? Nah... Let it go, Mike. Let it go.