Have you heard the news? Classic consoles are all the rage this year. Nintendo shook up the world last year with the NES Classic, followed it up with the explosively popular SNES Classic, and then Sony got in on the action with a PlayStation Classic. For the uninitiated, this is a $100 console with 20 games from our childhood in a little plastic box that looks just like an original PlayStation but smaller. Pre-orders for this things have been going crazy, coming close to the level of popularity we saw for the NES Classic during its first run.
All of this excitement has a lot of Xbox fans asking when Microsoft will be releasing one of these small boxes of nostalgia wrapped in cheap plastic. And if I'm honest, I hope it never does. Unlike Sony and Nintendo, Microsoft already has Xbox Game Pass for us to dive in and appreciate the games of previous generations. And not only is it cheaper than these other little boxes, you get a whole lot more out of the experience.
There's more, in every possible way, through Xbox Game Pass.
I'll be honest, I coveted one of these SNES Classic consoles for no good reason. I already had all of these games thanks to RetroPie, complete with a nice wireless SNES controller to enjoy in a way I was never able to as a kid. And when it showed up, I excitedly fired the console up and started playing. I shared with my kids, and they shared with their friends, and it was a lot of fun for that weekend. But fast forward to today, and that console is sitting on my entertainment center doing nothing. It's not even connected to the television anymore, because I was doing something and forgot to plug it back in. I'm not saying everyone is like this, but having spent $80 and almost immediately stopped using it, I feel pretty silly.
At the same time, I've never stopped using Xbox Game Pass because I get way more out of it. I've been able to play original Xbox and Xbox 360 games I never played when they first launched, or take a trip through the entire Halo story with the Master Chief Collection. Microsoft also does a pretty good job of adding new titles on a regular basis, should I ever get bored of the now 200+ games included in the subscription. There's more, in every possible way, through Xbox Game Pass. I get my nostalgia fix, but I also get to explore things I either ignored or didn't have the cash to play when I was younger.
And really, I think that's what drives me nuts about these Classic consoles. Nintendo has a monthly subscription service for the Nintendo Switch with access to a bunch of old school games, and some of the titles included in the NES and SNES classic are left off of this subscription service on purpose. Sony could easily make the PlayStation Classic games available through an online subscription, and chose this limited method instead. Because it's a cash grab, for both companies. These Classic consoles can't be legitimately updated. Games can be added to the NES Classic if you know how, but at that point why not just get a Raspberry Pi and do the whole thing yourself for cheaper?
So no, I don't think there should be an Xbox Classic. This is 2018, we have Xbox Game Pass for $10/month and a brand new Xbox Duke Controller for those who really need to feel like the "good ol' days" of gaming. That is a way better combination for your money if you ask me, and gives you so much more in the end.
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