In a move looking to capitalise on the success of Nintendo’s mini retro consoles, today Sony announced a mini PlayStation Classic for $149.99. And even though Sony has only revealed five of the 20 games that will come pre-installed on the mini PSX, I’m a sucker for this particular vein of nostalgia marketing, and I can already feel the money evaporating out of my wallet. But there’s just one problem: I don’t have nearly enough HDMI ports for this shit.
My current TV, which admittedly is a little old, only has four HDMI ports. One is reserved for the sound bar, while another is dedicated to my streaming media box. That leaves me with just two ports for my Xbox One, PS4, and Switch, the latter of which sort of needs be connected since the Switch dock is also the most convenient way of recharging the system, and it doesn’t make sense to power the dock and not have it hooked up to the TV.
I haven’t even mentioned my cable box (yes, I actually pay for cable), which uses HDMI instead of coax. That means I really only have one spare HDMI port that needs to be shared between three different consoles and anything else I might need HDMI for, which is a large reason why my SNES Classic has sat unopened in its box since I bought it last year.
But that’s besides the point, because brand-new, expensive TVs tend to top out at 5 HDMI ports, or six if you are truly lucky. That’s not nearly enough. Gaming companies, such as Nintendo and Atari, have already released five retro consoles, including the NES Classic, the SNES Classic, the Neo Geo Mini, the Atari Flashback, and the Sega Flashback. With another two on the way in the Playstation Classic and the rumoured N64 Classic, you basically need to buy a pricey receiver or an HDMI switcher if you ever want to keep more than half of these retro revivals plugged in at the same time.
The most frustrating thing about all this is that the number of HDMI ports on TVs have basically stayed about the same over the last decade, despite the proliferation of devices that require their use. It’s long past time TV makers stepped up and made our ever-increasing mountain of HDMI devices easier to deal with.
At this point, a lot of people are probably saying this is a classic example of a stupid first-world problem—and you wouldn’t be wrong. But still, it’s a problem that wouldn’t exist if TVs had more HDMI ports. As someone who covers tech, my situation is a bit of an outlier, but for most folks, bumping up the number of HDMI ports on TVs to eight or so would largely eradicate any concerns of HDMI overcrowding.
Oh, and before I forget, Sony’s teaser video for the PlayStation Classic also includes a disclaimer at the bottom saying the system doesn’t come with a USB-C power adaptor. Uh, word? So not only is the PlayStation Classic more expensive than every other retro console, you also may have to shell out even more money for an extra power brick just so you can turn it on.
Now that I think about it, if the PlayStation Classic’s other 15 bundled games aren’t spectacular (the current list includes FF VII, Ridge Racer Type 4, Tekken 3, Wild Arms, and Jumping Flash), maybe this ends up being the first major retro console worth skipping.