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Back to the future: Sony to release 'classic' PlayStation

Sony is set to tap into nostalgia with a classic version of its original PlayStation console (AFP Photo/JOHANNES EISELE)

Paris (AFP) - Sony announced Wednesday it plans to launch a miniature games console designed like the original PlayStation pre-loaded with 20 vintage games as it joins the retro gaming craze just in time for Christmas.

Dubbed the PlayStation Classic, the new console shares the design of the original Playstation that launched in 1994, but is considerably smaller.

It will also come with a considerably smaller price tag than the full-feature PlayStation with a recommended retail price of just under $100 dollars and 100 euros.

The console comes pre-loaded with 20 classic PlayStation games such as the 1997 role-playing game Final Fantasy VII and 1998-1999 racing game R4: Ridge Racer Type 4.

"PlayStation Classic is a perfect fit for nostalgic PlayStation fans that enjoyed playing the original PlayStation as well as gamers new to PlayStation who want to experience classic PlayStation games from the 1990s," Sony said in a statement.

The console, onto which other cames cannot be added, is set to arrive in stores in early December. Sony did not disclose how many of the limited-edition Classic consoles would be produced.

The move by Sony comes two years after Nintendo launched the NES, a palm-sized version of its eighties era games console, tapping into nostalgia for titles from the early era of home video games.

The console which retails for around $60 comes with 30 games including Nintendo's famed Super Mario and Donkey Kong characters.

It subsequently released its 1990 Super Nintendo console.

Sony's original PlayStation quickly dominated the home video game market after its release in 1994, with the compact disc technology allowing for games with richer graphics.

Sony is now on its fourth iteration of the PlayStation, and the PlayStation 5 is due out next year.