The inevitable ‘PC Classic’ joins the retro console rat race

The inevitable ‘PC Classic’ joins the retro console rat race
Credit: Unit-E

Okay, this is just getting silly now.

The retro console craze is still in full swing, with ever-more obscure mini-devices joining the roster alongside the likes of the NES Classic, the PlayStation Classic, and the Atari VCS. I’ve been lukewarm on the concept in the past, but it’s apparent these toys aren’t wearing out their welcome any time soon.

Now, a company called Unit-E is crowdfunding something called a “PC Classic” and I hope like hell we’ll all turn around in a couple of days and realize this was an elaborate practical joke. This tiny lump of grey-ish plastic is a quite literal DOSBox, giving you the ability to play classic PC games on your TV.

I say it sounds like a joke because I’m not entirely sure who, if anyone, this product would be made for. A part of me can understand investing in a retro console like the SNES Classic — in theory, the games you get there will not be legally available for play anywhere else, with the exception of the original console. So if you want a relatively cheap, easy way to play Star Fox 2, then it’s a good option. But it’s not exactly hard to find and play DOS games on modern PCs.

Which is not to say I don’t recognize the work this company is putting in, assuming it’s not a joke. According to Unit-E’s FAQ, it’s licensed games from a number of different companies to try and make sure the games are legal-to-play on their system — usually a roadblock for the scrupulous among us.

And I get it. Not everyone has the patience to put together a Raspberry Pi filled with emulated games. But still, this feels so weirdly unnecessary.

For those who are interested, Unit-E will begin crowdfunding the PC Classic at the end of this year. It’s not thus far revealed any games, though you can see Doom in the above promotional video.

The PC Classic is a tiny console for DOS games on PC Gamer

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