PS Plus Premium should copy Nintendo and use classic PS1 box art

Opinion by Lee Brady,

PS Plus Premium is missing a trick by not following Nintendo Switch Online's example and filling its UI with classic PS1 box art

PS Plus Premium's Classic Catalog is currently a sleek, sensible-looking array of game art containing all the PS1, PS2, and PS games on PS Plus with trophy support. Recently, we looked over at the UI of Nintendo's nostalgic, box-art-heavy Nintendo Switch Online library and wondered: could PS Plus Premium use notalgic PlayStation box art like the Nintendo Switch does?

PS Plus PremiumPS Plus Premium could stand to lean on nostalgia a little harder.

What if PS Plus Premium's Classic Catalog used original PS1 and PSP box art?

One thing that has become painfully clear every time we update our list of all the trophies for PS1 classic games and PSP games is just how consistently excellent the box art of classic PlayStation games are. Sure, we like modern video game box art too for the most part, but just look at the art for Jumping Flash and tell me there wasn't something different in the air in the 90s.

PS1 trophiesJumping Flash! and its excellent box art.

That Jumping Flash art was 1995's equivalent of AAA developers bringing their A-game — one year later, Super Mario 64 would basically borrow that exact image set-up (including the overlap of the character's proportions with the frame of the box art) to blockbusting success. It's the kind of box art that Nintendo proudly display in its various Nintendo Switch Online gaming catalogues, and we think rightly so — it looks gorgeous!

PS Plus PremiumNintendo Switch Online N64 catalogue.

Rather than follow Sony and make a cold, trendy-looking gaming catalogue, Nintendo has chosen to emulate the experience of perusing the world's most generously stacked video game bargain bin, and it works. While in stills it looks a bit like a mess, in practice, your eyes retain every detail, and your brain zeroes in on the games you love. It's enough to make a fan of classic PS1 box art pine for a PlayStation equivalent. What would it look like if Sony's PS Plus Premium copied Nintendo Switch Online? Would it work?

PS Plus Switch OnlineOur mock-up.

What PS Plus Premium would look like if it copied Nintendo Switch Online

Well, judging by our mock-up above, you're probably thinking it absolutely does not work. Though maybe stop throwing up for a second and imagine you were navigating it with a controller (feel free to hold a real controller in your hand while doing so if it helps). Imagine you are looking to earn some of those sweet The Legend of Dragoon trophies and the joy you might feel as that 90s box art leaps forward from the screen to greet you, like seeing an old friend who you could swear was way more handsome back before you got your eyes fixed.

PS Plus PremiumWhat PS Plus Premium actually looks like.

Maybe you absolutely hate that it has that weird transparent bar at the bottom that won't go away even though you can't naturally navigate to it without a specific button press. Maybe you hate how every row is a different size, or that to make it look less like a wall of info we have to put in an ugly blank spot at the bottom. Maybe you're just mad that you can't see Crash Bandicoot on there — but, even if you are mad, is this not better than the nothing you feel while navigating the PS5 and PS4 Classics Catalog?

PS Plus PremiumThe PlayStation Classic UI

Sony, we know you like your old box art — just look at the Demo 1-inspired UI you designed for the PlayStation Classic (which, as you can see, we ripped off in the mock-up). That UI probably had a little too much personality... but your heart was in the right place, Sony. We say, go all in! We'd honestly rather have a roulette of infinite inconvenience for a user interface than a UI that leaves no impression at all (like the one on the PS5 store at the moment).

And if we have inspired you, Sony, and you're hiring a graphic designer for your new PS Plus UI project, we happen to know a news writer who owns PhotoShop...

Let us know in the comments what your ideal PS Plus Premium UI experience would be like — give us your best pitches. We promise we won't take them and sell them to Sony as our own. By the way, if you're looking for more PS1-related content, check out how hard those PS Plus PS1 classic trophies can be before jumping into your next PS Plus Premium game.
Lee Brady
Written by Lee Brady
Staff Writer Lee keeps one eye on the future (Marvel's Spider-Man 2, Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth), one eye on the past (PS Plus Premium, recent Sony news), and his secret third eye on the junk he really likes (Sonic Superstars, Final Fantasy 16). Then he uses his big mouth to blurt out long-winded opinions about video games.
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