Playstation One: Jewel or long boxes?

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VideoGameCritic
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Playstation One: Jewel or long boxes?

Postby VideoGameCritic » February 14th, 2018, 8:33 pm

I was glad when the original Playstation switched over from the long boxes to the jewel cases. They take up a lot less room. In the late 90's I traded my long box games for their jewel box versions when possible.

But in recent years I've changed my tune. The long boxes are a lot more interesting. Recently I bought the long box version of Ridge Racer. I remember that game being packed in with my original Playstation, and it blew my mind. Having it again in its original form really brings back the memories.

Now I think I prefer the long boxes. What about you?

lynchie137
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Re: Playstation One: Jewel or long boxes?

Postby lynchie137 » February 15th, 2018, 5:35 pm

Jewel cases all the way for me. Just because they're easier to store.

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Re: Playstation One: Jewel or long boxes?

Postby Retro STrife » February 15th, 2018, 5:48 pm

lynchie137 wrote:Jewel cases all the way for me. Just because they're easier to store.


Same here, jewel cases. I hate buying the longboxes because I know I don't have room for them. I can fit tons of PS1 jewel cases on my shelves, but the 10 or so longboxes that I have are totally killing me.

I think I prefer the appearance of the jewel cases too. Part of the problem is that most early PS1 games weren't very good, so there aren't many interesting games or cover art in longboxes. But even beyond that, I like the jewel cases more. Maybe this is the nostalgia talking, but in terms of appearance, I think the standard black label PS1 jewel cases are my favorite packaging ever for a disc-based console.

Btw, I don't hate all longboxes. For example, for Saturn games I definitely prefer them.

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Re: Playstation One: Jewel or long boxes?

Postby pacman000 » February 16th, 2018, 2:14 pm

Found a long box game recently. Bought it for the novelty. I like jewel cases, but they're so fragile. Many of the ones I've got are cracked, and the hinges have snapped off. The long boxes seem much more durable; they feel like a DVD case.

If the long box proves to be as durable as it seems I'm voting in favor of old, long PSX boxes.

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Re: Playstation One: Jewel or long boxes

Postby matmico399 » February 16th, 2018, 4:54 pm

Luved the long boxes. But since most are jewel cases I want hem to be uniform. So I vote jewel cases.

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Re: Playstation One: Jewel or long boxes?

Postby GTS » February 16th, 2018, 5:27 pm

Jewel cases. I like all my PS1 games to have the same type of box so I can store them all together alphabetically.

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Re: Playstation One: Jewel or long boxes?

Postby Matchstick » February 16th, 2018, 10:23 pm

Long boxes all the way!

As the Critic mentioned in one of his older reviews, one of his friends years ago preferred when his games came in a bigger box or a larger package, as it made him feel like he "got more for his money." Sony, Sega, and 3DO all had large boxes for their games when they first debuted, and I think this was part of the marketing strategy. When games came on larger, bulky cartridges, they needed a larger box to house the game, the manual, and the packaging materials. I feel like companies that produced CD based games felt the need to over-package them, as the game media was smaller and thinner than before. The last thing you wanted to do was try to charge someone $400 for a game system, and $50 or more for a video game, and make them feel like they were getting less than they did with their older 16-bit machines.

Besides, look at how large the old "big box" PC games used to be! Funny that, when games switched over from floppies to CDs, the boxes didn't really get any smaller. I remember buying a copy of Command & Conquer with a package the size of a cereal box. All that was inside was the jewel case, manual, and registration postcard, and maybe a catalogue for Westwood merchandise, too. Didn't seem like much inside the box, but from the outside, it seemed like a great deal!

My favorite thing about the long box games was that they had a larger format manual to match. In addition to many other games, I had the original Darkstalkers in long box form, and having the manual with the movelist at my side while I played was a big help. I always found that those larger manuals managed to stay open and stay on the page better than the manuals that came in jewel cases. Plus, I felt like publishers were more likely to include "goodies" inside the long boxes, such as stickers, catalogues, and posters. This was fairly common business practice back in the day, but it all but disappeared once game packages shifted over to CD and DVD cases. Genesis and SNES games had their share of goodies, too, and I still have the original posters that came with Mortal Kombat, Toe Jam & Earl, and Mutant League Football hanging on my wall to this day. They've been moved around a lot, and are full of tears and holes, but the memories live on - and they were freebies, for Grud's sake!

PlayStation long boxes were pretty durable, and resistant to cracking and scuffs, unlike Saturn cases or CD cases. Most games had a pretty thick manual and a good little foam pad to help keep the disc in place. The only issue I've had with my long boxes is that, over time, the cover image on the front and backs of the cases has tended to come unglued around the corners. i attribute it mostly to the damp Oregon climate where I live, but I've had a few games, Darkstalkers included, where I've had to gently remove the cover art from the long box and glue it back in place. Looks as good as new when it's done.

One more thing - most long box PlayStation games have different art on the disc than their re-released CD case counterparts. Take a look for yourselves! Sometimes, this had to do with the game being a Greatest Hits version, as the GH disc was typically a plain black silk screen image on a plain silver CD background. In some cases, the games even have subtle changes between the original long box version and the CD version, like the Critic posted in his review of ESPN Extreme Games / 1Xtreme. I swear that Loaded had additional cutscenes on the long box version that were missing from the GH CD case version, but that might just be my imagination. I haven't played either in a loooooooong time.

As far as taking up room on the shelf, I feel like this was by design, in regards to the long boxes. They wanted the games to "stand out" and look different from the crowd. Think about it - if you kept your 2600 / NES / SNES / Sega games in their original boxes on the shelf, they took up a bit of room, too. If Sony's games were in standard CD cases from the get-go, they would totally be overshadowed or "swallowed up" on the shelf by the larger boxes of the older game systems. For display purposes, especially back in the mid 90's, the PlayStation boxes stood large and proud next to the other systems. And to tie it back to my earlier statement, it seemed like it made the games feel like they were worth the money, even if it was just a trick to the eye.

The original long boxes were a product of their time, and in my opinion, definitely helped make the Saturn and original PlayStation seem like a "big deal" when they first launched. Relics of a bygone era of gaming, if there ever were ones :-D

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Re: Playstation One: Jewel or long boxes?

Postby VideoGameCritic » February 17th, 2018, 12:34 am

Fantastic post Matchstick. Thanks for taking the time to write it. You put a lot of heart into that post. Bravo!
There were actually several iterators of the Playstation longbox before they switched over.

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Re: Playstation One: Jewel or long boxes?

Postby Matchstick » February 17th, 2018, 2:10 am

VideoGameCritic wrote:Fantastic post Matchstick. Thanks for taking the time to write it. You put a lot of heart into that post. Bravo!
There were actually several iterators of the Playstation longbox before they switched over.


Thanks, Critic. I didn't mean to "write a book" with that last post, but once I got going, it turned out I had a lot to say. It happens!

And yes, you're correct, there are different versions of the PlayStation long box. I know for a fact that D came in a case very similar to a Sega Saturn case. I believe several Acclaim games, such as WWF The Arcade Game and Alien Trilogy, did, as well. I didn't know about them until fairly recently, when I saw D in a used game store here in town. At first, I thought someone had just mistakenly put the PlayStation discs in a Saturn game case, but the logos and markings on the case were distinctly the PlayStation brand.

Mind blown. I was positively baffled!

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Re: Playstation One: Jewel or long boxes?

Postby VideoGameCritic » February 17th, 2018, 9:36 am

Here's a photo I just took of the three long box varieties (although might be hard to make out).

Image

The first is the standard all-plastic box like the Saturn games had. Not very durable, but I liked these. You felt like you were getting something for your money and looked classy.

Then they came out with the weird molded black plastic version with sticker labels. To me this was a step down. Just looks cheap.

Then when I got Doom, they had switched to a laminated cardboard box. Although it felt cheap, I did like the glossy, streamlined look.

Soon after that they switched to jewel cases, and I was glad.


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