Yes, you read that title right. The PS Classic, heavily discounted right now, is a massive instant snag for anyone looking for a budget emulation machine or a mini dedicated to the Playstation.
The system had a very, VERY rough launch December 2018, and has seen its price slashed almost immediately due to some people complaining about the game library (a complaint I do not share, as Final Fantasy 7 and Metal Gear Solid alone are worth the price of admission), poor emulation due to using 50hz European versions of some titles, and a lackluster menu system. However, all these problems have been circumvented. A PS Classic can typically be found for around $40 USD, and sometimes as low as $20 USD. This is cheaper than a Pi, especially after you consider with a Pi you must add a case, SD card and controllers.
All the minor issues with the PS Classic can be fixed using a mod called Bleemsync. Detailed installation methods can be located at https://modmyclassic.com/bleemsync/. Using this, you can install base Retroarch, theme the menu to your liking, add whatever games you want (PS1 or otherwise using Retroarch), enable power via a television USB port, force the built in Euro games to run at 60Hz, enable data access over the rear power port using a USB splitter, literally fixing every issue with the console.
The basic install method involves purchasing a compatible USB stick for the front player 2 USB port to install the hack. The cheapest USB stick would be the Sandisk Cruzer Blade, which the 16 GB version can be purchased for a tiny 5.99, and the 64 GB version for 9.99, which I would recommend as 64 GB can easily add between 70 to 100 PS1 games to the system. Download the installer which will install a new Kernel to your PS1 Classic, and you are set! You can now set up the USB stick with any PS1 game you wish, use either the stock emulator or (my recommendation) install RetroArch and set it up for your PS1 titles.
However, for just a few more bucks you can move the USB stick to the rear power line of the PS Classic, allowing you to use two controllers up front while using the hack. By using a OTG Adapter, you can plug in both power and a USB stick in the rear of the system. It does matter which angle you purchase, as the wrong angle will block the HDMI port. The link I posted has 1 of each angle. This is because you can also use Hakchi to use the rear USB on the SNES Classic as well, expanding your storage so you can have a full SNES game collection on it, and it uses the opposite angle the PS Classic uses, so if you need both, they can be had for a dirt cheap 7.99 on Amazon as of this post.
Using this method, even if you were unhappy with the PS Classic, you can now grab one at a dirt cheap price and hack it into literally one of the cheapest emulation options you can find today. Or perhaps you purchased a PS Classic already and it’s gathering dust, this is a simple way to breath some new life into it and load it with any PS game (or other system) that you wish.