PS Plus US update improves shaky Sony PS1 emulation

By Lee Brady,

Sony's track record for emulation quality has not been the cleanest, and as news of inferior quality PS1 ports broke from Asian PS Plus subscribers, it looked like the US and EU were in for more of the same.

PlayStation Europe have since announced that the PS Plus EU and Asia emulation will be on par with the US for a "majority" of PS1 Classic titles, which marks a massive improvement over many of the issues highlighted in this article. It remains to be seen if things go as smoothly as Sony suggestion, but it's a positive step nonetheless.

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However, thanks to a report by VGC, we can confirm some good news for PS Plus subscribers in the US, at least. Whereas Asian PS Plus territories were subject to a mix of superior NTSC versions and inferior PAL versions of PS1 games, even outside of PAL territories, the US PS Plus so far shows no sign of following suit, making available only the NTSC editions.

US still scratches its head over the PlayStation Classic

The news will come as a breath of fresh air for US subscribers who, despite having the best track record in terms of emulation support from Sony thus far, have not been spared from emulation issues entirely. The PlayStation Classic, Sony's foray into the mini-console market, featured a number of inferior PAL versions of games in its US launch for reasons unknown.

For those not aware, PAL territories (broadly Europe and a number of other countries) used a standard refresh rate in televisions of 50Hz before the advent of HD TVs. This was, as it happens, 10Hz slower than the refresh rate in NTSC territories like the United States. So, to port games over to PAL regions, developers would slow their games down by 16.7% to prevent any issue running on PAL televisions.

Today, the vast majority of televisions run at 60Hz with no problem, so the idea that Sony and other publishers are still making available the slower running PAL versions of games, especially in regions where they would never have been released in the first place like with the PlayStation Classic, is simply wild. Luckily, this isn't a problem for the US anymore, it seems, so that's something. EU subscribers are not recommended to hold their breath on getting the improved NTSC versions, however; Sony has not done nearly as good an emulation job as Nintendo has in recent times.

tekken 2It remains to be seen how games like Tekken 2 fare in PS Plus EU territories

What do you think about all this? Are you still wary that some PAL versions will sneak in when new games get added to the service? Are you hoping for the PAL version, so it's technically easier to get certain skill-gated trophies? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!
Lee Brady
Written by Lee Brady
Staff Writer Lee keeps one eye on the future (Astro Bot), one eye on the past (PS1, PS2, and PS3 games), and his secret third eye on junk he really likes (Final Fantasy, Kingdom Hearts, Sonic). A PlayStation fan for over 25 years, he loves replaying classic games via PS Plus.
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