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News video games 28 May 2022, 17:26

author: Adrian Werner

Classic PS Plus Game Test; Digital Foundry is Not Impressed

Digital Foundry checked out the emulation of PlayStation, PS2 and PSP games available as part of PS Plus. The first impressions are not good.

Digital Foundry tested PlayStation, PlayStation 2 and PlayStation Portable game emulation on the PS5, available as part of the most expensive tier of the new version of the PlayStation Plus service. First impressions are not good, although it should be added that for now this feature is only available in Asia, so it is possible that its problems will be fixed before it debuts in Europe and the United States - although this will be as early as June.

Emulating the first PlayStation

Digital Foundry focused most of its attention on the emulation of the first-generation PlayStation console.

  1. The biggest issue with the service is that some of the first PlayStation games available are PAL versions, designed for 50 Hz screens. This is the case, for example, with Ape Escape. The result of this is that the game runs in 25 frames per second.
  2. What is interesting, cut-scenes on game engine are displayed in 30 fps, but the image freezes terribly instead.
  3. Sony has already updated some games to increase fps, but it was done ineptly, causing strange artifacts to appear in the image.
  4. Even without these issues, it's a terrible idea to choose PAL versions for emulation, as these releases themselves tended to offer poorer frame rates and controls. They also tended to have more language versions, which is probably why Sony opted for them.
  5. It is worth mentioning that for games that use emulation based on NTSC releases (e.g. Syphon Filter), such problems do not occur.
  6. Image scaling options are also poor.

Overall, first impressions are not good, especially since many fan-made emulators perform much better.

PSP emulation

Less attention has been paid to PlayStation Portable emulation, which is due to the fact that only a single game is available on the service for now - Echochrome. Overall impressions are good, but it's far from perfect. The scaling options are oddly designed and result in a narrowed image, which makes no sense since the screen of this portable console had an aspect ratio of 16:9, just like modern TVs.

Furthermore, scaling of 2D elements to higher resolution looks ugly, which leads to a strong blurring.

PS2 Emulation

The emulation of PlayStation 2 games is identical to what was offered as part of PS2 Classics on PlayStation 4. Unfortunately, this means that old bugs have not been fixed - for example, the game Jak and Daxter: The Precursor's Legacy has performance issues, like the PS4 release, that were not present in the PS2 original.

New features that are available for PSOne and PSP emulation, such as save at any time and rewind, have not been added either.

Overall, first impressions of old console emulation on PlayStation 5 are poor, but the problems are of a type that can be fixed. It remains to be hoped that Sony will want to take a closer look at topic.

  1. PlayStation - official website
Ape Escape (1999)

Ape Escape (1999)

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