We’ve written a lot about the pros and cons of PS1 emulation on PS5 and PS4, but leave it to Digital Foundry to compile the best analysis yet. A new video published today really breaks down the areas Sony needs to improve in, and it’s a constructive watch that’s free of any hyperbole or ranting. All in all, the conclusion is that the Japanese giant has a lot of work to do – especially if it intends to sell its new PS Plus Premium tier on the strength of classic games.
The biggest issue, of course, is the use of PAL 50Hz ROMs, which we’ve already reported on. Digital Foundry hypothesises that these have been used to provide greater language support, but it’s worth acknowledging that Nintendo offers both NTSC 60Hz and PAL 50Hz versions in its comparable service. At the very least, Sony could provide everyone with the best possible experience by offering both builds and allowing users to choose which one they want to use.
Instead, a new patch released earlier today has attempted to “fix” the 50Hz problem by leveraging a technique called frame blending, which effectively spoofs 60Hz. This results in an ugly ghosting effect, as demonstrated by the Twitter post below:
Elsewhere, there are some really weird oversights here, like the fact that PSP games offer a scanline filter – despite the handheld having an LCD display. All of this speaks to a lack of time, budget, or – perhaps worst of all – care being invested into this project. While many of the issues that Digital Foundry picks up on are quite small and unlikely to be observed by more casual players, it’s clear that Sony has a long way to go before this initiative is up to scratch.
Let’s hope it puts in the hard yards rather than simply abandon its efforts...