So How ‘Bout Them PSOne Classics?

This article was originally published on ThoseGuys.TV by Sgt. Mettool.

Yesterday was a big day for us Vita owners. Because we can’t seem to stop playing games we’ve all played a million times before, the promise of PSOne classics was a big one, and a much delayed one at that. Now they’re finally here, and everyone is rejoicing that they’ll soon be able to see Aeris get run through on an even lower resolution than ever before.

Is everything up to snuff? Read on and find out.

I suppose the most important question to answer here is “how is the emulation?” And, as the only Vita owner in a six mile radius, i’m here to tell you that the emulation is just fine. By default, PSOne games run in 4:3, and at a slightly smaller resolution than the height of the screen. You can change the resolution to fit the entire height (at the small expense of some clarity) or stretch it out to 16:9 to fit the whole screen. You can also enable analog support for most games, with the exception of those that were released before Dualshock support.

The left and right sections of the rear touch pad act as the L2 and R2 buttons. And, unlike earlier Vita releases like Disgaea 3, the rear touch pad controls rarely become a nuisance. The button “area” is further near the center of the pad, reducing the risk of accidentally activating them with your index and middle fingers by just simply holding the system. Additionally, loading times on some games are noticeably shorter on the PS Vita’s emulator. Battles in Final Fantasy VII load much quicker than they would on the greyfaced PSX, allowing for more fluid gameplay.

The only real problem with the Vita’s emulator lies in its sound which, while it is still of very high quality, does tend to stutter on certain sound effects and high tones. Thankfully, this is barely noticeable, and does not affect the experience in any way. At least, for the three games I’ve tested so far.

Downloading a PSOne game onto your Vita is a simple as purchasing it from the Playstation Store. There are currently a small handful of games available for download directly from the store, and a plethora more available to transfer from your Playstation 3. It’s as simple as buying a game on the Playstation 3, downloading the install files, not installing the game, going into content manager on your connected Vita, and transferring the non-installed game onto it.

…Okay, that’s not simple at all.

For whatever reason, Sony has decided to allow a large number of PSOne games to be transferred from the PS3, but are not downloadable from the Vita’s version of the Playstation Store. Worse yet, not all games are transferrable, and you’ll have no way of knowing until you either look up the compatibility on the internet, or when you’ve purchased and downloaded the game onto your PS3 and it’s too late. It’s a horrible inconsistency, and, at the time of this writing, there are only about ten games that Sony guarantees will work with your Vita. The rest are up to you to experiment with. It’s like getting an Erector set without the instructions: You’ll get it eventually, but only aftery ou’ve gone through the hassle time and time again to figure out what works and what doesn’t.

I guess the only real explanation for that would be “because Sony”.

Well, all the politics aside, the emulator works just fine. It’s just a shame that Sony’s leaving us in the dark about the inconsistent availability of games (to add insult to injury, Europe was given over one hundred games at launch yesterday). But as long as I get to play Final Fantasy IX on the bus, i’m pretty happy for the time being.


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