Classic Games Will Have A Huge Framerate Problem On PS Plus
It seems as if Sony can't take a step forward without doing a triple flip back. Just a day after the great news on how retro PS1 titles will look beautiful on the revamped PS Plus system, we have to talk about a terrible dredge that is about to come from Europe: great games tainted by bad framerates courtesy of inferior PAL versions.
Ok, we probably need some context on this one since most Cracked readers have only ever played NTSC versions of classic games – because they have the best taste, sure, but also because that's the only version that plays on US consoles. European players, however, have lived through a completely different reality. Up until the release of the PS3 and Xbox 360, the consoles that finally dropped SCART cables and made HDMI the standard, all games came out in two very different versions. In Japan and in the US, games were NTSC, which allows up to 60 frames per second. In Europe, however, because whoever chose the standard was either dumb or hated video games, TVs only allowed up to 50Hz, meaning that games couldn't run above 50 frames per second. This is mostly fine, on paper, because back in the day most games didn't even get as high as 60 fps, and a game running at a solid 50 fps is pretty neat, but only if they're made to run at that framerate. That's not what Eurogamers got. What they got were not games made to run on European TVs, but hastily-made conversions of the good NTSC versions that resulted in games that ran nearly 20% slower than the American version. Most games of the PS1 area ran at around 30 frames per second, meaning that their PAL counterparts ran at 25. That's a lot. Think playing Max Payne with a milder form of bullet time permanently activated against our will.
Most kids who played the crappy PAL versions back then were never aware of any difference because unless we're comparing them directly, either version is good enough. All the years that have gone by ever since many of us last played a PS1 classic might make the difference easier to ignore, but the truth of the matter is that Sony wants us all to play the inferior version of their product for no good reason. What's worse is that this isn't even the first time they're doing this. Their first foray at bootlegging their own stuff was with the Playstation Classic the small Playstation released a few years ago to commemorate the PS1 that most don't even remember because it crashed and burned for this very same issue.
Luckily, a few quality games like Syphon Filter will be available in their full NTSC glory. Let's hope Sony becomes aware of how much of a mistake this is and starts releasing the best possible versions of their games.
Top Image: Sony