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Sony’s attempt to ‘improve’ its 50Hz PS1 games on PS Plus is creating a ghosting effect (VGC)

kingfey

Banned
Sony has released a patch that attempts to improve its controversial 50Hz classic PlayStation games, but users are reporting that the effect it creates is distracting.

Complaints were raised last week when PlayStation 1 and PSP games started appearing on Asian region PlayStation stores, ahead of the revamped PlayStation Plus coming to Japan, the Americas and Europe in June.

It was soon noticed that all first-party PS1 games included with the service are based on the European PAL versions, even in regions which use the NTSC format including Taiwan.

This means the games run at 50hz instead of NTSC’s faster 60hz refresh rate, making them significantly slower.

Sony has now released a patch for some of these games which it claims has “improved PAL output”.

However, as Twitter user windycornertv points out, the patch creates a noticeable ghosting effect as the screen scrolls.

The patch – which currently affects Jumping Flash, Everybody’s Golf and Kurushi (aka Intelligent Qube) – appears to be attempting to increase the 50Hz output to 60Hz to make its PAL games run at the same speed as 60Hz games.

However, in order to do this, it seems to be adding in missing frames by blending existing frames together, creating a ‘ghosting’ effect.


The issue was also highlighted on a Digital Foundry video, in which reporter John Linneman intended to analyse the PS1 emulation in general, but received the patch just before the video had been completed.

“They added frame blending to try to make up for the PAL frame rate, but this means that there’s a ghost trail behind every frame,” Linneman noted.

“This does not make up for the low refresh rate of these PAL versions.”

Although Sony hasn’t officially confirmed why it’s using the PAL versions of its games, it’s believed that it’s because they include support for multiple languages.

However, other third-party games on the service such as Tekken 2, Syphon Filter, Abe’s Oddysee and Mr. Driller appear to be based on the NTSC versions.

It’s also not year clear if all regions will receive the PAL versions, though when the PlayStation Classic mini console was released in 2018 around half of its games used the PAL versions, even in units sold in North America.
 

lh032

I cry about Xbox and hate PlayStation.
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Inside Out Reaction GIF by Disney Pixar
 

Chukhopops

Member
Yes that's what happens when you just interpolate frames.

They haven't fixed the underlying issue.
Well everyone knows you can’t improve the framerate through interpolation (except one legendary GAF technical expert).

What I don’t get is do they also speed up the game? Or does it still run at 50Hz speed.
 

RoboFu

One of the green rats
Just make the games look and play exactly like they did. Is that so hard?
Add a few optional shaders for scan lines and such and call it a day.
 

adamsapple

Gold Member
Well everyone knows you can’t improve the framerate through interpolation (except one legendary GAF technical expert).

What I don’t get is do they also speed up the game? Or does it still run at 50Hz speed.

No the games refresh rate is still the same. DF mentioned this in their video as well.
 
PS1 games with the right emulator settings (namely Perspective corrected textures) look pretty damn good on modern displays in high resolutions.

Yeah, that looks cleaner than I thought. Maybe too clean? Haha I dunno, I guess it's subjective but yeah, that video definetly looks fine enough.

Sony should improve their own emulator to match that, or at least provide some filters for the CRT look.
 

ParaSeoul

Member
I don’t get it… the “fix” is super easy and obvious, just use the NTSC version. why aren’t they doing this? is there some legal reason Sony has to use the PAL version?
Language support. John from DF already said other territories might get the NTSC versions.
 
The worst part? To have access to these games you have to pay like 17$ a month or 120$ a year. This is the main draw for the most expensive tier and they are failing miserably at it. No one is paying more for trials lmao.

Hopefully they actually take this seriously...

At least they seem to desperately try to be better before the ww release. Let's hope. How hard can it be to allow for pal and NTSC versions? Or simply NTSC for every game...
 
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Neff

Member
Just make the games look and play exactly like they did. Is that so hard?
Add a few optional shaders for scan lines and such and call it a day.

Literally this. It doesn't need to be high res or have rewind/trophies. Just as little input lag as possible and a working scanline filter to let the pixels look good. Done.

How hard can it be to allow for pal and NTSC versions? Or simply NTSC for every game...

Japan is going to get NTSC across the board most likely, so if PSone is your thing it might be worth setting up a Japanese account.

What I don't get is why would anyone play a PSX game on a modern TV instead of on a CRT. They must look horrendous.

I'm playing lots of PSone games on my Series X at the moment using the crt-caligari filter and they look incredible. Particularly works wonders on games with prerendered backgrounds.

 
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YCoCg

Member
I don’t get it… the “fix” is super easy and obvious, just use the NTSC version. why aren’t they doing this? is there some legal reason Sony has to use the PAL version?
Unlike modders and emulators on PC, Sony don't have the rights to re-author new builds of games, so PAL games were the ones that had EFIGS language support where as most NTSC games only supported English and sometimes Spanish. The best choice would to be use the NTSC American builds and reauthor them with EFIGS but as stated, they can't do that so that's where the emulation and modding scene will always be ahead when it comes to PS1 stuff.
 
I don’t get it… the “fix” is super easy and obvious, just use the NTSC version. why aren’t they doing this? is there some legal reason Sony has to use the PAL version?
No they just think they will make a few more dollars with more languages. It's about money.
 
I'm playing lots of PSone games on my Series X at the moment using the crt-caligari filter and they look incredible. Particularly works wonders on games with prerendered backgrounds.
Never was a fan of those filters. That said I used them many years ago, so I guess they must have improved a lot since it seems many people use those when emulating old systems in newer TVs.

If game like Legend of Mana can look somewhat closer to the look they have on a CRT then yeah, those filters must be good enough.
 
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jimmypython

Member
This might imply some SIE internal dynamics: (1) clearly they know about the issue, (2) this new PS + program is handled by SIEE, and (3) for whatever reason, SIEE doesn’t want to use other SCE region ROMs: could mean SIEE folks didn’t want to, or SIEA (SIEJ doesn’t exist anymore) didn’t want to help, or no communications among SIE offices
 
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The worst part? To have access to these games you have to pay like 17$ a mo the ir 120$ a year. This is the main draw for the most expensive tier and they are failing miserably at it. No one is paying more for trials lmao.
Or you can buy them individually for $5-$7 and if you already have in the past you can just re-download them.
 
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PS1 games with the right emulator settings (namely Perspective corrected textures) look pretty damn good on modern displays in high resolutions.


This looks very good indeed, however I still prefer playing PSX games on CRT. I think low resolution (like 240p) and CRT technology mask imperfections very well (like low poly car models). Also keep in mind Gran Turismo is 3D game, while many PSX games use 2D backgrounds (for example resident evil, or dino crisis 2) and there's nothing you can do, to upscale such low quality backgrounds without blur.

IMO PS1 games should be played on CRT for best experience. Sometimes I'm also playing my PSX games on PSP3000, and with component 480p output on 26'inch LCD picture looks accepatable even in 2D games.
 

Lognor

Banned
Sony really is half asking this, aren't they? If they don't fix this their subscription service will bomb, much like the ps classic. So Sony HAS to fix this if they want a steady stream of income that comes with a subscription service.
 
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Fredrik

Gold Member
Language support. John from DF already said other territories might get the NTSC versions.
But why? If this is an asian NTSC region then why would they choose PAL versions with french, spanish etc? Makes no sense. There has to be something else behind this. Lots of PAL countries use english just fine too so choosing the PAL versions for all PAL countries to include other languages makes no sense either.

This is a PAL (yellow) and NTSC (green) map btw

 
This might imply some SIE internal dynamics: (1) clearly they know about the issue, (2) this new PS + program is handled by SIEE, and (3) for whatever reason, SIEE doesn’t want to use other SCE region ROMs: could mean SIEE folks didn’t want to, or SIEA (SIEJ doesn’t exist anymore) didn’t want to help, or no communications among SIE offices

Well whatever the reason, they need to fix this. I know some people said that using PAL versions could've been for the slight resolution advantage and having multi-language translations all in one executable, but if this is the price we have to pay for that...please at least give the option for NTSC versions in NTSC regions.

Even if that means those versions have to be downloaded and you can't stream them, it would be preferable in most instances.
 

Fredrik

Gold Member
So… they actually don’t have the 60Hz/NTSC version available?
Seems like 3rd party games are NTSC versions. The reports on bad PAL versions comes from the 1st party games. No idea why, could be a mistake I guess but since they tried to fix it with frame interpolation instead of just swapping to the NTSC version I assume it was deliberate.
 

adamsapple

Gold Member

adamsapple

Gold Member
So… they actually don’t have the 60Hz/NTSC version available?

There's no reason they shouldn't *Have* them. They probably just thought of offering the one version with multiple languages without thinking of the fan backlash.

Nintendo's solution of offering both Pal and NTSC versions and letting the user decide which version they want to download is the simplest and best solution.
 

YCoCg

Member
In hindsight that was a mastermind move. Wasn’t the PS1 CPU used as an I/O chip on the PS3 or something like that?
It wasn't supposed to be, but some developers "cheated" and used it to do things, Naughty Dog mentioned this in a Making of Jak & Daxter video where they said they did some "illegal" moves to use the PS1 chip to generate some effects as a cost saving measure.

edit: Sorry i saw you mention PS3, I'm talking about the PS2.
 
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squarealex

Member
They should contact Microsoft's backwards compat and emulation team for help.
It's more easy when all you game was coded for x86 / PowerPC and never occured with the 50Hz issue. (1996-2010 for PS1/PS2)

inb4 "no excuse"... but even today, you can't reverse a 50Hz games to 60Hz original even with DuckStation.
When you force a bad 50Hz game to 60Hz, in some case, TICK info (music, script) was accelerated. For example RE1/2/3 cut-scene in engine is broken, animation is more faster than dialogue.
When you force a good 50Hz (optimized) to 60Hz, the game is more faster than the original 60Hz game, wich is worse..

The bad thing here is they displaying on 60Hz, the frampacing and input lag is more affected... like PS2 Classics GTA SA/3/VC on PAL Version on PS4

They can do better jobs by proposing :

- original NTSC 60Hz or PAL 50Hz (for multi language region, bc this is one of the reason Sony push 50 Hz version, MULTI5 )
- Displaying all 50Hz games on Refresh Rate 50Hz on PS5. (The PS5 can VRR, they no reason it can't displaying 50Hz)
- Better 1:1 options for PSP games, better color options, better filter (Dot and NOT scanlines for PSP)
- Better scanlines for PS1 games.
- Removing this trash ghosting...

You can't reverse 50Hz to 60Hz and sadly, some PAL games have more content than the NTSC version.
 
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yurinka

Member
I'd suggest Sony:
  • To use NTSC versions of games that doesn't have extra language support or doesn't take advantage of the extra resolution that PAL has over NTSC.
  • For those who have better resolution or more languages in PAL, use the PAL version but with a better 60Hz, using the way that I assume the emulators (from different old consoles) who have a "Force 60Hz for PAL games" option work (some of them provide their source code, see their retroarch version)
  • To fix the aspect ratio options to make them run as they do in the other emulators (see DF video for details)
  • Disable the "CRT filter" for the PSP games, or replace it with a "lcd filter".
  • Improve the "CRT filter" learning from the "crt-guest-dr-venom" (my favorite one) or "crt-royale" CRT shaders available on Retroarch (source code is available there)

We also have to consider that PAL games in some cases had bigger resolution or localization to multiple languages, but in addition to this many games made in Japan or USA were released way later in Europe, version that featured extra bugfixes or even extra content.

Interpolating doesn't help at all, Ape Escape is still almost 20% slower than NTSC.
To be exact, the difference between NTSC (60Hz) and PAL (50Hz) is 16.67%.

It means PAL games without a 60Hz option in its game settings or an unofficial 60Hz patch (which could be implemented by the emulator) are 16.67% slower or -if properly programmed to run at the same speed in all regions, 16.67% less smooth.

People complained about Ken Kutaragi because he implemented the old chips into the system making It costly to manufacture the PS3. Now you have to deal with Sonys backwards compatibility incompetence.
His decision of using alien hardware for PS3 almost killed the console. Compared to the many issues his design caused, these PS5 emulation issues are super cheap and easy to fix with some tweaks. Specially when most PS players won't give a shit about PS1 and even a smaller portion will notice or care about these emulation issues.

P.S.: I have a launch PS3 SKU, the one with higher PS2 BC compability and the PS4 BC in PS5 is way better. I have many PS2 games that don't work in PS3 or have issues. Some PS2 games had different re-releases, and some of them did work on PS3 while other ones didn't.

But why? If this is an asian NTSC region then why would they choose PAL versions with french, spanish etc? Makes no sense. There has to be something else behind this. Lots of PAL countries use english just fine too so choosing the PAL versions for all PAL countries to include other languages makes no sense either.

This is a PAL (yellow) and NTSC (green) map btw

SECAM is also a variant of PAL. Japan, Phillipines, Myanmar and a huge chunk of America did use a NTSC variant. The rest of the world did use a PAL variant.
 
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