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The Latest Attempt To Shake PS1 Games Isn’t Compelling Either

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The Latest Attempt To Shake PS1 Games Isn't Compelling Either


Siphon Filter 2 is the first PS Plus Premium classic where we can choose between NTSC and PAL.

As we previously feared, most PS1 games that were part of the PS Plus Premium range in Europe were released in versions designed for the “PAL” TV standard of the time. However, this was only transmitted at 50Hz, so games look jerky on a modern TV that uses 60Hz as its base.

As a first countermeasure, a technique was used that generates intermediate frames in order to simulate a higher frame rate in the PAL versions (which, after all, were translated into German). However, the process spoils the recent attempt to bring well-playable PS1 classics to PS4 and PS5. It sounds so promising on paper: we can choose for ourselves whether we prefer German voice output and texts or smoother gameplay for individual games.

Difference between NTSC and PAL versions:
Games for the PS1 were primarily developed for the North American and Japanese markets. The “NTSC” TV standard applied there, which was broadcast at 60 Hz. The versions for Europe, on the other hand, had to be adapted for 50 Hz transmission and therefore often operated with a frequency of images lower and were 17% slower. When playing on a modern flat screen, which essentially uses 60Hz, the deficit is much sharper than on a conventional tube TV.

This is how the new version selection works

The choice between NTSC and PAL has been integrated into the settings menu of the PS1 emulator for the PS4 and PS5. However, you should make your decision carefully, if you switch between the two versions, all your progress in the game will be deleted! Also, trophies cannot be earned twice, it remains with one entry in the PSN profile.

What should it be?  English and 60 Hz or translated into German and 50 Hz?






What should it be? English and 60 Hz or translated into German and 50 Hz?

The first game offered is the PS1 version of Siphon Filter 2 in its NTSC and PAL variants. The title, however, couldn’t be more inappropriate for the option’s launch, as it’s one of those rare games where the balance of power between NTSC and PAL is the exact opposite – the PAL version runs much smoother. and has a higher framerate than you NTSC equivalent.

This was reflected in our measurements, and our experience also aligned with reports from the game’s speedrunners, who consistently prefer the PAL version for its pace.

BUDDY






The PAL version of Siphon Filter 2 also runs a bit faster than the NTSC version on the PS5.

NTSC






NTSC is not as smooth. However, the measured values ​​should be treated with caution!

However, the information in our frame rate measurements gives a distorted picture of the game’s actual frame rate in both versions. Indeed, the PS4 and PS5 emulator generates intermediate images intended to give a smoother impression.

Our measurement program recognizes these intermediate frames as a new frame, half the value is more realistic, i.e. slightly below 20 fps in the case of the NTSC version and slightly above 20 fps in the case of PAL. Even the original version of Siphon Filter 2 did not work properly.

Massive ghosting on PAL and NTSC

During our test, we had already noticed that the game suffered from massive ghosting due to mid-frames, not found in the original. Image artifacts were visible to the naked eye in the NTSC version in particular, but the higher frame rate masks the effect somewhat in the PAL version.

Four people suddenly become eight.






Four people suddenly become eight.

The additional NTSC option is only a first step

Sony still has a lot of work to do. Giving us the possibility to choose the NTSC version of at least one title is a good step forward. Perhaps it will find its way into already released PS1 games, in which we clearly see the NTSC versions ahead – as long as you can do without a German voice output.

However, the severe ghosting that plagues Siphon Filter 2 in both versions is a big step backwards in our opinion, as it is clearly distracting when playing. Hopefully we’ll soon see an additional option or a complete waiver of the technology, because in direct comparison it robs too much of the sharpness that’s actually so typical of the PlayStation 1.

Which PS1 classic would you like to play NTSC on the PS5?

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