Sony explains PSone emulation problems

Written by Joe Martin

February 1, 2011 | 11:01

Tags: #playstation-3 #ps1

Companies: #sony

Sony has explained why porting old PSone games to newer consoles, such as the PlayStation 3 or PSP, takes so long in a blog post on the European PlayStation blog.

'There are two major stumbling blocks between submitting a game for emulation and us being able to publish it,' said Sony's Ross McGrath, who said QA and not securing the rights were two of the biggest issues.

Apparently, to port just one game Sony demands a workable original copy of the game in all languages, legal assurance that it has the right to re-publish and copies of store packaging and associated materials. All emulated titles also undergo rigorous quality assurance and bug testing at Sony.

Legal assurance, says McGrath, can be a tricky process as original developers and publishers often no longer exist.

'The other problem is failing QA because of serious bugs, and when I say bugs, I mean giant cockroach-sized uber-bugs,' said McGrath. 'I have seen a lot of PSone QA reports with some weird and wonderful errors: menu screens with upside down text, explosions that kill your character at random after watching a cut-scene, games that continue to slow down the longer you play them, or music that sounds like it's coming from the bottom of a well... the list goes on.'

The issue for Sony is that the developers who originally coded the game and who would be best placed to iron out these bugs are often no longer in a position to work on these titles. Buggy games can sometimes be fixed, but they can't simply be fired back to the developer for more work.

Responding to a question about why some emulated titles are available in some territories and not others, McGrath said that that often comes down to legal issues or because of bugs that show up in only PAL or NTSC versions of the game.

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