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Sony explains PSone emulation problems

Sony explains PSone emulation problems

According to Sony, porting just one PS1 game to newer hardware can take several months.

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.

Let us know your thoughts in the forums.

24 Comments

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mi1ez 1st February 2011, 11:06 Quote
Interesting I guess, but not entirely surprising...
Omnituens 1st February 2011, 11:07 Quote
Good points, shows they want to release bug-free versions.

Shame FFVIII slipped through the next, that one randomly crashes my PSP, and is the only PSone game I got off the PSN to do so :(
Zurechial 1st February 2011, 11:34 Quote
I have to laugh at this claim when I see (and enjoy) the fantastic efforts by amateur emulation coders.
At least it suggests that Sony aren't stealing code from emu projects.
mpr 1st February 2011, 11:49 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Omnituens
Good points, shows they want to release bug-free versions.

Shame FFVIII slipped through the next, that one randomly crashes my PSP, and is the only PSone game I got off the PSN to do so :(

I'm more upset at having to remap the controls so I can boost my summons properly.
Aracos 1st February 2011, 12:06 Quote
Deal with it is what I say, look at the state of emulators these days, you can even play loads of wii games at whatever res you desire. If non professional coders can create great emulators so should sony be able to.
GiantStickMan 1st February 2011, 12:13 Quote
I can understand the lagalities etc, and tracking down developers that have gone under would be quite a difficult task, but seeing the high rate of success from fan-made emulators makes me question why they find it such a hard task to get it right? I play all my old PSone games on an emulator and I'm yet to find a single one that I can't play through to its conclusion due to any of the above mentioned 'bugs' they experience.
rollo 1st February 2011, 12:27 Quote
fan made emulators run on the old ps code ( BIOS ) and on pcs that have most of the original extensions anyway they were not designed for a cell process that has 10 threads the psone had an 86mhz core from what i remember

psp and ps3 don't support the old Bios hence the game needs to be converted and that conversion process I doubt always goes well
adam_bagpuss 1st February 2011, 12:47 Quote
ill stick to my PC emulator version thanks it works
ChaosDefinesOrder 1st February 2011, 13:19 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by mpr
Quote:
Originally Posted by Omnituens
Good points, shows they want to release bug-free versions.

Shame FFVIII slipped through the next, that one randomly crashes my PSP, and is the only PSone game I got off the PSN to do so :(

I'm more upset at having to remap the controls so I can boost my summons properly.

^this. why the hell does the PSP and by extension the NGP have only two shoulder buttons? I understand there's space constraints but it would have made game ports significantly easier!
wuyanxu 1st February 2011, 13:20 Quote
Quote:
games that continue to slow down the longer you play them
that's just incompetent emulator that has memory leaks. find some competent programmer to sort it out.
Blademrk 1st February 2011, 13:23 Quote
Tried the original wipeout on my PS3 a week or two back, music didn't work at all - which was strange as the music on the wipeout disc can be played through a normal CD player.
eddtox 1st February 2011, 14:04 Quote
My PSP slim and light is running custom firmware and will happily emulate quite a few old psone games with no fuss. Maybe they should hire the guys who made that possible.
vampalan 1st February 2011, 14:23 Quote
Securing the rights for an old game can be a problem, but new bugs? WTF? Sounds like emulator has problems not the games.
SimonStern 1st February 2011, 18:23 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by rollo
fan made emulators run on the old ps code ( BIOS ) and on pcs that have most of the original extensions anyway they were not designed for a cell process that has 10 threads the psone had an 86mhz core from what i remember

psp and ps3 don't support the old Bios hence the game needs to be converted and that conversion process I doubt always goes well

Then maybe they should try it the other way since it seems to work quite nicely. Looks like they're being beaten at their own game by amateur coders... (rim shot)
themax 1st February 2011, 18:32 Quote
I think some people are forgetting that emulation in the sense of the way Sony and MS do for software is not the same as the amateur coders. Each game is ported and reworked in a way that the PS3/PSP recognizes and launches it. That emulation isn't using a PSX Emulator to do so as we do on our PCs. Also it's much easier for the amateurs because as another posted stated, their emulators run off the original PSX BIOS and simplly requires the ISO of said game to launch. If sony were to simply choose to release their bare base emulator pre-loaded with the original BIOS I'm sure that would work, but Sony could find itself in a ****storm of legal troubles because at that point, it's just a matter of us consumers finding original ISO's transferring them to our PS3's and launching the games.
Th3Maverick 1st February 2011, 19:08 Quote
Erm...so how has Nintendo been so successful with emulating...well, everything?
Eiffie 1st February 2011, 19:20 Quote
I really wish they would add some more big hit titles to the PSN under the PS1 section. There is a pretty big selection but it's still missing some classics, Tomba! comes to mind. It's sad to hear that it takes so much effort to try and get the ports up there for download but I've yet to buy a game and have it act improperly on either my PS3 or my PSP-3000 series so someone must be doing their job properly at sony. I'd be interested to see what games are gonna come out on the PSP-2 but since it is lacking a UMD drive and I have quite a few UMD games, I don't think I'm going to be picking one up anytime soon. They would have to have some KILLER games on that new system for me to even think about it.
Tokukachi 1st February 2011, 19:35 Quote
I want to have a look at what games were available on the PlayStation store, but you have to have media go installed just to view them, at least m$ let you browse everything on there website.
Penfolduk01 1st February 2011, 20:43 Quote
Maybe I'm being naive. But if Sony had 100% PSOne emulation, there would be no need for all these months of poncing around. Sounds like they've deliberately put barriers up so they can flog PS2 and PS3 games. Which they probably make more money on.
Guinevere 1st February 2011, 21:15 Quote
Simples - their "porting" methodology sucks the big one. Stop trying to port every damn game, just create an VM environment that emulates properly. They won't though as they see there being little money in it for them - which is probably right.
kazara1001 9th February 2011, 23:05 Quote
Thanks heavens someone takes QA seriously as say Boeing. Could you imagine Boeing Releasing a Beta version of a 747. Hmm we must install a patch, we killed 500 peeps today. Congrats to both companies.
Repo 10th February 2011, 12:27 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Guinevere
Simples - their "porting" methodology sucks the big one. Stop trying to port every damn game, just create an VM environment that emulates properly. They won't though as they see there being little money in it for them - which is probably right.
Spot on, it's their approach that is the problem from a consumers point of view. However, if they did that I doubt they'd get what they want back in income as Sony like to suck as much cash out of the consumer as possible.
Quote:
Originally Posted by kazara1001
Thanks heavens someone takes QA seriously as say Boeing. Could you imagine Boeing Releasing a Beta version of a 747. Hmm we must install a patch, we killed 500 peeps today. Congrats to both companies.
Complete of an comparison!
eddtox 10th February 2011, 14:39 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by kazara1001
Thanks heavens someone takes QA seriously as say Boeing. Could you imagine Boeing Releasing a Beta version of a 747. Hmm we must install a patch, we killed 500 peeps today. Congrats to both companies.

They probably would if they thought they could get away with it :P
docodine 22nd February 2011, 21:01 Quote
I'm just waiting for Tomba to be re-released...
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