PS Vita is the BEST way to play PSOne games - see for yourself

Well, well, well. After all the palaver about PSOne games only appearing on the PS Store in limited numbers, then not appearing in download queues, we've finally got some PSOne games running on Vita. And we're glad we made the effort because the outcome is superb. Is it going to save the system? Not on its own, no - we still need more Vita games. But just for a moment, let's applaud a triumph. If you still love your PSOne classics, this is the absolute best way to play them. Look:

Above: Come on, admit it - you want to have a go on that

Why's it so good?

The problem with PSOne games in 2012 is that they look like ass. Actual ass. Load up the likes of Silent Hill on a PS3 running through an HDMI cable and you might as well be rubbing your eyes with sandpaper - modern TVs are too sharp for the bitty graphics. But despite PS Vita's screen being similarly crisp and lovely, playing PSOne games on it is an absolute joy. 

Firstly, there's that OLED screen. Like PSP, it can run PSOne games in a variety of different aspect ratios to give you the optimum experience. However, unlike PSP, it doesn't have problems with black levels and the larger screen makes it worth trying out all the different options because you're never left looking at a PSOne-themed postage stamp.

You can have 1:1 pixel for the sharpest picture (but that's bordered with black - it doesn't use all the pixels in the Vita's screen to do this)…

Above: One pixel of the screen for one pixel of the game

Or you can fill vertically or horizontally (the latter losing some of the top and bottom of the screen but maintaining correct aspect ratio). 

Above: If you don't mind borders or losing some of the screen, these look great

But if you don't mind seeing things looking a little squashed, you can fill the entire screen.

Above: This 'stretch to fit' option is our favourite. It's MASSIVE

It's on this setting that the games look their best. Why? Because the Vita's ability to scale the image smoothly and instantaneously means all those nasty jagged edges and chequerboard colour blends are smoothed over. It does this naturally enough through its regular screen-fill setting, but there's also an option for 'bilinear filtering' – in other words, pixels are blended in horizontal and vertical directions to make sure everything looks as smooth as a game from 1998 possibly can.

Above: It's Ridge Racer! Riiiiiidge Racer! (Type 4). But we do wonder why we still haven't got RR1 in Europe. Is it because we made fun of you, Kaz? We're sorry, really we are

I'm in control

But graphics aren't everything – and that's where Vita's controls come into play. The rear touch panel can be used as the final two shoulder buttons, meaning every button on a PSOne DualShock can be replicated on a Vita. And the analogue control is superb – steering your car around Shooting Hoops in Ridge Racer Type 4 is a joy. So good in fact, we only know this because we turned on the Vita for one race and ended up finishing a whole season. It's that much fun.

Above: Hold the touch screen for a couple of seconds and these advanced options appear

At the time of writing, for whatever reason, the PSOne games aren't on the Vita's store. And they still don't work from the download list. Perhaps it'll update tomorrow when the store traditionally gets refreshed. It's been a predictably clunky rollout, but at least the experience is brilliant. If you have a PS3 and a Vita and any love at all for PSOne games, then do yourself a favour and transfer some classics to your Vita now. You'll love the results.


  • Roboss - September 2, 2012 2:40 a.m.

    Anyone played G-Police? its only getting 3 stars on the store so was wondering if it sucked for some reason - I've played Crash 2, Fear Effect, Resi2 and Tomb R1 - all great...
  • RareHero - August 30, 2012 8:40 a.m.

    Ridge Racer Type 4 looks absolutely GORGEOUS on the Vita's display. Anyone who says that games from that generation can't look good anymore, this is my answer to you.
  • CUFCfan616 - August 29, 2012 2:58 p.m.

    I've been debating whether to go grab a second hand psp or go the whole hog and get a vita. The clincher for me would be whether the Vita can play Crisis Core as that's why I want a PSP as well as playing all the games of my childhood that are right up there, and in some ways better, in terms of gameplay than today's games
  • Cyberninja - August 29, 2012 3:30 p.m.

    The psp store has no Crisis core so it is smarter to get the psp until the vita has more games
  • supermage65 - August 29, 2012 1:58 p.m.

    Good to see the Vita finally catching up to the 3DS's Virtual Console. Can't say it makes me want to buy one, but it'll certainly help if the Vita's roster of newer games expands past handheld versions of PS3 games.
  • Chronicus_Pr1me - August 29, 2012 1:35 p.m.

    If the Vita plays PSOne classics as well as they say, I can't wait to play Crash Bandicoot again and just about every RPG i never played. Which is damn near all of them.fcpoldpassage
  • jackthemenace - August 29, 2012 11:17 a.m.

    This does sound like a pretty amazing feature. I'm starting to wonder if I made the right choice buying a 3DS instead of a Vita- After all, 3DS's can't play gameboy games. ALthough, there is always the option to buy those too, I suppose. Anyway, back to the topic at hand, this sounds great. If I'm ever lucky enough to find a Vita for an incredibly low price, I'll definitely think about picking one up. I might even have to steal a friends if they buy on, just to play Buzz Lightyear of Star Command one last time.
  • awinnerisjew - August 29, 2012 10:39 a.m.

    I read somewhere that another way to do it is copy it over from your PS3's hard drive and open via the Vita's Content Manager. And also that you're able to play additional PS1 titles this way. Is that true?
  • MasterBhater - August 29, 2012 4:43 p.m.

    Right now it is true, yes. The Vita is able to play almost any PSOne game that you've downloaded onto your PS3, if you transfer it with the Content Manager. Right now, there are only 9 PSOne games on the Vita Store. But trust me, others work as well.
  • raidramon0 - August 29, 2012 10:13 a.m.

    I just downloaded Final Fantasy VII yesterday. Playing it on the VITA is a total blast. At least Sony had enough brains to include a hit game like this in its initial line-up. This'll keep me going for a while.
  • tehtimeisnow - August 29, 2012 9:03 a.m.

    ha ah all the psp vita can run is bad old games from like 1995 ha ah no thanks i play real ganes on iphone it can run ifenty blade can psp vita run it nope didnt not think so just face it guys decidated handhelds r dead and a new age of gameing is here the ipohne age
  • FlameChucks76 - August 29, 2012 9:27 a.m.

    .........shut up dude.
  • yw221 - August 29, 2012 10:27 a.m.

    ppffffff u call that a game? i dont think vita want that game running on it. it will just ruin the system with horrible game like that.
  • tehtimeisnow - August 29, 2012 11:42 a.m.

    so u admet that psp vita cant run ifenety blade ha ah its true if u cant do grafics that good then the games is in the past and not worth playhing
  • Askatez - August 29, 2012 12:01 p.m.

    never heard of ifnety blad but please if you cant write in english than stop it.
  • FierceVoltage - August 29, 2012 10:06 p.m.

    bad troll is bad. although profile pic is thorough. thorough troll is thorough.
  • franz-barrientos - December 24, 2012 10:46 p.m.

    dude infinity blade aint impressive lol all u di is watch swipe swipe like a homo i have a ipad 2 and a vita no us being a fanboy watch soul sacrifice on vita and see if at os can compete witht that ios games=no depth its all casual shit
  • copyofcopy - August 29, 2012 8:36 p.m.

    oh man. i do 'admet' that 'ifenty blade' is good, but have you checked out ifenty blade tooe? even better. i didn't not think it wouldn't be ungood. but it wasn't.
  • CrushOnDrake - August 30, 2012 1:41 p.m.

    LOL, well played.

Showing 1-20 of 36 comments

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