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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.

36 comments

  • TheWoolyMammoth - August 29, 2012 5:51 a.m.

    I had a good go at Tomb Raider on it yesterday. It looks and runs perfectly, but I'll never be able to play it for one simple reason: the rear touch panel. Having to hold the thing and not touch the rear panel whilst using the D-pad to move Lara was more uncomfortable than anything I've ever used :(
  • GR_JustinTowell - August 29, 2012 5:54 a.m.

    Try tucking in three fingers like you're doing a thumbs-up. Works for me, very comfortable :)
  • TheWoolyMammoth - August 29, 2012 6:48 a.m.

    It's marginally better like that, but I don't know how long I could put up with it. It's a shame I have to be so different haha. Ridge Racer Type 4 was a lot of fun on it however.
  • wicko - August 29, 2012 7:42 a.m.

    What does the rear touch panel do in PS classics? There's no way to disable it?
  • wicko - August 29, 2012 7:52 a.m.

    nevermind, I read the article. lol
  • Dadyo238 - August 29, 2012 7:53 a.m.

    Since the PS1 had four shoulder buttons, but the Vita only has two, each side of the rear touch pad counts as the one of the missing buttons.
  • db1331 - August 29, 2012 6:05 a.m.

    Boy is this tempting. I had a blast recently replaying RE2 on my PS3. So, if you already own a PSOne game on PS3, you can download it on your Vita free of charge, correct? Last year I downloaded FF VII because I knew it was a must-play that I never got around to. I put about two hours into it but haven't gone back. Being able to play it on the go would be just the ticket though...
  • EnragedTortoise1 - August 29, 2012 6:21 a.m.

    Damn right you can. All you have to do is find it in your downloads list and re-download it from there. There might be a more efficient way to do it, but I wouldn't know.
  • GR_JustinTowell - August 29, 2012 6:24 a.m.

    No, you're right - that's the way to do it at present. But only on a PS3 until the store itself updates, which will either be today or tomorrow.
  • awinnerisjew - August 29, 2012 10:41 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?
  • Chronicus_Pr1me - August 29, 2012 1:26 p.m.

    Yeah but make sure the PSOne classic games are still in bubble form on your PS3 before you transfer them to the Vita. Also If you had previously bought a zVita-supported PSone game for your Ps3, just re-download it but keep it in bubble form. Otherwise it won't transfer.
  • copyofcopy - August 29, 2012 8:38 p.m.

    yeah, i just re-downloaded castlevania sotn and transferred it via usb to my vita
  • Jaces - August 29, 2012 10:47 a.m.

    Hopefully when the store updates I can snatch all my psone downloads for my vita. As of right now I'm PS3less due to a recent move and it's driving me nuts. Already beat all my vita games so some FFVII and Resident evil will do me some real good.
  • MasterBhater - August 29, 2012 4:46 p.m.

    I've actually NEVER played a Final Fantasy game before (to be honest, they didn't look interesting) but I downloaded FF VII on my Vita and, for some reason, I'm hooked.
  • robertpopovic - August 29, 2012 7:38 a.m.

    Wow, the backtouch is actually what excites me most. I still have a PSP that I mostly used for PS1 RPG's because it has a better battery than the vita, as well as that I originally thought that the sleepmode wasn't as power-efficient on the vita. Turned out I was wrong :D Played Silent Hill 1 on the PS3 and have several others that I still want to play (Soul Reaver, RE1-3) but it is a bit of a downer to watch those images on a HD screen. Can adjust easily, but still takes time. Didn't want to play them on the PSP due to the lack of the extra shoulder buttons. So now the Vita finally solved that problem! /cheer
  • 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.

Showing 1-20 of 36 comments

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