The new PlayStation Plus, with the offering of the Game Catalog in the Extra tier and Classics Catalog in the Premium/Deluxe tier, has now rolled out in most regions. But there is one sticking point when it comes to the classic games offering: some regions are running the PAL versions, rather than NTSC.
For context, PAL and NTSC are two different TV formats, used in old-school TVs. PAL is widely adopted in Europe whilst NTSC is mainly adopted in the US and Japan (and a lot of other countries in Asia).
The big difference between the two standards is the refresh rate. NTSC runs at 60Hz whilst PAL at a slower 50Hz.
Players who have grown accustomed to the NTSC versions of a game will find the PAL one a bit less responsive, as it is running at a lower refresh rate, which means a lower max frame rate.
In Asia, where the service first launched, the initial selection of PS1 games in the Classics Catalog are using a mix of NTSC and PAL versions. The first-party releases are mostly using PAL, signified by the publisher being credited as Sony Computer Entertainment Europe.
There is no clear reason from Sony why the PS1 emulation games available on PS4 and PS5 would offer the PAL versions. YouTuber Modern Vintage Gamer describes the situation as “confusing” and Digital Foundry’s initial analysis found the emulation concluded with saying they are not good enough, with the usage of PAL versions being one of the main reasons why.
So it’s good to know that Sony has listened to feedback.
In a tweet, PlayStation Asia confirms that “we’re planning to roll out NTSC options for a majority of classic games offered on the PlayStation Plus Premium and Deluxe plan in Asia, Europe, Middle East, India, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand regions.”
There is no time frame being given, or how will the new NTSC option be presented, but at least we now know that it’s coming.