Classicamiga Forum Retro Edition
1 2 3 4
Thread: Playstation Classic announced
Harrison 09:11 4th December 2018
This has now been released. 89 in the UK.

Many are moaning about the selection of games included. But more so retro gamers are moaning about the complete lack of customisation! If you look at the Nintendo mini systems they provide settings such as adding emulated scanlines. The PlayStation classic has nothing. It loads in 16:9 upscaled resolution, and with most Playstation games originally for 4:3 aspect ratio, so it stretches out the image. If your TV has the settings you might be able to make the TV force the screen to a 4:3 and squash it back, but that's annoying. Equally if you have a UK one you are locked to a PAL bios and 50hz output. All modern lcds can run 60hz. Big oversight!

But there is hope. Someone discovered if you plus a USB keyboard into the console and press the Escape key it takes you into the emulator's settings menu! This gives instant access to scanline generation, selecting ntsc or pal bios, as well as options to load CD images (although not currently worked out how to load images.. maybe just plugging a usb stick in? Would be mad if it were that simple! Shows Sony have been a bit lazy because they are basically just running the standard Playstation emulator without customising it at all. All they needed to do was bind Select+Start to the Escape key settings link.

Demon Cleaner 03:31 5th December 2018
Like I said, why buy this if I can play EVERY game on my PS3? Which is btw still standing at it's initial spot, meaning fully available.
Harrison 09:11 5th December 2018
If you have a PS3 then yes, but many don't, and most have no clue how to put their own PS1 games onto one to play them, instead repurchasing them from the PlayStation store. As I said before, this classic is aimed more at those whom were uni students when the original came out, but didn't keep it and want one for a bit of retro nostalga. They will be a bit disappointed by the game line-up though. One of the most famous games to get the system noticed by Students, Wipeout 2097, is not included. Either is Gran Turismo.

The thing I like with all these mini systems though is their plug and play design and their size. They fit in the palm of your hand and come with authentic controllers, plus are geared to output correctly on modern displays via hdmi, so no messing around. Admittedly Sony dropped the ball with this classic because they didnt give a direct way to access and configure the emulator running this setup.

For me at the moment the best mini system released has been the SNES Mini because you can easily unlock and customise it. It's a great miniature emulation system to stick under the TV. You can easily hack them and there is an ever growing community of hacking support and releases. You can add more SNES games to it to expand it's library, but you can also install the RetroArc emulator, which then allows you to run GBA, NES, N64, Gamegear, Master and Megadrive, NeoGeo, MAME and even PSX.. etc games. The only limitation of the SNES Mini is storage space. It has about half free when you get it, so can realistically fit about 20-30 more games on it. But even that has been solved. You can now get a cheap OTG USB adapter, and after installing some utilities you can plug a USB memory stick in and instantly expand the storage.

So yeah, I wouldn't buy a PSX classic at the momrnt, I would buy a SNES Mini and hack it. Perfect little emulsion system. The other route is Raspberry Pi in a SNES case.

If however they manage to hack and unlock the Playstation classic it might be more tempting. I don't know how the PSX classic's hardware compared to the Snes Mini (Nes mini uses the same hardware), but Nintendo's hardware is much more powerful than is needed to emulate SNES games, as is evident by being able to run PSX games on it. Even 32x and N64 games run fine. So if the Classic's hardware is even more powerful this would be good.
J T 00:12 6th December 2018
Originally Posted by Harrison:
Wipeout 2097, is not included. Either is Gran Turismo. .
Shame, but some of that may have been to do with licensing arrangements (music tracks, I'm guessing, but maybe also the car manufacturers for GT). It's a pity there isn't a simpler legal way around this but that's the nature of this world at the moment.
Demon Cleaner 03:25 6th December 2018
Originally Posted by Harrison:
The other route is Raspberry Pi in a SNES case.
Is that not basically what it is anyway, kind of?
Harrison 08:45 6th December 2018
Yes, very similar. Both (snes mini and Pi) use the same hardware as smartphone technology and both are running Linux.

In fact it's fairly obvious the SNES is running on Linux if you hack one as the filesystem is standard, which is nice for the hacking/dev/retro emulation communities.

Nintendo have however developed the hardware beyond standard Smartphone tech.

Specs are:

Allwinner R16 SoC (system on chip), featuring four ARM Cortex A7s paired with an ARM Mali 400 MP2 GPU. Hynix single memory chip - a 256MB DDR3 module - and 512MB of NAND storage.

512MB storage might not sound a lot, but when you consider the size of the average SNES rom image is about 1-6MB you can fit quite a few on there, so more wasn't needed. Interestingly it's exactly the same hardware used in the NES mini, so Nintendo smartly designed thr hardware ready for all the Mini systems they had planned. Four an N64 mini (if one is ever planned) thr hardware running N64 games perfectly, but it might need more storage because N64 games were normally between 16MB and 64MB. But if you hack the SNES mini you can then just plug a usb stick or external hdd into it to expand storage.

Now the interesting bit about the system. The bespoke Super NES emulation software layer, running on open source OS, Linux, not only emulates the Super NES itself, but many of the add-on processors that were included in specific cartridges. This includes the Super FX and Super FX2 chips that were used for Star Fox, its sequel and Yoshi's Island, and a few other games. Plus the SA1 CPU upgrade utilised by Super Mario RPG and Kirby Super Star. Even Super Mario Kart used additional hardware - NEC's DSP-1, which is also replicated for the mini consoles.

You might argue that many of these chips are also emulated in other SNES emulators, and that is true. The Super FX abd DSP-1 chip based games canbe problematic though. And for anyone whom owns a SNES Everdrive you might have encountered the limitations of the missing chips.. although they do have the facility to solder a real chip from an original carry to the ED hardware.

The final thing that's interesting. With the NES and SNES Mini hardware being identical they can both be hacked to do exactly that same thing. But the NES mini is currently only 45, whereas the SNES Mini is 69-75. So whilst it doesn't look so good IMO the NES Mini could be a great little emulation system to own. Only downside is the NES controller it comes with. You can buy additional SNES controllers, but if you wanted the best controller for either system the Wii classic controller works because it uses the same ports. Quite a nice inclusion, which makes you wonder if Nintendo's idea here was that these mini systems were easy to hack. Would be strange considering how protective they normally are over anything emulation or rom related. Using a Wii classic controller you can then easily play N64 games and other systems fully as you have access to a lot more controls such as dual analogue sticks. More likely is its support is built in because if they do make an N64 mini they can just put thr Wii classic controller's hardware inside an N64 style casing.
Harrison 17:43 9th December 2018
Quick update. It seems some have already found exploits in the classic to add your own games. So far it's a bit fiddly as you have to exit the system database and replace one of the existing game entries with your new one. Or you can exploit it by adding games to a usb stick, but you still need to edit the database. Early days so they should develop a far easier solution soon.

Disappointingly once they hacked it they discovered Sony have made thr classic as cheaply as possible. Basically a Risc PC similar to an old Raspberry Pi version, and running a third party emulator, not even using their own they have developed for years and used on many of their recent systems. Strange. They could even have used their PSP, Vita or PSTV hardware.
Demon Cleaner 03:41 10th December 2018
Tells you.
Harrison 00:25 28th December 2018
It seems that, due to the disappointment and poor reviews of the PlayStation Classic, stores in the UK have already reduced its retail price to 49.99. It's at this price in most stores already including Amazon, Game and Argos.

I've already read it can now be explored far more easily now, but haven't investigated. If I see one for 30 I might be tempted.

As it is my wife bought me a Nintendo SNES Mini for Christmas. Going to be hacking it this coming week and adding emulation support so I can then run NES, N64, Neo-Geo, GBA, Megadrive etc and even Playstation games on it. Great little system. The way it should be done.
Harrison 14:55 31st December 2018
PlayStation Classic Boot Menu + RetroArch + 91 Cores, Christmas 2018 public BETA

Depending on how powerful the hardware in the PlayStation Classic is, this could be an interesting release. With 91 cores supported thry may include newer systems than the SNES Mini can run, such as Dolphin.
1 2 3 4