If you’ve been waiting to finally play PlayStation Plus’ retro classics in Europe, we’ve got good news. Sony’s confirmed it’s looking to roll out 60Hz NTSC options.
Following previous criticism for using 50Hz PAL versions with retro games on PS4 and PS5, Sony issued a statement on Twitter (opens in new tab) earlier today. “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.”
Unfortunately, Sony didn’t say when these options will come to PlayStation Plus, but that’s a big win for anyone keen to dive into these retro games. Thanks to a lower framerate, the European and Australian 50Hz PAL editions are considered inferior to the North American and Japanese 60Hz NTSC releases. By providing an increase to 30 frames per second gameplay, it’s a smoother experience.
While this regional difference is no longer the issue it once was, that past standard means it’s a problem re-releases face today, making NTSC options a welcome addition. It’s certainly a much better solution than Sony’s previous approach, which saw the publisher upscaling PAL games through frame blending, creating a ghosting effect.
Slowly getting there
Sony hasn’t confirmed why it went with PAL editions for these retro re-releases, but it’s speculated this could be because they contain multi-language support. However, despite Sony’s own choices, the Asian PS Plus relaunch last month confirmed third-party publishers could freely choose. Mr. Driller, Oddworld: Abe’s Oddysee, and Tekken 2 all notably used the NTSC versions.
It’s not been a consistent approach and it’s worth highlighting how Sony only confirmed NTSC options will be available for “a majority of classic games”. Naturally, that’s great news for the wider line-up, but there’ll be those select few that won’t benefit from an upgrade to 60Hz.
Still, I’m otherwise impressed with Sony’s efforts, it’s clearly going the extra mile with these retro re-releases. Available individually and through PS Plus Premium, each includes some necessary quality-of-life adjustments. Upscaled resolution, higher frame rates, optional trophy support, and even visual filters for PS1 games. Now, who’s up for some Ape Escape?