There’s a thread for Sega Saturn collecting, but not for the PS1? Disgusting!
So we’re gonna talk about it. The Playstation 1 has one of the best libraries of any system out there, regardless of which genres you happen to be into. Except for first person shooters… which just makes it even more badass.
It’s also an older system which has games that are still affordable. That makes now a great time to round out your collection with some of those games you’d always meant to try out back in the day. Chances are that a few years down the road, this system will become just as stupidly expensive to collect for as the SNES has recently.
The PS1’s import library is also pretty stonking hot. It doesn’t have the same support for 2D fighters as the Saturn (obviously), but there are a ton of lesser-known games that kick all kinds of ass.
Plus, you can even use this sonbitch as a CD player. You can listen to everything from Heaven Beside You to MMMBop. I know. I just did it.
Here’s sweet games:
Castlevania: Symphony of the Night
Mega Man X5
Metal Gear Solid
Um Jammer Lammy
Q: I never had a PS1/Haven’t played one in a long time. Why should I give a shit?
A: Because the games on this system are some of the best out there. This was an era where Square-Enix could do (almost) no wrong. Konami was incredible. Capcom was sublime. This era was really the height of Japanese development, and was a magical time when games could actually be fun instead of attempting to be bad David Cage movies.
Plus, there’s a ton of variety. And the games are still pretty cheap, for the most part.
Q: Well, how should I even play this stuff today? 1995 was like 7 years ago.
A: Buy a PS1. Or a PS2, which has near 100% backwards compatibility (the stuff that won’t work is stuff you wouldn’t want to play.) Or a PS3, though I’ve experienced graphical glitches with certain games. I wouldn’t recommend it.
The PSN store is also an option if you want to play PS1 games on your Triple, the PSP, or Vita. The selection is somewhat limited, of course, but there are definitely some gems on there.
Use component or SCART if you’re playing on a PS2. An actual PS1 doesn’t support component cables, so you can use SCART if you’re in the Euro zone or have an XRGB. If not, you’re gonna want S-video.
If you’re going the emulator route, epsxe is still the go-to.
Q: Why does the PS1 look like shit on my HDTV? I paid good money for this Dynex and you’re telling me it’s junk!?
A: PS1 games can look rough to begin with, so yeah, hooking your system up to an HDTV, even with component cables/SCART isn’t going to be ideal. You have a few options for fixing this:
Get an SDTV.
Get an XRGB Framemeister (which is like $400+)
The story of Sony and Nintendo teaming up to build a CD-ROM for the Super NES is well-worn, so I won’t go into too much detail. Nintendo approached Sony to develop a CD-ROM add-on for the Super NES, dubbed the “SNES-CD”. A contract was signed, and work began. Sony also planned to develop a Super Nintendo-compatible, Sony-branded console, but one which would be more of a home entertainment system playing both Super Nintendo cartridges and a new CD format which Sony would design. This was also to be the format used in SNES-CDs, giving a large degree of control to Sony despite Nintendo’s leading position in the video gaming market. The product, dubbed the “Play Station” was to be announced at the May 1991 Consumer Electronics Show (CES). However, when Nintendo’s Hiroshi Yamauchi read the original 1988 contract between Sony and Nintendo, he realized that the earlier agreement essentially handed Sony complete control over any and all titles written on the SNES CD-ROM format. Yamauchi decided that the contract was totally unacceptable and he secretly canceled all plans for the joint Nintendo-Sony SNES CD attachment. Instead of announcing a partnership between Sony and Nintendo, at 9 am the day of the CES, Nintendo chairman Howard Lincoln stepped onto the stage and revealed that Nintendo was now allied with Philips, and Nintendo was planning on abandoning all the previous work Nintendo and Sony had accomplished. Lincoln and Minoru Arakawa had, unbeknownst to Sony, flown to Philips headquarters in Europe and formed an alliance of a decidedly different nature—one that would give Nintendo total control over its licenses on Philips machines.
After the collapse of the joint project, Sony considered halting their research, but ultimately the company decided to use what they had developed so far and make it into a complete, stand-alone console…
The PlayStation was Sony’s entry into the console market. Released in Japan on December 3, 1994, with its US release on September 1995, the system made an immediate splash. The texture-mapped 3D graphics were ahead of any other console at the time and the price (following a legendary announcement by Phil Harrison at E3 1995) was a reasonable $300, $100 less than its direct competitor, the Sega Saturn.
With an array of impressive 3rd party development deals, an attractive price, competitive technology, and the storage space of CD-ROM, the PS1 dominated the industry, eventually selling 102 million consoles, with production stopping in March 2006, a few months before the PlayStation 3’s release.
Media: 2x CD-ROM, with a maximum data throughput of 300 kB/s
CPU: MIPS R3000A-family R3051 @ 33.8688 MHz
Geometry Transformation Engine:
-Resides inside the main CPU chip, giving it additional vector math instructions used for 3D graphics
-Operating performance of 66 MIPS
-360,000 polygons per second
-180,000 texture mapped and light-sourced polygons per second
-Handles 2D graphics processing separate from the main 3D engine on the CPU
-Maximum of 16.7 million colors (24-bit color depth)
-Resolutions from 256 × 224 to 640 × 480
-Adjustable frame buffer
-Unlimited color lookup tables
-Emulation of simultaneous backgrounds (for parallax scrolling)
-Flat or Gouraud shading and texture mapping
-1 MB of VRAM
RAM: 2 MB of main RAM, 1 MB video RAM,
-Supports ADPCM sources with up to 24 channels
-Sampling rate of up to 44.1 kHz
-512 kB of memory
So quaint compared to the 8 GIG GDDR5 we have nowadays!
It’s just a regular Playstation. Who cares?
The only interesting thing about it is that the SCPH-100x model had a really good AKM DAC, which made it pretty sought after kit for audiophiles. Don’t know what AKM is or what a DAC is? Then you probably don’t need one of these.
… But if you really want to know, DAC stands for Digital Analog Converter. It takes the CD’s digital audio signal, and turns it into something your receiver/TV can understand. It’s harder to do than you’d think, so good DACs are hugely important. AKM is a company that makes DACs.
The Net Yaroze:
Released in 1997, the Yaroze allowed users to make their own games. It was difficult to make anything terribly interesting because the system gave would-be devs a whopping 2MB of RAM to work with (the same as the normal Playstation ran on). And it was about $750 when it launched. But on the bright side, it’s black (omigod black!) And a collector’s item.
This is probably the one you want. The PSone downsized the original model into a bite-sized system that doesn’t overheat or any of that other business. This variant also tried to locks out certain modchips, so if you get a PSone with the intent of modding it, make sure you also buy the right chip to go with it.
Sony also put out a screen for the PSone, and there are 3rd party battery packs available that can turn the PSone in to the least portable portable you’ve ever owned. Neat!
The original controller shipped with a D-pad, 4 shoulder buttons (L1/L2/R1/R2), a Start button, Select button, and 4 face buttons. In 1997, Sony released the Dual Analog controller, and then followed with the DualShock in 1997/1998. These controller added 2 analog sticks to better 3D movement, and the DualShock added rumble, no doubt spurred on by the Nintendo 64’s Rumble Pack. The DualShock was a popular design that is still in use today, though it seems Sony is finally making a few long-overdue changes with the PlayStation 4.
The famous Memory Card! Many a Christmas morning was ruined when people, used to saving on their cartridges, didn’t realize they needed a Memory Card to save their PS1 games. With storage space of a paltry 128kb, divided into 15 “Blocks”, you really needed to stock up on them if you wanted to keep your save. Some games would take up all 15 blocks (such as an RPG Maker project)!
Harmful Park (import)
Lunar: Silver Star Story Complete
Lunar 2: Eternal Blue
Rakugaki Showtime (import)
Tales of Destiny II
Zanac X Zanac (import)
and of course, the Elemental Gearbolt Assassin’s Case, which was only given out at E3: