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Sony’s classic games blunder: Why PAL isn’t your friend

A video of the slower PAL version of Ape Escape running on PlayStation Plus.

Sony’s confusing new multi-tiered PlayStation Plus subscription plan has now launched in multiple Asian territories (outside Japan) ahead of a worldwide launch planned for the coming weeks. But users in those regions are finding that some of the classic games on the service are unexpectedly running slower than they remembered.

Video Games Chronicle has confirmed that first-party original PlayStation games (i.e., those published by Sony) available on PlayStation Plus in Asia are the European versions designed to run on the PAL video standard. That makes some sense in countries like Indonesia, which natively used that 50 Hz video format during the original PlayStation’s heyday. But the PAL versions are also being offered for download in countries like Taiwan, which used the 60 Hz NTSC format of standard-definition TVs in North America and Japan, among other countries.

The result is games that run at slower and less consistent frame rates on modern displays, as seen in this sample video. Third-party classic PlayStation Plus titles, on the other hand, are available in the NTSC format.

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