Sony's PlayStation Classic is being made with an existing open-source emulator that the company has licensed. Rather than produce an emulator of its own, Sony has chosen to use a classic of the emulation world in the PCSX ReARMed emuator.
The PlayStation Classic was announced to immensely positive buzz, but every revelation after the first five games were announced has dulled the device's shine considerably. First, the full reveal of the twenty games featured on the PlayStation Classic was met with mild disappointment, mostly over the fact that some key games in the PlayStation One's life cycle - Tomb Raider, for instance - were missing, and some extremely mediocre Sony-developed titles were added instead. Then, a hands-on review of the PlayStation Classic suggested it was a very average affair, with little in the way of extras being added to what is essentially an emulator in a cool shell.
Now, Ars Technica has revealed that even the emulator isn't something Sony worked particularly hard on. The PlayStation Classic emulator is an existing open-source icon in the PCSX ReARMed, one of the most modern versions of an emulator that has existed since the mid-2000s. It's an especially interesting choice given that the NES and SNES Classics both featured emulators that Nintendo had developed itself, and the PlayStation Classic is clearly based on the same business model that saw Nintendo's devices become must-owns at release.
Sony has used emulators before, especially in conjunction with subscription services that bring PS2 and PS3 games onto the PlayStation 4. In those instances, however, Sony used emulators that the company developed itself, or at least hired developers to design from scratch rather than simply licensing already existing open-source software. It's not an uncommon practice in that sense, but this marks the first time one of the true classic open-source emulators whose development was a major talking point in the mid-2000s has actually been picked up the company it was trying to emulate the titles of.
This revelation will also do little to quell the rumors that the PlayStation Classic is being made with the minimum amount of effort required, which is especially alarming given that Sony’s head of global sales Jim Ryan said in an interview last year no one cares about these old games. The hypocrisy is strong with this one! Fans were already dissatisfied with the game lineup, while reviewers have been unimpressed in hands-on interactions with the device. Now, it appears Sony has put as little time as possible into the PlayStation Classic's emulator as well, doing nothing to dispel the notion that the PlayStation Classic is simply a quick cash-grab and not a true celebration of one of the most important consoles in video game history.
Source: Ars Technica