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PS3 Attitude’s guide to PSone classics on Vita

Submitted by on Wednesday, 5 September 201211 Comments

Last week, after six months of waiting, the PlayStation Vita finally received an update that adds support for PSone games on Sony’s fledgling handheld. PS3 Attitude is helpfully on-hand with a comprehensive guide to everything you could ever want to know about PSone classics, and how to get the absolute most out of this long-awaited feature on the PS Vita.

What are PSone Classics?

PSone classics are games that were released on the original PlayStation, and are now available to download on the PlayStation Network. Before last week’s firmware update, they could only be played on the PS3 and PSP, but are now also playable on the PS Vita.

To play a PSone classic on the Vita, it can either be downloaded straight onto the handheld (from the PSone Classics section of the PlayStation Store), or downloaded on a PS3 and then copied to the Vita via the included USB cable (be careful not to install the game on the PS3, otherwise the Vita will not recognise it).

Which games are available?

A total of 129 PSone classics are currently playable on the PS Vita in Europe (full list). For some reason, support in North America seems to be lagging behind somewhat, although more games are being added all the time. We were unable to find an official SCEA list of compatible titles, although IGN has provided gamers with its own list.

Where are the rest?

Unfortunately, not all PSone games are available as PSone classics. It takes a surprising amount of time and effort from a publisher to re-release a PSone game on the PlayStation Network, and licensing issues can occasionally mean that a game will never make it to the PSN; licenses often cover only a single region, complicating the matter even further.

However, what a lot of people don’t realise is that the vast majority of PSone game discs can be played on all PS3s, and, through the wonders of Remote Play, can also be played on the PS Vita. Just insert the PSone disc in the PS3, start Remote Play on the PS Vita, follow the on-screen instructions, and you’ll be able to play the PSone game on your Vita.

Which games are worth playing?

Although not all PSone classics are available on PS Vita, several well-loved games and franchises are playable on the console, including the Crash Bandicoot series, Driver, all PSone Final Fantasy games, Metal Gear Solid, Rayman 1 & 2, the Resident Evil trilogy, Tekken 1 & 2, all PSone Tomb Raider games, and many more; please note that several of these games are currently only playable on the PS Vita in Europe.

We’ve personally been playing Crash Bandicoot 3: Warped, Crash Team Racing, Final Fantasy VII, Metal Gear Solid, Rayman and Tekken 2. They all work extremely well, and even look surprisingly good on the PS Vita’s vibrant OLED screen.

How do you change the settings?

Once you’ve got your PSone classic onto the Vita, you’ll want to optimise its settings. To access them, simply press anywhere on the touch screen for a few seconds when playing a PSone title, and the options will appear.

  • Switch Discs: Only applicable to PSone games that included more than one disc. Choose this option when the game instructs you to swap discs.
  • Controller Settings: ‘Assign Controllers’ can almost be completely ignored, as you’ll usually want to be Controller 1 (the default setting). ‘Assign Buttons’ can be used to allocate the Vita buttons to whichever PSone buttons you want. ‘Switch Modes’ lets you change to Analogue Mode, which in turn allows you to use the Vita’s analogue sticks in gameplay; this is only possible on games that included analogue stick functionality on PSone (as a general rule, most games released before or during 1997 will not work).
  • Memory Card Utility: There’s no need to worry about this, as each PSone game includes its own individual virtual memory card on the Vita.
  • Other Settings: ‘Disc Load Speed’ and ‘Bilinear Filtering’ can be left untouched. If needed, ‘Volume Adjustment’ can be used to increase the audio level on particularly quiet games. For most games, the best option in ‘Screen Mode’ will be Normal, which uses the largest amount of the Vita’s screen possible, whilst still keeping the game’s original aspect ratio.
  • Reset Game: This will reload the game, and normally only needs to be used on the rare occasion when you encounter a bug or glitch that requires a restart.

How do I use the L2, R2, L3 and R3 buttons on the Vita?

One of the most frequently asked questions regarding PSone classics on Vita is how to use the L2, R2, L3 and R3 buttons. Most people realise that you have to use the rear touch, but are unsure of exactly where to press for each button.

With the Vita’s screen facing towards you (which is hopefully how you normally play!), imagine a vertical line down the centre of the rear touch. The area in the top half of the rear touch, just to the left of the imaginary line, is the equivalent of L2; the top right is R2; the bottom left is L3; and the bottom right is R3.

It takes a bit of getting used to, but works well enough; especially considering that you shouldn’t have to use them too regularly. And to answer another FAQ, we assume the reason why the far left and far right edges of the rear touch are not used is to avoid accidental presses.

And with that, you should just about be up to speed with PSone classics on the PS Vita. If you have any other questions, feel free to let us know and we’ll do our best to answer.