Following in Nintendo's footsteps and their latest NES and SNES Classic mini consoles, Sony will release a similar take on PS1 next month: PlayStation Classic, a plug and play replica of the 32-bit console, loaded with 20 of the platform's most memorable games. Like Nintendo's classic system, PlayStation Classic uses an emulator to run its games, but in the fall of Son it depends on some open source programs.
Kotaku got a little early hands-on time with PlayStation Classic and discovered that it uses the PCSX ReARMed emulator, which is a modern version of the open source PCSX emulator originally developed between 2000 and 2003 for Windows, Mac and Linux. The website notes that the software does a decent job to keep the matches accurate in their mid-1990s, although some do not make the transition to HD monitors as well as others.
Some playmates have found that Sony's use of this emulator is a bit surprising, not to mention ironic. While the company has licensed the PlayStation Classic software, many years ago, it was also one of the biggest opponents of emulators because of its role in video game piracy. While there were always copies of games distributed as ROMs, it was illegal, rather than emulators themselves, so the software was not so crazy by gaming companies.
Sony is now criticized as "lazy" by some players for the use of the open source emulator, while Nintendo developed its own for NES and SNES Classic. Others have noted, however, that this is a sign that Sony and others see open source emulators as something as good as, if not better than, an "official" version developed internally. As Frank Cifaldi, founder of the Video Game History Foundation, quoted on Twitter, "Should we expect Sony to spend time and money doing something that probably will not be as good as PCSX? Why?"