June 1, 2007 - With the PlayStation 3's latest firmware update to version 1.8, Sony added in the long-awaited ability to upscale DVDs, PlayStation and PlayStation 2 games to HD resolutions. Each of 720p, 1080i and 1080p are supported on all accounts, though for DVDs you need an HDMI connection for those resolutions for copyright purposes. So with the new ability to play classic titles in HD resolutions, has Sony given these games a new lease on life, or at least their visuals?
We've put a number of PSone and PS2 games to the test. We went about capturing screens from each in a number of different settings so that you can compare them right here from the comfort of your computer. Hopefully it's cushioned... We captured everything at 1080p through equipment more expensive than many BMWs to simulate what these titles would look like on some of the best TVs available. And yes, that includes the games that aren't upscaled because HD sets would wind up scaling them internally anyway and it makes more sense to capture them like that rather than in Photoshop.
Our comparison shots have all been cropped in some way, but they've not been resized at all, which means you'll get a pixel-accurate look at the quality of the images. Our gallery images that you can use to compare the shots yourselves have only had a watermark and label thrown on them, but are otherwise untouched.
If you've played with the settings for this, you'll know that the PS3 offers options for the scaling of Off, Normal and Full. Normal means that the games will come out in a 4:3 resolution and Full means that everything will come out widescreen. So for our PSone titles we chose the Normal setting when upscaled while all our PS2 games were set to Full. The other option available has to do with smoothing, which we also tested out. And let it also be known that when titles that support progression scan have this option turned on, they revert back to 480p with no alterations. We've included some comparison shots to this as well.
Scaled and Smoothed vs. Native
Let's begin with a straightforward comparison of no scaling to everything turned on.
As you can see in this comparison image of SmackDown 2 for the original PlayStation, the upscaled side doesn't look as harsh, but it's also not as crisp. The character and crowds look better, but the text is blurrier as well.
This shot of Rayman 2 weighs in more favorably on the upscaled side as the water ripples look much better, as does the rock texture. Since Rayman doesn't feature a ton of text everywhere and is a very cartoony game, the blurring helps give it a cinematic look without taking away detail from things that should stay sharp.
With dark scenes like this shot from Final Fantasy XII, it can actually be hard to tell which is which. The text is a tad blurrier, but it's pretty close as the PS2's native resolution doesn't wind up getting blurred nearly as much as the PSone's.
Here's a shot of Monster Rancher 2 on the PSone. The character, sky and ground on the upscaled side look nicer, but like SmackDown 2, the text comes out blurrier and might start handing out headaches after a while. Still, it does look a little nicer overall.
that's more like it, ign. they still prove absolutely nothing, but at least they're providing an honest look at the upscaling feature. upscaling does make dvds and ps2 games look good. ps1 games are another story, really.
though for DVDs you need an HDMI connection for those resolutions for copyright purposes.
I have an older HD tv and I cant run HDMI... is there some other way to use an adapter or something so I can take advantage of the HD... I am using the monster componet (RGB) now and it looks good but I want all HD... HELP
Can anyone explain further on this Game Switch? I too have a HD TV with a DVI input, but no HDMI input. I have a converter cable that I am using that is HDMI on one end (PS3), and DVI on the other (TV). Does this stilli mean that I will need said device to correctly upscale DVD movies and such? My apologies for all the potentially redundant questions, but the Search function didn't turn up much with such a generic name.
yeah, get Game Switch. It decrypts the HDCP signal in HDMI so you can use DVI to view 1080p even if your TV is old and can't support HDCP.
Wait... so If I don't have any hdmi plugs on the back of my TV and my TV only does 1080i you are telling me that the game switch will let me use the ps3 to play dvd's at 1080p?
Can someone please tell me more about this? I have a Sony Trinitron WEGA TV like 4 years old (480p, 1080i) I think are all it will do.... I have component and composite with optical and svideo input only...
maybe not 1080p, but definitely 1080i. i found out about it through kotaku. basically this is what the blog said:
"Kiss Blu-ray HDCP good-bye? A product known as the the GameSwitch PS3-S201 lets folks run their PLAYSTATION 3 on DVI monitors without high-def copy protection. Typically, an HDCP-certified monitor is required to play back Blu-ray and PS3 content if you're using DVI. Otherwise it won't play Blu-ray. The GameSwitch lets players game on DVI monitors, but also hook it up to an input. Meaning? Meaning that you could record 1-to-1 copy! The bad part: Since DVI is video only, audio would have to be recorded separately. Bummer." -Brian Ashcraft
My deal is I only have component input for HD on my tv... I dont think anything will help me use a HDMI cable from my pS3 to my tv.. I just will not be able to up sample my dvd's is all but I am guessing my games should all play in 1080i right?
yeah, because you can still view HD through component anyway. you could get a DVI to component cable, but that would be too much work...i mean if that were the case you might as well get a new TV. by the way, you could always burn your DVDs and then play them since they'd be de-crypted (which would allow for upscaling).