THE BUZZ: Will the PS Vita play classic PlayStation 1 games downloaded from the PlayStation Network, or won’t it? Unfortunately, the answer to that is a little unclear at the moment.
EGM’s TAKE: Yesterday, Siliconera posted a story in regards to a Japanese FAQ page put up by Sony Computer Entertainment, where the question of digitally-downloaded PSP game support for the PS Vita was asked and answered; on that page was a footnote in regards to support for “game archives” games on the PS Vita. (“Game archives” being the Japanese PSN term for PS1 titles.)
Siliconera’s understanding of the footnote was that it meant support for PS1 titles would not be part of the PS Vita; the understanding some others—including myself—took from the written Japanese was that the FAQ answer was only dealing with the question of PSP support, and that the Vita’s support for game archives games would be discussed at a later point. I assumed this could mean one of a few things—such as Sony wanting to wait to fully announce PS1 support until they could get a handle on which titles, if any, were going to have playback issues.
Or, even better: Maybe Sony wanted to surprise us by including in that announcement the news that their new crop of digital PS2 releases would also be playable on the Vita!
Today, however, my assurance of “there’s nothing to worry about” now requires a footnote of its own, as the following Twitter exchange was discovered and posted on NeoGAF:
@darkpois0n: hello i read several sites that the PSVita will not play PSOne classics and i wanted you to confirm this or deny thanks.
That tweet was directed at Sony Computer Entertainment’s president of worldwide studios Shuhei Yoshida, who gave the following reply:
@yosp: Please wait for more info later. True on day 1 Japan launch.
So—it seems that the PS Vita will indeed not have support for PS1 games at launch.
Yoshida’s “true on day 1 Japan launch”, however, may say a lot. Specifying the Japanese launch of the Vita says to me that Sony expects support for PS1 games to be ready to go on the hardware by the time it launches in other territories—otherwise, why be so specific in terms of the Japanese launch?
For now, this is one of those “wait and see” kinds of situations; however, I still see little reason to worry. With Sony pushing their PlayStation Suite services and PS1 compatibility on platforms such as Android devices, there’s simply no way they would allow their major new piece of mobile gaming hardware to not have that same functionality. (At least, I can personally see no way they’d allow that to happen.)
For whatever reason, Sony obviously feels PS1 support on the Vita needs a bit more time before its ready for consumers, and I expect that support will come soon after the hardware’s Japanese launch via a firmware update.
So, while PS1 support may indeed not be there on day one for Japanese Vita owners, I’m not really to panic just yet.