Sony has confirmed that it will be bringing NTSC versions of its PlayStation Plus Premium Classics lineup to PAL regions. The company says regions like Europe, Africa, and Oceania will get NTSC options for "a majority" of Classics, but we don't know when yet.
What's the issue with PAL and NTSC emulation?
If you're new to the world of region standards and emulation, here's a very quick rundown. PAL and NTSC are two different color encoding systems for old-school TVs, and older games usually have PAL and NTSC versions that were released in different regions. The NTSC format is faster and has a higher frame rate, so if an emulation option uses PAL, it generally means the game will be slower. This proved to be the case when Nintendo Switch Online opted to include PAL versions of its games rather than NTSC versions, prompting a negative reaction from the gaming community.
When the recent PlayStation Plus revamp launched in PAL regions, gamers discovered that Sony was using PAL versions of the Classics games, which are generally agreed to be technically inferior to the NTSC versions. Earlier today, however, Sony tweeted that it will "roll out NTSC options for a majority of classic games" offered via PlayStation Plus Premium in PAL regions including Asia, Europe, and the Middle East, as well as India, South Africa, and Oceania. However, Sony didn't give a timeline for when we can expect that to happen, so if you're a PlayStation Plus subscriber in a PAL region, you might have to put up with the PAL versions of your Classics for a while longer.
What is the new PlayStation Plus revamp?
Back in March, it was revealed that Sony would revamp its PlayStation Plus service, introducing a new tiered system and adding hundreds of games for subscribers on the upper tiers. Originally, there was only one PlayStation Plus tier, offering a few games per month as part of the subscription as well as exclusive discounts and online play capabilities. Now, however, there are two extra tiers on top of that: Extra and Premium. Extra gives you access to a catalog of PS4 and PS5 games, while Premium also allows you to stream (and, in some cases, download) classics from the PS1, PS2, and PS3, as well as selected PSP titles. These Classics have expanded features like trophy support, a rewind feature, and improved visuals. Sony intends to add new games to the service periodically, too.
If you're interested, you can subscribe to PlayStation Plus via the official PlayStation website. Pricing starts at $9.99 per month for the Essential tier (which is basically the same as the previous PlayStation Plus system), with that price rising to $14.99 and $17.99 per month for Extra and Premium respectively. You can also subscribe on a quarterly or yearly basis, and there are pretty hefty discounts for doing so, making it clear which option Sony wants you to take. We'll bring you more on the introduction to NTSC Classics and PlayStation Plus in general as soon as we get it.