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Do your PS2 games look too jaggy on the PS3? Here's a semi-fix... [update 1]

We're calling this a semi-fix because not everybody has their television set up like I do (in Athens, not at home... this one rocks out with HDMI and such). A while back, we did a short investigation on the YouTube video claiming PS2 games look a lot worse on the PS3 -- in my particular case, it appears to be true. Kind of. Yes, there are a lot more jaggies and oh, goodness, the text is atrocious. There is, however, light at the end of this tunnel. I'll tell you how my TV's set up to quickly repair the damaged graphics.

All right, so currently my PS3 is connected to my TV via the HDMI and those cruddy composite cables -- the yellow, white, and red. Why both? Because my TV has channels dedicated to both. When I run a PS2 game on the HDMI channel, yeah, it looks bad. So what do I do? Go to my Display Settings and swap the PS3 back onto the 480i channel -- the channel most PS2 games were probably meant to be seen in. I think that's the problem -- PS2 games didn't plan on getting their resolutions increased so drastically. Anyway... so I swap it back to 480i and re-load the PS2 game and guess what? The text is gorgeous and the graphics look fine. I think. They don't look perfect, but it's a lot better than the HDMI shows.

You guys can go ahead and test this if your TV is prepared for the journey of multiple wires. Or computer monitor, which I know a lot of you swear by (and rightly so, it seems)! Let us know if this works for you. In all seriousness, though, it doesn't bother me that much. If I can still enjoy the gameplay, I don't mind having a jaggy sword, or funny-looking handrails. Perhaps Sony will strive to fix this in the future, but for now, keep your PS2 hooked up if it gets too unbearable.

[update: As I continue to screw around with different games, if you crack out any 2D-centric titles (Atelier Iris 2 in my case), the graphics actually look better with HDMI. The backgrounds have a few splotchy points, but the sprites are much, much sharper.]

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Reader Comments

(Page 1)

1. I've had no problem with PS1 games running on PS2 over S-video but then I happily used S-video with my PS1. There was even a dedicated port for it in the original units.

Of course years old PS2 games weren't concerned with HDMI and HD displays. That isn't the point. The point is that Sony had ample time to design around this when developing the PS3. Sony had to be aware of this quite a long time before the launch but it seems they simply didn't regard it as having any importance.

It gives one cause to wonder how late in the process they gave up on running PS1/Ps2 games under emulation and decided they had no choice but to add the cost of the integrated PS2 processor cluster. Was this done in such a rush they couldn't fuly test and integrate how the output would appear, then apply the needed corrections? It should be well within the RSX's abilities to make PS2 games targeting 480i look perfect at upscaled HD modes. This has been demonstrated with similar GPUs on PCs.

Posted at 6:16PM on Dec 30th 2006 by epobirs

2. Not to sound all fanboyish, but XBOX games actually look better when played on the 360. This PS3 video issue thing just bothers me. Why didn't Sony include a hardware scaler? @#$!

Posted at 6:57PM on Dec 30th 2006 by Wii360dsPC

3. I have a standard definition TV that I am running my ps3 on, and I can tell you that 480i fixes nothing! I have run FFX and FFXII as well as KH2 and several others on both systems using the SAME cable and the difference is extremely noticeable every time. I love my PS3, but this problem and the lack of support for old contollers (Guitar hero 2, DDR anyone?) has really made me regret my decision to buy before next year

Posted at 7:00PM on Dec 30th 2006 by TheGrimace

4. Wii360dsPC

Not to also sound Fanboyish, but less than 5% of XBox Games can Actually Run on the 360.
I'll take 99% Backwards Compatibility any day.
Why didn't Microsoft Make a System that is Backwards Compatible? Why Does it cost a Fortune to Transfer XBox Gamesaves over to the 360??

Posted at 7:35PM on Dec 30th 2006 by Scott Krueger

5. It does work, I tried it a couple of weeks ago. But this is nothing new. When we had the transitition from ps1 to ps2, if you were to use an S-video connection the ps1 games looked horrible, but if you go back to the standard connection, then the ps1 games look fine. Now... we need to get that Guitar Hero controller working on the ps3, (and other accessories) and then all will be right!

Posted at 8:02PM on Dec 30th 2006 by Thomas

6. I'm not sure if I like Microsoft or Sony's way of BC more. They both are so far from perfect. So is it /impossible/ for Sony to update the firmware to add antialiasing or something like that? Blah, ps2 games were jaggy enough on the ps2.

Posted at 8:03PM on Dec 30th 2006 by NeverSage

7. This "workaround" has been generally debunked for weeks (and it doesn't work for me.) To sum up:

Problem: a PS3 de-interlacing bug makes PS2 games that are only 480i capable look worse on the PS3 than they do on the PS2. This is true even when the TV and cables are identical for both systems.

Proposed workaround: make the whole thing so blurry that you can't tell the difference. You could downgrade to the composite cable, take off your glasses, drink a lot of alcohol, etc.

These techniques can "solve" a lot of life's problems (especially alcohol) but the problems still exist!

No one is asking for the PS3 to make the games look better than they do on the PS2, just equally good/bad.

Having said all that, I agree that if you're a true fanboy, you can suck it up while you wait for a real fix. I'm playing FFXII on the PS3 (over component cables) and with the flicker filter turned on, along with some kind of edge-fuzzing maxed out on the TV itself, I can play the game and ignore the glitch.

But I still look forward to a real fix! Don't give up yet!

Posted at 8:49PM on Dec 30th 2006 by krzysztof

8. they said they were working for the next major update to upconvert DVDs, im sure the same methods can be used to upconvert the games.

Posted at 10:00PM on Dec 30th 2006 by b-ri

9. b-ri

Still, it does tend to piss one off that we have to wait until March to get something done that they advertised as being ready at launch!

P.S. I know this is PS3 fanboy and I own a PS3... I am just letting off some steam I have for Sony here because I would get URANXBOXFANBOY in one second at the official playstation forums

Posted at 11:25PM on Dec 30th 2006 by TheGrimace

10. pullease. this doesn't fix the issue. this is a bug plain and simple. i wish people would stop posting 'fixes' cuz they aren't fixes. the problem with ps2 games on the ps3 is NOT a resolution issue its a display bug. blocks of video are being inverted.

Posted at 12:37AM on Dec 31st 2006 by hohlraum

11. krzysztof is correct. Making the whole image blurry (through the use of a lower quality television and/or video cable) is FAR from a "fix" for the problem.

And if you look closely, beyond the color bleed and dot crawl of a composite connection, you'll still see the graphical glitch.

Posted at 12:38AM on Dec 31st 2006 by Strike Man

12. Well ive noticed the downgraded graphics for ps2 games via hdmi.. it sucks, but its bearable.. the gameplay is still there, and im sure Sony will have an update that will fix this. News to me on the DVD upconvert though... that would be sweet!
Sony will be good to us.

Posted at 12:45AM on Dec 31st 2006 by Otsego_Undead

13. so i just picked up FFXII for my PS3 and the darn thing keeps hanging at different spots during the opening cinematic cut scenes. is this a bad disc or is anyone else having this problem on their PS3 too?

Posted at 3:20AM on Dec 31st 2006 by kdo

14. The 360 backward compatibility list is somewhere near 400 titles. And most of the titles anyone would ever care about are on that list of 400.

And on the 360 all BC titles are rendered...not just upconverted but rendered in 720p and have 4x anti-aliasing turned on.

What does all that mean...? Well when you play a 360 BC title on the 360...it looks amazingly sharp...everything is very clean and looks great. Brings new life to older games and give you a bit of that next gen experience with last gen titles.

The PS3 clearly does not offer that level of experience with BC games.

Posted at 12:41PM on Dec 31st 2006 by poseidon

15. poseidon
It is 297 Titles.
Plus the List is Not ALL the Titles anyone would care about, go to Gamestop and you will see Posts of Tons of People Wishing for a game to make that list.
Battlefield Games are not on there, Chronicles of Riddick, NFL2K5, Deus Ex, etc.
I still Want Star Wars Republic Commando. Every New XBox Title that comes out is added to the List of "Not compatible with 360"
Then you have to get your gamesaves over to the 360... Good luck with That. XBox360 Transfer Kit $15 + XSata Harddrive Interface $50. You will need a PC or Laptop and alot of Patience. You will not be able to transfer your Doom Save, You will not be able to Transfer your Lego Star Wars Save.

When Sony makes a simple fix to automatically switch to 480 for old games then this point will be totally mute.

XBox360 does not Offer ANY experience on 95% of the Games.

Posted at 3:00PM on Dec 31st 2006 by Scott Krueger

16. Scott,

It's true that there are a couple titles that I personally want to be BC on the 360. But besides those few, the games that are available, like poseidon said, look amazing. When Sony fixes their BC and adds antialiasing, theirs will be the best. But right now, I'm leaning towards the 360.

Posted at 5:08PM on Dec 31st 2006 by NeverSage

17. You guys seem to forget that those Xbox games had to be re-realease after they added the needed adjustments.

Posted at 5:41PM on Dec 31st 2006 by GiovanniMcAdoo

18. "17. You guys seem to forget that those Xbox games had to be re-realease after they added the needed adjustments.

Posted at 5:40PM on Dec 31st 2006 by GiovanniMcAdoo"

wtf...learn to spell; think before you speak

Posted at 7:50PM on Dec 31st 2006 by dan s.

19. One more reason that PS3 is the real shitbox!!!

Posted at 8:52PM on Dec 31st 2006 by bearattack79

20. YOUR AN XBOT, bearattack. Your the reason I hate fanboys.
Sorry, had to say it.
I hope Sony releases a firmware update that can fix this problem.

Posted at 10:45PM on Dec 31st 2006 by AzH

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