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The Playstation Classic has reached a point now that it's a greater (and simpler) emubox than the Raspberry Pi.

Oct 25, 2017
7,146
#1
The point of this thread is simple, if you're interested in a cheap small emu box, that you should grab a playstation classic while you have the chance. I honestly believe it won't be long before enough people are clued in on the fact that the classic is more powerful than the Pi, simpler to setup (now at least), has faster bootup, and with all that comes with 2 controllers in a fairly attractive case. I'll break down each point.

More powerful than the Pi:

This should be pretty self explanatory, the SoC is just more powerful. The real question comes what can you do with that power that you can't with a pi. The answer? Dreamcast and PSP emulation. Both are still relatively early in development, but at least on the PSP side I was able to get every game I tried at full speed. Dreamcast isn't quite there yet, but is showing a lot of promise.

And yes, Autobleem/Bleemsync use a newer and more optimized PS1 emulator so it even does that much better.

Simpler to setup:

If all you're interested in is a box that plays PS1 titles then using Autobleem is about as simple as it gets. Format a USB stick to be fat32, then drag and drop the setup files and your ISOS/Compress PBPs and plug it in and turn it on. If you want to play anything else, you simply drop Retroarch onto the root of the stick and create another folder for your roms and boom! All set!

If you want to get fancy and add NTFS/exfat support (and in the near future usb otg support) you just install bleemsync and then go back to autobleem.

Faster bootup:

At least for me, I've never gotten my raspberry pi's to bootup into anything useful without almost a minute or more. Autobleem is up and running in the time it takes for the Sony PS1 bootup to complete. So maybe 15 seconds? I should have timed it.

Comes with 2 Controllers:

True, they aren't the best... but I got my system for $40 and they work fine for everything that doesn't require analogs, so most classic systems. For PSP and PS1 games that need the analogs, you can simply plug your DS3/4 into the system and you're good to go as well.


Some lingering concerns:

Right now there are a couple things you do need to still be aware of. The biggest being that USB sticks are mostly limited to 2.0. Not because of speed, but because 3.0 sticks tend to draw too much power even in 2.0 mode. The only solution to that right now is to use a powered USB hub, or mod the console. Soon the bleemsync devs plan on releasing OTG support which isn't power limited using the back microUSB port, but you'll likely still need an older USB flash drive to install the payload.

The second is that since all of the emulation cores are retroarch, you do have to deal with it's still very archaic UI and idiosyncrasies. If you're just interested in PS1 games you'll never have to worry about that though since it's all handled through the system's default UI.


Conclusion:

If you're interested in a cheap emubox, this really is an all around great device and the best time to get into it. Aside from tossing in a USB flash drive of your choice, it's pretty much all in one and setup is quick and mostly painless.


Links:
Bleemsync - Main exploit, adds NTFS/exfat support as well
AutoBleem - Completely independent and much simpler alternative to Bleemsync, but doesn't add NTFS/exfat unless you use Bleemsync at least once.
PSX2PSP - Converts PSX isos and multi-disc games into compressed PBP files for easier management and to save space on your USB
PSC Retroarch repository - Where you can download any additional emulator cores you want for Retroarch
/r/PlaystationClassic - Guides, videos, news, support, etc for the PSC.

(Note to Raspberry Pi fans, this thread was not to shit on the Pi. I love my Pis and they are overall still more open and useful for most projects, but for a straight emulation box, PSC is not simpler and more effective)

Finally I close this out on a nerdy video showing PSP performance on the classic with a wide range of games to give people an idea how well it works.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3-kP3s1loCc
 
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Oct 25, 2017
4,799
#2
I'd consider picking one up to tinker with but pretty happy with a Shield TV right now. Haven't touched my Pi in forever.
 
Oct 25, 2017
11,373
Brazil
#3
I know this question is almost surreal to ask, but this means that the Playstation Classic is more powerfull than the SNES Classic ?
 
Oct 25, 2017
2,725
England
#4
So I guess the emulator that came on the Classic itself was never good enough to do anything with, even after people got into configs and stuff?
 
Oct 27, 2017
759
#7
If you want the very best at very small form factor, get a NUC or Shield. If you want to customize everything, get a Pi. This is somewhere in-between and I'm not very fond of that. Not having Wifi and Bluetooth are a great loss.
 
Dec 4, 2018
1,049
#9
Sometimes I would almost cave in but I'm not sure that would spark joy in me since I already have other ways to play those games on a TV, but a cool device nonetheless
 
Nov 16, 2017
74
#11
How is the N64 emulation on this?

I keep toying with getting an Odroid, but if I can find one of these for $40 and it does N64, I am in.
 
OP
OP
KojiKnight
Oct 25, 2017
7,146
#12
I know this question is almost surreal to ask, but this means that the Playstation Classic is more powerfull than the SNES Classic ?
Yes, by a fair margin.
So I guess the emulator that came on the Classic itself was never good enough to do anything with, even after people got into configs and stuff?
Yep, they basically replaced the default emulator with an updated and optimized one a while ago.

Wait...it supported dual shock 3 and 4 natively this entire time?
No, the devs of these hacks added support. They also added support for steam controllers and I believe 360/One controllers as well.
 
OP
OP
KojiKnight
Oct 25, 2017
7,146
#14
If you want the very best at very small form factor, get a NUC or Shield. If you want to customize everything, get a Pi. This is somewhere in-between and I'm not very fond of that. Not having Wifi and Bluetooth are a great loss.
When you can get the classic for $40-50 with 2 controllers, I'd still say it has it's place. Yes, wifi and bluetooth are the greatest losses for sure, but you CAN use wireless USB controllers like 8bitdo.
 
Nov 23, 2017
2,348
#15
I want this not even cause I wanna add new games... I liked the line up, never saw the reason for those complaints. But I just wanted them to be in ntsc. I’ve seen ps classics under 40 so maybe I’ll pull that trigger.
 
Oct 26, 2017
167
#16
Good that people are finding a use for this device, because Sony sure dropped the ball on it. I'll likely just hold off and wait for a pi 4 in a few years instead of relying on exploits to load something useful.
 
Jun 4, 2018
1,698
Work
#17
I was trying to setup Bleemsync last night but was having some trouble. Might have been my USB Drive. Gonna pick up a cheap 2.0 one on the way home from work and try and give it a go. Didn't know we were this far in though, so this has me pretty excited!
 
Nov 11, 2017
1,830
Florida
#19
Thanks for this - I have a Pi but the power left something to be desired. I just ordered one for $40 used through Amazon Warehouse.

My only question is, and apologies if I missed this, how much can this thing hold? or do you solely rely on USB flash drives?
 
Oct 26, 2017
955
United States
#20
Maybe a dumb question but is Bluetooth a possibility or does it not have the hardware? Can it be added by USB?

Would much rather use my Dualshock 4 controllers as I have several instead of contend with cables.
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,199
#21
Thanks for this - I have a Pi but the power left something to be desired. I just ordered one for $40 used through Amazon Warehouse.

My only question is, and apologies if I missed this, how much can this thing hold? or do you solely rely on USB flash drives?
USB drives only, so far there isnt a way to add stuff onto the machine itself

No, the devs of these hacks added support. They also added support for steam controllers and I believe 360/One controllers as well.
Note, this is only working via Retroarch directly IIRC. these pads dont work on the stock UI
 
Oct 25, 2017
3,946
#22
I know this question is almost surreal to ask, but this means that the Playstation Classic is more powerfull than the SNES Classic ?
Yup, and more default storage too. There's great hardware in the console for the price(especially at these reduced prices).
 
OP
OP
KojiKnight
Oct 25, 2017
7,146
#23
Thanks for this - I have a Pi but the power left something to be desired. I just ordered one for $40 used through Amazon Warehouse.

My only question is, and apologies if I missed this, how much can this thing hold? or do you solely rely on USB flash drives?
Right now, most exploits rely on external USB.
Maybe a dumb question but is Bluetooth a possibility or does it not have the hardware? Can it be added by USB?

Would much rather use my Dualshock 4 controllers as I have several instead of contend with cables.
It has no internal bluetooth. Theoretically there is no reason why you couldn't add USB bluetooth, but I'm not sure if this is in the works anywhere. Wireless USB controllers work fine though you may need a powered USB hub.
 
OP
OP
KojiKnight
Oct 25, 2017
7,146
#26
Note, this is only working via Retroarch directly IIRC. these pads dont work on the stock UI
This is true, I read the recent patch notes and I misinterpretted them. That said, support in the stock UI is coming.

The stock UI currently does not allow third party controller support, however in 1.0.1 we have laid the foundation for this and hopefully shouldn’t be too hard to implement in an upcoming release.
https://modmyclassic.com/2019/02/22/bleemsync-1-0-1-is-officially-released/
 
Oct 28, 2017
2,940
#28
Are there any "facts" how much faster the soc actually is?
Also afaik there is no networking possible from the PSC to access network attached storage, right?
 
Oct 27, 2017
1,496
#33
I literally just set up my PS Classic this weekend to have 75+ games on it and moved some save files (some with modded saves) and it works like a charm with no issues. It was very easy setup and the most time consuming part was really just copying the PBP files to the USB stick and I enabled the gfx filter because the games looked very ugly on my 1080p TV without it.

Keep in mind that if you want to move saves over, make sure you boot up the game first so that USB created the required memory card folders and use MemcardRex1.8 to create the new memory cards as the PS Classic UI reads off of "internal" memory cards. This can be time consuming as well as you must use MemcardRex for each game you intend to import the save for as each game has its own memory card.

All I can say is that PS Classic is definitely worth it now compared to launch and cheap too.
 
OP
OP
KojiKnight
Oct 25, 2017
7,146
#36
Are there any "facts" how much faster the soc actually is?
Also afaik there is no networking possible from the PSC to access network attached storage, right?
Classic:
MediaTek MT8167A SoC processor

Quad-Core ARM Cortex A35 CPU @1.5GHz
PowerVR GE8300 GPU
1GB DDR3 RAM (1866MHz)
Samsung 16GB eMMC NAND memory

Raspberry Pi 3B+:
SOC: Broadcom BCM2837B0, Cortex-A53 (ARMv8) 64-bit SoC
CPU: 1.4GHz 64-bit quad-core ARM Cortex-A53 CPU
RAM: 1GB LPDDR2 SDRAM
Video: VideoCore IV 3D.

The A35 is smaller and more energy efficient and clocked higher. Another big benefit is the PowerVR graphics versus the Pi's.

All I want to know is: Can we put a better PSX emulator in there than the stock one?
Yes. This comes standard as part of the exploits.
 
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Oct 27, 2017
1,030
#41
I'm here to say the OP is exactly right. I got my PS Classic about a week ago and I am blown away by how amazing it is. I am using Autobleem on mine and I have 64GB of PS1 games (around 100 titles) and I'm over the moon.

-The emulation is great. I have run into a few small hiccups here and there, but the solution EVERY TIME has been to simply ditch the PBP files and use BIN/CUE files for those titles instead. One such example was Breath of Fire 3. It seemed to run normal until the music started and then it was apparent that the music was much much slower than it should be. I dropped the PBP files and put in BIN/CUE and now that title runs perfectly. This also happened with Tobal No 1 for me. Same solution worked.

**edit**I should clarify I said Tobal had the same issue, but it wasn't exactly the same. Instead of half-speed music, the music was an ear-splitting mess comparable to a 90's modem booting up. Totally weird. The BIN/CUE files fixed it though, so I assumed it was a byproduct of compressing everything for the PBP files.**

-The interface is fantastic. I love the 3d jewel cases, the quick access to resume points, and the way it loads up cover art is awesome. If you want to change the art for some reason, all you gotta do is throw your own PNG file into the game's folder and its done.

-The controllers ARE great! I keep seeing people say they are bad but I think that's entirely based on not being able to get over the missing analog sticks. If you compare them to the launch controllers from back in the day, they are freaking identical. There are a LOT of PS1 games that don't need the analog sticks, so I honestly haven't missed them. However, I know I can just use my modern controllers if I really want to, and that's a pretty sweet perk.

Its time to get on the PS Classic train, y'all. Sony may have done us dirty by putting in a half-assed effort, but fans have come to the rescue and made it an incredibly valuable device. Now that they can be had for around $40, its time to jump on it. I'm buying a 2nd one so I have a backup.
 
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Oct 27, 2017
1,030
#47
Weird, I'm playing BoF3 right now as a PBP and I'm not having any music issues and I'm pretty vigilant/obsessive about this. Good to know though that this could possibly be an issue and an easy to fix one at that.
Yeah it was weird. I tried restarting everything and kept getting it with half-speed music, so I thought to try the BIN/CUE files instead and suddenly it was perfect. No idea why it was an issue, but I'm not an expert on that stuff. I should clarify I said Tobal had the same issue, but it wasn't exactly the same. Instead of half-speed music, the music was an ear-splitting mess comparable to a 90's modem booting up. Totally weird. The BIN/CUE files fixed it though, so I assumed it was a byproduct of compressing everything for the PBP files.

It got me wondering if part of the reason we never saw certain games on PSN was because there were limitations of what could be done in that PBP format.
 
Oct 25, 2017
4,412
#50
The Odroid XU4 and the Asus TB are both more powerfull and more mature solutions than the PS Classic and both can do Saturn too.

This weird notion that nothing exists outside of the Pi in the small price sbc market has always puzzled me.

And you can get an even better deal with a 40$ core2 pc with Batocera on it and emulate the PS2 and GC just fine