The Sony PlayStation 1 introduced gamers to an industry juggernaut that revolutionized console gaming by taking it into the 3D age. It also made cutting-edge technology more accessible to the average buyer, by launching at $299 (later, this dropped to $199). Before Sony entered the market, console gaming was a 2-horse race between Sega and Nintendo, with ballooning game cartridge prices.
It was discontinued in 2006, so how much does a PS1 cost in 2022? The answer can vary significantly depending on which used market you’re looking at, and the condition of the PS1. At the time of writing this article, in December of 2022, a used PS1 on eBay (with controller) can cost anywhere from $50 to $120.
A PS1 with just one controller and no games will fall on the lower end of the pricing spectrum. Similarly, one with two controllers, memory cards, game disks, etc. will cost much more. Refurbished consoles that have had have been cleaned and fitted with replacement parts will cost the most (since they are very close to new).
How Much Does A PS1 Cost In 2022?
Like every other PlayStation, Sony released different variants of the PS1. Some of these were hardware revisions, while others were unique to a certain geographical location (or limited-run models). The price you’ll pay for a PS1 depends heavily on its hardware revision, overall condition, and included accessories.
Collector units that have never been removed from the box and have 100% original packaging can cost an actual fortune. For reference, there are 100% new SCPH-1000 (1994 launch version) PlayStations on eBay that will cost you upwards of a thousand dollars. These are very rare, especially because the PS1 sold like bottled water in the Sahara desert for the first few months after its launch in Japan.
You’ll also find later revisions like the SCPH-7000 which comes with a DualShock controller. Initial PS1 controllers didn’t have analog sticks. Later on, Sony released the DualShock which has been iterated upon for every PlayStation generation since then.
Can The PS5 Run PS1 Games?
The short answer is- no, not directly. The PS5 uses x86 system architecture, which is very different from that of the PS1. And there is no dedicated onboard chip that emulates the hardware of old PlayStations (this is something both the PS2 and PS3 had).
However, the PS5 can play PS1 games through a different kind of emulation. More on it soon. If you’re a lifelong PlayStation gamer, you can at least rest assured that the PS5 can still play all your PS4 game disks.
That’s because both of them are built on AMD APUs, resembling semi-custom PCs. Since their processors use the same instruction set and both consoles share a graphics API, backward compatibility is easy to implement. Microsoft has done a much better job of retaining backward compatibility with their Series S/ X consoles which can play games released on every prior Xbox model.
The Rarest PS1 Games
During the PS1’s illustrious reign that spanned between 1994 to 2000, thousands of games were released for the platform. And new games would keep getting released on it, even after the PS2 showed up. The last game ever to be released on PS1 was FIFA 2005 (released in 2005).
Original copies of games like FIFA 2005 for PS1 can cost quite a bit since they are rare and treated as collector items. Similarly, many obscure games were only released in Japan but slowly gathered a cult following over the following decade. These may not have been commercial successes, but they command a high asking price.
Certain quirky games like LSD Dream Emulator (I’ll let you take a couple of guesses as to what this game is about) are extremely rare. And can cost upwards of $1000, with their value only appreciating over time. Klonoa: Door To Phantomile is another super-rare PS1 game that combines 3D with 2D and has some rather interesting game mechanics (copies of this game can cost over $300).
Alternate Ways To Enjoy PS1 Games
Alright, so you know that the PS5 doesn’t have hardware emulation for PS1 games. But there is another way to play PS1 games on PS5, and it’s called PS Now. This is an on-demand subscription-based service that was recently merged with PlayStation Plus.
It is essentially software emulation, done by Sony developers. And it is cloud-based, so the emulation is done on a server and streamed to your PS5 via the internet. The quality of this service is far below what you’ll get with local emulation.
There can be significant lag depending on the quality of your internet connection. And you’ll always be limited by the predetermined selection of games that Sony includes in the store (they can remove one of these at any time). Plus, some features of the game that worked on original hardware won’t work via PS Now (or you’ll suffer from performance issues).
Because PS Now is such a flawed service, the best option is to emulate your PS1 games with a PC and RetroArch. You can also use any other emulator you like such as ePSXe or PCSX Reloaded. There are plenty of good PS1 and multi-platform emulators out there.
PS1 Emulation & Its Legality
As long as you own a legal copy of the game disk you’re emulating, you’re not breaking any laws. You’re simply creating a backup copy of your game disk and running it within the emulation software. Emulation software by itself doesn’t break any laws, since it is just a reverse-engineered simulation of the original hardware based on open-source data.
Downloading illegal ROMs from shady sites without owning a copy of the original game is when you start crossing into grey areas. Some of these games will be under the ownership of publishers who still choose to enforce their copyright decades after the PS1 stopped being relevant. But that is likely not going to happen unless you blatantly use illegal ROMs to earn a profit by selling them on the market.
The PlayStation Classic
This is a retro console made by Sony themselves to emulate original PS1 games. It comes with 20 preloaded games and runs PCSX ReARMed, an open-source emulator (ironic, isn’t it?). You can’t use old save files from your original PS1 memory cards.
Nor can you play your PS1 disks because there is no CD drive. The Classic is powered by a MediaTek MT8167a quad-core ARM processor, and sports 1GB of DDR3 RAM with 16GB of eMMC storage. It comes with two replica PS1 controllers (not DualShock, so there are no analog sticks).
The PS1 was an amazing console for its time and put Sony in a leadership position within the console market. It marked the change from 2D to 3D gaming for consoles. The PS1 also spearheaded the transition from complicated and expensive cartridges to the cheaper CD format that could also store a lot more data.