There are 1.4m followers of the retro channel on Twitch with a large proportion associated with the original PlayStation which debuted in 1995. Nostalgia is a major attraction for viewers with many wanting to see their childhood games played in good company. Streaming PS1 and PS1 games to twitch is easy and there are a couple of methods ranging from original hardware to complete emulation.
We won’t cover every single method, instead we will cover the easiest and then the most faithful.
4 Ways to Stream PlayStation 1 on Twitch
When using Google it’s clear that the people searching for the answer to how to stream PS1 games to Twitch is because they want to stream their actual PS1, which is the purest way. This is actually the way I do it and its surprisingly easy to get technology that is almost 3 decades old. Here’s how to do it.
The first obstacle is to turn the PS1’s native signal of RGB to digital so that a capture card/streaming PC can interpret it. Fifth generation consoles as well as sixth still used RGB. The cheapest way to do that is through a PS1 to HDMI cable like the below:
The results on a device like this are mixed. Simply put, the PS1 was not designed for modern TVs and monitors so they will often look worse than you remember. However, this method will get you started at least. The important thing here is that the signal can be interpreted by your streaming PC.
If you have a CRT, you will need a signal splitter before going to the below steps.
If you want to stream your original PS1 game discs at the highest possible quality we recommend streaming with a PS2 as you can then utilise component cables, sending the signal into a standalone upscalers which then goes into a capture card.
- We recommend component cables as they carry the most stable and clear signal, but they don’t work with PS1 and only PS2 hence the switch. If you really want to stick with a PS1 then use SCART cables.
- There are plenty of upscalers out there from RetroTink to OSSC. We have used OSSC and can recommend them for a seriously clear picture. We reviewed it on YouTube.
- For capture cards, there are many, but the specific ones we’ve used with great compatibility with upscalers is the Elgato HD 60 S+.
- A decent TV which can handle upscaled resolutions up to 960p, 1200p is the highest an NTSC PS1 can be upscaled to or 1440p for a PAL PS1. Read more about gaming resolutions here.
This is what the set up looks like without the cables in the picture.
In our opinion, this is the set up that will get the best results out of streaming original PS1 games on to Twitch, the PS2 allows you to use component sables and the upscalers tidy up the image and increase the resolution without stretching. For best results, stream in 480p or 720p.
The bitrate never really goes further than 3,000 kbps and you have plenty of space on your canvas for chat and your camera.
PS3 have a HDMI out which means they can go straight into a capture card for Twitch…or so we would like. The boffins over at Sony decided to put HDCP on the output which blocks it from being streamed into other devices. However, you can work around it by using component cables or a fancy HDMI splitter. But, it can be done.
ALL PS3s could play PS1 disks naturally with emulation (the original fat versions could even play PS2 as well) and had built in upscalers for a decent image, this means you can stream PS1 games to Twitch but it won’t quite be original hardware but it won’t be illegal emulation, either.
The PS3 method of streaming PS1 games to Twitch involves less cabling, you still get to use your discs and it’s legal emulation, there are also plenty of PS1 games on the PSN store. The drawbacks are that the picture isn’t the best and it is still not using any original hardware so it is not 1:1 like the original experience. Will your viewers care? Unlikely.
In 2018, Sony released the PS Classic which was a mini version of the console with 20 prepacked emulated games and a HDMI out. This is very similar to the PS3 experience, with less cables involved and a single HDMI out. The Classic also benefits from having save states for those who are playing their PlayStation 1 games casually. You are also stuck with the 20 games included without modding.
Emulation is by far the easiest and most accessible way to stream PS1 content to Twitch, however, to stream it legally you should be the owner of the games you are playing. We won’t go into too much detail as we’ve covered it in this emulation on Twitch article.
Using an emulator negates the need to use a capture card but it makes streaming with one monitor harder. There no more extra cables and most if not all of these emulators already upscale the video. This makes the option the easiest, cheapest but the least genuine.
The most popular emulators you can Stream PS1 games on Twitch are: