The PlayStation consoles offer multiple output options and backward compatibility, as well as some shortcomings. This section will hopefully provide all the information you’d need about the first three PS consoles. Please click on each for console-specific information and cable recommendations:
Playstation RGB Cables & Consoles:
All versions of the PlayStation support RGB-output, however different solutions might be better for your setup. Please see each individual section (linked above) for more information. As an FYI, if you’re not 100% sure what 480i and 240p are, I strongly recommend reading the 240p page before going any further
Each section goes into detail about the performance of backward compatibility, however if you’re looking for the most compatible way to play your original discs, I’d suggest using the original console they were designed for.
People will have different opinions about this and here’s mine (just an opinion, please make your own decision): While I personally have no problem playing PS1 games on PS2, I’d never use the PS3 for anything other than PS3 games.
Video and Audio Output Differences
I believe most PlayStation console revisions output about equal performance, unless otherwise noted. There are many models available of each PlayStation and each model has tons of board and chip revisions. All the information in this section was tested by me personally (and I continue to test consoles as I can), however it’s not feasible that I’ll be able to test every scenario with every possible combination of PS revision, cable and game combination. Generally speaking though, it’s not like SNES where there’s a “better” revision…however there’s another issue still being researched:
PS1 Texture Performance Issues
One thing I’ve been meaning to test is the performance of texture rendering in PlayStation 1 games. It’s been speculated that older PSX revisions’ GPU chip downgrades texture color to 5-bit while newer revisions do full 8-bit. It’s also been speculated that both the PS2 and PS3’s hardware emulation was based off the original 5-bit design, meaning the only way to get proper texture rendering is with original PS1’s past a certain board revision. I’d like to research this more, but here’s a forum discussion about the issue: http://www.psxdev.net/forum/viewtopic.php?f=47&t=1035
If you’d like info on mods for other systems, head to the Getting RGB From Each System page or check out the main page for more retro-awesomeness.