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Emulation (Games) Open Source PlayStation (Games) Software Games

Free Software PS2 Emulator PCSX2 Hits 1.0 202

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the hurd-feeling-lonier-by-the-week dept.
An anonymous reader writes with an excerpt from geek.net on the release of PCSX2, a GPLed emulator for the PS2: "PCSX2 is a free PS2 emulator for the PC that has been in development since the year 2000 and managed to reach version 1.0 last week. As an emulator it's an impressive piece of work, boasting compatibility with over 73 percent of games, which is some 1,697 titles. It can offer up graphics beyond what the original hardware was capable of, achieving resolutions up to 4096 x 4096 with anti-aliasing and texture filtering. You can save games, record video as you play, use a range of controllers, and even adjust game speed if you so wish. Of course, you'll need a fast machine to run PS2 games at a decent speed, but the spec is still reasonable. It's recommended you have at least a Core 2 Duo running at 3.2GHz, or a Core i5 at 2.66GHz+. As for graphics cards, a GeForce 9600GT or Radeon HD 4750 is desirable." Grab it while it's hot (official binaries and source). Unfortunately it doesn't seem to be packaged for any GNU/Linux distros (Debian has packages of the predecessor to PCSX2, PCSX: Reloaded which, naturally, emulated the Playstation).
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Free Software PS2 Emulator PCSX2 Hits 1.0

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 06, 2012 @06:53PM (#40900061)

    PCSX2 is only really usable with the GSDX GPU plugin, which as the name implies, uses DirectX. Although it can run under Linux in software rendering mode.

    On Linux and Mac, you're stuck with either poor graphics emulation (bad emulation quality, breakage, glitches, poor performance) with the GL plugin, or good but non-accelerated graphics emulation with GSDX.

    It's also a 32-bit only app and they don't even support building it in 64-bit distros (even though it'd only take a few buildsystem fixes to actually make it build in 32-bit mode fine, much like Wine). This is why distros don't ship it.

    • I guess we'll have to wait for version 2.0.
    • by evil_core (987768)

      RTFM!

      "GSdx ported for Linux! Based on OpenGL 3.3 with some 4.x hardware independent extensions. Requires OpenGL 4.2 drivers and is still in experimental stages. Don't expect the hardware renderer to run properly, but the Software renderer should be fine."
        [ citation from PCSX2 ChangeLog ]

  • I've paired PS3 controls with Linux before. The latest Ubuntu release is making it difficult, but nothing I can't overcome.

    Between the sheer smoothness and beauty of XBMC, it's ability to launch NES, SNES, Sega and other emulators as well as native Linux games grabbing a couple of PS3 controls on a PC tucked away out of sight replaces what used to be a gianormous wiring mess connected to every TV.

    • Between the sheer smoothness and beauty of XBMC, it's ability to launch NES, SNES, Sega and other emulators

      Sure, you can buy a standard PC DVD-ROM drive to read your PS1 and PS2 discs as marcansoft pointed out [slashdot.org], and you can buy a Retrode adapter to read your Super NES and Sega Genesis cartridges. But what do you use to dump your NES cartridges? Or do you just play homebrew NES games like Super Bat Puncher [morphcat.de], Thwaite [pineight.com], and Zooming Secretary [untergrund.net]?

      • there are sites with all the listed parts needed, and the instructions on HOW to build, a ROM dumper for various consoles - if you're into building it yourself... if you're looking for prebuilt hardware for dumping, I gotta look as even I'M curious about that.
        • by tepples (727027)

          if you're looking for prebuilt hardware for dumping

          Yes, that's what the majority of emulator users would be looking for if they want to handle everything by the book. As I understand the law, one has the right to dump one's own cartridges (17 USC 117) but not to download copies from the Internet even if one already owns the cartridge (UMG v. MP3.com). Every NES cart reader that I've seen requires soldering, and that appeals to an even smaller demographic than hooking a PC up to a TV.

  • by gman003 (1693318) on Monday August 06, 2012 @07:13PM (#40900199)

    I tried using it on my old computer (Core 2 Duo @ 2.26GHz, GeForce 9600), and it didn't run at all well. Primarily seemed to be the sound - sound disabled, it ran at about full speed, but with sound it ran around 5fps. Changing video settings didn't seem to affect it - I got 5fps at 16x MSAA and 5fps at 0x AA.

    That computer died a while back, and I'm on a new, more powerful one now (Core i7 @ 2.3GHz, GeForce 660), so I might try this out sometime, see if I can handle it now.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 06, 2012 @07:14PM (#40900209)

    I've always admired peoples' commitment to creating emulators for gaming platforms. Years down the track they're often the only platform left to play, unless of course the game publisher decides to 're-release' an old title with an inbuilt emulator for a nominal fee.

    As time goes on and as subsequent generations of consoles become more complicated in both their hardware and embedded operating systems, emulating them will become increasingly difficult. I don't know how long it can last.

    Hopefully console manufacturers will shy away from overcomplicated designs as they have been quite costly for them in the current generation of consoles, but this is probably wishful thinking.

    • by Hatta (162192) on Monday August 06, 2012 @07:22PM (#40900277) Journal

      As time goes on and as subsequent generations of consoles become more complicated in both their hardware and embedded operating systems, emulating them will become increasingly difficult. I don't know how long it can last.

      I think it's already happened. There's not a decent Xbox emulator yet, and it's based on pretty typical x86 hardware.

      • The flip side of that is that the Xbox was actually a damned fine PC for its era despite the low memory allotment. There was little incentive to emulate because all the big time classic gamers all had an Xbox for XBMC if nothing else. It's still a stellar piece of hardware for its time.
    • well as consoles become more complex so do computers and there operating sytems which off sets the it. this will probably continue on like this for a very long time.

    • There's one upside to newer console generations though: as consoles get more complicated, developers stick to APIs and don't do as much register-level fiddling or depending on things like hardware timing. That means that it's easier to perform higher-level emulation of newer consoles (as opposed to the cycle-accurate emulation often required to get good results for older 8-bit and 16-bit machines) and still have things work. Newer consoles are also more similar to a PC, which simplifies emulation.

      For example, the Dolphin GC/Wii emulator managed to get pretty accurate graphics emulation in less time than PCSX2 because the GC/Wii's GPU is a lot saner and has a model that is relatively easy to map to OpenGL/DX, unlike the PS2's GPU and vector units which are horribly painful to emulate. The 360's and PS3's and WiiU's GPUs are pretty much bog-standard PC GPUs (which does mean they will be more complex to implement full emulation for, but at least it will map more easily onto standard graphics APIs). The higher-level software frameworks also make it easier to use high-level emulation for chunks of the system - e.g. Dolphin doesn't emulate the Starlet ARM CPU of the Wii, but instead performs high-level emulation of its APIs. Therefore, it gets away without emulating the USB, SD, WiFi, flash, and other hardware, which greatly simplifies the implementation and makes it more user-friendly.

      It'll be challenging, but it's not an entirely dark future.

      • by JDG1980 (2438906)

        For example, the Dolphin GC/Wii emulator managed to get pretty accurate graphics emulation in less time than PCSX2 because the GC/Wii's GPU is a lot saner and has a model that is relatively easy to map to OpenGL/DX, unlike the PS2's GPU and vector units which are horribly painful to emulate.

        Dolphin still can't emulate Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker perfectly: the heat and smoke effects are badly broken (this is especially noticeable in Dragon Roost Cavern). It must be doing something weird with the hardw

    • by Dogtanian (588974)

      Hopefully console manufacturers will shy away from overcomplicated designs as they have been quite costly for them in the current generation of consoles, but this is probably wishful thinking.

      Well, it was said a while back that Sony aren't planning on investing as much in the PS4 [industrygamers.com] as they did on the PS3.

      I don't remember how much it was supposed to have been that Sony spent developing the PS3 but it was something absolutely horrendous, and I suspect that whatever the benefits of its much hyped custom chips were, it probably didn't offset what they cost to develop or the benefit they provided. Even the cost of subsidising the early PS3s to get market share apparently cost Sony several billion (an

      • I don't remember how much it was supposed to have been that Sony spent developing the PS3 but it was something absolutely horrendous, and I suspect that whatever the benefits of its much hyped custom chips were, it probably didn't offset what they cost to develop or the benefit they provided. Even the cost of subsidising the early PS3s to get market share apparently cost Sony several billion (and they were still expensive).

        The Cell chips were a bad idea. Shiny, fancy, but most of the horsepower sits idle since the SPUs are nearly impossible to fully utilize (small cache per SPU, large number of them). Throw in one or two quad-cores with hyper-threading, a high-end GPU and some memory and call it a day.

    • by oakgrove (845019)

      As time goes on and as subsequent generations of consoles become more complicated in both their hardware and embedded operating systems, emulating them will become increasingly difficult. I don't know how long it can last.

      Another point too is computers just aren't getting faster like they used to. I mean what kind of hardware would it take to emulate a PS3 or XBox 360? And when their successors come out, how long will we have to wait for computers to surpass those enough for emulation to be practical speedwise?

      • by PopeRatzo (965947)

        Another point too is computers just aren't getting faster like they used to. I mean what kind of hardware would it take to emulate a PS3 or XBox 360?

        You're saying that the PS3 and XBox are more powerful than my i7 PC?

        Then why do PC versions of cross-platform games look and perform so much better on my PC? Like Arkham Asylum, COD4, etc.

        I have a hard time believing that an 8 year old XBox or PS3 is more powerful than a current gaming PC.

        • by oakgrove (845019)

          You're saying that the PS3 and XBox are more powerful than my i7 PC?

          No, you misunderstand. I'm saying emulating them would take a ton of computer power. To emulate the Super Nintendo, you need an x86 PC that's is multiple orders of magnitude more power than the little 16-bit 65c816 Ricoh 5A22 3.58 MHz processor the thing has. Now scale that up to PS3 and XBox 360 standards. Now imagine the next generation after that. At some point due to just computers not scaling up in speed like they used to and consoles reaching parity, it stands to reason that emulation will be ext

          • by PopeRatzo (965947)

            So, is an emulator like a VM? I can run other operating systems in a VM, and applications in those operating systems, on my PC, even inside of Windows 7 and I can barely see a difference in performance from native. Of course, some apps are better in VMs than others.

            • by oakgrove (845019)

              Not exactly. At the risk of oversimplification, a virtual machine like Virtualbox or VMWare just isolates the guest OS in memory. Most execution can be passed to the native underlying hardware so its really quick. x86 isn't the easiest architecture to virtualize as all instructions can't just be passed through but Intel and AMD have made some big strides so virtualization is pretty good but still not as good as something like IBM's System/370 that was built from the ground up to be virtualizable.

              An emu

  • by gallondr00nk (868673) on Monday August 06, 2012 @08:12PM (#40900645)

    Going back to about 2001, every couple of years when I've upgraded, I've tried to see if I can actually run a game on the fucker.

    I've tried it on a Pentium II 350mhz, a Duron 1.3ghz, a Celeron 2.6ghz, a P4 3ghz with a x1950 radeon. Tried it today on my old dual xeon and its still nowhere near smooth with Gt4.

    Oh well, sometime in the next decade, maybe.

    • by Jeng (926980)

      Most generations of Xeons have sucked at games.

  • by Guppy06 (410832) on Monday August 06, 2012 @08:20PM (#40900697)

    You have to get a copy of Sony's PS2 BIOS to get it to work.

    • by Tukz (664339)

      If you got PS2 games, surely you have a PS2 also then.
      Grab the BIOS from that.

      • by Guppy06 (410832)

        In order to have a legitimate copy of the BIOS, you need to own a PS2.

        In order to make a legitimate copy of the BIOS, you need a hacked PS2.

        If you already have a hacked PS2, what's the point of a PS2 emulator?

        • by Tukz (664339)

          You don't need a modded PS2 to get the BIOS dump.
          It's a bit more work, but very possible.

  • What are the good PS2 games? I want to see if I can get this to work right now.

    I wouldn't spend a dime on Sony, but I'd love to try some of those games.

    What was big on the PS2?

    • by wierd_w (1375923)

      Universally recognized hit titles are things like GT, (gran Tourismo) resident evil series, crash bandicoot, suikoden series, some people were partial to the .hack series, and others I've met loved darkcloud 2.

      Others are things like katamari damaci (which is hard to classify as a genre...) god of war, shadow of the collosus, and pals.

      For shooters, you have medal of honor and a few others.

    • by Hatta (162192)

      Do you like JRPGs? Try Persona 3. Do you like shmups? Try Gradius V or Mushihime-sama. Do you like Beat Em Ups? Try God Hand or The Red Star. Do you like arcade style air combat? Try Ace Combat 4 or 5. Do you like Zelda-likes? Try Okami (pretty too!). Do you like art wanks? Try Ico or Shadow of the Colossus. Like robot combat? Try Zone of the Enders.

      That should get you started. I've only had a PS2 for 3 years or so now, in a house full of consoles and it gets a lot of use. Great library. Lo

      • by PopeRatzo (965947)

        Shadow of the Colossus looks insane. All of your recommendations appeal to me.

        I'm gonna try this emulator thing tomorrow when I've got some time.

        • by Rhywden (1940872)
          Shadow of the Colossus won't work, though. I've got an i5@3.5GHz and a Geforce560Ti - and it won't run at more than 20 FPS. The developers of the emulator themselves stated that SotC is very demanding. Stuff like FinalFantasy works, however - though even that one slows down during the odd scenes.
          • by PopeRatzo (965947)

            I never saw anything like it. Maybe I'll try to get a used PS2 off Craig's list and play it properly.

    • Let's see, a few of the best I remember were of course GTA 3, Vice City, San Andreas, I liked Tekken Tag Tournament, Metal Gear Solid, Max Payne, and Virtua Fighter. I remember a few other less popular games but forgot the names. But Vice City is still quite possibly the most memorable GTA.
  • Yup, thats a slashdotting alright. ;)

  • *bird chirping* http://thepiratebay.se/torrent/7510379/PS2_BIOS_Files_(2001-2006) [thepiratebay.se] *bird chirping*

When in doubt, mumble; when in trouble, delegate; when in charge, ponder. -- James H. Boren

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