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Emulation (Games) Classic Games (Games) Sony Games

Emulation Arrives On the PS3 169

YokimaSun writes "Following the recent exploit that allows you to jailbreak your PS3, the homebrew community have now breached the console with the first homebrew game, which is the classic Pong. Also released is the first emulator for the system in the shape of a SNES Emulator great for those 16-bit games. Finally drk||Raziel, the coder of the Dreamcast Emulator NullDC, has posted screenshots of his Dreamcast emulator working on the PS3 (albeit at a very early stage). The PS3 is building up to be the Dream Console for emulation."
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Emulation Arrives On the PS3

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  • by NFN_NLN ( 633283 ) on Sunday September 19, 2010 @12:38PM (#33628120)

    ...that Microsoft's Xbox 360 *still* has not been exploited? PS3 has had a number of exploits over the years, but Xbox 360 is still locked down tight. Too bad desktop Windows still has remote code execution vulnerabilities discovered every month...

    They had hypervisor privileges years ago, it's just that it was a pain to implement. []

  • by Krau Ming ( 1620473 ) on Sunday September 19, 2010 @12:42PM (#33628146)
    "Sony, in their infinite wisdom, didn't create PS3's that can read PS2 game discs." Well they did for a short time, until they realized that people actually liked being able to play their old games and new ones on the same system. Then they stopped making them capable with PS2 games.
  • by Nemyst ( 1383049 ) on Sunday September 19, 2010 @12:45PM (#33628168) Homepage
    Only an extremely small subset of PS3s actually can play PS2 games out of the box. Even fewer don't entirely depend on poor software emulation to do it.
  • by NFN_NLN ( 633283 ) on Sunday September 19, 2010 @12:47PM (#33628190)

    ...that Microsoft's Xbox 360 *still* has not been exploited? PS3 has had a number of exploits over the years, but Xbox 360 is still locked down tight. Too bad desktop Windows still has remote code execution vulnerabilities discovered every month...

    Probably an economic issue. Microsoft (and Sony, for that matter) doesn't make money from console hardware sales ... they need game sales to make a profit. So there's a clear incentive to make the Xbox hard to crack. Perhaps Microsoft is just better at that than Sony.

    Have either of you actually played a video game before? Where do you get your intel from?

    The 360 was the first to have a hypervisor exploit: []
    The 360 was the first to allow playing burnt games: []
    The 360 was the first to have homebrew: []

  • by manux ( 167900 ) on Sunday September 19, 2010 @12:50PM (#33628214)

    Sony, in their infinite wisdom, didn't create PS3's that can read PS2 game discs.

    My PS3 reads and plays PS2 games quite well, actually: 60 GB PS3 []

    The original 20 GB units would play PS2 games also.

  • Could be tricky (Score:4, Informative)

    by Sycraft-fu ( 314770 ) on Sunday September 19, 2010 @01:02PM (#33628310)

    The PS2 is a bitch to emulate because its processor and video processor are so strange. It doesn't even work all that great on high end modern PCs. Emulation incurs heavy overhead anyhow, but the more different the platforms, the harder it is. That's why PC on PC virtualization is so fast. You literally "virtualize" as in run most things natively, so you achieve high speeds.

    Now maybe the Cell happens to be well designed for emulation the EE and VUs, but I kinda doubt it. If it were easy to do, I'd have thought Sony would do it to increase compatibility and keep people happy. Also the Cell's power seems to be in parallel processing and that is something that emulation doesn't do much of. I don't know that it couldn't, but it doesn't. Emulators are largely single thread, with maybe a second thread for some video rendering. PCSX2, the PS2 emulator, does use two threads well but that is it. Generally speaking, emulation coding seems to lag behind regular coding. Emulator authors seem to be good at emulation but not so good at current coding practices.

    So my guess is probably not. It is just too powerful, and too odd, of a system to emulate on the PS3. You need a heavier hitting processor to do it, something like an i7.

  • by marcansoft ( 727665 ) <(hector) (at) (> on Sunday September 19, 2010 @01:09PM (#33628362) Homepage

    Nope, I'm sure Sony's upper management is thrilled to see that homebrew is being created using their leaked SDK. This guarantees that PS3 homebrew is and always will be illegal, and therefore can never be legitimate in the grand scheme of things. Sony will be free to legally threaten any homebrew communities.

    People, this is the wrong way to go. It will just end up like the Xbox1, whose homebrew scene was underground (except for linux-based stuff). Not a good plan. Instant satisfaction (using Sony's leaked tools instead of writing your own) only works in the short term. This can be fixed, but only if people care instead of going for the quick and dirty way.

    We already have a perfectly good port of Linux to the PS3, capable of replacing lv2 while gaining RSX/3D funcionality thanks to the new exploits. How about we concentrate on getting that to work instead of illegally using Sony's OS and tools?

    Plus, nobody really knows how Sony's software ecosystem works yet. For all we know, at one point, all users who have ever installed a homebrew pkg (even if they update later) will have their consoles permanently banned from PSN.

  • by taxevader ( 612422 ) on Sunday September 19, 2010 @01:19PM (#33628438)

    A 100% software emulator to run PS2 software on the PS3 is entirely possible. The Xbox 1 is a much more powerful system than the PS2, and the Xbox 360 (which is inferior to the PS3) can emulate it perfectly, all in software. So it's only a matter of time before a PS2 emulator appears on the PS3.

    The funny thing about this is Sony has recently patented a hardware PS2 addon for the PS3.. if/when the homebrew scene releases a PS2 emulator, Sony is going to look very stupid....and greedy to almost every PS3 owner in the world! []

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 19, 2010 @02:00PM (#33628738)

    Wait what? The Xbox 1 homebrew scene was underground? I spent years reading up on turning the original Xbox into a movie storage/video game saving/emulator playing media system (eventually I did so myself).

    It was never underground, Microsoft just came crashing down on you like a cement truck if you tried to make money off it.

  • by am 2k ( 217885 ) on Sunday September 19, 2010 @02:03PM (#33628760) Homepage

    Hardware performance is not a linear scale. The PS2 had a lot of domain-specific specialized processors that would all have to be emulated on an SPU. Specialized processors are always faster at a task they were designed for than comparable generic processors. This is not a trivial task, and even the Windows-based emulators have some severe performance issues (at least when I tried one of them a year ago).

    Additionally, since the games were coded for a fixed platform, they are very likely to rely on specific timings (like DVD loading performance), which are very hard to emulate, even when you have enough performance to do so.

  • by biryokumaru ( 822262 ) <> on Sunday September 19, 2010 @02:27PM (#33628910)

    I don't know what all this Ceche crap is, but my full size PS3 can't even read a PS2 disc, which is a load of crap.

    If I'd known that before I bought it, I wouldn't have shelled out $300. PS3's are getting to be more and more of a rip off as time goes on. It's ridiculous and indefensible.

  • by marcansoft ( 727665 ) <(hector) (at) (> on Sunday September 19, 2010 @02:46PM (#33629028) Homepage

    They didn't take anything out, they just disabled it. lv1 is the same under GameOS and OtherOS, except with less limitations. Theoretically, you can use the psjailbreak exploit to make a Linux bootloader that replaces lv2, and enjoy the old OtherOS Linux with little to no modifications, plus the capability to use the RSX.

    We're working on it.

  • by ScrewMaster ( 602015 ) * on Sunday September 19, 2010 @02:59PM (#33629114)

    You were being sarcastic, but actually they should be.

    And similarly, the RIAA and the record labels should have been thrilled when Napster went online, and positively orgasmic when Justin Frankel released Gnutella. But they weren't, and for the same reason: they are all control freaks, and it doesn't matter if easing up a little might actually make more money. Control comes first.

  • by Khyber ( 864651 ) <> on Sunday September 19, 2010 @03:38PM (#33629382) Homepage Journal

    "In addition, the Xbox and the 360 are very much alike in terms of architecture"

    Original XBox: Intel P-3 Celeron @ 733MHz
    360: 3.2 GHz PowerPC core and 3 SPE units.

    Not even the same hardware arch, man.

  • Re:Could be tricky (Score:5, Informative)

    by Spatial ( 1235392 ) on Sunday September 19, 2010 @03:55PM (#33629500)

    Not really. Emotion was pretty easy to figure out.

    You missed the point. Figuring it out isn't the problem, it's how different the hardware is from the native platform. The more different, the more complex it is to emulate and the slower it will be.

    For example, the PS2 doesn't conform to the IEEE-754 standard for floating point like a PC does. Which means every single FP operation must be dealt with to handle these differences or compatability will be broken. Guess what type of operation is most common in a videogame? Suddenly a trivial op is now a major performance problem.

    That's just the tip of the iceberg as far as emulation goes. It's never as simple as you think.

  • They already do (Score:5, Informative)

    by Sycraft-fu ( 314770 ) on Sunday September 19, 2010 @06:15PM (#33630366)

    Go look at PCSX2. All the video processing is done by your GPU, and thus you do get things like better resolution than the PS2 and so on. They make extensive use of HEL tricks, dynamic recompilation and so on. However for all that it is still slow. Also please remember the more tricks, the more problems. UltraHLE was neat but ran all of about 8 games.

    There was also a big advantage emulating the processor: It was a very simple design. At its heart, it was just a MIPS R4300i. A well documented processor, with a simple instruction set. Also, few games made use of its 64-bit capabilities so pretending it wasn't was not a big deal for emulators.

    The Emotion Engine? Much stranger. MIPS based, but all sorts of additional instructions, many not well documented by Sony. Heavily uses 64-bit (integer and floating point) and has 128-bit FP capability too. In particular the real problem happens with the VU0 and VU1 units, which are 128-bit vector units. The sort of stuff they do would normally be on the GPU in a computer, but it is on the CPU in the PS2.

    At any rate, it is a difficult system to emulate, at least for the people trying to do so. If you think you could do a better job, it would be wonderful if you took a swing at it. I do get the feeling from what I've seen that many of the emulation programs aren't the best and brightest at programming overall, they just like emulation.

    However as it stands, the very best PS2 emulator out there requires a heavy hitting system to make possible. You need a good CPU, good video card, and even then it can be slow and buggy.

  • Re:Wii anyone? (Score:3, Informative)

    by lmnfrs ( 829146 ) <lmnfrs@g m a i l . c om> on Sunday September 19, 2010 @08:29PM (#33631206) Journal

    FYI, the PSX and the DC aren't all that close. The Saturn was of the same generation as the PSX and was more complex/powerful, and the DC was the next generation. It may not be outside the realm, but it'll likely take a while.

    The summary only said "dream console" because it sounds neat. I think a Wii is worth having for its unique qualities, but an Xbox does everything you mentioned and is much cheaper. I'm sure a few other systems have that many emulation abilities as well.

Receiving a million dollars tax free will make you feel better than being flat broke and having a stomach ache. -- Dolph Sharp, "I'm O.K., You're Not So Hot"