As we reported earlier this week, the team behind the PlayStation 3 emulator RPCS3 had some exciting information to share with their install base today. First, apologies to the community—there is still no way to get to the start menu for The Last of Us. However, the group has unveiled stability fixes, graphical improvements, and the ability to actually launch into an impressive array of the system’s classic titles. Aside from pleasing the fans, the amount of work done on some of these gargantuan, AAA action titles demonstrates some real technical mettle by the programmers.
In a lengthy blog post on the RCPS3 website, the developers chronicled the changes that have allowed them to get some of these major titles to finally boot up in the software. Without delving too much into the technical details, it involved two minor fixes to the code that emulates the PS3’s unique, decentralized Cell processing—achieved with a ring of semi-independent processing cores instead of a typical computer’s linear build. In English, this means games that would usually hitch or “hang” before the main menu screen can now be accessed, running functions in circles. And though many titles are still completely unstable, the newly accessible library is nothing to scoff at.
Fully emulating any game is a challenge, much less a high-budget, maximum-production-value AAA title from the most recent console generation. That means that the level of stability varies wildly within this new lineup of games—but what a lineup it is.
Among the titles that can go “ingame” for the first time in RPCS3 are God of War HD Collection, Ratchet & Clank I-IV, inFamous 1 and 2, Uncharted 1, wipEout HD, PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale, Heavenly Sword, and Gran Turismo HD Concept. Most of these titles have seen specific fixes as well, many of which were graphical updates, but unfortunately no games on this list are perfectly playable from start to finish. That will take time, though the RPCS3 team seems committed to making that a reality.
The PS3, with its one-if-a-kind architecture, is one of the most difficult systems on the market to emulate. The developers behind RPCS3 may be following a personal goal of having the games they love available anywhere on their PCs, but they’ve also proven themselves as programmers to anyone paying attention.