PCSX2 0.9.6, PC emulates the PS2 way better than PlayStation 3

March 6, 2009 · Filed Under Emulation & Retrogaming, News 
This entry is part of the series High-end emulation

News - A succession of fresh, quality news, from inside and outside of the WebPS2 emulation is a complex task“, as it can be read on the about page of PCSX2, but it isn’t an impossible task as demonstrated by the advancements achieved during time by the only software currently able to replicate the most successful Sony console (a hit enduring even today) with an accuracy level that is enough to run a good number of commercial games. PCSX2 emulates the PS2 on PC, and the last release of the emulator delivered in these days, version 0.9.6, once again confirms that a group of talented and passionate coders is generally much more capable of achieving such kind of objectives than a multinational investing billions of euros and obtaining in return results embarrassing at least.

The release of PCSX2 0.9.6 hides an intricate backstage made up by new development branches, their subsequent merging within the main code and by a difficult cleaning work which has brought both positive and negative effects as of PS2 emulation accuracy and supported titles. The new version of the emulator is released after almost 16 months since the last one, a huge timeframe in which among the other things there has been the birth of the Playground project, that is the aforementioned new development branch.

The results obtained by Playground developers have been remarkable, at the point that in the end it has been decided to merge the two codes to try to join the fine stuff and at the same time to speed up the overall works on the emulation of the console. Due to such complex arrangement, PCSX2 0.9.6 offers a lot of novelties but also some counter-indications to have clear in mind for those who would have the intention to make a full switch starting from a previous version.

As of improvements, the new version of the only PS2 emulator worth of such title includes a huge code rewrite, mostly by the Playground members and that has brought to the project so many (”too much”) optimizations, speed-ups and assorted fixes, including a large number of hacks (also specific to several games) able to considerably increase the speed of emulated games.

Memory card support is now defined “full” and working for all games, memory management is more accurate and less subject to startup errors. PCSX2 is far-back able to take advantage of parallelism in multi-core and Hyper-threading processors, and version 0.9.6 further improves such feature with a 15% speedup on HT CPUs and 3-5% on dual-core ones.

After many positive notes there is room for the negative ones, because as already said the PCSX2 0.9.6 release has been a real challenge and as result of the difficulties encountered during the merging the number of games that are playable with the new version is globally lower than the PCSX 0.9.4 one. “But on the other hand“, it can be read on the developers’ blog, “games that are playable tend be much more accurately emulated now, and are certainly much faster. And 0.9.6 also runs a couple dozen games that 0.9.4 could not (most of which are big titles many folks have looked forward to for some time)“.

And if it is worthwhile to keep a copy of the old version just in case it should be necessary, who would be still “virgin” as of PS2 emulation on the PC can first of all glance at the compatibility list currently containing 1,990 titles, and maybe follow the thread with users’ tests started on the official forum for the new release. What is sure, anyway, is the fact that if Sony was obliged to profess its own impotence after the useless effort to replicate PS2 on the PS3, the coders behind PCSX2 never stop amazing by constantly improving the emulation of such a complex and advanced console like the 128 bit machine of the Japanese multinational.

Series Navigation«NullDC 1.0.3, Dreamcast emulation returns on PC. Carrying NAOMI with itDolphin R3661 brings Wii and Super Mario Galaxy on the PC»
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