Working within the emulation space has gotten significantly more difficult over the last few years. The newer the console, the more likely it’s going to be a long while before anything can come close to remotely playing it. This is why when RPCS3 announced that their compatibility list featured zero games that did nothing, it’s huge news.
Loadable now features six games and the work to cull down those trapped in the limbo of the intro should come with time.
The PS3 is a wild console in hindsight. While the Xbox 360 took on a more traditional structure under the hood, making it fairly easy to move games from development to the console, the PS3 featured what Sony dubbed the ‘Cell Processor’, a notoriously difficult chip to develop on that hindered development for third-party games having to develop for an entirely different architecture. Frame rates, loading times, and general performance issues plagued the early years, while Sony’s first-party games often looked like superior titles down to the fact that they didn’t have to develop for two platforms at once.
The work done on RPCS3 is nothing short of astounding, with our previous article detailing their efforts to curtail rendering times for shaders, something that needs to be done on the fly rather than how it was done on the actual hardware.
Emulation is becoming a serious part of the preservation of video games, as certain titles are lost to time physically or officially, meaning that the only way to really play them easily is via a download. This is an effort Nintendo tried to provide an avenue for on the Wii and WiiU, but seemingly ditched when it moved to the Switch, introducing subscriptions for access to NES, SNES, Nintendo 64, and Sega Genesis games. The recent release of Metroid Dread on Nintendo Switch has seen a sales increase of Metroid Fusion and previous games on their prior platforms its available – mostly on the WiiU, which sold terribly.
The RPCS3 team’s roadmap is described as ‘non-exhaustive’ and is supported by a Patreon, which currently sees £2,110 a month come into the team’s resources. As with the PS2 emulator, PCSX2, which can boot from discs, RPCS3 has that in its sights in a ‘long term goal’, but this can be circumvented by ‘dumping’ the original game discs via a Blu-Ray Read and Write drive onto a PC.
They also have goals to bring in netplay, which has become highly popular with its introduction over on Retroarch, a platform that collates and becomes a central hub for emulation.