Ah, the venerable Playstation 2! You’d be hard pressed to find another console with such a wonderfully varied library. Whether it was inventing the 3rd person cover-based shooter, unleashing our inner rock star, or showcasing the apex of the JRPG genre, the PS2 was the must have console for a decade and sports an entertainment software library of such variety that modern consoles appear stale, one-trick ponies next to it. Sadly, the HD revolution (and a notoriously finicky laser assembly) has not been kind to our old playmate. Enter homebrewed solution PCSX2.
It is a rare treat for any fan project to issue a 1.0 release, let alone an emulator. Despite all odds, rama and the team over at PCSX.net have done just that. From PCSX2 1.0 release announcement:
After many long years of development, debugging and testing effort, we have reached a point where PCSX2 runs a great majority of the games, and there are no important issues that could possibly be fixed without requiring major modifications to the emulator.
Because of that (and because we already felt it was overdue), we decided to stop thinking of new things to do for a bit, polish the stability, compatibility and existing features and release the result as the first major version of PCSX2!
1,697 titles are listed as playable under the emulator. You’ll still need a fairly beefy PC to run some, especially at high resolutions with AA and texture filtering enabled. Recommended system specs are at least a Core 2 Duo running at 3.2GHz, or a Core i5 at 2.66GHz with a GeForce 9600GT or Radeon 4750 video card. On our own Core i5, 3.2Ghz with a Geforce 460 512, we ran Final Fantasy 12 at 1080 with 4x AA at a flawless 60fps using a wired XBox 360 controller from the original US retail disk. Game performance will, of course, vary from title to title.
Even after meeting those specs, emulation in not a task for those without either some technical background or a lot of patience and skill with Google. It’s nothing you can’t bully though with a little reading and a lot of trial and error, but be warned that this is not an install-and-go solution
None the less, the results speak for themselves:
You can get stable 1.0 version of PCSX2 from PCSX2.net. Frequent SVN builds are also available. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to take The Warriors out to play. And God Hand. And Culdcept. And Front Mission. And…