Console emulation on the PC is an ever growing industry. Today, another milestone was achieved for RPCS3, a free and open source PlayStation 3 emulator. Red Dead Redemption and Skate 3, two beloved titles from the last generation, are now playable on the emulator. Although both games have noticeable bugs and performance issues, running them on top of the line processors like the i9 9900k allows for a smooth gameplay experience.
Red Dead Redemption
Looking at the 15 minute sample shows us that the emulation is not perfect. For the most part, the emulator maintains 30 frames per second, but there are frequent, noticeable drops into the 20s. There are even times where the framerate dips into the sub-20 category.
You might think that, considering the power of hardware running the emulator, this isn’t all that special. However, take note that improving the framerate is only a small piece of the puzzle. Numerous other issues, such as crashes have to be addressed during development. All in all, the RPCS3 can now provide a pleasant Red Dead Redemption experience, one which is not far from the actual console itself.
RPCS3’s compatibilty list classifies the game as “in-game”, which means it has game breaking bugs and serious performance issues.
The other PlayStation 3 game doesn’t require such a strong CPU to provide a playable experience. Today, Skate 3 was officially moved into the ‘Playable’ category of all RPCS3 titles. This milestone is accredited to improvements brought by Lead Graphics Developer kd-11. Here’s a 4K sample of the game running on an i7 8700k and a Ryzen 7 1700.
Emulating console games on the PC requires a powerful processor, not to mention loads of optimization from the developers side. Most of the heavy lifting is done by the CPU, but a GPU with Vulkan support is required for PlayStation 3 emulation. The emulation industry is kept alive and thrives thanks to the hard work of devoted community members. There’s still a long way to go before games are optimized enough to run well on weaker, somewhat average hardware.