The day has finally come, one of my favourite homebrew on the PSP, Basilisk II got properly released on the PSVita! This means that the game library on the Vita now got much larger since you can play computer (Mac) games on it!
What’s Basilisk II and why did it only get properly released now?
SimCity 2000 in your hands (with touch controls)!
Basilisk II is a 68k Macintosh emulator that’s available on various platforms and systems such as the PSP, Windows, Linux and MacOS computers among others. With Basilisk II, you can run Mac OS (System) 7.0 – 8.1 on a 68000-series machine as Basilisk II emulates a Macintosh II or Quadra 900 with a 68020/30/40 processor.
The PSVita port was originally released by ‘meetpatty’ on 11th March 2017 BUT it was quite tedious to set up to the point that I wasn’t even able to set it up after many attempts. Now, it has a GUI that’s on par with the PSP version of the emulator so you can easily set it up if you have the required files.
The GUI preference editor that makes life much easier!
What are its features and how do I get it up and running?
The Vita’s port has the following features:
Ability to use the touchscreen as a normal touchscreen. This means when you press on something, the cursor automatically gets moved there and a click is registered. No dragging on the screen is needed to change the cursor position, just point and click (well touch)! Pointing may still be done with the analogue stick. This may be a good homebrew to use with a stylus.
An elegant UI preferences editor.
Bluetooth keyboard and mouse support
Some other features and hopefully, more to be added soon! (hopefully, an on screen keyboard gets implemented but you could always use Key Caps (Mac OS’s On-screen keyboard) for text entry / A way to map keys to the front buttons would also be great!)
The files needed are a classic Macintosh ROM file (it can’t be legally obtained unless you have a classic Mac but that’s up to you) and a hard drive image containing a bootable version of Mac OS 7.0 – 8.1.
I personally recommend ramping up the Vita’s CPU to 444MHz (max frequency) and running System 7.5.3/5 for the best performance and application compatibility. Mac OS 8.1 does slow down the system quite a bit so you should avoid it (use
Appearance Manager with System 7.5.3/5 if you really want the Platinum UI)
Basilisk II on the Vita – Based on Chilly Willy’s great PSP port and ported by meetpatty!
I hope that you have fun playing late 80s and early/mid 90s games on your PSVita and games that only require the mouse (such as SimCity and SimEarth) work really well! This is the best way to experience computer games of that era on the go on the PSVita as the MS-DOS core of RetroArch is still in its infancy.
If you have any problems, report them to ‘meetpatty’ on GitHub in the Issues tab.
I'm a girl that's liked technology from day 1. Mostly interested in the PSVita/PSP scene but I've always modded my stuff when it's possible, that is :)Contact me via DM at @KawaiiAuroraA on Twitter if you have any questions/concerns about my articles or if you have any article requests.