RPCS3 July 2018 Progress Report in a nutshell – Asynchronous Shader Recompilation, GUI improvements, Multi-User support, Sonic Unleashed in-game and more!
With the past two months being filled with PSVita news, RPCS3 progress report summaries took a bit of a back seat but they haven’t been forgotten! This article is here to condense the report in a shorter and simpler read while still explaining what the RPCS3 team did last month.
Summary of the report
In July, the emulator mostly saw improvements relating to rendering/performance and the GUI. These improvements could be narrowed down to:
- The introduction of Asynchronous Shader Recompilation which greatly reduces stutter in 3D games!
- Improvements to the vertex program decompiler and analyser.
- This not only brought about better performance but it’s also made some games playable.
- Support for the multiple user functionality found on the PS3.
- With this, it’ll be easier to manage your saves if multiple people use the emulator on the same machine.
- Some games, like Terraria, that require multiple users for local multiplayer can now have their MP functionality used.
- GUI design improvements which curiously make the emulator’s GUI look more like Dolphin’s.
- A variety of other additions including further optimisation in the SPU emulation department, many bug fixes and more tested games!
Asynchronous Shader Recompilation and Vertex program decompiler/analyser improvements
Good performance during emulation is something that everybody likes but due to how some emulators work, good performance could only be ensured on the second play.
The reason is that, without async shader recompilation, the emulator has to generate shaders (graphic elements that have to do with shadows, giving realistic colour, reflections and special effects) all at once when you enter a new area in a 3D game. As some areas could have hundreds or even thousands of shaders, the emulator may freeze for a couple of seconds to a minute which makes the experience less desirable. Thankfully, these generated shaders are retained for the next time you play through the same area so that there’s no stuttering in the second playthrough.
Thanks to kd-11’s async sahder recompilation feature, the above won’t happen any more. Now, the emulated game will generate shaders on the fly as needed without stutters. As a result of this, some areas may appear gray/semi-hidden for a second or two when entering a new area but in my opinion, this is much better than constant stuttering on your first play-through!
Other than async shader recompilation, shader generation as a whole got some improvements since the vertex program decompiler and analyser now outputs more compact shaders and decreases the amount of shaders that are generated. Thanks to these improvements from kd-11, screen flickering is reduced and game crashing due to loading large shader caches should be reduced. Games that saw considerable improvements thanks to these improvements are Watch Dogs and TMNT: Turtles In Time.
GUI improvements and games that saw improvements
Thanks to work from @DAGINATSUKO and Megamouse, the RPCS3 GUI got new icons (some of which look similar to those found in Dolphin), a better stylesheet, various visual fixes and the removal of some redundant features. However, if you’re a fan of the old GUI, you can still switch back to that by selecting the “Classic (Bright)” style sheet!
Now, for the most important part of progress reports and that is the games that saw improvements! These are:
- Sonic Unleashed is now in-game although it’s not 100% playable
- If you have a high performing CPU, you could even run it with decent performance at 4K!
- Bleach: Soul Resurrección now works perfectly.
- Knights Contract, a PS3/X360 exclusive, is fully playable.
- PixelJunk SideScroller works properly bar for some graphical issues in the main menu.
- Resistance 3, a PS3 exclusive, got in-game but still crashes after the initial tutorial.
- Ratchet & Clank Future: A Crack In Time is now in-game but it still crashes after a few minutes.
- SSX and MotorStorm: Apocalypse are now in-game although there are performance issues.
- Gundam Crossfire and Dynasty Warriors: Gundam Reborn aren’t playable but saw some noticeable improvements.
To find out more about what’s going in RPCS3, simply follow the links below and enjoy the videos and screenshots!
July 2018 Progress Report (published 18/8/18): https://rpcs3.net/blog/2018/08/18/progress-report-july-2018/
Patreon Page: https://www.patreon.com/Nekotekina