PlayStation 3: emukidid releases a PoC version of wii64-ps3 which kind of lets you emulate the Nintendo 64 – Porting Wii64’s dynarec and changes from newer releases on the cards for the future!
With the PlayStation Vita and New 3DS joining in on the Nintendo 64 emulation club thanks to DaedalusX64, the calls of many were answered and to continue the trend, Nintendo 64 emulation has landed on the PlayStation 3… kind of. In this article, we’re going to be looking at a recently unearthed PoC version of wii64-ps3 together with what may be in store for the future!
emukidid releases PoC version of wii64-ps3 from 2011 unearthed from an old HDD
The drive of getting Nintendo 64 emulators onto more hacked consoles continues as last week, emukidid shared on GitHub a compiled version of a PoC build of wii64-ps3 (below) and it’s now ended up in the PS3 hacking scene’s spotlight thanks to an article by PSX-Place.
According to the description accompanying the binaries, which are in ELF/SELF format, work was being done in around 2011 to port Wii64 (a Nintendo 64 emulator for the Wii based on Mupen64 with a sister version for the GameCube called Cube64) to the PlayStation 3 although for some reason, development on it stopped despite some notable work having already been done.
In its current state, the emulator seems to be able to run both Super Mario 64 [video 1] and Mario Kart 64 [video 2] as per videos by KevinT Creations but they are obviously not playable as not only is the frame rate not great but there are significant graphical issues with a good deal of magenta/purple showing up in places where it should. However, as per its README, the emulator itself has a few basic features already implemented which include preliminary hardware accelerated graphics, basic input support and badly-implemented audio while also sporting USB loading/saving together with some form of menu system.
What’s next for this wii64-ps3?
Going by what’s written in the aforementioned GitHub README, emukidid has been able to compile wii64-ps3 using the more modern PSL1GHT v2 toolchain but ran into issues as the emulator’s menu loops every 3 to 4 seconds which makes stuff go unresponsive. However, emukidid states that once this issue is fixed, the following things are on the table for wii64-ps3:
- Merging changes from newer Wii64 releases
- Porting Wii64’s dynamic recompiler to the PlayStation 3 as both the Wii and PS3 are PowerPC-based consoles but the former is ppc32 with the latter being ppc64
- This would greatly help with performance as the emulator is currently using an interpreter to convert MIPS (N64) instructions to ppc64 (PS3) instructions.
Emukidid has also stated on Twitter that they will be getting back into PlayStation 3 development after 9 years of inactivity which sends a positive message when it comes to further development of wii64-ps3!
Staying on the topic of Nintendo 64, the PSVita version of DaedalusX64 received cheat code support together with some further optimisations through NEON instructions. paraLLel-RPD, which does low-level N64 RDP emulation, has been re-written from scratch and is available within the paraLLEl n64 core in RetroArch. On the Switch front, Kosmos has been discontinued while TotalJustice has archived his Switch-related homebrew projects such as Atmosphere Updater and GameCard Installer NX meaning that the repositories have been made read-only thus there may not be any future development on them.
GitHub Release Page (PoC binaries): https://github.com/emukidid/wii64-ps3/releases