Release: RPCS3 (PS3 Emulator) 0.0.21
The folks behind RPCS3 have published a new release tag for the popular PS3 Emulator. There is no official changelog for this “release”, but since these tags are usually 3 months apart, you can expect significant changes since 0.0.20.
It’s worth noting that RPCS3 actually gets a build for pretty much every commit, so these release tags are a bit “artificial” and it’s likely most users are already up to date, but a new release tag is a good opportunity to talk about RPCS3 🙂
What is RPCS3
From the official site:
RPCS3 is a multi-platform open-source Sony PlayStation 3 emulator and debugger written in C++ for Windows, Linux, macOS and FreeBSD. The purpose of the project is to completely and accurately emulate the Sony PlayStation 3 Computer Entertainment System in its entirety with the power of open-source community and reverse engineering.
Our goal is to preserve the legacy of the PlayStation 3 hardware and its vast library by bringing it and its exclusives to the PC platform. We want to achieve this by targeting and supporting multiple operating systems as well as being compatible with a wide range of computer hardware with realistic requirements.
RPCS3 was initially developed by DH and Hykem in 2011, with now Nekotekina and kd-11 leading the charge with a total of more than 20 active contributors.
RPCS3 plays about 65% of the PS3 library without any problem. In the remaining 35% of the pie, 30% of games can be played but have “serious glitches”, and the remaining 5% do not work with the emulator yet.
What’s new in RPCS3 0.0.21
There is no official changelog for these regular, automated builds, so the bravest among us can dig into the 188 commits that have been made since the 0.0.20 release tag. At a quick glance, we see platform specific improvements (MacOS, Windows,…), game specific improvements (Singstar,…), initial support for Linux Aarch64, initial support for Apple GPUs, and multiple bug fixes and refactors (which may or may not have fixed bugs or performance issues).
We’ll have to wait for an official statement or blog post from the devs to know the “big” changes that have been made over the past few months, but they are mentioning a couple key points on their twitter account:
- Fixes for NVidia GPUs related to the VK_ERROR_DEVICE_LOST error
- Improved performance in Red Dead Redemption, allows to hit 60FPS in the initial area without any patches
- asynchronous texture streaming bug fixes, now works with recent NVidia drivers
- It’s worth noting that RPCS3 is now able to boot into the XMB, as of a change from January (video below)
RPCS3 and Steam Deck
The Steam Deck has been rightfully getting a lot of attention lately, and the folks at RPCS3 are looking at RPCS3 optimization for the Valve machine when running on Linux. They have some advice for those of you wanting to try PS3 Emulation on Steam Deck:
– Be careful with GPU > “Asynchronous Texture Streaming”, enabling this setting on weak GPUs can worsen performance instead of improving it.
We didn’t receive / don’t have access to an early unit of Steam Deck, so don’t expect a review on launch day (February 25th) from us.
— RPCS3 (@rpcs3) February 19, 2022
Are you looking for some console exclusive games to test on low powered PCs such as the Steam Deck?
Here are a few recommendations:
– Asura’s Wrath
– Demon’s Souls
– Drakengard 3
– Lost in the rain
* Screenshots from 45W mobile Zen 3 4C/8T at 4.4GHz and integrated Renoir iGPU pic.twitter.com/FYLI5Cjtrb
— RPCS3 (@rpcs3) February 19, 2022
Download and install RPCS3
You can download the latest build from the RPCS3 Download page. That page also provides installation instructions.
Once the emulator is installed, follow the quickstart guide. Due in particular to legal restrictions, you’ll need to install a bunch of additional material for the emulator to run, which is what the quickstart guide is for.