Playstation 4 emulator that works and requires Linux

harmattan

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Feb 11, 2008
Messages
4,828
Yeah, that's usually the problem. These consoles would make decent low to mid end PC's at launch, but by the time the community gets around to figuring out how to do it, the platform has usually aged enough that it isn't really worth it.
I'd argue that it's still worth it to be able to experience some of the best games ever made (often with increased resolution). I was still playing my PS2 emulator for years after that console was dead. I was in Uni at the time and had no time for games back then and probably would have missed some classics e.g. Shadows of the Colossus had there not been an emulator.
 

Zarathustra[H]

Fully [H]
Joined
Oct 29, 2000
Messages
32,644
I'd argue that it's still worth it to be able to experience some of the best games ever made (often with increased resolution). I was still playing my PS2 emulator for years after that console was dead. I was in Uni at the time and had no time for games back then and probably would have missed some classics e.g. Shadows of the Colossus had there not been an emulator.

I don't really want to open that can of worms again, because every time I mention that it is rare for me to care for a console game, someone inevitably gets offended, but I will say that since I stopped using my 8bit NES in ~1991 when I got my first PC, the only console exclusive titles I wished I had access to and could play were the Katamari Damacy series. Everything else I could kind of take or leave. Especially since most titles are cross platform these days.

I'm still kind of biased since the decede of the 2000's when most PC exclusives (or PC first) titles were amazing, complex and interesting, and every console port we got was kind of lame, and felt designed for a lowest common denominator. On the rare occasion I have gone back and checked out old console titles I missed, I have yet to come across anything outside of Katamari Damacy that was even remotely interesting to me.

That is in large part because I have specific tastes. I'm not into anything 3rd person, anything in the fantasy genre, anything Japanese or anything anime inspired. That kind of excludes a lot of console exclusives.

I am kind of interested in getting a dual joystick controller and trying to fire up Katamari in an emulator though. I think that would be fun. And at this point PS1 and PS2 emulators should be pretty damn capable.
 

chithanh

Gawd
Joined
Oct 18, 2010
Messages
927
It would seem current gen Playstations should be much easier to emulate, now that they are running on AMD APU's. You don't really have to emulate the CPU/GPU at all, just run it as a VM.
Are the drivers really that different from AMD's standard open source GPU drivers?
I think it's not that simple. PS4 has unified memory, with full bandwidth access to both the CPU and the GPU. PCs have bottlenecks that the PS4 APU does not have, so will have to make up with vastly faster hardware.
That includes the graphics API. There was an excellent article series on porting Detroit Become Human which describes all the work the devs had to do in order to make it run acceptably on PC.
https://gpuopen.com/learn/porting-detroit-1/
 

Zedicus

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Nov 2, 2010
Messages
1,089
I'd argue that it's still worth it to be able to experience some of the best games ever made (often with increased resolution). I was still playing my PS2 emulator for years after that console was dead. I was in Uni at the time and had no time for games back then and probably would have missed some classics e.g. Shadows of the Colossus had there not been an emulator.

this ps2 softmod debuted in 2019 and allows 1080i and 1080p with no additional hardware.

each option has a place. software emu, hardware with mods, hardware emu ( https://www.retrorgb.com/mister.html ) it all depends on your goal.
 

Zarathustra[H]

Fully [H]
Joined
Oct 29, 2000
Messages
32,644
I think it's not that simple. PS4 has unified memory, with full bandwidth access to both the CPU and the GPU. PCs have bottlenecks that the PS4 APU does not have, so will have to make up with vastly faster hardware.
That includes the graphics API. There was an excellent article series on porting Detroit Become Human which describes all the work the devs had to do in order to make it run acceptably on PC.
https://gpuopen.com/learn/porting-detroit-1/

Fair, but it is certainly much closer and thus less work than say, the Cell architecture.

And I'm not sure I'd agree that unified memory requires something VASTLY more powerful. It's a matter of a few percent here or there.

It sounds like most of the work they had to do they created for themselves, simply by designing an engine that was overly specialized for the PS4.

A lot of their issues are also due to the need of being able to target PC's of all levels of performance, not just the types of machines we see here on the [H]. If game devs had the discipline to just exclude old or obsolete hardware and anything below a midrange GPU (Nvidia xx60 series) most of this problem goes away. They are trying to cater to people playing games on machines on which they really shouldn't be playing games. On board graphics, low end old laptop CPU's you name it.

A decent PC would have brute forced most of their problems.

But yeah, it is amazing what you can do if you don't have to worry about hardware fragmentation. Designing an operating system and render pipeline around one very specific piece of hardware is always going to be more efficient due to the lack of need for any kind of hardware abstraction.
 
Last edited:

DukenukemX

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Jan 30, 2005
Messages
5,797
the ps4 (and really probably ps5, though it is unconfirmed as yet) use FreeBSD as the system OS. honestly i figured some sort of emulator would happen sooner than it did. The reason it ended up on linux is that Sony never publicly ported the GPU driver back to BSD. So linux has GPU drivers and BSD compatibility.
From what I understand the reason for Linux is because it's very friendly when it comes to VM software. You could get it working on Windows but it would require a lot of work. Oribital which is another PS4 emulator is also on Linux for this reason, but the developer is donating code to HAXM which is Intel's VM software so that it could also work on Windows as well. PS4 emulators are more like virtual machines than emulators, which is probably why performance is so good on this emulator so far.
 

Wade88

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jun 21, 2015
Messages
324
I think it's not that simple. PS4 has unified memory, with full bandwidth access to both the CPU and the GPU. PCs have bottlenecks that the PS4 APU does not have, so will have to make up with vastly faster hardware.
That includes the graphics API. There was an excellent article series on porting Detroit Become Human which describes all the work the devs had to do in order to make it run acceptably on PC.
https://gpuopen.com/learn/porting-detroit-1/
Direct Storage will obviate this I think since we can have vastly faster SSDs or SSD arrays.
 

twonunpackmule

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Sep 27, 2005
Messages
1,629
I don't really want to open that can of worms again, because every time I mention that it is rare for me to care for a console game, someone inevitably gets offended, but I will say that since I stopped using my 8bit NES in ~1991 when I got my first PC, the only console exclusive titles I wished I had access to and could play were the Katamari Damacy series. Everything else I could kind of take or leave. Especially since most titles are cross platform these days.

I'm still kind of biased since the decede of the 2000's when most PC exclusives (or PC first) titles were amazing, complex and interesting, and every console port we got was kind of lame, and felt designed for a lowest common denominator. On the rare occasion I have gone back and checked out old console titles I missed, I have yet to come across anything outside of Katamari Damacy that was even remotely interesting to me.

That is in large part because I have specific tastes. I'm not into anything 3rd person, anything in the fantasy genre, anything Japanese or anything anime inspired. That kind of excludes a lot of console exclusives.

???

Doesn't like anime/Japanese games, yet, loves one of the most Japanese/Anime games of it's time?
 
Last edited:

Lakados

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Feb 3, 2014
Messages
4,392
I think there's legal precedent that allows reverse-engineered emulation, after various Nintendo lawsuits, from memory.
There is, but I’m pretty sure one of the riders for that is the system in question has to no longer be supported. It’s why MAME has no problems but since Nintendo actively works on their own emulators they have been so successful lately at targeting the emulator communities.
 

Zarathustra[H]

Fully [H]
Joined
Oct 29, 2000
Messages
32,644
Yeah, some reading suggests Sony killed off both Bleem and Connectix through combinations of lawsuits and acquisitions, but there are plenty of open source emulators which have survived.

Playstation:
- ePSXe
- PCSX Redux

Playstation 2
- PCSX2

Playstation 3
- RPCS3

This one for the Playstation 4 would be a first. There was a website flying around for a PCSX4 for a while but it was a scam/malware.

Sony seems content to go after commercial emulators (like Bleem and Connectix), seemingly leaving open source folks alone. At least unless they get too close to current gen.

It would seem current gen Playstations should be much easier to emulate, now that they are running on AMD APU's. You don't really have to emulate the CPU/GPU at all, just run it as a VM. All you need to worry about is the software environment.

I'm pretty impressed they are able to properly emulate the PS3's cell CPU.

To follow up on this, I borrowed a Playstation Dual Shock 4 controller I found in my stepsons room last night (not sure why he has it or where it came from, he doesn't have a playstation) and installed PCSX2 under Linux from the package manager, and I was amazed at how easily and well it "just worked". It was a little confusing, because apparently they had a start and select button back then, and the controller I am using has a
options" and "share" button instead, but it seems to work.

I was also amazed at just how low resolution the PS2 rendered at back then. I guess this was still the CRT TV era... 480p it is.

The emulator allows you to force it to render at higher resolutions though, which helps a little bit, but many elements of games were done as bitmaps and they don't scale well.

When you do, it is funny to see how the comparably low resoolutions at the time allowed them to be lazy about certain things, like the line of pixels arounf the Playstation logo which never shows up at the original resolution, but does when you turn it up"

1631827031145.png


Still, pretty impressive how easy it was.

The latest version in my linux distributions package manager is a little old, and I've never been impressed with the performance of 3D rendering under Linux, so I may install the latest version in Windows and try it there as well.

I know I've spoken about how fun I found Katamari Damacy in the past, but maybe I was just REALLY bored back then, because it is not living up to my memories of the game in practice. Maybe the novelty/hilarity of the goofy Japanese style is just not funny to me anymore.

1631825691764.png


1631825593901.png


1631826148410.png

1631826879632.png
 

oldmanbal

2[H]4U
Joined
Aug 27, 2010
Messages
2,572
I remember buying that software back in the 90’s.
Yeah I bought it so that I could run ff7 on the pc.

ff7 always gave epsxe's plugins fits, and the only way to really render the backgrounds accurately was to use the emulators that didn't do anything to improve the graphics - so you were left with a stock psx look - which I already had a ps1 for.

However Xenogears is pretty banging on epsxe, along with most other golden era rpg's.

PCsx2 was great for ff12, the only FF I never actually had a physical copy of up to that point. Even if the story was kind of white bread, it had a pretty interesting world, and characters. Kind of hard to drive the plot in a ff when the villian isn't trying to erase all time and space.
 

westrock2000

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Jun 3, 2005
Messages
9,283
Honest question.

What was released on the PS4 and not on the PC that would warrant using this?
I bought 2 PS4 games 18 months wrongly thinking I would be able to buy a PS4. Death Stranding which I have been playing on PC for couple months now and Final
Fantasy VII Remake which is still only available on PS4 (though a PC release is rumored).

PlayStation availability for these 2 years will be the stuff of legends (and jokes) for decades to come……
 

Armenius

Fully [H]
Joined
Jan 28, 2014
Messages
27,765
Yeah I bought it so that I could run ff7 on the pc.

ff7 always gave epsxe's plugins fits, and the only way to really render the backgrounds accurately was to use the emulators that didn't do anything to improve the graphics - so you were left with a stock psx look - which I already had a ps1 for.

However Xenogears is pretty banging on epsxe, along with most other golden era rpg's.

PCsx2 was great for ff12, the only FF I never actually had a physical copy of up to that point. Even if the story was kind of white bread, it had a pretty interesting world, and characters. Kind of hard to drive the plot in a ff when the villian isn't trying to erase all time and space.
You should give Duckstation a try if you haven't heard of it.

https://github.com/stenzek/duckstation

ePSXe was great back in the day, but I have not used it in like 10 years. We even have clock accurate (or damn close to it) emulation in Mednafen now.
 
Joined
Jul 13, 2010
Messages
30
Right. I was thinking about it backwards for some reason (getting a third party OS to run on Playstation Hardware, not getting playstation software to run on other hardware) Been a long day.

And actually, running a full PC OS on a modern Playstation/Xbox would be more interesting to me than an emulator.

Especially in this market, a current gen Playstation/Xbox would make for an amazing bang for the buck entry level game capable PC.

Back in 2010 you could - with a little ingenuity - build a mid range PC for about $500 (dual core Athlon, unlocked to quad core Phenom II and overclocked over 4Ghz, and maybe a GTX 460?) but today that is completely and totally impossible.

If you could install a PC desktop OS on a Playatation 5 or Xbox Series X it would be pretty damn nice.

I wonder how difficult it would be to make that happen.

It would probably take some sort of custom BIOS like was done in hacking chromebooks/chromeboxes.
Didn't the FBI purchase several thousand PlayStation 3's many years ago Because it was as simple as plugging in a USB drive and installing a full Linux distro on them and then used them in a cluster as a cheaper alternative to building a supercomputer? I don't know if that's what you meant by using a console to install a desktop OS on them. (Then there was a big class action lawsuit after Sony did a firmware update and prevented this from being done anymore, so all the people who could prove they purchased a PS3 and installed a 3rd party OS on it before a certain date qualified for reimbursement of a few hundred for each console. (Vague description as its been a while since I read the full story on it)

Anyways, as far as the Xbox Series S and X you can easily put them in Developer mode for developing UWP apps and games. As well as installing RetroArch OS for playing a plethora of different consoles emulators....but yeah not sure about a full desktop OS...yet.
 

Zarathustra[H]

Fully [H]
Joined
Oct 29, 2000
Messages
32,644
Didn't the FBI purchase several thousand PlayStation 3's many years ago Because it was as simple as plugging in a USB drive and installing a full Linux distro on them and then used them in a cluster as a cheaper alternative to building a supercomputer? I don't know if that's what you meant by using a console to install a desktop OS on them. (Then there was a big class action lawsuit after Sony did a firmware update and prevented this from being done anymore, so all the people who could prove they purchased a PS3 and installed a 3rd party OS on it before a certain date qualified for reimbursement of a few hundred for each console. (Vague description as its been a while since I read the full story on it)

Anyways, as far as the Xbox Series S and X you can easily put them in Developer mode for developing UWP apps and games. As well as installing RetroArch OS for playing a plethora of different consoles emulators....but yeah not sure about a full desktop OS...yet.

Yeah, the PS3 officially supported that.

None of the consoles since have.

It would be a matter of finding a way to break the encryption on the boot loader, writing a custom PC-like bios, and then writing drivers for the hardware.

Much of the hardware is very similar to what is available for desktop PC's which should ease the task, but it is not identical, so there is some work there.
 
Joined
Jul 13, 2010
Messages
30
Yeah, the PS3 officially supported that.

None of the consoles since have.

It would be a matter of finding a way to break the encryption on the boot loader, writing a custom PC-like bios, and then writing drivers for the hardware.

Much of the hardware is very similar to what is available for desktop PC's which should ease the task, but it is not identical, so there is some work there.
Yeah I've been out of the loop with all of that since I used to flash the firmware on friends Xbox 360 Disc drives so you could download and play any 360 game after burning it to a dual layer DVD...and somehow play online for about 3 years until the banhammer came and hardware banned the consoles at least for online play. Worked great for not having to worry about some disc drives scratching your original purchased copy of the game. But then that scene got kinda out of control when I went to play Modern Warfare 2 online after buying a new 360 and somehow it put me in an infected custom lobby from someone with a jtagged console and it unlocked every emblem, camo, and put me at 10th prestige instantly lol. I was actually kind of mad about that one, especially since it somehow gave you aimbot, wall hacks and all that crap until you turned your Console off..and this could happen to anyone with an unmodified console who had no intentions of trying to use any exploits etc. Shit was wild....
 
Top