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Emulation is coming along very, very quickly for the PlayStation 3. I have to admit that this takes me by complete surprise. Many of us were under the impression that the PS3 would be the last console to receive any sort of emulation. However, next the Wii, it seems to be coming along a lot further and a lot faster than the Xbox 360.
A new video has been released showcasing Sonic CD on the PS3 running in a playable state. Let me repeat that: You can actually play games on the PS3 emulator and they actually work as intended. Don't believe me? Check it out in the video below.
Now there are a few things to take away from this: Yes, they are running this on a interpreter and the frame-rate is pretty terrible. However, this shows a great level of stability and functionality on the side of the software emulation. Also, the game is not a complex, processor-heavy title. Quite naturally, a game that doesn't rely on the multi-threaded SPUs of the PS3 will most likely run better than a game that does. Finally, this is a pretty old game, so it's more-so about advancing the understanding of the PS3's architecture for emulation than trying to run the latest and greatest titles.
Still, this is all very, very, very impressive.
The PRCS3 emulator is coming along quite well, making advancements on the previous video where they managed to run the PS3 puzzle title, Arkedo Series – 02 SWAP!. The game ran with the sort of compatibility you would have expected from an emulator for a Nintendo console.
The PlayStation 3 is definitely moving at a much faster pace than its Xbox 360 counterpart. Oddly enough, the Xbox 360's Xenia emulator is inching along, and we've yet to see any big advancements from the engine since the team announced that they were making good headway on the project.
Additionally, Microsoft is in the same boat with the indie crews: they're still investigating Xbox 360 emulation as a form of backwards compatibility for the Xbox One.
It amazes me how slow a multi-billion dollar corporation can be with a feature that could easily bolster the appeal of their new-gen console and get it moving off store shelves like duct-tape in 2012.
Sony, alternatively, is competing tooth and nail with the emulation scene by offering up the streaming service of PlayStation Now. They're already putting their solution into effect beginning May 20th. That's right, PS4 gamers will get their first taste of backwards compatibility tomorrow.
PC gamers, however, can only play minor PS3 titles and small games until further advancements are made in the emulation scene. And keep in mind that the PS3 emulation video at the top was being run on an i5-760 at 3.5ghz and 6GB of DDR3 RAM on a GTX 470... and that's without a proper JIT recompiler running or optimizations made.
There are definitely good things on the horizon.
You can learn more by paying a visit to the official Github forum.