From GameBrew - a wiki dedicated to Video Game Homebrew.
PCSX2 is a PlayStation 2 emulator for Windows and Linux, started by the same team that brought you PCSX (a Sony PlayStation 1 emulator).
The PCSX2 project attempts to allow PS2 code to be executed on your computer, thus meaning you can put a PS2 DVD or CD into your computers drive, and boot it up!
The project has been running for nearly 10 years now, and since its initial release has grown in compatibility. From initially just being able to run a few public domain demos, its current state enables many games to boot and actually go in game, such as the 'famous' Final Fantasy X, Devil May Cry 3 and God of War. You can always visit the PCSX2 homepage to check the latest compatibility status of games with more than 2000 titles tested.
What’s new in 0.9.8?
- New, threaded GUI using wxWidgets.
- New menus, for improved usability and faster configuration.
- Convenient Memory Card editor.
- On the fly pause and resume, perfectly stable, safe and fast.
- On the fly setting switching and even plugin switching.
- Powerful new configuration that is more user friendly with its first time
wizard, reset to default buttons and a global presets system.
- A plethora of new options that make playing games more fun!
- All options have tooltips explaining what each of them do.
- Comes translated, with many languages to select from.
- Compatible with Aero Glass and Windows eye candy.
- Looks and works great on Linux, too!
- Entire emulation core has been overhauled. Many components are rewritten.
- Countless code generation and runtime execution bugs fixed.
- Added microVU, an improved VU0/VU1/COP2 recompiler.
- New VIF recompiler
- Multi-threaded GS rewrite: Faster and more stable than in 0.9.6.
- Better BIOS splash screen skip method, better ELF support, host fs support.
- New Game database detects the game you run, displays compatibility info, and
auto applies special game fixes/patches if needed. Plugins:
- GSdx is faster, more stable and has more configuration options than ever before.
- SPU2-X is the preferred SPU2 plugin now.
It has matured into almost completely emulating all the SPU2 quirks, making many more games work! (And it sounds nice, too :) ) Known issues in release 0.9.8
- GSdx DX9 Hardware mode lacks various features that DX10 mode has.
- Game database not complete (it's an ongoing wip).
- Patches browser is not implemented yet.
• Interpreters are somewhat unstable.
Section I: General questions about the project
What is the aim of this project?
The aim of this project is to emulate the Playstation 2, allowing people to play their PS2 games on a pc. This requires having an original Playstation 2 console (for the BIOS) and of course having the original games as well.
Is the project open source?
Yes, the project is open source, and it is licensed under the GNU General Public License v3.
Can I help the project?
Sure you can, please refer to this thread [HERE]. Is the release package complete?
Can I play out of the box?
No, the release package is not complete.
You need to do at least 2 things before you can play: 1. First, you need to put in your own BIOS. Dump your Playstation 2 BIOS from your own console. The BIOS dumper is [HERE].
2. Second, you need to configure the plugins in the emulator. You can use the official guide found [HERE]. 3. (Optional) Third, you may need to update your DirectX in order for GSdx to work. GSdx is our suggested graphics plugin.
Update DirectX with the web installer [HERE]. ￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼
Section 2: General questions about the emulator
What are the requirements for using this emulator?
- Windows/Linux OS
- CPU that supports SSE2 (Pentium 4 and up, Athlon64 and up) * GPU that supports Pixel Shaders 2.0
- 512MB RAM
- Windows Vista / 7 32bit/64bit
- CPU: Core 2 Duo, Core i3/5/7, Phenom II (all at 3.4Ghz+) * GPU: 8800GT or better
- 1GB RAM (2GB if on Vista / Windows 7)
Does the emulator support 4 cores?
No, currently only 2 cores are supported. To make PCSX2 efficiently use 3 or more cores will require major code changes. So don't ask when quad-core support will be available, since it won't be anytime soon! However, PCSX2 will run fine on your quad-core processor. It just won't benefit from the extra 2 cores.
GSdx in software rendering can use extra processing threads / cores for a moderate speedup.
Why is my CPU load less than 100%?
As said above, PCSX2 only uses 2 cores, so if you have more the CPU usage will be way less 100%. Even if you have exactly 2 cores, the emulator will not cause 100% CPU usage because of the way threading works. This does NOT mean PCSX2 isn't using the full power of your CPU, it is normal.
Is SLI/Crossfire useful?
No plugin is programmed to use more than one GPU.
Why not use CUDA to make things faster?
CUDA works best with many parallel threads, something PCSX2 does not use. So even if we got CUDA support, it would probably run very slow.
Is game X playable?
There is a compatibility list on the site, [HERE]. If you're lucky, your game has been tested before and you can check the status there.
Do PS1 (PSX) games work with this emulator?
No, this emulator only works with Playstation 2 games. In order to play PS1 games, you will need a PS1 emulator such as the popular ePSXe.
My game worked in an earlier version, and now it does not, why?
Due to changes in the emulator some games may not work as well as they did in the previous release, as you will find with most emulation projects, you fix one game, you can break another somewhere.
Why is the emulator so slow?
Because the Playstation 2 is a complex console with a lot of parts which must be emulated at the same time; for a better explanation refer to this [thread].
Where can I get BIOS and Games?
You have to get your BIOS from your own Playstation 2 console. You can use games from your collection, acquire them from a game store or use Ebay for some older titles.
How do I play a game?
￼￼￼￼ 1) Dump your own BIOS and put it into the BIOS folder. 2) Configure the emulator (read section 3 below). 3) Get your PS2 game disc ready, or make an ISO of it for faster access (the free "ImgBurn" software works great for this). 4) Configure the CDVDrom plugin or the internal ISO reader to point to your ISO/disc. 5) Choose System->Boot CD/DVD. How do I compile the SVN source? Read the compile guide HERE. Keep in mind that while you can post bugs about your own compiled SVN revisions, we do not offer support for them.
When will the next version be released?
It will be released when it is ready.
Don’t waste your time and ours asking about that, okay? ;) ￼￼
Section 3: Configuration questions
How can I configure the emulator?
Please refer to the official PCSX2 guide [HERE].
What about the frame limiting options?
The frame limiting options are often necessary for an enjoyable experience. Read out the explanation in the configuration dialogue, it's very detailed.
What is the normal speed for Playstation 2 games?
NTSC games have a normal speed of 60 frames per second. PAL games have a normal speed of 50 frames per second.
Note that these speeds are unlike what happens in normal PC games. Sound, graphics, AI, everything is clocked to that speed.
A NTSC game running at 30 frames per second is truly going at half the speed it should be.
What are these gamefixes?
Gamefixes are, like the name says, special fixes for certain games. PCSX2 comes with a set of known gamefixes enabled by default. You can also manually enable some to check if they fix a problem in your specific game.
Are speed hacks safe?
Speed hacks are, like the name says, hacks that make games go faster. Use speed hacks at your own risk, they will break many games. NOTE: Do NOT report bugs unless you also tried the game with "Nothing" selected.
What about the advanced options?
Advanced options can break games spectacularly sometimes. The help included in the configuration dialogue is very detailed, read it.
What about the plugins?
We included the latest stable versions of the best plugins out there in the package. You will need to configure them. Refer to the guide.
Why is the sound bad?
We made SPU2-X the default plugin, as it has become a very nice choice by now. Some games don't work very well with it though (especially some Squaresoft games). If you have trouble with the plugin, try ZeroSPU2 as well (also included).