Popular PS3 Emulator Can Now Boot Every Game Released On The Retro Console

skate 3 topimage
Skate 3 running on RPCS3 emulator.

Owing to its ease of access as a development platform, there are dozens upon dozens of console game emulators for PCs. Besides their grey-market application of allowing PC gamers to play console games, these applications serve a vital role in the purpose of game preservation—that is, preserving old video games for later generations to appreciate.

However, emulators are one of the most difficult type of applications to create and optimize, for a variety of reasons, not least of which because it requires a considerable amount of reverse-engineering. Old console game hardware is generally not documented well, if at all. To make matters worse, it's often designed in such a way as to be difficult to reverse-engineer, ostensibly for the purpose of protecting the manufacturer's trade secrets.

Since making an emulator is so difficult, it is usually the case that you will have certain games which boot and run flawlessly, while other titles completely fail to boot or run at all. The most organized emulator projects will have a compatibility database that organizes games into categories, usually ranging from "fine" to "doesn't even boot." Well, in the case of the RPCS3 emulator for Sony's PlayStation 3, there's nothing left in that last category. That's right: the emulator's team announced on Twitter that every single known PlayStation 3 application will at least boot on the emulator.

rpcs3 compatibility
In fact, nearly two-thirds of all PS3 games are in the "playable" status, indicating that those titles can be played from start to finish with reasonable performance and no game-breaking glitches. That doesn't mean that they'll all be perfect; some games in Playable status do have minor visual glitches or other oddities. Another 30.5% of PS3 releases are at "in-game" status, which means they will launch and you can get into gameplay, but they have major rendering or game logic problems that prevent them from being completed.

Less than 6% of PS3 games are in worse shape than that. That's a testament to the hard work that the RPCS3 team (and its open-source contributors) have put in over the last couple of years. Relative to the complexity of the hardware it's emulating—the PlayStation 3's CELL processor is legendarily obtuse—RPCS3 has been one of the fastest-improving emulators over the last few years. In just the past few months we've talked about how the developers fixed graphical errors in exclusive PS3 games and added support for AMD's FidelityFX Super Resolution upscaling.

rpcs3 no piracy
The warning you will see the first time you open RPCS3.net.

We would be remiss if we didn't reiterate the RPCS3 team's commitment to legitimate usage of the emulator. RPCS3 is not a tool for software piracy; if you don't own a PS3 and the games, you aren't allowed to play them. If you do own a PS3 and some games, though, you can get started ripping your own games with the emulator's quickstart guide.