RPCS3 PlayStation 3 emulation on the PC is seriously impressive | MVG

gorfias

Unrealistic but happy
Legacy
May 13, 2009
6,144
1,169
118
Country
USA
So many questions. Just saw this...

Do I need a dedicated machine to do this?
Do I need to download digital games or run my real PS3 discs in a DVD player? Does it see my hard drive for storage?

Still, gives me hope for my PS3 games. I still have 2 old systems. Oldest from 2009. It's going on 13 years in age. This gives me hope that when they break, I may still use my games, especially as Sony is argued to not be supporting the PS3 anymore. (No BC for PS3 on PS4 or 5).
 

Chimpzy

Simian Abomination
Legacy
Escapist +
Apr 3, 2020
9,922
4,984
118
Do I need a dedicated machine to do this?
Depends. Some games are more demanding to emulate than other. Like most emulation, RPCS3 is CPU-intensive, requiring a decent CPU, particularly one with good single-threaded performance. I would recommend a 6-core or 8-core, preferably Intel Skylake (aka 6000 series) or AMD Zen 2 (aka 3000 series). You can get away with a quad core or something older, but performance will be spottier in some games.

GPU is less important. It only really needs to be capable of rendering graphics from mid-00's hardware, so any dedicated GPU that supports OpenGL 4.3 from the last 10 years is plenty, tho you could probably get away with one of the newer intergrated GPUs. But a GPU that supports Vulkan (i.e. RX 400, GTX 900 or newer) is recommended, because performance will generally be much better. You'll also want something beefier if you plan on rendering the games at resolutions higher than 720p, i.e. 1080p, 1440p, 4K and up. I seem to remember you have a RX 480, which is more than enough.

All in all, any decent gaming pc from the past 5-6 years will do just fine.
Do I need to download digital games or run my real PS3 discs in a DVD player?
Putting a PS3 disc in a DVD player wouldn't work to begin with, cuz PS3 uses Blurays. Tho RCPS3 can't run PS3 games directly anyway, whether from a Bluray player or a ripped ISO, so that's a moot point.

What you need to do is install some custom firmware to your PS3 that'll allow you to install the whole game from the PS3 disc to the PS3 hdd, then use whatever external usb drive you got lying around to transport the game files from your PS3 to your pc. There are plenty good resources for how to do it, starting with the RPCS3 website. Ripping your own games is kind of a time-consuming process tho. The other option is to of course visit a certain bay, tho for obvious reasons I can't help you with that.

Aside from that, the only other thing you'll need is the PS3 firmware, which you can download for free from Sony. Iirc, there's a link to the right place in the Quickstart guide on RPCS3s website.
Does it see my hard drive for storage?
Yes, RCPS3 will run the games directly from whatever drive on your pc, whether mechanical hdd, ssd or even an external flash drive.
Still, gives me hope for my PS3 games. I still have 2 old systems. Oldest from 2009. It's going on 13 years in age. This gives me hope that when they break, I may still use my games, especially as Sony is argued to not be supporting the PS3 anymore. (No BC for PS3 on PS4 or 5).
Keep in mind RPCS3 is very much a work in progress. A lot of multiplat titles will work and can be played start to finish, with a little bit of tinkering in the emulator settings and a workaround here and there. But the exclusives are a lot more hit and miss. Some will run, but most don't yet. Or require a custom fork of the emulator to work, and even then tend to crash a lot and exhibit lots of glitches. Or they technically run just fine, but can't be played properly because they use a PS3 feature the emulator doesn't support yet e.g. Sixaxis.
 
  • Like
Reactions: gorfias

gorfias

Unrealistic but happy
Legacy
May 13, 2009
6,144
1,169
118
Country
USA
I seem to remember you have a RX 480, which is more than enough.

All in all, any decent gaming pc from the past 5-6 years will do just fine.
Putting a PS3 disc in a DVD player wouldn't work to begin with, cuz PS3 uses Blurays. Tho RCPS3 can't run PS3 games directly anyway, whether from a Bluray player or a ripped ISO, so that's a moot point.
Yup, RX 480 8 Gig. Ryzen 1700 CPU. I try to make my desktops last 6 years. This one just hit 4.

Dang on the Bluray... forgot. Even if it would work, they aren't giving these externals away:


Sounds like a hobbyist thing to do. After retirement! But thank you for all of that information.
 

Chimpzy

Simian Abomination
Legacy
Escapist +
Apr 3, 2020
9,922
4,984
118
Yup, RX 480 8 Gig. Ryzen 1700 CPU. I try to make my desktops last 6 years. This one just hit 4.
Yeah, that should be enough, so long as you don't push too far i.e. bump resolution and framerate too high. Which you can do for most games that run properly, btw. For example:

Dang on the Bluray... forgot. Even if it would work, they aren't giving these externals away:

Technically there is the option to rip your PS3 disc using a pc bluray drive, but this is only possible with one of a limited list of specific models, and I don't know how easy they are to find, or how affordable. It's also a less reliable method. Using an actual PS3, which I did, is honestly better. But not fast.
Sounds like a hobbyist thing to do. After retirement! But thank you for all of that information.
Kind of yeah. Considering it was considered a dead end fools errand about 10y ago, PS3 emulation has gotten impressively far in recent years, largely thanks to the implementation of the Vulkan api. But it's not ready for what I'd call general use. That's probably still 3+ years away.
 
  • Like
Reactions: gorfias

hanselthecaretaker

My flask is half full
Legacy
Nov 18, 2010
7,654
4,792
118
I’d love to see an emulator do its thing with exclusives like Killzone 2/3 and the Resistance series. The former was especially coded to-the-metal of the PS3’s architecture so not sure when/if ever we’d see something that performed well, but damn it’d be fun to play at 60fps with higher res textures and kb/m.
 

Chimpzy

Simian Abomination
Legacy
Escapist +
Apr 3, 2020
9,922
4,984
118
I’d love to see an emulator do its thing with exclusives like Killzone 2/3 and the Resistance series. The former was especially coded to-the-metal of the PS3’s architecture so not sure when/if ever we’d see something that performed well, but damn it’d be fun to play at 60fps with higher res textures and kb/m.
Afaik, Resistance 1 has been fully playable for a while now. Not sure where 2 and 3 are at, or the Killzones.

I've done dumps of Resistance 2/3 tho. Could check if they run and play if you want.
 

hanselthecaretaker

My flask is half full
Legacy
Nov 18, 2010
7,654
4,792
118
Afaik, Resistance 1 has been fully playable for a while now. Not sure where 2 and 3 are at, or the Killzones.

I've done dumps of Resistance 2/3 tho. Could check if they run and play if you want.
I actually still have the Resistance collection on PS3 so it’s no big deal, but thanks. Killzone 2 on PC though would be a dream with kb/mouse and 60fps, let alone better resolution.
 

Chimpzy

Simian Abomination
Legacy
Escapist +
Apr 3, 2020
9,922
4,984
118
I actually still have the Resistance collection on PS3 so it’s no big deal, but thanks. Killzone 2 on PC though would be a dream with kb/mouse and 60fps, let alone better resolution.
Was dumping a game for use with rcps3, and remembered about trying emulating all the Resistance games. Got results, if you're interested.

Running at 1440p resolution, 16xAF, using 60fps and FOV patch. Runs reasonably well with baseline emulator settings. Played a solid hour with no crashes. Stable 60fps most of the time, short drops into mid to lower 50s in effects-busy situations. Could be shader compilation related. Not very noticeable if you have a VRR monitor or tv. Some minor visual glitches. Both could possible be resolved with tweaked settings, but didn't spend enough time with it to find out. Hogs a lot of VRAM for some reasons tho.

I'd rate it fully playable


Same settings as before, 1440p resolution, 16xAF, 60fps and FOV patch. Initially crashed at a certain point early on in the tutorial, but this was fixed quite easily with a longer driver wakeup timing. No more crashing thereafter. Relatively stable 60 fps in indoor environments, but dropped noticeably in large open rooms to 40-50, sometimes as low as 30. Playing without 60fps patch gives more stable performance, but limits framerate to 30, obviously. Caught a few lighting bugs, but otherwise visually less glitchy than Resistance 1.

I'd rate it playable if you're willing to bear with the original framerate


Again same settings. No luck tho. Boots but consistently crashed before reaching the main menu. Reducing settings to base PS3 equivalent didn't help. Common fixes for crashing didn't help either. Might run with specific settings or a specialized build of the emulator, but I wouldn't hold out.

Verdict: nope
 
  • Like
Reactions: hanselthecaretaker

hanselthecaretaker

My flask is half full
Legacy
Nov 18, 2010
7,654
4,792
118
Was dumping a game for use with rcps3, and remembered about trying emulating all the Resistance games. Got results, if you're interested.

Running at 1440p resolution, 16xAF, using 60fps and FOV patch. Runs reasonably well with baseline emulator settings. Played a solid hour with no crashes. Stable 60fps most of the time, short drops into mid to lower 50s in effects-busy situations. Could be shader compilation related. Not very noticeable if you have a VRR monitor or tv. Some minor visual glitches. Both could possible be resolved with tweaked settings, but didn't spend enough time with it to find out. Hogs a lot of VRAM for some reasons tho.

I'd rate it fully playable


Same settings as before, 1440p resolution, 16xAF, 60fps and FOV patch. Initially crashed at a certain point early on in the tutorial, but this was fixed quite easily with a longer driver wakeup timing. No more crashing thereafter. Relatively stable 60 fps in indoor environments, but dropped noticeably in large open rooms to 40-50, sometimes as low as 30. Playing without 60fps patch gives more stable performance, but limits framerate to 30, obviously. Caught a few lighting bugs, but otherwise visually less glitchy than Resistance 1.

I'd rate it playable if you're willing to bear with the original framerate


Again same settings. No luck tho. Boots but consistently crashed before reaching the main menu. Reducing settings to base PS3 equivalent didn't help. Common fixes for crashing didn't help either. Might run with specific settings or a specialized build of the emulator, but I wouldn't hold out.

Verdict: nope

Much appreciated feedback. They look pretty decent considering one’s over a fifteen year old launch title for exotic hardware, and the other just two years shy of that. Probably play a lot better with kb/mouse too. The first game felt a bit more fleshed out design-wise from what I recall and had a more balanced campaign than R2, plus the ending wasn’t as much of a letdown. About the only things the sequel had going for it were bigger set pieces and more multiplayer features. The weapons were comparable imo, but that’s probably where R3 had them both beat, along with nearly everything else.
 
Last edited: