PCSX2 is an open-source PlayStation 2 emulator for the Windows operating systems. In its latest stable release, many PS2 games are playable, and several games have full functionality. The main bottleneck in PS2 emulation is emulating the multi-core PS2 on a PC x86 architecture.
PCSX2, like its predecessor project PCSX, is based on a plug-in architecture, separating several functions from the core emulator. These are the graphics, audio, input controls, CD/DVD drive, and USB and FireWire ports. Different plug-ins may produce different results in both compatibility and performance.
Features of PCSX2:
- Recompilers for Emotion Engine (EE), Vector Unit 0 (VU0) and Vector Unit 1 (VU1). They are used to translate some parts of the original PS2 machine code into x86 machine code, speeding up emulation.
- Dual core support allows PCSX2 to use up to 2 CPU cores speeding up the emulator significantly.
- Proper SPU2 emulation helps reproduce PS2 audio or even enhanced audio on the PC.
- Full gamepad support makes it possible to emulate every Dual Shock 2 feature.
- Patch system to create cheats easily. It can also be used to skip code where emulation is still broken. This feature is quite user-friendly and easy to use.
- Additional optimizations to speed up emulation. You will be able to play certain games on lower-end machines thanks to this feature.
- Fully working memcard support.
- Fully working IPU support responsible for FMV - video cutscenes should mostly run correctly.
Changes in recent version
GSdx-HW: Improve search/invalidate texture in render target by
correctly matching vertex offsetted draws with buffer offsetted reads in
the texture cache.
GSdx-HW: Implemented Software Sprite Renderer feature which allows to
CPU emulate (SSE accelerated) certain sprite draws directly from the HW
GSdx-HW: Added a dedicated fix for Big Mutha Truckers which allows to
render the shadows properly. This also allowed us to reduce the crc
hack level so there are less effects skipped.
GSdx-HW: Sprite Hack has been completely removed as it is no longer needed and is replaced by far better alternatives.
GSdx-FX: The TFX shader on Direct3D10/11 has been rewritten to match OpenGL code and its' accuracy for certain effects.
GSdx-D3D: Blend no Barrier support has been ported from OpenGL to Direct3D 10/11.
GSdx-GUI: Hardware hacks GUI has been updated for better usability.
PCSX2: Prevent the UI from hanging/locking up when a game boots.
PCSX2-tas: TAS Recording functionality has been disabled for 1.6
release as there are some issues to work out (such as hanging/locking up
PCSX2: DI execution is delayed by one instruction.
PCSX2: Reverted back to older VRender/VBlank timings.
PCSX2: Partially fixed IPU pack command.
PCSX2: Fixed the emulator hanging when pressing F4 too fast when toggling the Frame Limiter in some occasions.
PCSX2: Fixed the emulator hanging when pressing F9 to toggle rendering between Hardware and Software in some occasions.
PCSX2: Fixed the emulator hanging when pressing F9 to toggle rendering between Hardware and Software mode too fast.
PCSX2: First Time Wizard now properly selects the correct GSdx plugin based on the highest instruction set supported by the CPU.