Why PS3 Emulation Is So Hard Even After 15 Years

PS3 Emulation

As we learned earlier in the year, the PS4 won’t be feature any backwards compatibility outside of the PS4. While a disappointment to many, some had wondered why it was that some PCs were capable of running emulations such as RPCS3 yet a next-gen console such as the PS5 isn’t. Well, for those who aren’t very technical, a new video by Modern Vintage Gamer breaks down the very reasons as to why it’s not easy to emulate the PS3, with professional input from a member of Sony’s own ICE team. 

While we’ve seen a good numbers of videos over the years as to why the PS3 would be difficult to emulate on home consoles, MVG breaks things down a bit further going over many overlooked details, including talks of the console’s SPU in which he got Rob Wyatt, a former member of the ICE team (no at Tin Giants) that worked on the PS3 architecture. Have a watch below, it’s very informative. 

For those that missed the quote, here’s what Rob Wyatt had to say about PS3 emulation. 

“Emulating the PS3 will be tricky. The most difficult thing of all would be the SPUD, to this day – over 15 years later – they are in a class of their own. Sustained single core performance on an SPU is still higher than most anything on the market today”

The explanation provided in the video is pretty understandable, and considering the development woes that the PS3 first had when it launched, we can’t imagine it being any easy actually bringing that technology forward on other home consoles. Of course, we don’t know what future plans that Sony has concerning the matter, though we do suspect we will see a big push with PS Now until a different solution is found. 

The PS5 will be releasing on November 12 in North America and November 19 everywhere else. For more on the PS5, check out the list of PS4 games that won’t work with the PS5’s backwards compatibility here.

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8 thoughts on “Why PS3 Emulation Is So Hard Even After 15 Years

  1. I want to see that PC that Square Enix had that was apparently “emulating the PS5 experience” for FFXVI lol. The most powerful PC can’t emulate PS3 great and they had a PS5 emulator. XD

    1. it wasn’t the ps5 being emulated on PC, it was Square Enix running a PC version that was meant to emulate the > experience < of the PS5. Most likely meaning they hadn't actually fitted the game on a ps5 devkit yet

    2. stop smoking crack, the ps3 emulation works great and fast on PC without needed some high end system. My secondary pc, which is a weak i7, nvidia 1060 3g, etc… and I use it to play ps3 games on it all the time, at full FPS on most titles.

      1. U misunderstand, the article isn’t stating it’s impossible to run them, it’s explaining why it’s hard to emulate. You think the devs of this emulator had it working out the gate? This and last year just saw performance updates, and they’re still working on improvements. Its not easy work by no mean. There’s still a huge chunk pf PS3 games not yet playable https://rpcs3.net/compatibility

      2. Works great and fast with games that are shovel ware or RSX bound games or first gen release games playable on any PC or Console. YET over 4,500 PS3 games and 1,800 playable, but majority of playable are at lower frame rates and buggy and not showcase exclusives.
        Killzone, God of War ,Uncharted ,Last of Us, Resistance3, GT6 , Motor Storm, Ratchet Clank????

        I don’t see any of these SPU powered exclusives running 100 % any time soon on your X86 , in this generation at all or the next unless Sony creates a recycling program and gathers all old PS3s and takes the Cell from them and throws them onto the Next PS6 lmao , or the next PS6 is a Cell powered 128 SPU beast of 5GHZ Stream processing. Stop thinking an x86 PC is the end all gaming machine .Go tell that to the IBM patents division .

    3. stop spreading lies, the “emulation” was just a pc running a compatible complied version.

    4. What are you smoking? PS3 emulation works amazingly well right now, with thousands of games being playable.

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