Retro Emulation

Retro Emulation for PS1, PS2 on Mac and Windows 

The last few weeks I've been experimenting with all kinds of emulators.

I'm not a gamer as such but the thought of emulating some of my childhood memories/classics came to mind in a momentary section of downtime in my studies. I started off researching into many Mac OS versions of PS1 emulators (with loads of extremely stable developments such as PCSXR and the most famous free emulator on Mac, 'Open Emu'). Impressed at first with my experience in PCSXR and relived some happy memories playing Crash Bandicoot Warped (after ripping my own iso file in disk utility). But the UI was slightly lacking in beauty shall we say, so I switched over to Open Emu. Initially impressed by the simple design of the program and it's functionality bringing all kinds of retro emulators such as N64, Atari, Mega Drive, PSP and PS1 into one Mac App. After using this program for a little while. I was full heartily let down by the inability to use my own disk image .iso files from my ps1 discs and being forced into using .bin and .cue files. Furthermore, the program lacks basic abilities to upscale game content which is a big deal breaker for many retro gamers. I'm a big fan of having a MacBook Pro and access to Mac OS as a Film student but you really can't live without Windows (which is why I currently use my old Asus K52F laptop alongside which as recently undergone the upgrade to an SSD and 8gb Ram and also planning to buy a custom PC in the future).

The software choices available for emulating is vast in Windows as apposed to Mac OS but it is more in terms of separate programs doing different things as apposed to one app (Open EMU doing all the work), while this is slightly painful having loads of different emulators, epsxe (Ps1), PCSX2 (ps2), Dolphin (Nintendo) - - if you do not opt for 'Retroarch'. After some research I came across a very cool looking front end for these apps called 'Launch Box', it is completely free to install but has a pro version with the big Box mode. The Launch Box is not an emulator but acts as the interface patching all your other .exe emulators together into one nice little package. You may think this is a little DIY but, on the most part works really well. It requires you  to configure all of your emulators to run separately, point the launchbox to the directory of the .exe and rom (iso, bin and cue) and link them all together. It looks pretty and also supports the ability to link all the console emulators, DOX box, Steam and Windows games in one place (pretty cool right!).  Big Box mode will make it one step cooler too. Fellow geeks will understand the love of Metadata!

The emulators on Windows are slightly more complicated than the Mac alternatives (will crash if not configured properly and isn't exactly plug and play) but are also able to be a hell lot more powerful and flexible with the options and configurations you can choose. If you have a beefy PC with graphics potential in the range of a GTX 1060 6gb you can get some lovely upscaling and even texture plugins to make these games loo like ps4 versions of your favourite ps1 and ps2 classics. I do not have this kind of power under the hood and struggle to emulate higher than ps1 in my current setup.

I have researched and may try out the popular, 'Retroarch' (which can be run on Mac, Windows, Linux and even on Power PCS) and ditch Launchbox for it's all in one feel but until then, I will be playing n64, ps1 and many more retro games using third party emulators linking to lanchbox.

Give it a go, fellow geekies!


Links below:

Windows:

If you want to config What I did try these beauties

LaunchBox front end: https://www.launchbox-app.com
PS1 emulator epsxe: http://www.epsxe.com
PS2 emulator pcsx2: https://pcsx2.net

Mac OS (if you do not mind for ps2 emulation and want to get some smooth gameplay on your ps1 or other classic consoles on a macbook or iMac ) try this

Open Emu: https://openemu.org

Author : Cameron Savage

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Disclaimer: Opinions expressed in this blog are solely my own. Not liable for any damage made to the software or hardware of the PC you are using due to miss configuration of the software or malware downloaded from websites.

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