Wednesday, 1 September 2010

PS1 emulator review

The Playstation has quite a few different emulators out there, notibly the PCSX, ePSXe and pSX. I'll be reviewing the first PS1 emulator that I used, and one of the first emulators that I ever used, the ePSXe.

Background of the ePSXe

The ePSXe was written by three authors, going by the names "Calb", "_Demo_", and "Galtor". Before its release, it was developed in secret and was released on October 14, 2000, revolutionising the Playstation emulator scene with its high compatibility rate and speed compared to other emulators.

After the 1.6.0 release, rumours were going around that the source code had been lost due to a hard drive failure, however, on April 5, 2008 the authors stated that they had decided to carry on development of the ePSXe in the summer of 2007,  and version 1.7.0 was realsed on May 24, 2008.

Plugins

Like many other high end emulators, like the PCSX2 and PJ64 for example, the ePSXe uses a plugin system which allows you to choose different plugins from different authors, further imporving the game compatibility rate and versatility of the emulator. Most games play fine, although any that have graphical glitches can usually be fixed by using alternate plugins, which can be downloaded from here. I believe that the emulator plugins are compatible with other emulators such as the PCSX and pSX.

What you need before playing the games.
  • Before you play the emulator, you must download a library called Zlib, which is a compression/decompression library used by the ePSXe. You need to download the dll file, "zlib1.dll" which can be obtained legally and easilly via your best friend, Google.
  • You also need the Playstation BIOS, which should be obtained legally, again, Google is your BFF. When this is obtained, you should put it in the BIOS directory.
  • Lastly, you need a game! The games should be ripped from the original disk, which are so cheap now so there's no excuse. The games themselves are simply image files, ePSXe supports various formats such as bin and iso, but most are iso files. This took me a while to figure out, but you can rip the games using ImgBurn, software like DVD decrypter won't work, as they only rip DVD's (duh...). You can also run the game directly from the disk for simplicity, so do that instead :)
  • Optionally, you can get a USB Playstation controller, which the ePSXe supports. They cost about £5 from Game or Gamestop.
Playing the games!
When you first start the emulator, a dialog box pops up taking you through a wizard to set up the various options, such as controller input and plugins, after you have configured this, you're ready to play. Just hit file and run iso if you're running an image from a hard disk, or you can click run cdrom if you're using the original disk.

Overall
I think this is a great emulator, all the games (ones that I've played that is) run nearly perfectly and the sound is very high quality. The only drawback for me is that it isn't open source, but that is no problem for most users of the emulators, besides, PCSX is open source, can't complain.

Anyway, if you're ever feeling nostaligic and you want to flah back to the times when you first got that PS1, this is definitely and emulator you should check out.

Enjoy playing those PS1 games :)

5 comments:

  1. Nice, thanks for the emulator! Had some of my best console memorys playing PS1 games!

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  2. Me too, I still remember opening my first PS1... those were the days lol

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  3. I used to love playing harvest moon on the PS1. Those were the days

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  4. I love playing Metal Gear Solid, that is/was a classic a game. Infact, the entire MGS series is pretty epic.

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  5. final fantasy tactics, loved it on ps1.
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