ePSXe: The Emulator of Choice

There are quite a few free PlayStation emulators out there from which to choose. Out of the ones we tested, PCSX and ePSXe were the most compatible and fastest. We decided to go with ePSXe because it was faster than the others, very popular in the community, and still being developed (as far as we can tell).

This is the main ePSXe interface window.

The PSEmu Pro (a discontinued free PlayStation emulator) plugin standard, which ePSXe (and many others) uses, allows the main emulator to separate itself from the very long list of hardware that it would otherwise have to support. The PlayStation emulator is free simply to emulate the core of the PlayStation while offloading sound, graphics, and I/O to different plugins written for different hardware and operating system environments.

Sure, it's possible to get some degree of functionality out of pure software plugins, but why not take advantage of hardware accelerated OpenGL, DirectX, or even Glide based graphics plugins? Smart CDRom plugins can implement aggressive caching and read ahead in order to speed up CD load times; controller plugins can take advantage of all types of joysticks and gamepads. Rather than simply relying on the CPU to emulate an entire system (as was the case with older emulators), we can make use of our entire PC.

Depending on what we want to do with our emulator, the graphics subsystem can be fairly heavily taxed, even making use of some pretty cool pixel shaders. Let's take a look at what goes into PSX emulator graphics.

Index PlayStaiton Graphics


View All Comments

  • takuma683 - Thursday, March 11, 2004 - link

    Responding the question of user Shinei:

    Yes, most Playstation games run at 30 effective fps, some at 15, 10 or even slower, and some do reach 60 (59.94 actually) fps. However, the "fps" displayed on ePSXe is "emulated" fps, that is, TV frames (vertical blanks) per second emulated. Games that run at 30 fps display a frame every two vertical interrupts.

    Also a note to all: you don't need an external program to display real fps using ePSXe with Pete's plugins, just turn on the fix "Enable PC fps calculation" and it'll show you the actual fps.
  • Possessed Freak - Monday, March 8, 2004 - link

    DerekWilson -
    'but this reference is a throwback to one of my favorite cartoon duos of all time ... '

    But where are we going to find a duck and a rubber hose at this hour?

    But rubber chafes me so.
    Did I make the right educated guess?
  • Shinei - Sunday, March 7, 2004 - link

    tsee: Aren't PSX games designed to run at 30fps, with the exception of a few later-generation games? Reply
  • tsee - Saturday, March 6, 2004 - link

    Even when I tried to limit FPS to 59.97 all the games run super fast. When I use the outdated VGS not as many games run but the ones that do run at normal speeds. Reply
  • BigFatCow - Saturday, March 6, 2004 - link

    we are adding PlayStaion emulation

  • BigFatCow - Saturday, March 6, 2004 - link

  • PeteBernert - Friday, March 5, 2004 - link

    I want to add a small comment (since my plugins seems to be mentioned in the article ;)) about the "developed on/for ATI cards" confusions: all of my psx gpu plugins (Win D3D/OGL1/OGL2; Linux Mesa/XGL2) were in fact developed on nVidia cards. Starting 1999 on my good ole TNT1 card, later on GF1/GF3/GF4 ones. Yes, spring 2003 I got a R9700Pro (since the first GFFX cards didn't look to promising - hot and noisy - by then), but all major coding (and optimization) work was already finished at this point.

    So indeed only the pixel shader effects in the OGL2/XGL2 plugins were done with ATI hardware (using no special ATI extensions, though, only the standard ARB ones which are available on nVidia's DX9 cards as well).

    Anyway, I am pretty sure that you also can find psx games which will run faster on nVidia cards (for example if many framebuffer reads are needed - even old nVidia cards are still two times faster with such reads than the newest ATI ones), so the spotlight on the two games mentioned in the article is just this: a spotlight. No need for grey hair ;)
  • ChronoReverse - Friday, March 5, 2004 - link

    Arguably, you could say that it's pretty boring for the majority of people out there that the A64 plays game X a few frames faster than a P4 (or vice versa).

    These are the people buying Dells and only caring whether or not the system can play the game.

    In any case, I liked this article since I have a passing interest in emulation and emulation is a good way to test both the graphics and cpu subsystems.
  • DerekWilson - Friday, March 5, 2004 - link


    haha ... yeah, I could see how that would be funny ;-)

    exciting from a technological perspective ... really freaking boring from any other perspective :-)

  • Cybercat - Friday, March 5, 2004 - link

    "Of course, getting 4 frames per second of something kind of close to what we see on the Game Cube is still pretty exciting."

    LOL :p Yeah I bet.

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