The Sony PlayStation 2 (PS2) may already have a successor, but that doesn't mean that its legacy won't live on. In fact, even if you don't have a PS2, you can help keep it alive. That's because PCSX2 1.0 has finally been released; you can grab it here: Windows (8.53MB) and Linux (4MB). Daily development builds are available on the SVN page.
For the uninitiated, PCSX2 is an open-source PlayStation 2 (PS2) emulator. The first version (0.026) was released on March 23, 2002. That's more than 10 years ago. Version 1.0.0 (r5350) was released on August 3, 2012.
In this latest stable release, hundreds of PS2 games are perfectly playable, and several games even have full functionality. In the video above, you can see Dark Chronicle in 1080p running on PCSX2 1.0.
Here are the core changes in version 1.0 for Windows:
- Video timing adjustments.
- microVU fixes for Metal Gear Solid 2 and others.
- General speedups.
- microVU speedup.
- New GIF unit that mimics the real one better.
- microVU elementary function bug fixed (affecting Valkyrie Profile 2, Radiata Stories and Star Ocean 3).
- Implemented Multi-Threaded VU! A new speed hack with almost 100% compatibility with games, using a third core to run the VU1 unit separately.
- CDVD fixes (Time Crisis boots now).
- Added support for progressive scan timings.
- Path 3 arbitration and timing refinements.
- Added Finnish, Malaysian, Korean, French, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese and Polish translations.
Here are the OnePad changes in version 1.0 for Linux:
- New dialog configuration panel.
- Improved support of various pad (sixaxis)/mouse/wiimote.
- Added support for more controllers.
- Added support for pressure-sensitive buttons.
The Mac release is currently at version 0.9.7 Alpha.
The main bottleneck in PS2 emulation has always been the console's multi-processor. Although each CPU can be emulated well, accurately synchronizing the CPUs is very difficult on PC x86 architecture.
To see which games work with the emulator, check out the Compatibility List, which at the time of writing features a total of 2,299 games. 1,697 (73.81 percent) of those are marked as playable, which means you can play the entire game all the way through without graphical bugs, crashes, or other errors.