By benspyda 30 Comments
It has been a long while since my PS2 has been switched on. I have decent sized PS2 library however the thought of playing them on a 1080p LCD display has been off-putting. A while back I bought a copy of Persona 4 after watching the endurance run but never actually put it in the console (I did listen to the awesome soundtrack though). I also have a copy of Odin Sphere collecting dust that I played for about 10 minutes. So I took the plunge!
At 1am after not being able to sleep and having weird delusional thoughts about the Wii emulator Dolphin, I jumped online and looked into PCSX2 (an odd jump in logic I know). The install process and setup has been quite streamlined to a point that they are now calling the version 1.0 and most games will run on it. The biggest hassle with the installation was the PS2 BIOS because in order for it all to be legal you need to use the BIOS from your actual PS2 to get it up and running. This means you need to setup your console to have a homebrew OS in order to extract it. Once all setup, I quickly found the software recognised my 360 controller which made playing the games a breeze.
Now for the important part, you can run the games in much higher resolutions just like with Dolphin. So because my PC hardware is pretty decent I have the games set to render at 6x their native resolution. This makes the models crisp even without AA activated, which is also an option. The higher resolution also improves the textures although I have no idea how the programmers have made this possible; voodoo magic I'm guessing! So far every game I have tested on it looks amazing and will run straight from the ps2 disc, although extracting them to your hard-drive is preferable.
I primarily used Resident Evil 4 as a test to begin with as it's a great looking game and has a widescreen option, a rarity for PS2 games. Using the PCSX2 emulator, I'd say the PS2 RE4 would look on par with the downloadable re-release on 360 and PS3, just with a couple graphical glitches here and there. Another game I tried was Kingdom Hearts which looked great also.
All in all, it has made going back to my PS2 collection a lot more exciting. I am aware that people have been doing this for ages but I think now that the software is pretty stable I feel there's no better time to jump in. Next I will probably look into Dolphin. I am unsure if Gamecube and Wii games read on a pc dvd drive like PS2 games, so I think I will need to do some more research before jumping head first into buying Wii and GC games.