For the last few years a team of developers have been trying to get PlayStation 3 emulation working on the PC platform. Sony’s PS3 has been the most difficult platform to emulate fully because of how exotic the hardware is, and a lot of brute force power has been necessary to play even the most basic PS3 games at 30 frames per second. The project, called RPCS3 Emulator, recently got into its stride thanks to several breakthroughs in the last two years, and many games are now fully playable. God of War Collection has been a stalling point for the project for a while, but it too has been seeing progress.
God of War Collection on RPCS3 is actually capable of running at 60 frames per second consistently, twice the framerate on the console itself. Similarly to emulation projects for the Nintendo Wii and Wii U, RPCS3 can enable features like supersampling and anti-aliasing for emulated games, and it can make games look significantly better than they did on console hardware. You can check out the database of fully playable games to see what titles can be played with it today.
The reason why individual games take so long to port properly to the emulator is because of Sony’s encryption schemes, as well as how much the game may rely on special commands or features of the PS3 console. RPCS3 doesn’t break the security features of the games it emulates, which has been a critical part of why Sony hasn’t struck them down yet. With no PS3 consoles sold in retail stores, and without them breaking the encryption schemes themselves, there’s no benefit to pursuing the emulation team in court. The God of War Collection was a useful nut to crack because it was a port of former PS2 titles to the PS3, and worked differently to other games under emulation.
Currently, while God of War Collection is fully playable from start to finish, the game lacks audio, which is still being worked on. It also crashes occasionally, which may be the result of memory management not working properly. The game is playable on any PC with an Intel quad-core processor from the Ivy Bridge family and up, and it’s preferred that you have a CPU that is unlocked so that you can overclock it to improve the game’s consistency.
You also need to be running Windows 7 or Linux 64-bit at a minimum, as well as have access to a specific, fully compatible dual-layer Blu-Ray DVD reader drive. One can’t load the game straight from the disc, however, you need to copy over the game data to your hard drive first and then allow RPCS3 to use those files to play your game.
Here’s hoping that Sony is watching these guys carefully, and taking notes for their eventual announcement of backwards compatibility for PS3 games on PlayStation 4.