The RPCS3 emulator from Nekotekina and KD-11 has been updated with a new SPU recompiler to improve the emulation of the PS3’s synergistic processing units within each SPE. This was always a heart ache for developers to work with when designing actual games for the PS3, but Nekotekina and KD-11 managed to crack the code to improve the emulation of the RPCS3 in order to finally make use of the SPUs to boost performance on high-end PC CPUs.
The result is that in the latest build of the RPCS3, they’ve been able to drastically improve frame-rates thanks to better performance offloading on the virtual processing units mimicking the Cell’s multi-threaded architecture.
You can download alpha version 0.0.5-6675 of the PS3 emulator from over on the official RPCS3 website.
Of course, all the technical jargon about improvements in performance don’t mean much without any kind of visual benchmarks. Thankfully, the official RPCS3 YouTube channel pumped out a near three minute video of Demon’s Souls running at native 4K and at a locked-rate of 30 frames per second.
The gameplay is rock solid, and if you probably hadn’t been told that it was an emulator running on a high-end i7-6700K at 4.3ghz, you probably would have assumed that it was just a really well optimized rendition of the PS3 version running on the PS4 Pro.
They do note that there are some minor frame freezing here and there, and they still need to work on improving the overall compatibility with other games, but even in this early build they’ve been able to make some serious headway in the development of the emulator and running certain PS3 games.
The next step is to further improve 30fps hard-locking and upgrading the SPU support for better compatibility in other PS3 games – many of which have already seen improvements thanks to the latest build. Many of the RPCS3 users have also asked about addressing the shader cache issue, which many mention is a problem during the first playthrough of a game, but that will likely be addressed later on as they iron out the kinks in performance first and foremost.
If you like the kind of work that Nekotekina and KD-11 are putting into the PS3 emulation scene, you can support their work and gain access to exclusive news and updates for the RPCS3 emulator by visiting the Patreon page.