Want to play Final Fantasy X or Gradius V on your Android tablet? There’s a PlayStation 2 emulator that’ll let you do just that… as long as you don’t mind reeeaallly slow frame rates.

Play! is still under development, but you can join the beta community to sign up as as a tester if you want to give the emulator a try.

play ff

There are plenty of game system emulators for Android. You can run GameBoy, NES, Nintendo 64, and even PlayStation 1, GameCube, and Wii games on an Android device. But the PS2 is kind of the Mt. Everest of emulation challenges.

To date, there’s only been one particularly successful PS2 emulator for PCs, although a few others are under development. The problem is that the PS2 was a pretty complicated machine which relied on Sony’s Emotion Engine CPU and Graphics Synthesizer GPU and even Sony had to basically put the same chips into early versions of the PlayStation 3 in order for users to be able to run older games developed for the PS2 on the newer, more powerful hardware.

So the fact that PS2 games run at all on low-power Android phones and tablets is pretty impressive. But right now while you can load some games in the Play! emulator, games run so slowly that they might not be much fun to play.

Play! is also available for Windows and OS X, so you might have better luck on those platforms… or you could just try the PCSX2 emulator which has been around for a while (or consider just buying a used PS2).

via /r/Android

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9 replies on “Play! is a PlayStation 2 emulator for Android (extremely beta)”

  1. The only good thing about 8/novembre/2015 update is the comptability of resident evil 4 😉

    1. Some of it looks similar, but Play! is different in that it emulates at a much higher-level, whereas PCSX2 emulates down to the low-level and runs the real PS2 BIOS, and Play! kind of does work in-between to avoid needing real BIOS (it kinds of emulates the BIOS, you can say) and that changes the emulator big-time since a lot of the hardware code generating (MIPS -> x86/ARM/etc.) relies on higher-level, made up routines instead of letting the real BIOS interact in a virtualized computer environment (as PCSX2 does with low-level emulation). So they are slightly similar, but it stops there, as Play! doesn’t use a real BIOS and makes up a BIOS of its own, you can say, and uses its fictive, emulated hardware to interact in a giant “emulated BIOS bridging sandbox.”

      Basically, PCSX2 lets the real BIOS program the emulated hardware in a sort of virtualized sandbox, and Play! makes up a tricky bridge itself that mimics the real BIOS and interacts with pseudo-calls between the emulated hardware and abstractions that strive to mimic the BIOS.

  2. It’s worth noting the tablet in use there is a xiaomi mipad, so it’s using the Tegra K1. Things might be a bit better on the X1 but… yeah… older devices and mobile phones are gonna be even more sad while running this 🙁

    1. Well, it’s beta. 3DS emu on PC used to require i7 and ran Cave Story at glorious 0.1 FPS few months ago, now they moved on to 3D games like Zelda OoT and they seem to run relatively OK. So just give it time.

      1. That’s interesting. Since Cave Story is already native to PC, is there any advantage to running the emulated 3DS version, or are you just using that as an example? I hope I don’t seem critical, I’m really just genuinely curious. I’m a big Cave Story fan, regardless of platform.

        1. Not really, it was just used as test game for a while. Otherwise it seems very similar to updated version.

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