Thanks for sticking with me as I await hardware required for the remainder chapters of my series. I've had some issues with a fraudulant ebayer so have had to postpone the Intellivision chapter, but now have what I need to do a few more before then, and after that to wrap it up with a guide on Frontends to make the whole experience seamless with a controller on the Alpha.
So far we've emulated the NES
, the SNES
, the Genesis/Mega Drive
, the Sega Saturn
, the Atari 2600
, Arcade Cabinets
, and the n64
using 3rd party controllers that adequately re-creates the original console experience, and original controllers with adapters, using emulators that successfully emulates thousands of games across different platforms accepting input from the USB controller selected.
For more of an intro and for my recommendations on configuring the Alpha itself please read Part 1
. Part 8: Playstation 1
The playstation redefined computer gaming. Selling 100 million consoles, and having a better architecture and to program for, it destroyed rival Sega with the Sega Saturn (which I loved and have previously covered here), and had it had a good few years before the N64 was released, making the Playstation the must have console of it's time. Also due to it's games being backward compatible on the PS2, and Sony re-releasing the console with new hardware as the PS One, people were enjoying the console's game released nearly ten years after first launch.
As a current user of the PS3 and the PS4, hardware is a very different affair than with previous consoles. Instead of emulating consoles that I haven't played for years, I'm emulating consoles with controllers that haven't really changed much to this day. I have access to an original playstation controller, an original controller, a ps2 dualshock 2 controller, and a ps3 dualshock 3 controller (as well as a ps4 controller), so I have a choice of hardware to use, the main goal was getting it working on the Alpha. I decided to use my much loved Dualshock Controller with the Mayflash adapter, This one support PS2, PS3, Xbox and GameCube
and the one I have supports PS2,Sega Saturn, and N64
(which I bought in a previous chapter for £13 off ebay), which allows me to use an N64 controller, Sega Saturn and Playstation controller. I connected the Duakshock controller
to the adapter and plugged it in. It auto-installed the drivers and was ready to use. I tested it in the Game Controllers control panel and all keys and analogue sticks were recognised.
I also wanted to try out using the PS3 controller, so did some research. I had previous experience with a tool called MontionJoy, which is anything but a joy to use. It is infamous for causing pc crashed and various other conflicts. I discovered XInput Wrapper
which tricks the computer into thinking the PS3 controller is an XBox 360 controller, which is natively supported by Windows. The instructions are on the site linked, but they're incredibly easy and reliable compared to MotionJoy. The biggest caveat of using this controller is that on some Windows games, the Xbox Controller buttons are referenced instead of the Playstation buttons (Y instead of Triangle etc), but in terms of emulation, there's little issue. You just need to map the buttons in the emulators as per usual and everything works great.
There are XInput wrappers for the PS4 controller too
but as they don't seem to be supported any more and because the PS3 controller feels fairly different to the PS1-PS3 controller, it doesn't feel like a proper emulated experience to me, so I didn't pursue it, however if you have let me know how you get on in the comments.
So there you go, 2 tested and working options that work out great. Original Playstation controller or PS3 both suitable for emulating Playstation games on the Alpha.
This will make things easier to emulate the other Playstation consoles in the future, and as out next chapter will be the PS2, this will make things nice and simple for us. Here's a video review of the Mayflash adapter
The most popular Playstation emulators are ePSXe
I remember using Bleem in the old days, but thankfully things have come along a long way since then. ePSXe seems to be the most supported emulator so I tried that first but both ePSXe and PSCXr crashed every time I tried to load a ROM. So I went with PSX.
As always, I found a few Playstation ROMs on Google. My main games of interest for this chapter are Tekken3, Crash Bandicoot, and Gran Turismo. You'll also need to find and download the Playstation BIOS.
I detailed how to get to Desktop Mode in the first guide
I put PSX and the ROMs in folders C:\Games\Emulators\Playstation\PSX\, C:\Games\Emulators\Playstation\BIOS\, and C:\Games\Emulators\Playstation\ROMs on the Alpha. This makes it easy to add multiple emulators and keep all the ROMs centralised. You should extract the ROM zip files for this console.
Once I put the games in place, I first connected the Mayflash Adapter and DualShock Controller to the USB port of the Alpha. I launched PSX.
As per usual, it is necessary to configure the input controller via the settings (File>Configuration>Controllers). Select the device in the dropdown, then click and map each button
To find the BIOS, go to File>Configuration>BIOS, and browse here: C:\Games\Emulators\Playstation\BIOS\SCPH1001.BIN To open a game go to File>Insert CD Image. You then need to reset the console to File>Reset.
I tested it out with both the original Dualshock with the Mayflash adapter, and also the PS3 controller with the XInput wrapper. Both worked out great, though I prefer using the original controller since i have it, as it's better for toggling between digital and analogue mode which has better compatibility for some games. Gran Turismo on PSX Tekken 3 on PSX Crash Bandicoot on PSX
In a couple of day's I'll do a chapter about the PS2, which should be fairly easy as we've already covered the hardware here. I have just received hardware for a console I will try to emulate, but have never played before which will be fun, so that'll be in a few days. I'll keep my fingers crossed about the Intellivision, but if nothing arrives by Friday I should get my money back, and I'll try to get hardware from another buyer.
After that I reckon I'll be wrapping up my series with a review of console-friendly frontends which should be probably by the end of next week.
No one's volunteered to do any chapters about any other consoles such as the Dreamcast, Wii, Wii U or any of the older consoles I've skipped such as the Jaguar or Colcovision etc.. so if anyone has any desire to emulate these and review them it'd be cool. Continue on to Part 9 - Playstation 2