The Sony Playstation redefined console gaming when it was released in 1996. It was a breakthrough at the time with its high capacity CD-ROM drive replacing the venerable game cartridge. Game developers changed the way they presented games with this new console by using computer-generated cinematics and 3D graphics. Emulation now lets you play all of the classic Playstation games right on your PC. Here is a primer on how to get started and download a Playstation emulator.
- Make sure your computer has what it takes to run the program. Unlike emulators and roms of older consoles, the Playstation needs a good amount of processing and memory power to play consistently well. Your computer has to be at least a Pentium III or comparable, running at MHz or higher. Look in your computer's "System Properties" for this info. I'd suggest at least a 1GHz processor and 128Mb RAM if you really want the best chance of success.
- Find a good Playstation emulator online. Consistently the best place to find good quality, working emulators is www.emulator-zone.com. They currently have seven Sony Playstation emulators to offer, but I would suggest the one located here: http://emulator-zone.com/doc.php/psx/epsxe.html.
- Download the emulator file. Click on the file "ePSXe 1.6.0" and when prompted to open or save file, choose to save it. The file will download at once.
- Download ePSXecutor utility. Click on file "ePSXecutor 184.108.40.206pre" located here: http://emulator-zone.com/doc.php/psx/epsxe.html.
- Download Playstation bios located here: http://www.fortunecity.com/skyscraper/mmx/340/emulator/psx.htm. Click on the file named "SCPH1001.bin."
- Install the emulator. After the download is complete, open the "ePSXe 1.6.0.zip" and then click on the "ePSXe" icon. Click "next" when the Extraction Wizard appears. You have the option of extracting the files to the default location (in your documents and settings folder) or to anywhere you would prefer. I prefer extracting them to the desktop because then there's no need to search for any folder. Clicking "next" now will prompt the extraction of the files, after which a window appears to notify you of completion. The "would you like to view the files" box will have a check in it. Click finish.
- Open the Playstation emulator. If you installed the emulator on the desktop, click on the ePSXe icon (if you are doing this for the first time, it probably already popped up as soon as you hit "finish" in the previous step). Windows XP will ask you if you are sure you want to run it. Click "run" and it starts. Before playing anything, though, you need to perform the next two steps.
- Install ePSXecutor utility. Open the "ePSXecutor 220.127.116.11pre.zip" and click on the "ePSXecutor" icon. When the Extraction Wizard comes up, click "next." When asked where you want to extract the files, put them in the "plugins" folder of your ePSXe emulator.
- Install Playstation bios. After downloading the bios, click "open." Drag your "SCPH101.bin" file into your "bios" folder of your ePSXe emulator.
- Load a Sony Playstation rom and play. In my experience, getting a gamepad or joystick enhances the quality of play. You can redefine the controller settings under the "options" tab. There are hundreds of Playstation roms that run at full speed and look great. Google "roms" and see what is out there!
Now that you know how to download Playstation emulators, get out there and play!