Console emulation is a tough business. At best, it can take years to simulate the exact hardware and software conditions required to run many console titles. Some consoles, such as the original Xbox, are believed to be impossible to fully emulate on PC. Fortunately, the PlayStation 3, while still challenging, seems to be at least a little easier to replicate.
Yesterday, the developers of the PlayStation 3 RPCS3 emulator announced that all PS3 games will now be released using the emulator. Unfortunately, not all of them work well, and it would be misleading to say that all PS3 games are now playable on PC. However, this is still an impressive achievement and a major milestone for the RPCS3 emulator. Yesterday, the RPCS3 Twitter account announced that there are now no games with a "Nothing" compatibility rating. That means all 3233 PS3 games will at least be released on PC using the emulator. Of that total, 2,054, or about 63.5%, are classified as "Playable" in the emulator.
The remaining 36.5% are at least partially functional to some extent. To explain further, RPCS3 has a five-level compatibility rating system. A rating of Nothing indicates that a game will not launch or crash the emulator. The next level is Loadable, which contains games that show a black screen and nothing else after launch. Meanwhile, games classified as Intro will only load the main menu. Finally, those classified as Ingame, such as God of War 3, will run on the emulator but with serious problems. They're too unstable, they perform terribly poorly, or they suffer from game-breaking bugs.
Only the playable games mentioned above will be worth most people's time, so it's fortunate that they represent a solid majority of PS3 titles. Notably, only six PS3 games have a loading rating, suggesting that it won't be long before the team removes that category as well. The unplayable Intro category is also relatively small, accounting for less than 6% of all titles. Some notable examples include White Knight Chronicles 2 in the Loadable category and Ace Combat Infinity and Battlefield 1943 in the Intro category. Interestingly, many of the most popular games on the PS3 are still in the semi-functional games category.
These include blockbusters like The Last of Us, Gran Turismo 5, and the Uncharted games. Their status is likely due to the complexity and performance requirements of those games compared to the many smaller titles on the console. It's also worth noting that most of these AAA titles can be played on at least one newer system. Therefore, the RPCS3 team may consider them a less urgent priority. However, yesterday's announcement is the culmination of ten years of slow progress in the RPCS3 emulator. The effort and dedication alone are amazing. RPCS3 still has a long way to go before all PlayStation 3 games are fully playable. However, the project has already gone a long way.