Although the PlayStation 4 is the latest console from Sony, the PlayStation 3 is still a popular game system that is enjoyed by many. One group of developers have been actively working to bring the PlayStation 3 experience to your PC. RPCS3 is an open source PlayStation 3 emulator. The emulator is still in early alpha stages, so don’t expect many commercial titles to be compatible. It works well with homebrew games and games which do not require advanced 3D graphics. So here’s how you can play PlayStation 3 games on PC:
What You Will Need:
- PlayStation 3 Firmware Files
- PlayStaion 3 Games
- Windows PC
Step 1: Getting the Firmware
The first thing you need to do is download and unzip RPCS3 from the link above. After you unzip it, you will need to get the Library Modules and Firmware files. The firmware files that you need are called flashATRAC.pic and flashMP3.pic. You absolutely need these to run any PlayStation 3 games. Likewise, there are a whole bunch of library files that certain games might need, such as shaders, geometry, etc. These files could be obtained by using FTP on your PS3 console and grabbing them from \dev_flash\sys\external. Or, you could also grab them from this GitHub.
Step 2: Putting the Firmware
Once you have the flashATRAC.pic, flashMP3.pic and the library files, transfer them to the folder named \dev_flash\sys\external.
Step 3: Decrypting the Libraries
The next thing that you need to do is decrypt the library modules so that they can be used in the RPCS3 program. Open up RPCS3 and go to Tools and select Decrypt SPRX Libraries. Navigate to \dev_flash\sys\external and select all the .prx libraries. It should take a couple of seconds to decrypt all the libraries.
Step 4: Testing a Game
This is probably going to be the hardest and most ambiguous part of this tutorial. For game testing, I used the game Pixel by Arkedo Series. To find games, you can either grab them from your PS3 console or search the internet. The file format needs to either be an .elf file or .pkg. You will also need to obtain the RAP file for the game that you want. Transfer the RAP file to dev_hdd0\home\00000001\exdata
Then to install the game, go to Boot and Install PKG. Navigate to the pkg file of the game and select it. You should see it appear in the Game List window.
Step 5: Libraries
Now that the game is installed, you will need to find out the libraries that the game needs. Go to Config then Settings. In order to determine the necessary libraries to enable, you will need to do some Google searching. Don’t just enable all of them because it will cause errors when loading the game. For the Game Pixel I enabled the following libraries:
Once you have figured out the libraries, go to Boot and select the option to Boot Game. If everything was setup correctly, the game should boot. If it doesn’t, check the console in the main window. Chances are that there is a library that needs to be enabled or the game just isn’t compatible. Also, you can try switching your graphics settings from OpenGL to Vulkan or Direct3D to get the best compatibility and performance.