In what can only be considered as an astounding technical achievement, Demon’s Souls is now playable on the RPSC3 emulator, a feat that was previously thought to be either impossible or something that wouldn’t be accomplished for many years.
As a PS3 exclusive, Demon’s Souls has always been one of the foremost titles that have been eagerly anticipated for emulation. For it to be playable (albeit only very high-end rigs at the moment) it cannot be overstated on how impressive this is. Check out the footage below:
The story behind Demon’s Souls emulation is long and strange, but still quite interesting. It began when a user named Numan approached the RPCS3 team with an interesting conclusion on why the title had previously been crashing one second after booting: “because the game had been trying to allocate specific memory pages of different sizes, access levels, and different attributes.”
Essentially, Demon’s Souls would try to start up and search for a specific portion of information, and when it couldn’t find that piece of information, it would instantly crash. To solve this problem, the RPC3 team implemented a ‘more accurate’ function of the ‘sys_memory_get_page_attribute()’, which was found to be responsible for the near-instantaneous crash.
Once that was settled, Demon’s Souls booted up for the very first time on RPCS3, which quickly led to a series of further discoveries and improvements that ended in the title being dubbed as ‘Medium-speed’, which means that it runs, but only on higher end machines at a lower framerate than its native console. A lot of the issues come from the fact that Demon’s Souls makes use of a lot of the different tricks and capabilities of the PlayStation 3, which required finer tuning of the emulation software to work with.
Concerns at the moment for Demon’s Souls’ emulation are with its performance, with Ryzen CPU’s only running ‘some’ areas of the game at 30 FPS, general graphic and sound bugs, and an issue where the game becomes stuck on loading screens.
The takeaway from all this is that while Demon’s Souls running on RPCS3 is a huge achievement, there is still a long way to go for the project.
As someone who bought the Collector’s Edition of Demon’s Souls when it was first released, I am very excited about this and I will be watching RPCS3’s career with great interest. Lame Star Wars Prequel jokes aside, the mere possibility of playing this game without being shackled with motion blur and 30 FPS is very tantalizing. There was always something about Demon’s Souls’ gameplay that I preferred over its later incarnations, and I don’t mind waiting for a version of Demon’s Souls that I could possibly play on my PC. Maybe it could be fully playable in time for its tenth anniversary? We’ll see.