|Developer(s)||DamonPlay Technology Co., Ltd.|
DamonPS2 is a commercial, closed-source PlayStation 2 emulator focused on the Android platform.
Unlike most of the emulators that are built by community, DamonPS2 is developed by a commercial company called DamonPlay Technology Co., Ltd. in China, which made it a commercial product kind of similar to Bleem!.
To run DamonPS2 fluently, a high-end Android device is required, which CPU should be as same performance as Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 or better, as DamonPS2 team once suggested.
Compared to Play!, another PS2 emulator available on mobile platform, DamonPS2 provide significantly better performance and more games playable, with minor issues. However, minor issues in certain cases can be a gamebreaking issue, such as Densha De GO! 3 won't register inputs in its sub-menu, causing the game unable to start.
DamonPS2 doesn't come with a PS2 BIOS. Users need to provide a PS2 BIOS file (*.bin) in order to use the emulator.
Terrible User Experience
As a commercial product, the purpose of it is to create revenue, and to maximize revenue, the free version of DamonPS2 is plagued with in-app advertisements, and most of the functions locked, including important functions such as memory card saving, causing a terrible user experience.
A "professional" version of DamonPS2 can be purchased as an in-app purchase in DamonPS2 for $7.80, which unlock all functions and eliminate all advertisements.
In order to run DamonPS2, the device must connect to DamonPS2 authentication server or the emulator won't boot. Also, DamonPS2 will check Android operating system signature, if being tampered, emulator won't accept in app purchase.
Such heavy DRM could be considered a way to prevent faking IAP, but also a sign that DamonPS2 is probably doing operations that do harm to the device.
Also, DamonPS2 have some abnormal behaviors during its operation, such as checking SoC thermal control policy.
Potential Code Stealing Issue
PCSX2 team once doubted that DamonPS2 is using code from PCSX2 project without proper announcement.
The evidence provided by PCSX2 team including:
- GameIndex.dbf file distributed with the emulator contained patches that were specific to PCSX2；
- CDVD strings , such as the message returned when an PSX/PSone disc is inserted in emulated PS2, is the same to PCSX2;
- Matching file structure and graphical output that mirrors GSdx in PCSX2 is found.
DamonPS2 didn't reply to such questions in represent of a corporation. However, on Baidu Tieba (a website similar to Reddit), DamonPS2 team replied as: (P.S. reference website is in Chinese)
- GameIndex.dbf do come from PCSX2, but such file is a index file that including game title names, so whatever, the emulator will contain such file and it will be similar to PCSX2 Gameindex.dbf by any mean;
- CDVD (contained in libserial.so) only used the same function names as PCSX2, the actual function is different, and such library has been removed as early as in version 0.95;
- PCSX2 is a benchmark standard for DamonPS2 accuracy test while developing, so such a standard made DamonPS2 behavior leaned to PCSX2, which explain the identical graphical output as PCSX2;
PCSX2 team once post a DMCA request to Google Play, but such post isn't accepted and DamonPS2 is still available on Google Play.