|Developer(s)||DamonPlay Technology Co., Ltd.|
DamonPS2 is a commercial, closed-source PlayStation 2 emulator focused on the Android platform. Due to issues listed below, it is heavily recommended you avoid using this emulator.
|Google Play Store Pro Paid version|
|Google Play Store Free version|
Adware, all options locked
Unlike most of the emulators that are built by the 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 the same performance as Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 or better, as DamonPS2 team once suggested.
Compared to Play!, another PS2 emulator available on a mobile platform, DamonPS2 provides significantly better performance and more games playable, with minor issues. However, minor issues in certain cases can be a game-breaking 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.
DamonPS2 requires access to users personal data unrelated to emulation (eg. contacts and location data). And as of version 3.0 it requires constant internet connection, leaving a lot to speculate it is selling user's data to advertisers.
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, the 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.
The PCSX2 team and others have accused the developers of DamonPS2 of using the code from the PCSX2 project and violating its GPL v2 license in a blog post.
The evidence provided by PCSX2 team include:
- GameIndex.dbf file distributed with the emulator contained patches that were specific to PCSX2.
- CDVD strings, such as the message returned when a PSX/PSone disc is inserted in emulated PS2, is the same to PCSX2.
- Matching file structure and graphical output (including glitches) that mirrors GSdx in PCSX2 is found.
- Instead of writing their own MIPS to ARM dynarec to replace PCSX2's, DamonPS2 uses an x86 to ARM dynarec on top of PCSX2's MIPS to x86.
On Baidu, DamonPS2 devs replied to the accusations stating: (P.S. reference website is in Chinese)
- GameIndex.dbf do come from PCSX2, but such file is an index file that including game title names (even though the patches were still being used), and this was removed (or baked into the binary) as in version 0.95.
- CDVD (contained in libserial.so) only used the same function names as PCSX2, the actual function is different, and such library has been removed (or baked into the binary) 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 they claim explain the identical graphical output as PCSX2;
- The DamonPS2 development team repeatedly emphasized that the Chinese government’s copyright agency has reviewed its source code and the source code of its emulator has obtained copyright certification in China, and copyright of all source code protected by the Chinese government.
DamonPS2 was taken off Google Play for a short time following a DMCA request from PCSX2. However, the PCSX2 team had posted publicly that they would be sending a DMCA request, and it seems DamonPS2 pulled their emulator off the store before and during the review process.