PlayStation Portable emulators

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PlayStation Portable
PSP-1000.png
PSP-1000
Developer Sony
Type Handheld game console
Generation Seventh generation
Release date 2004
Discontinued 2014
Predecessor PocketStation
Successor PlayStation Vita
Emulated
For other emulators that run on PSP hardware, see Emulators on PSP.

The PlayStation Portable (PSP) is a handheld game console made by Sony. The system was released in Japan on December 12, 2004, in North America on March 24, 2005, and in the PAL region on September 1, 2005. It was retailed for $249. It had a MIPS R4000 CPU at 333 MHz with 32 MBs of RAM. Later revisions of the PSP came with 64 MBs of RAM, allowing for faster load times.

The PSP had one of the most active modding scenes of any handheld console starting from the very early days of its life, utilized for homebrew, emulation, and piracy. Additionally, the PSP's software architecture that required the use of Sony's static libraries for many console functions made the simple and fast HLE approach both reasonable and accurate. Emulation efforts began as early as 2006, with games booting two years later, although overall game compatibility was poor. This early work was used as a basis for PPSSPP at the start of the 2010s, which has developed PSP emulation into a polished, fast, and accurate experience.

Emulators[edit]

Name Platform(s) Latest Version Enhancements Hardware features Compatibility FLOSS Active Recommended
PC / x86
PPSSPP Windows Linux macOS FreeBSD Dev Builds
Dev Builds (Artifacts)
libretro core[N 1]
1.17.1
~ 84%
3152 out of 3726 reported titles
JPCSP Java SVN ~ ~ 78%
837 out of 1068 reported titles
~* ~*
cspspemu Windows macOS git ?
jspspemu Web git ?
PCSP Windows 0.5.5 ?
Potemkin Windows 1.00 Alpha ?
PSPE Windows 0.9b ?
Mobile / ARM
PPSSPP Android iOS Pandora Dragonbox Pyra
BlackBerry MeeGo
Symbian
Dev Builds
Dev Builds (Artifacts)
1.17.1
0.1 Pyra
libretro core[N 1]
~ 84%
3152 out of 3726 reported titles
PSPe+ (PPSSPP fork) Android 3.2.1 ?
DamonPSP (呆萌PSP模拟器) Android ✗ (stolen PPSSPP)
Console
Adrenaline Vita 6.61 ~ ~ ?* ~
PPSSPP Switch Xbox 360 Wii U
Xbox One Xbox Series X/S
Switch
Xbox 360
Wii U
libretro core[N 1]
~ 84%
3152 out of 3726 reported titles
~[N 2]
PSP
PlayStation®Portable
REMASTER Launcher
PlayStation 3 v2.0 48%
414 out of 854 reported titles
? ~
  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 This build using upstream repo for libretro from now on.
  2. Libretro core is still active.

Comparisons[edit]

PPSSPP
An HLE approach PSP emulator and released in November 2012. Compatibility is higher than JPCSP and games runs significantly faster. Despite limitations in its PSP hardware feature support, PPSSPP shines as an emulator with impressive enhancement capabilities. The emulator is currently capable of playing the vast majority of the PSP library, while remaining 3571 titles are still unreported. The standalone version is highly recommended over the libretro core as the libretro core version can be slow/unstable, especially for mobile users.
JPCSP
An LLE approach PSP emulator and it requires the Java Runtime Environment to be installed. It is also slower compared to PPSSPP and it was built around debugging and was never really meant to be a standard emulator. They made it so they could understand the PSP's inner workings better. Thanks to the JPCSP team, and other PSP homebrew teams, PPSSPP developed at breakneck speeds. Both teams communicate a lot and contribute with each other.
PlayStation®Portable REMASTER Launcher
See this guide for more information.

Hardware features[edit]

Name PPSSPP JPCSP Adrenaline
Connectivity PS2 communication * * ~*
PS3 communication * * ~*
PlayStation Network ?
Ad-Hoc
Infrastructure * ?
Infrastructure LAN* ?
Game Sharing ? ?
Infrared
Peripherals Camera * ? ?
Microphone ~*[N2 1] ? ?
GPS [N2 2] ? ?
DVB TV Tuner ? ?
PSP Radio Player (Japan) ? ?
External Controller Vibration* ?
PSOne Classics*
PlayStation minis and Digital PSP titles *
UMD Music
UMD Video
UMD-PG
~
XMB and apps ~
  1. Windows and Android only.
  2. Fully supported on Android/iOS and predefined position on other platforms.

Connectivity[edit]

PPSSPP Supports multiplayer on the same network and multiplayer over the internet but no support for XLink Kai at the moment. JPCSP supports multiplayer on the same network and multiplayer over the internet and also supports XLink Kai.

AdHoc Compatibility List, #2
PS Rewired: A revival group that provides emulated online servers for the PS2, PSP and PS3.
For more information about other revive projects see Preservation projects page.

PlayStation 3 communication[edit]

Adhoc Party support, remote play (via the PS3 system's wireless LAN), copying games to play on a PSP system that can be played on either PS3 or PSP systems etc.

Using remote play (via the PS3 system's wireless LAN)
Copying games to play on a PSP system that can be played on either PS3 or PSP systems

UMD Music, UMD Video and UMD-PG[edit]

During the era of the PlayStation Portable (PSP), "UMD Movie" was more common as it represented the main function of the format but as UMD adoption expanded beyond movies and included other types of video content such as TV shows, music videos, and documentaries, "UMD Video" became a more generic term to encompass the full range of applications. While UMD primarily focused on movies and video content, there was also some limited use of the format for UMD Music. However, it wasn't nearly as widespread as movie or other UMD Video content. UMD-PG on the other hand stands for UMD-Players Game, and it was used for a unique type of interactive media released on UMDs for the PlayStation Portable (PSP).

See this dedicated page for more information about interactive media and home media playback support for emulation softwares.

XMB and apps[edit]

PSDevWiki: XrossMediaBar

The XrossMediaBar (pronounced "cross-media bar" and officially abbreviated as XMB) is a graphical user interface developed by Sony Computer Entertainment. You can launch various applications from this interface as well.

  • PPSSPP do not support XMB, but for better immersion with XMB-like interface there are additional UI features for PPSSPP such as;
  • You can use custom sound files for PPSSPP UI and game list navigation feedback sounds[1]. Also you can use custom sound files for RetroAchievement notifications[2], for setting these up you need to set "Settings> UI Sounds: On", "UI Background animation: Waves" and "Theme: Default", after these you need to change .wav files from "\PPSSPP\assets" directory with your custom .wav files. Also there is a feature request for intro sound implementation to PPSSPP UI similar to XMB (concept demonstration).
  • PPSSPP supports music playback when a game selected in the menu screen[3] similar to XMB, but currently there is no video support on this screen for PPSSPP UI as "hrydgard" mentioned in that pull request.
  • PPSSPP supports background wallpaper change when when a game selected in the menu screen[4] similar to XMB.
  • PPSSPP's UI font could be changed if you want. For this you need to change .TTF font file from "\PPSSPP\assets" directory with your custom .TTF font file but it needs to be renamed as “Roboto-Condensed.ttf” just like original PPSSPP one (easiest solution).[5][6]
  • JPCSP is able to boot the official PSP VSH interface, though the menus are not yet working properly, it is currently only an alpha release.

Enhancements[edit]

Name PPSSPP JPCSP Adrenaline
Graphics Resizable Internal Resolution ?
Ultrawide hack
Widescreen already supported on PSP system.
But there is no support by system for render games in other ratios such as ultrawide 21:9 and 32:9.
?
Texture Replacement ?
Pre-rendering AA
(MSAA, SSAA)
* ? ?
Ray-tracing Implementing ray-tracing in an emulator is unfortunately quite challenging and unlikely to be feasible in the near future.
However you can try "Screen-Space Ray Traced Global Illumination" shader using ReShade.
Demonstration
Super-resolution techniques
(DLSS, XeSS and FSR 2+)
Requires access to the depth buffer and temporal data like motion-vectors so it's quite challenging and unlikely to be feasible in the near future.
Besides any GPU that can use DLSS can run PPSSPP at 8k native with ease anyway.
Performance Overclock ? ?
Internal Framerate Hack ? ?
Frame generation technologies
(LSFG, DLSS-G, ExtraSS and AFMF)
Implementing frame generation technology in an emulator is unfortunately quite challenging and unlikely to be feasible in the near future, however post-processing techniques such as motion interpolation is quite possible. Input latency will be a crucial factor, but its impact likely varies depending on the specific technique employed, it's recommended to use after applying the "Internal Framerate Hack".
While AFMF or LSFG could be used with PPSSPP?, please be aware that some visual glitches and artifacts may occur at this time.
Preload optical disc image to RAM
For users with sluggish multi-platter HDDs or plagued by horrible seek times, this enhancement might offer smoother experience, potentially reduced power consumption; it also shines when disc images reside on a network drive.
Although keep in mind that preloading image would take some time, and it will require additional amount of RAM capacity.
? ?
Post-Processing Post-rendering AA
(FXAA, TXAA and MLAA/SMAA)
? ?
Post-rendering scaling
(Sharp bilinear, Lanczos and FSR 1)
? ?
Filters
NTSC filters, HDR tonemapping etc.
? ?
Shader Chain *
TAS features Macros/Scripts/Lua * ?
Rewind * ? *
Fast-Forward/Turbo Speed ? ~*
Savestates ? *
Movie recording/playback ~[N3 1] ?
Controls True/dual analog control * ? ?
Mouse Injector Compatible *
Input lag-mitigating technique *
Quality of life Built-in Graphics mod editor/manager
Built-in Cheat Manager ?
Streamable compression format
Per-Game Profiles ? ? ?
Command Line Options ? ? ?
Big Picture Mode
Misc Free Look
Free Look is a enhancement feature that allows manipulation of the in-game camera.
PPSSPP VR is a PPSSPP build for the Oculus Rift that lets you actually be inside PSP games.
You are not playing on a virtual handheld or screen, you are inside the virtual world.
Also there is a feature request for adding VR capabilities to PPSSPP windows builds.
See Virtual Reality page for more information about PPSSPP VR build.
RetroAchievements
Debug Features
  1. Supports initial basic replay recording but it is not advanced enough for TAS. There is a feature request for advanced TAS features.

Emulation issues[edit]

For more information about PSP hardware and reverse engineering;

References[edit]