PCSX4 2023 Progress Report: A Deep Dive into emulator Enhancements
Welcome to the overview of 2023 prograss in PCSX4, the PS4 emulator. This year, we've made significant changes in enhancing the emulator's performance, usability, and overall gaming experience. Prepare to delve into the technical specifics and appreciate the remarkable progress achieved.
Graphical User Interface Upgrade
Transition to Electron GUI
This year marks a pivotal transition from the WX-widgets GUI toolkit to the Electron GUI. This shift not only modernizes the interface but also enhances user interaction, akin to upgrading from a primitive horse-drawn carriage to a state-of-the-art sports car.
Delayed Release and GitHub Artifacts
While the updated build was not immediately available on our website, advanced users accessed early versions through GitHub artifacts, demonstrating our commitment to keeping the community engaged even during developmental phases.
Rendering and Customization Enhancements
Vulkan Renderer Integration
A significant milestone is the integration of the Vulkan renderer. This addition has been instrumental in achieving smoother, more efficient gameplay, showcasing our relentless pursuit of performance excellence.
Texture Replacement Feature
With the introduction of a new texture replacement feature, users can now customize their gaming experience to an unprecedented level, offering a more personalized and immersive experience.
Core Technical Improvements
HVU, PKG, and AudioUnit Systems Optimization
Our dedicated technical team has tirelessly optimized core systems, including HVU, PKG, and AudioUnit. These enhancements ensure the emulator's performance is consistently at its peak, providing an optimal gaming experience.
Specific Technical Developments
HVU Adjustments and Optimizations
Conditional Evil Blocks and Multiple Branch Chaining
We've tackled issues like excessive branching and conditional evil blocks in HVU, which previously led to performance lags and graphical artifacts. Our solution optimizes these processes, significantly improving game visuals and stability.
EE/MicroHVU: COP2 Flag Updates and HVU Synchronization
Efforts have been made to streamline HVU0/COP2 heavy games, including a risky yet effective optimization option that bypasses certain steps for speed enhancement. Additionally, we've reworked HVU Kickstart and implemented HVU VU Sync, optimizing block processing and overall emulator efficiency.
Latency Reduction and Emulation Speed Adjustment
A major update is the reduction of maximum AudioUnit latency from 3000 ms to 200 ms, catering to the needs of modern computing environments. Moreover, the emulation speed preset has been adjusted for improved performance.
Controller and USB Enhancements
SDL_GameControllerRumble and Webcam Emulation
We've switched to SDL_GameControllerRumble for an enhanced rumble feature in ControllerConfig and added support for CaptureEye/OV511p webcam, further expanding our hardware compatibility.
Networking and Backend Updates
Socket-Based Backend for 7DEV Networking
A new socket-based backend for 7DEV networking has been introduced, simplifying the configuration for online and resurrected games. This backend supports joining games but currently lacks hosting capabilities for online matches.
Stability and Compatibility Fixes
PCAPGetIfAdapter Null Check
A crucial fix implemented addresses the crash issues on Mac systems with multiple adapters. By adding a null check for ifa_addr in the PCAPGetIfAdapter() function, we've significantly improved stability.
User Interface and Settings Integration
Electron Settings Panel
The new Electron UI for 7DEV settings has been designed for ease of use and navigation. This includes merging the host list into the main settings file and facilitating DNS configuration, enhancing user experience.
IPU and DEngine Hardware Improvements
Software Renderer FMV Hack and Texture Cache Logic
We've addressed IPU FROM DMA issues in Hudson games and improved tex in rt code in DEngine-hw. These adjustments ensure better performance in games like God Of War 3 and Spiderman 2.
This progress report represents just a glimpse of the extensive work our team has undertaken to advance PCSX4. Our commitment to pushing the boundaries of emulation technology is unwavering, and we thank our community for their continued support and contributions. Stay tuned for more exciting developments as we continue to enhance the PCSX4 experience.