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Interview at GoodGame.hr

Some days ago we were contacted by a Croatian gaming site goodgame.hr and were asked to give an interview about PCSX2 Smile We were happy to answer all the questions and help make PCSX2 known to even more people, so here it is:

1.Hello. Can you tell us something about yourself before we get on with the interview?

I'm 'bositman', I've been with the PCSX2 team since 2003 and I am responsible for the site, forum, configuration guide, user support, documentation and testing.


2.Can you briefly tell us about development of PCSX2 emulator till this day?

PCSX2 has advanced immensely in the past 2 years. With the 0.9.8 release the compatibility and speed of the emulator got dramatically increased, to the point that almost every modern system can handle most games. With the latest addition of the MTVU speed hack (multi-threaded VU, runs the VU1 unit in a separate thread, taking advantage of a third core, since EE and GS already run in separate threads) many users got some nice ~15% speed up on their quad cores Smile


3.How much people are working on this project? When has it all started?

Unfortunately currently the development team has been reduced in size since cottonvibes and Jake Stine both found demanding jobs and had to leave the project. Still, rama, pseudonym, refraction, gregory, arcum, avih and Gabest (with a big comeback!) are working on PCSX2 these days.
It all started back in 2001 with shadow (A.K.A. expert, the current team leader of JPCSP) and linuzappz both founders of the PCSX(1) project. They started from the PCSX(1) source since the two systems share some parts. I joined the team around 2003 assisting in testing and without any particular knowledge of the PS2 or computer science. 10 (!!) years later, here we are Smile

4.Is it hard to work on the emulator development and what are the most common problems you face?

It can be very frustrating at times. I recall times where the documents the coders were basing their code on were wrong or inaccurate, while we were looking for the bug in our code implementation. Other times, you fix something but something else that was relying on it and was also buggy works worse after the fix, instead of better.
Things are so intertwined it is often impossible to know the result of a bug fix or an improvement, even if the code is clearly better than before.

5.Where there any differences between developing PCSX2 and PCSX?

The PS2 is a whole world different than the PS1 in terms of complexity, I know that much. The SPU unit and some part of the R5900 CPU are very close to the PS1 but that's where my knowledge ends. You'll have to ask shadow or linuzappz for more info about that!

6.Considering the amount of information and options regarding the PCSX2, average user can be frightened over complicity of using PCSX2. Some other emulators are far simpler with no additional adjustments regarding graphics. Is PCSX2 more complicated because its better?

No, that's not the reason. We offer so many options to give the user more freedom to tweak the emulator as he likes. This way power users can achieve more things, rather than if we had only a couple of simple options.
We also have the configuration guide I've created which has been translated by PCSX2 fans in 25 different languages (great job guys!) which can be found in our website and forum. Avih recently made a quick start guide for those who are bored of reading the big one and just want to play fast.
Additionally, we introduced the preset system in the 0.9.8 release, which is a slider that changes settings from safest and most compatible to fastest and less compatible for some fast and easy tweaking without the need of knowing what the options do.
We understand that the new users might be scared by the dozens of options PCSX2 has, but since 0.9.8 the emulator comes configured with the most compatible settings. All you have to do is install it, choose your game and run it. Most games work great with the pre configured settings we have Smile

7.Do you think that you reached the limit in emulator development or are there more things to add in PCSX2?

There are tons of things that can still be added in PCSX2. Netplay and USB emulation are two things that come in mind which are in very early development stages. Of course compatibility and speed are still being improved daily in small (or sometimes big) steps.

8.How much money do you make on developing PCSX2? Is there any profit? If not, why do you do it?

The team doesn't get paid for developing PCSX2. We use the google ads on our site and any donations from fans to pay for the server costs and if there is any more left we use it to upgrade the developer's systems so they can more easily integrate new technologies.

9.Personally, on my configuration (Core 2 Duo 2.66, Nvidia GeForce 9600GT, 2 GB Ram) I’ve noticed that RPG games are more pleasant to play on normal graphic adjustments and with speed hacks enabled. Other games are too slow, ‘’glitchy’’ or unplayable at all. Which configuration is optimal for PCSX2?

This is one of the most frequent questions we get Smile The truth is, there is no 'golden configuration' for everything and this is why we have so many options in PCSX2. The best configuration for the system you mentioned in your question might be the worst for an older PC. The same goes for various games, a good configuration for game X might not even work with game Y.
But to give you a general idea, a configuration that works with most games and at nice speeds is the default one with all speed hacks marked as [recommended] enabled. Of course there are games which are glitch, very slow or simply not working for which you can’t do anything but hope the next version of PCSX2 takes care of those bugs for you Smile

10.What is your attitude towards new HD editions of different games? Maybe they would not be developed if they haven't seen the graphic improvement on your PCSX2?

If you ask me, the HD remakes of PS2 games on the PS3 look worse than the initial PS2 game upscaled with PCSX2 at x3 or x4 its original resolution. Still, I'm sure that even if everyone knew and could play their games in HD using PCSX2, Sony would still release these HD remakes since it's very easy money for them with minimal costs.
In addition, some HD remakes add more detail instead of just increasing the resolution, something PCSX2 will never be able to do Smile

11.What percentage of games is compatible with the PCSX2?

According to our compatibility list and if we project that percentage to the total of PS2 games, it should be around 70% playable games, huge number in my opinion Smile

12.What is SONY's official attitude towards PCSX2?

Sony has not bothered us and we haven't bothered them either Razz They certainly know we exist, but we never had any legal problem with them, which was expected.
Even if Sony hated us, the PCSX2 team has been very careful to not infringe any copyright of Sony since PCSX2 is provided for free, the whole program was created with reverse engineering, no BIOS files are provided with it which is a Sony copyright and there is no support for piracy in our help forum.
So in the end, everyone is happy Smile

13.Do you think that there is anything illegal with your emulator? Let’s face it, many users don’t have original games but they download illegally the games and then play it on the computer. How does PCSX2 deal with these situations?

As I explained in the previous question, there is nothing illegal with PCSX2. Yes I agree there are many people who use PCSX2 with illegally downloaded games and BIOS files, but this is out of our control. We provide the program, if you use it legally or not is up to the user who is responsible for his actions. The PCSX2 team gives no support for anyone who is found to have pirated games or BIOS files, which is all we can do.
No one thinks of the other side though, which in my opinion is very common too. There are many people who own a PS2 console and because of the features PCSX2 offers them (increased resolution, texture filtering, save states, infinite memcards, usage of any pad-keyboard-mouse, cheats etc) buy old PS2 games just to play them on the emulator which otherwise they would not, thus increasing Sony sales.

14.Considering the small number of people who know how emulators are being developed, can you describe the process to us? How much time takes between two versions? Do you have strict schedule? Offices? Secretary?Smile

I can't tell you about the coding process since this was not my role on the team, but I can tell you about the release process. We make a new release when we feel that the changes from the previous versions are big enough to warrant it and when it is stable enough for people to use.
There is no strict schedule but there is hours and hours and hours (you get the drift Razz) of testing so we make sure that the release will be stable and of high standards. This is usually achieved by releasing internally to testers only some Release Candidate versions and debugging them until they are stable. All the documentation and the configuration guide are updated. We also have a room of hot, half naked secretaries where the team members get their massage and...oh wait I'm not supposed to tell you that!!

15.When will the next version go out?

I hate to do it but I'll have to use the cliche "When it's ready". As I described above, a release will be made when the team believes there have been significant improvements over the previous version, the program is stable and has been tested with lots of games to make sure. Using our release scheme (odd numbers like 0.9.7 and 0.9.9 are beta-unstable releases while even numbers like 0.9.8 or...1.0.0(!!! we're not sure about that yet! Razz ) are stable releases) the next one (0.9.9) will be beta-SVN only.

16.Is it realistic to expect a PlayStation 3 emulator in a near future?

If you ask me, no it isn't. It is possible some development might start in the near future (just like PCSX2 started back at 2001) but keep in mind PCSX2 could run games decently at around 2007, 6 years after it started! Now imagine how much time a PS3 emulator would need to start running games properly (if it ever happens) considering the PS3 is more complex and MUCH more powerful than the PS2....
Still, never say never Smile I'd just like to warn people to NOT believe some youtube videos or websites advertising working PS3 emulators because they are all fake and virus infested (we recently found one of these sites posted in our forum). It will take years before that will happen for real Smile

Thank you for your time and thank you for getting to know the GG public with all the details of PCSX2 emulatorSmile
Thank you for giving us the chance to talk about PCSX2 and let more people know of it Smile

You can check out the posted article here (although it's obviously in Croatian Razz): http://www.goodgame.hr/vijesti/gg-interv...m-intervju

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