A testament to how open Android as an operating system can be is the incredible range of software that you can install from the Google Play Store. Emulators are a big part of what makes Android a powerful mobile operating system, as it’s possible to play games from pretty much any older console or handheld. The Playstation 1 is one such console, a favorite of many for both, an impressive back catalog of games, and just some plain old nostalgia. While there are emulators on the Google Play Store that already exist for the Playstation 1 (and have done for years), the lesser-known DuckStation is the best emulator you can get.
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Why not just use ePSXe?
ePSXe is a fantastic emulator, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with it as such. It has great support, but it’s incredibly old and costs money, with its last update being in December of 2019. DuckStation is free, open-source, and has a lot of modern emulation features and fixes. It supports the Vulkan graphics API, upscaling to 4K, and even upscaling to 8K. There’s even a libretro core that can be used as a backend for PSX emulation in RetroArch. DuckStation has a lot of settings.
One important fix that’s present in DuckStation is PXGP, which fixes a lot of jumping and wobbling in 3D geometry. You can see a pronounced example of that in the video below, which shows the game Silent Hill running with and without PXGP.
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DuckStation also runs on Windows 10 (both x86 and ARM64), macOS, and Linux. There is no Android TV support yet, however.
DuckStation’s goal is to be as accurate as possible, while still maintaining suitable performance for low-end devices. The default configuration should support nearly all games, with only some of the enhancements having compatibility issues. You’ll also need your own BIOS, though that’s nothing new in PSX emulation. You can dump one from your own PlayStation, and DuckStation will support a BIOS from any hardware version or region.
I tested DuckStation on the OPPO Find X2 Pro and found the performance excellent with a 4x internal resolution and the only enhancement enabled was PGXP geometry correction. I tested Crash Bandicoot 3 and Spyro the Dragon.
As you can see from both of the videos above, emulation is nearly flawless. You can play all of the PlayStation 1’s top games anywhere that you want, on your smartphone or on your laptop with ease. You might need a slightly more powerful Android smartphone to run DuckStation over ePSXe, but it’s worth it if you can. It’s easy to use and packed full of features. If you want to check it out, you can check out DuckStation on GitHub!