PS2 emulator for macOS gets Metal support, PS3 emulator still in the works

PCSX2, a PS2 emulator for macOS, has just received Metal support which should help with increased performance on both Intel and M1 Macs. Gamers can expect up to 3x performance improvement, compared to the previous OpenGL renderer for PCSX2 on macOS.

A PS3 emulator is also in the works for macOS, and while there is no release date, it has made some good progress in recent times.

PCSX2 PS2 emulator macOS

PCSX2 for macOS with Metal support

Developer tellowkrinkle released a new version of PCSX2 over Christmas which featured Metal rendering support, Rumbler support for additional controllers, and controller improvements for macOS Monterey. The release was quickly followed by another incremental update, which fixed an issue with rendering and broken polygons on M1 Macs.

Games like God of War II and Tekken 5 have been performing at 1080p 60fps without any issues. Check out the performance in a video below by Andrew Tsai:

Here are the complete release notes from Github for PCSX2:

  • New Metal renderer! With a few exceptions (flat-shaded triangles and lines use colors from the wrong vertex), rendering should have equivalent accuracy to the OpenGL renderer when running on Windows or Linux. Fixes various texture barrier glitches most common on AMD GPUs, in addition to issues with lack of depth precision. If you previously had to mess with the depth precision slider, the Metal renderer should fix your problems. In addition, performance is improved in many tested games. If you have a 2-core CPU (e.g. most MacBook Airs), you can expect better performance from lower CPU usage. Otherwise, a number of titles have improved on the GPU side, as much as 3x in the case of the Jak title screen (30 → 100 fps on a GT 750M). Note: The metal renderer is currently missing some optimizations that would help performance on Apple GPUs (M1, M1 Pro, M1 Max). If you’re using an M1 and your game sees improved performance from unchecking accurate destination alpha or setting blending accuracy to minimum, expect improved performance without doing that in the near future.
  • Rumble support for more controllers
  • Better controller support on macOS Monterey. Should support all controllers that work in Safari.

You can download the latest PCSX2 update from Github.

PS3 emulator for M1 Macs

RPCS3 is a popular PS3 emulator for Windows. A Mac version has been in development for a long time, however, recently the Github page has been updated to show that support for Arm architecture and MoltenVK (a runtime library that maps Vulcan to Apple’s Metal API) is now in development.

Other issues also show development progress, as well as some games that are currently working in the emulator in early stages. This shows that we could expect some updates by next year, however, there is no release date yet.

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