There have been murmours recently that the PS3 may be used to emulate titles from the Saturn. This was mentioned recently on the U.K.'s “GameCentral” service, but I cannot find any reliable internet sources for reference.
It is possible that it will remain a rumour, but what would your opinion be were it to become reality?
Well, hypothetically speaking, concidering the PS3 runs on Linux you could code a Saturn emulator for the PS3 and thus enjoy Saturn games on the PS3, hypothetically.
It’s not impossible, no - the PS3 is certainly powerful enough. The question is, would such an emulator allow hi-res texturing like the PC emulators? If not, then is it really worth it? Let’s face it, Saturn graphics make your eyes bleed – even more so than the dreaded PS1.
It’s not impossible but it’s probably not going to happen, and if it happens it will most likely be a modified/updated version of Sega’s last attempt at emulation. If we are talking about something official that is.
About an unofficial Linux program, well, I imagine that we’d see it on PC first, and perhaps someone would later port it to the PS3, rather than have it the other way around.
The PS3/X360 could emulate a Saturn no better/worse than a (extremely) high-end PC at this point. Eventually, someone may work something out, but like Kadamose said, if you’re not upres’ing, what’s the point? The low resolution of games from the PS1/Saturn era are simply going to stand out even more on your HDTVs and whatnot.
Do we know if Sony are allowing Linux developers to have full access to the PS3 hardware, or will developers only be able to code for a restricted kernel that cannot tap into the full power of the PS3? If it’s the latter, then getting a full speed emulator up and running on the PS3 hardware may be a lot harder than it would be on a PC. Judging by the message on Sony’s upcoming Open Platform for PS3 website it certainly sounds promising…
“PLAYSTATION?3 allows any desired third-party system software to be installed on it besides its system software provided by Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. Details will be posted on this site soon.”
…but I hope that the default distribution of Linux that Sony are supporting for the Playstation 3 (Yellow Dog Linux if anyone’s interested) will allow developers to have complete access to the GPU and all of the Cell’s cores.
The beauty of having a Saturn (or other system) emulator running on a console - without a mod chip required - is that we have the potential for a really easy to use experience for the causal user who can’t be bothered configuring PC emulators. The type of gamer who likes to just sit back on the couch and play old school games with minimum fuss. Someone could create a Saturn emulator that “just works” with the PS3 hardware, and had a really easy to navigate control pad based menu system that allowed users to just put Saturn CDs in and play them, with minimum button presses/menu selections. Or - since the Saturn is getting quite old now and those original CDs won’t last forever - an option easily back the games up on to the hard drive, or choose to run a bunch of CD ISOs stored on a DVD or BluRay disc. To answer you original question Arcie, I would personally love to see something like this happen.
I’d love to see it happen of course, although it’s difficult to imagine it happening as an official product so, we’re basically hoping there’s some coders out there with that much dedication?
If Sony was truly serious about this whole PC-alternative angle with the PS3, I’d probably start evangelizing the system, but it has no chance to ever become a true alternative without open commercial software publishing. Which is not a part of Sony’s current agenda… unless maybe the system bombs… hmmm…