We’ve already seen the Pocketeer community emulate the NES, SNES, Game Boy, Genesis, and even Virtual Boy on PocketC.H.I.P.! This weekend, limni figured out how to get PCSX ReARMed, a PlayStation emulator, working on PocketC.H.I.P..
Best of all, this is a project that only takes about twenty minutes and doesn’t require the official PlayStation BIOS to work.
Some of you older Pocketeers like me might remember back in 1994 when the PlayStation first launched. But that wasn’t Sony’s first attempt at breaking into the video game market.
In the late 80s Sony worked with Nintendo to develop a CD-ROM add-on to the Super Famicom (SNES). The product never made it out of R&D labs, but it gave Sony a bit of experience in developing a console. For more on the early history of the PlayStation and other Sony consoles, check out PlaystationMuseum.com.
From the PocketC.H.I.P. home screen tap on the Terminal icon to launch the program. The majority of the project will take place in the terminal.
Update the list of packages available to PocketC.H.I.P..
sudo apt update
Install the package dependencies for building PCSX ReARMed.
sudo apt install git build-essential libsdl1.2-dev
Move to the chip user’s home directory.
Clone the source code repository for the PCSX ReARMed project using git.
git clone https://github.com/notaz/pcsx_rearmed.git
Change working directories so that you’re in ~/pcsx_rearmed directory.
Update the submodules.
git submodule update --init
To create the most optimized version of PCSX for PocketC.H.I.P., you’ll need to type in the CFLAGS into the terminal before you run the ./configure shell script. As you might have guessed, CFLAGS are short for compiler flags, and tell the compiler what special options to use when build the source code into a binary program.
CFLAGS='-mcpu=cortex-a8 -mtune=cortex-a8 -mfpu=neon' ./configure
Note: Make sure you exactly copy the capitalization and spacing when you type the command above. It matters! For more details on what neon is check out the linux-sunxi page about the R8 processor.
Compile the source code. Just run make. It’s that easy! (ง ͡ʘ ͜ʖ ͡ʘ)ง
Note: Make sure you are in the ~/pcsx_rearmed directory, otherwise running make won’t compile PCSX ReARMed.
As with other emulators, search engines are your friend for finding games.
A good source to get you started with homebrew PlayStation games is psxdev.net. A few of my favorites are Fly Little Bat, Marilyn: In the Magic World, and Yopaz IceStar. They are all fun and run well in the emulator. Find a couple you like and download them to your laptop.
Many PlayStation homebrew games are enormous, so it’s wise to use a USB flash drive. You can run the games directly off the USB drive and it will save you from filling up PocketC.H.I.P.’s onboard NAND storage.
- On your laptop download and copy the game files to your USB drive.
- Insert the USB drive into PocketC.H.I.P.
- On the PocketC.H.I.P. home screen, tap on the file browser. Look for the USB drive in the left sidebar of the window and tap on it. This mounts the drive and makes the files accessible to the system.
Start the emulator by typing the command below and you’ll immediately see a window like the image above.
Use the up and down keys on the D-pad to scroll through the menu and enter to confirm your selection. To load a game, simply highlight the Load Game menu and press enter.
Then navigate through the list of files and directories with the D-pad. Many games use a .cue file suffix, but some use a .bin. It keeps you on your toes. When you’ve find the game you do want to load, highlight it and press enter.
By default z and x keys are mapped as the PlayStation’s circle and cross buttons. To change the keybinding, press ESC and use the D-pad to highlight the Controls menu. Once it’s highlighted, press enter and then select Player 1. Map the keys however you want.
And if you figure out how to tweak the window size, share how you did it!