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PSEmu Pro's Tratax InterViewed! - September 12, '98 by JoseQ
Not too long ago, PSEmu Pro was released to the public for the first time. This was a very awaited emulator since it plays a variety of Playstation games. Playstation is the most popular console on the market, thus the greatness of this emulator. We decided to drop Tratax a couple of Questions so you can take a look behind the scenes at PSEmu Pro and his creators. Duddie was too busy to be part of this InterView so we will catch up with him later.

1. So how's PSEmu Pro? Whats next in the list of to-do things?

More and more games are starting to work now, though compatibility is still a problem. So Duddie will continue on improving compatibility, and I will improve the GLIDE driver, and the CPU core (both speed and compatibility). The GTE also needs improvements.

2. How has the response been since the last release?

Well, the release was maybe a bit too early, so many users had problems with the configuration dialog and such, or couldnt use it because of the non-existent IDE support. Luckely IDE support is now added in the form of MSCDEX.
I only had 1 hate mail for this release, so I guess it is OK, a lot more mails were VERY friendly, or in the form about complaining about games running too fast.

3. How did you come up with the idea of plug-ins for the emulator?
Well, originally it was only intended for the GPU, because:

  • We dont want to recompile the emulator when there is another great new graphics board.
  • We dont want to have the emulator crash because it is linked to some glide2x.dll when the user doesnt have glide.
  • we would like someone to be able to make a driver for some graphics card.
Because this idea worked out so well, we have made almost every device a plugin now.

4. Do you think it will speed up the development process of PSEmu?

YES ! Examples are the MSCDEX driver, and the soon to be released DirectDraw driver. At this moment, there is someone working on an OpenGL GPU driver, someone on a Direct3D GPU driver and someone is building a Joystick pad plugin.

5. Three months to christmas now. Do you think you will have Grand Turismo running by then still?

I promised Duddie an UltraSCSI 2Gb harddisk if he gets Gran Turismo to run on PSEmu Pro.. so I think Gran Turismo will run soon. (Donations speed up development !)

6. What kinds of games need the most bang from the CPU? (Which games don't run at 100% on your P333)

Mostly 3D games due to lots of GTE usage. For the rest, its hard to say because for example Frogger runs at 6fps while Forsaken runs at 14 fps. I would say that Forsaken uses more of the Playstation than Frogger does. Do remember that this version is nowhere near full optimisation. There a lot of room left for improvement.

7. Will a throttle control be implemented so that it doesnt go over 100%?

I have implemented 'wait for vsync' in the Glide driver, and I think this will also be implemented in the other GPU drivers. This limits speed to the refresh rate of the monitor. In case of the 3dfx, it limits to 60hz. This means a PAL playstation game will run a bit too fast. If this is really going to be a problem, we'll see about it then. I consider this to be a 'luxury problem' for now. (You can send this fast processor to me, and I'll exchange it for one that can barely make 50% of the speed .. now happy ? ;)

8. In the case where game originally don't play at 60fps, can the emulator give the feel that the games are playing at a smoother rate (more FPS) but still run at the same speed?

This depends on the way the game updates the screen. I would guess that in most cases, it will appear to run much smoother. Only time will tell.

9. In a high end system, can you play any of the 3D games with a 3DFX Voodoo 2 card at a higher resolution than originally intended?

Currently, the 3dfx display is locked to 640x480 even if the game originally runs in 320x240. I might make a selector so you can select 800x600 or 1024x768. It is not the most important thing right now.

10. Are all the special effects achieved by the Playstation hardware effectively emulated yet?

On the new DirectDraw driver it is. The current GLIDE driver is a bit messy. I will improve it soon, and then almost all effects will be emulated. A certain transparency mode cannot be emulated because the 3dfx doesnt support it.

11. When do you think will we be able to take snapshots (at any speed) that look identical to their PSEmu counterparts?
Check: http://www.fortunecity.com/roswell/fortune/91/

Unfortunately if will almost never be 'playstation perfect'. It will most likely look better than the playstation original or worse, depending on the game.

12. Are you planning a next release? If so, can you put a date stamp?

We'll be updating plugins and new revisions as soon as there has been some significant improvements. At this rate, something should be updated at least once a week now. I'm not setting a fixed release data any more .. not since I was called a 'bastard' for not keeping my promised release date ...

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