Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots is one of the few games that never made it to a different platform than the PlayStation 3. At least when we assume official publications.

Digital Foundry has now looked at the classic using the “RPCS3” emulator to map the current state of PS3 emulation on the PC. This has made massive progress since its start in May 2011; A resolution of 4K does not make any hurdle, but the refresh rate achieved.

close to the remaster

In the case of Metal Gear Solid 4, the much higher resolution is particularly noticeable. The original PlayStation 3 renders the game in a resolution of 1024 by 768 pixels, which is why disturbing podium forms on many polygon edges and shadows with extremely low precision are shown.

In the RPCS3 emulator, the native resolution can be selected freely, not even a powerful graphics card is necessary for a 4K resolution. The Nvidia RSX chip, which worked in the PS3, is close to a conventional GPU and therefore easy to emulate.

PS3 Emulator For PS5 Could Be in Development - PlayStation 3 Games on PS5

The Cell processor of the PS3 is extremely complex

With the PS3’s own cell processor, Sony deviates from all standards. A central control unit – called Power Processing Element (PPE) – is expanded by seven co -processors that accelerate graphics calculations. These so -called “SPUs” have their own architecture together with their own instruction set, which is why they can be complicated.

The result: PS3 emulation is incredibly CPU intensive. Digital Foundry therefore used a current high-end CPU from Intel to be able to play Metal Gear Solid 4 in largely stable 60 frames per second.

The emulator itself was also a version specially adapted to Metal Solid 4, which achieves higher refresh rates than the general branch of development. It still jerked in elaborate scenes, compared to the original, which ran in 20 to 30 fps, this is still a huge increase.

In addition, Metal Gear Solid 4 could not be emulated entirely without a presentation error. So the crow’s feet on snake eyes flicker again and again as if more wrinkles are constantly loaded and then disappear:

In addition, the presentation of the water effects is not correct and there was strange AI printers:


Water effects AI


Even the PS5 could not offer enough performance for PS3 emulation

The emulation of the SPUS is likely to overwhelm the PS5, even if the main processor was able to record a proper performance thrust compared to the previous generation. However, Digital Foundry also took 60 frames per second. The CPU was relieved with a limitation to 30 fps, which gave a more constant game feeling. Ruckler with a freedom frame rate can be effectively concealed with variable refresh rate (VRR).

Even on the PS5, VRR could be used in this case, the latest firmware update finally provides the function:

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more on the subject

PS5: Waiting for VRR will finally come to an end, but what does it actually bring us?


Chris Werian

In my eyes, emulation is the only way to get the video game history in the long term. Abstrus would be expected that a large part of the PS3 catalog will be ported on the latest model for over countless generations or that streaming services last forever.

I have therefore been watching RPCS3 for over half a decade and I am extremely enthusiastic about the progress the team could achieve. A lot of extensive games like Demon’s Souls are now running pleasantly quickly when there is the performance of the CPU used. Exclusive titles that cut out the PS3 SPE to the maximum, such as Killzone 3, prepare even high-end computers.

The PS5 offers potent hardware, but in relation to top CPUs it (at least on paper) it draws the shorter, which is why I have considerable doubts that PS3 games can be emulated on the PS5 in the foreseeable future. The decision to offer a pure streaming solution here is therefore quite understandable, but also associated with disadvantages that especially make us players:

No future security because we are dependent on Sony’s server infrastructure *
Higher input latency
Image artifacts, for example when the quality of the internet connection fluctuates
No freely selectable resolution, PS Now is limited to a maximum of 1080p *
attachment to a subscription *

However, one should not be forgotten that Sony has the entire source documentation of the PS3 and the source codes of many games, which is helpful in developing an official emulator.
So there is a chance for a change of strategy, but it is currently negligible due to the large investment by Sony in PlayStation Now.
However, I would be very happy about an official product in which the PS3 generation that is collected.
Which PS3 classic would you want on the PS5?