I like the Playstation 2 just as well as anyone. The only DVD player i have hooked up to the big TV in the living room is a PS2 and i don't see a reason to replace it. Many people have moved on in their console generations leaving the PLaystation 2 as just a DVD player. Some of the people who refuse to let it die let it take a place next to their nwest generation consoles, gathering dust.
The truth is, Gamestop will give you maybe $20 for it. They have hundreds of games under $10, so for very little money you can be playing some of the greatest games ever to hit consoles.. Like God of War, and God of War 2.
If it will not play on my computer then i don't want to play it at all, and im resolved to figure all this shit out and talk about it because it frustrates me more than a hand job on prom night.
I have read for some time that Playstation 2 is now something that can be emulated if you have a great computer, and a great video card. Frame rates have been reported to be high enough to be playable with the right settings, so i said what the fuck and gave it a try.
First thing your going to need is an emulator. I decided on PCXS2, as they made the PSX emulator i like, so i figured the people who let me play Twisted Metal after four beers can do it, then anyone can. When you first download it, you will notice right away that you can't do anything. All the settings are dependent on if you have a good computer, and which computer you have is very important to which settings you will want.
Second: You will need the BIOS files. Ive included them in their entirety here, including the updated emulator with plugins. Yeah im fucking nice and hosted them on my website. If you click on the link one day and they are gone, its because i got one of the lovely letters from Sony saying get fucked. In that case email me, and ill make sure you get the new link. You need the BIOS files to boot the PS2, to load games and so on. Technically you are supposed to *dump* the BIOS files from the Playstation 2 that you currently own, and use only those files on your computer. If you have a PS2, and you want the files, i dont really see a problem with it. There is no possible way anyone could prove that files that are available here are different than the ones you could dump yourself. You have to set the path of the BIOS files in the settings menu once you enter the program or nothing will work. Also set the plugins folder which is also required.
Dumping: Say you wanted to dump the BIOS files from your PS2, to your computer, well in that case you could go here. Once upon a time i decided that my PS2 needed to be something better, and that i should be playing burned games and so on. The dumping of BIOS files, games, save states, all pretty much tie in with that and can be found here. You will need the LAN adapter for the PS2 which is like $10 at gamestop used.
Third: Configure this shit. I have no good advice for you at all here. You are going to have play with the settings and use different plug ins until you can find out what works. On my Quad Core machine i needed to change the DVD/CD plug in to get it to load and the disc image to work pretty well. On my Dual Core i had to change everything, try everything and play with every feature for 3 hours until something playable would happen. I decided to use God of War as my benchmark, as alot of people have. Considering most of the populas is doomed to have a Dual Core Intel processor, i will explain my trails and tribulations with that. Use this link for generic instructions that are helpful, but suck, much like most wives.
Setup: Intel Core2 Duo (laptop!)
ATI HD 6750 Discrete Graphics 1GB
4 Gigs ram (good ram)
1: If you are using windows 7 go and download the new Direct X 10, if your video card supports it. If not, download 9c, which is not bad either. This is required. Now set the paths up for the bios files and the plugins in the settings tab.
2: Using this chart determine what kind of shaders your video card supports. At first i did not think this was very important, but its the difference between playing and not playing so just do it. Under settings select the video option that best decribes your hardware. In the course of playing around i found that the third option, GSDX 890 SSE3 was best for me. It seemed to give a bit of a pick me up in the frames department. Set your shaders as your card limits, and check which boxes think apply to you. If you are getting slowdown, click Vsync.
3: Make the rest look like what i have here. The settings at the normal levels maintained by the programs seem okay, but if you want a speed up, configure each option to its fastest setting. IE.. take the reverb off the sound, set the DVD drive to read ahead.
4: Goto the settings in the menu and click Speed Hacks. Just check everything there, you will need it for the better games, like God of War. if you have a Quad Core CPU and a bad ass video card, you wont need this shit.
5: With any luck, you should be enjoying the game you have selected. Like me.