Got a craving for an old PS1 title? Well, what's the problem ?! Go to the attic, find your old PlayStation, plug it back into the TV and enjoy. How do you say? Too much effort? You are actually right… maybe you would first download a PS1 emulator to your computer and play with it. If you want I can give you a hand and explain how to do it.
Believe it or not, emulate PS1 games on PC it's really a no-brainer. All you have to do is get an emulator capable of "running" the games of the first PlayStation (there are several for both Windows and macOS, even in the free environment), the support files necessary for the operation of the emulator ( I'll tell you about it later in the tutorial) and the games you intend to play. Titles can be used directly from diskettes or as a compressed image saved on your computer.
So, what do you think? Are you ready to start? If you want to relive the magic of titles like "Medievil", "Final Fantasy VII", "Crash Bandicoot" and "Tekken", all you have to do is take five minutes of free time and follow the directions I am about to give you. I bet you will get more than a tear reliving those old, wonderful adventures that have marked the history of the videogame world!
How to Emulate PS1 Games on Windows
Do you have a Windows PC? Well, then the first step you need to take is to connect to the ePSXe website and download this program on your PC by clicking on the item ePSXe vxx Windows. If I had never heard of it, ePSXe is a free emulator that allows you to play PSX games on Windows by inserting diskettes directly into your computer's CD drive or by loading ISO image files. It takes some patience to set it up, but I assure you it's worth it in the end.
Once the download is complete, open the archive you just downloaded on your PC (epsxexx.zip) and extract the contents into any folder (the folder where you want to “install” ePSXe). Once this step is complete, you have the PSX emulator - most likely the games - but you are still missing some elements to be able to emulate PS1 games on PC: the BIOS of the console, through which it is possible to play most of the PlayStation titles of the PAL, NTSC / U and NTSC / J region (therefore European, US and Japanese titles).
To download the BIOS of the PSX from the Internet you must be in possession of a real PlayStation, otherwise the operation would be illegal. The files of your interest are called SCPH5500.BIN, SCPH5501.BIN e SCPH5502.BIN and you can easily find them online by searching on Google. Once downloaded, copy them all to the folder bios by ePSXe.
Finally here we are! Now you can launch the PlayStation emulator and configure it to play your favorite titles. Then go to the folder where you extracted the ePSXe files and start the program by double clicking on it ePSXe.exe. Nella finestra che si apre, click on your button Configure to start the initial configuration of the emulator and set it as follows:
- In the menu for choosing the BIOS, select the item scph5552 - PAL and click on forward;
- In the menu for choosing video drivers, select the item Pete’s OpenGPL2 GPU core and click on forward;
- In the menu for choosing audio drivers, select the item ePSXe SPU core 2.0 and click on forward;
- In the menu for choosing CD-ROM drivers, select the item ePSXe CDR WNT/W2K core 1.7.0 and click on forward;
- In the controller selection menu, click on the item Controller 1, configure the controller (you can connect any USB joypad to the computer) or the keyboard with the commands you prefer and click on forward;
- Click on Bene.
If during the initial configuration procedure of ePSXe you do not find the entry for the video plugin Pete’s OpenGPL, download it from this website and copy it into the folder plugins ePSXe (after extracting it from the zip package that contains it).
Mission accomplished! If everything went well, you should now be able to emulate PS1 games on PCsimply by calling up the menu Fillet di ePSXe and selecting the voice Start ISO (if you want to open a game saved on your PC as an ISO image) or the voice Start CDROM (if you want to play a PS1 disc inserted into your PC).
If you have archived games in compressed format (e.g. zip, rar or 7z), be aware that these are not directly supported by ePSXe. To play them in the emulator you must first extract them, thus obtaining files bin / ecm to be then fed to ePSXe. Having made this necessary clarification, I just have to wish you good fun!
Please note: if you want to exit the full screen mode of games played in ePSXe, press the key combination Alt + Invio on your PC keyboard.
How to Emulate PS1 Games on Mac
You don't use a Windows PC but a Mac? No problem, there are excellent PS1 emulators perfectly compatible with macOS. One of these is ePSXe, but I advise you to look elsewhere: towards OpenEmu.
If you have never heard of it, OpenEmu is a fantastic all-in-one emulator that allows you to play the titles of old arcades and many consoles of the past: PlayStation, Super Nintendo, SEGA Mega Drive, SEGA Master System, NES, Game Boy, Game Gear and many other systems from various eras. It is completely free and requires no complicated configurations.
To download OpenEmu on your Mac, connect to the official website of the application and click on the button Download now. Once the download is complete, open the zip package containing the emulator, drag the icon of the emulator into the folder Applications macOS and launch the software.
Now all you have to do is import the PSX BIOS files and the games you want to play into OpenEmu. The BIOS files are the ones I pointed to earlier (SCPH5500.BIN, SCPH5501.BIN e SCPH5502.BIN) and you can download them freely from the Internet, as long as you have a real PlayStation 1. The games, on the other hand, must be in the form of image files. If you need help turning your PS1 games into ISO, BIN or CCD files, try following the directions in my tutorial on how to create ISO images.
Once you have obtained the files of your interest, all you have to do is drag them into the main OpenEmu window and wait for them to be imported into the program library (a completion bar at the bottom left will signal the end of the operation).
When the import is complete, select the item related to Sony PlayStation from the left sidebar, double click on the game poster and enjoy your glorious PS1 title. If you want to adjust the settings related to the controls or other parameters of the emulator, go to the menu Pref Renze by OpenEmu (top left).
Please note: if the import of the games in OpenEmu fails, make sure they are not in compressed bin / ecm / ape format. If they are in compressed format, the image files of PSX games must first be converted following the instructions found on the OpenEmu website.