PCSX2 is a free and open-source PlayStation 2 emulator for Windows, Linux, and macOS that supports a wide range of PlayStation 2 video games with a high level of compatibility and functionality. Although PCSX2 can closely mirror the original gameplay experience on the PlayStation 2, PCSX2 supports a number of improvements over gameplay on a traditional PlayStation 2, such as the ability to use custom resolutions up to 81928192, anti-aliasing, and texture filtering.
PCSX2 supports save states and dynamic recompilation (JIT). There is also support for gameplay recording in Full HD using the GSdx plugin. Options such as the ability to increase/decrease game speeds, use unlimited memory cards, and utilize any gamepad controllers supported by the native operating system are also available. Cheat codes are supported via the use of PNACH patching files.
PCSX2 makes use of plug-ins as a means of modularizing development efforts among the separate components (subsystems) of the emulated PlayStation 2 hardware. For instance, video plug-ins are utilized by PCSX2 to render images to the screen and emulate the graphics hardware of the PlayStation 2, whereas sound plug-ins emulate the sound hardware of the PlayStation 2.
Hardware requirements are largely game-dependent. Due to the demanding nature of emulation, PCSX2 is much more likely to perform well with modern mid-range to high-end hardware, with lower-end systems likely to experience less than full performance. The performance bottleneck in most cases is the CPU rather than the GPU.
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