Emulation on Mac

Emulating classic video game consoles on Mac OS X

PS1 Emulation: Mednafen 0.9.38.5 vs. PCSX-Reloaded 1.9.93

Over the weekend, I compared the latest Mednafen PlayStation emulation with the latest PCSXR, and Mednafen emulation is currently ahead. It may not yet have all the upscaling functionality of the Windows PCSXR, but for Mac OS X it seems to be the best available PS1 experience. Where PCSXR occasionally had missing audio, skipping during loading screens, and long loading pauses at a black screen for unexplained reasons, Mednafen delivered the genuine experience. Luckily, it can be easily found in the experimental build of OpenEmu.

Before realizing the OpenEmu “experimental build” incorporates a working copy of Mednafen, I worked through all the steps to build and run Mednafen source code at the command line. If you still want to experiment with the latest versions of Mednafen yourself and not wait for the OpenEmu team, keep reading.

Building Mednafen from source:

Using Mac OS X 10.10.4 and MacPorts, I was able to build Mednafen pretty easily using the following steps:

sudo port install libsndfile

[after having extracted the Mednafen source archive and changed into the extracted directory]
./configure
make

Providing PS1 BIOS images to Mednafen:

Copy the appropriate PS1 BIOS file(s) to ~/.mednafen/firmware/ . For more on my difficulty with finding the correct files for this, see my previous post.

PS1 ROMs, Cuesheet, and Copy Protection Files required by Mednafen:

Unlike other PS1 emulators, Mednafen requires the cuesheet format for its ROMs. See my previous post on the cuesheet format and how to re-rip a game in that format or add a CUE file to an existing raw disc image.

Apparently, Mednafen also wants an .SBI file, even for games that should not need one. If a game does need an SBI file (because it was published as a LibCrypted disc), the SBI file can be downloaded from PSXDB Redump (link “SBI subchannels” on protected disc page). http://redump.org/disc/28260/ With the game I was testing, an SBI file should not have been required, so I tried renaming an SBI file for some other game just to shut it up, and this seems to have worked.

Running PS1 ROMs with Mednafen:

./mednafen/src/mednafen image.cue

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