Emulation on Mac

Emulating classic video game consoles on Mac OS X

Revisiting multi-console emulation with OpenEmu, getting PS1 emulation to work

In my last post about OpenEmu I mentioned the “experimental” build that adds support for many more systems than the official release of the program. Over the weekend I tried out the experimental version’s Playstation 1 emulation. Wow, it’s actually better than PCSX-Reloaded!

The official release version of OpenEmu supports:

  • Game Boy Advance
  • Game Boy Color
  • NeoGeo Pocket Color
  • Nintendo (NES)/Famicom
  • Nintendo DS
  • Sega 32X
  • Sega Game Gear
  • Sega Genesis/Mega Drive
  • Sega Master System
  • Super Nintendo (SNES)
  • TurboGrafx-16/PC Engine
  • Virtual Boy

The experimental build version adds support for:

  • Atari 2600
  • Atari 5200
  • Atari 7800
  • Atari Lynx
  • ColecoVision
  • Commodore 64
  • Famicom Disk System
  • MAME
  • Nintendo 64
  • PC-FX
  • PlayStation
  • PSP
  • Sega CD
  • Sega Saturn
  • SG-1000
  • TurboGrafx-CD/PC Engine CD
  • Vectrex
  • WonderSwan

I tested out PlayStation support, and ran into a few obstacles before getting things to work.

  1. The UI does nothing to explain how to provide the PlayStation BIOS file. Searching around, I learned that you add the BIOS file(s) by dragging and dropping the *.bin files (BIOS ROM images) like you would a game ROM. But, after I found a set of BIOS ROM images online, adding them this way still didn’t work. It turns out the filenames were also important, and that I had to rename the files I had to be the expected filenames:
    scph5500.bin (JP) (sha1 sum: b05def971d8ec59f346f2d9ac21fb742e3eb6917) …matched what I had in the download pack I found.
    scph5501.bin (NA) (sha1 sum: 0555c6fae8906f3f09baf5988f00e55f88e9f30b) … for me, this file was SCPH7003.BIN, and had to be renamed.
    scph5502.bin (EU) (sha1 sum: f6bc2d1f5eb6593de7d089c425ac681d6fffd3f0) … for me, this file was SCPH5552.bin, and had to be renamed.
    After renaming these BIOS images, it was possible to drag them into OpenEmu and have them be recognized as PS1 BIOS ROM image files. The UI doesn’t make it clear that it has done anything with the files, but the lack of warning is your indicator that they have been accepted.
  2. OpenEmu’s “emulator core” for PS1 emulation is Mednafen, and this emulator requires all games be provided in cuesheet format. I had only ISO images, so I had to re-rip a game in cuesheet format in order to successfully add it to my OpenEmu game library.

11 responses to “Revisiting multi-console emulation with OpenEmu, getting PS1 emulation to work

  1. Pingback: PS1 Emulation: Mednafen vs. PCSX-Reloaded 1.9.93 | Emulation on Mac

  2. Riccardo September 5, 2015 at 7:15 am

    hey there, just reading your post as I was trying to get Winning Eleven 2002 to run on OpenEmu and while I can successfully add the ROM (bin+CUE) and see the cover, I cannot start it (it works fine with ISS Pro Evolution 2 rom instead). I suspect some sort of protection kicks in and Mednafen cannot run the image. I am not sure I understood how to avoid protections with Mednafen/OpenEmu experimental.
    Could you please give me a hint?



    • robocalypse September 5, 2015 at 7:21 am

      Hi – I haven’t tested any protected games or game rips personally, but do you have an SBI file for the game? SBIs for LibCrypted discs can be downloaded from PSXDB Redump (link “SBI subchannels” on protected disc page). http://redump.org/disc/28260/

      • Riccardo September 5, 2015 at 7:25 am

        wow that was a quick reply! It doesn’t appear to exist a SBI for this game. Am I doing something wrong? http://redump.org/disc/12751/

      • robocalypse September 5, 2015 at 7:32 am

        I was running into an issue with Mednafen where I had to supply an SBI file for a game that I don’t believe needed one. What I did was take the SBI file for a different game, and renamed it to match the name of the disc image file. This got it to run for me.

      • Riccardo September 5, 2015 at 7:34 am

        ok thanks, I’ll try that. Does it just need to sit in the same folder where the ROMs for OpenEmu are? Will Mednafen just pick it from there?

      • robocalypse September 5, 2015 at 7:43 am

        It was a month ago when I was tinkering with this, but I believe that’s what I did.

      • Riccardo September 5, 2015 at 7:45 am

        It didn’t work. Thanks anyway for trying to help. I can’t seem to find a way to get a log message about what could be wrong with the emulation as all it happens is that I double click on the game and it does not start. Will probably stick to ISS Pro Ev 2 in this case.

      • robocalypse September 5, 2015 at 7:58 am

        You might try (1) to see if the ReDump hashes of the game match your own, and (2) to see if it runs in Mednafen outside of Open Emu – where it will at least log the error to the command line.

        Compiling Mednafen is a minor pain in the ass, but not too bad. What I did to build it was:

        sudo port install libsndfile
        cd dir_where_I_extracted_mednafen
        cp [BIOS_files] ~/.mednafen/firmware/
        ./src/mednafen image.cue

      • Riccardo September 6, 2015 at 10:22 am

        Hey mate,
        just letting you know I’ve switched to PCSXR and it works great with the ISO I needed, so i’ll stick to that.

        Cheers for your help,


  3. Pingback: Multi-System Emulators: RetroArch 1.5.0 vs. OpenEmu 2.0.5 | Emulation on Mac

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