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You can now replay PS3 classics with AMD Super Resolution

AMD’s FidelityFX Super Resolution (FSR) isn’t exclusive to individual games, it seems. RPCS3 — the go-to emulator for PlayStation 3 on PC — added support for the feature over the weekend, and it’s the first emulator to do so. Hopefully, it’ll kick off a stream of support from other emulators, too.

The latest RPCS3 build supports FSR, so all you need to do is install the latest version or update the version you have, and you’ll be able to use FSR with your favorite PS3 games. To enable the feature, follow Configuration > GPU in the app, tick the Enable FSR Upscaling box, and set the strength of the sharpening filter.

RPCS3 is now the first game console emulator to support FidelityFX Super Resolution (FSR)

Update to the latest RPCS3 build and try it out!

— RPCS3 (@rpcs3) August 6, 2021

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RPCS3 is an open-source emulator that’s in active development. The team describes new builds as “highly experimental” as the developers continue to support emerging tools like FSR. As is the case with a lot of emulators, you need a PS3 BIOS file to use RPCS3, as well as game files dumped from the original disk.

Performance may not be what you’re expecting from a console that’s 15 years old, either. The PS3’s Cell processor was notoriously difficult to develop for, so running PS3 games on PC, especially through an emulator, is no easy task. RPCS3’s database says about 62% of games are “playable,” though many of the best PS3 games, including The Last of Us and Metal Gear Solid 4, have an “in-game” rating instead.

With FSR now available, players can push their output resolution much higher than they’d normally be able to without pushing the game beyond its limits. However, it may not work well in all games. With the CPU at the heart of the PS3, many of its titles don’t stress the graphics card as much as a normal game would. FSR can’t always help in those cases.

Similarly, older games use older anti-aliasing methods, if they use them at all. Scaling up an image will scale up jagged edges, too, which may not be the result you’re looking for. In proper implementations, FSR comes after anti-aliasing, leading to a much smoother end result, as we found in our FidelityFX Super Resolution review.

PS3 consoles at a trade show.

RPCS3 is the first emulator to add FSR support, but the feature has steamrolled its way into several GitHub repositories and modding projects since it launched. Even before launch, a modder was able to patch FSR into Grand Theft Auto Vand since launch, tools have emerged to allow you to add FSR to basically any game.

Magpie, for example, allows you to apply upscaling to almost any PC game, and Valve has added it to its Proton compatibility layer for Linux ahead of the Steam Deck’s launch.

FSR is largely based on the Lanczos resampling algorithm, which has been around for several decades. AMD’s implementation simply takes more care to add it at the proper stage during rendering and cleans up the image with a sharpening pass. Although more games, game engines, and emulators will likely support it in the future, they may not all produce the same results.

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Jacob Roach
Senior Staff Writer, Computing
Jacob Roach is a writer covering computing and gaming at Digital Trends. After realizing Crysis wouldn't run on a laptop, he…
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