One of the things you might want to use your Raspberry PI for as part of a general desktop computing setup is to play games.
The Raspberry PI 4 isn’t powerful enough to play modern games but it is powerful enough to play games from older consoles and computers such as the Super Nintendo (SNES), Sega Megadrive and the Sony Playstation.
There are a couple of specialist Linux distributions for the Raspberry PI built around retro gaming called Retropie and Lakka.
This article is all about Playstation emulation and it is based on installing the emulator on a standard desktop environment as part of Raspberry PI OS for those people that only want to use their Raspberry PI 4 for gaming some of the time but leave the computer usable for other tasks.
How To Install A Playstation One Emulator
In order to play games from the original Sony Playstation console you will need to install an emulator called “PCSXR”.
Open up a console window (press CTRL, ALT and T at the same time on your keyboard).
Type the following command and press return:
sudo apt-get update
This will make sure you have the latest applications listed within your repositories.
Now enter the following command to install PCSXR
sudo apt-get install pcsxr
Setting Up PCSXR
To run PCSXR either click on the menu icon and navigate to the games sub menu and choose PCSXR or alternatively if you are still in the terminal type the following:
The & at the end of the line runs pcsxr as a background task which means control is returned to the terminal and you can continue using the terminal window if you so wish.
There were a few things I noticed when running this emulator for the first time on the Raspberry PI which caused the software to crash and I will show you how to fix that here.
Click on the configuration menu and choose “plugins and BIOS”.
The only thing you need to change is the “Graphics” dropdown. Make sure the option is set to “OpenGL Driver” and then click close.
The next issue is to do with the CD-Rom settings. Open “Configuration” menu and select “CD-ROM”.
The important item here is the first line that sets the device to /dev/cdrom.
This folder does not exist on your Raspberry PI by default.
To add the folder open a terminal window (if you haven’t still got it open) by pressing CTRL, ALT and T at the same time.
Now type in this command:
sudo mkdir /dev/cdrom
I have tried using a few different generic controllers and they all work. I recommend using a wired XBOX 360 controller.
Simply plug the controller into one of the spare USB ports on the Raspberry PI.
Open the “Configuration” menu and choose “Controllers”.
From the device dropdown choose the line starting “1:”
Click “close” to close the form.
To play games you will need some ROM files. The legality of downloading ROMS is sketchy at best and may be illegal in some countries.
Google is your friend and if you search for playstation ROMS a number of sites pop up.
To play a game, click on the “File” menu and choose “Run ISO”.
Navigate to the folder where you downloaded the game. If the file is in a compressed folder then you will need to extract the file first.
Click on the game that you wish to run. The extension will be “.bin”. IE “crashbandicoot.bin”.
Running games in full screen
To run games in full screen click “Configuration” and choose “Graphics”
You can set the window to the desired size by adjusting the width and height or you can place a check in the “Full screen” checkbox to run games full screen.
Click “Ok” to save your settings.
NOTE: You may have to play around with the screen settings. I adjusted the width and height to my screen’s resolution and then checked the “full screen” box.
To exit full screen mode press the escape key.
To stop the emulation of a game click on the “Emulator” menu and choose “Shutdown”.
This guide sets you on the way to playing playstation games using PCSXR.
PCSXR has loads of configuration options for configuring controllers, sound, graphics, gameplay settings and memory cards.