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Emulation developers show off PlayStation 2 games running on Xbox Series S

The Xbox Series S can now run PlayStation 2 games, and performance is fairly good. (Image via Microsoft and Sony w/ edits)
The Xbox Series S can now run PlayStation 2 games, and performance is fairly good. (Image via Microsoft and Sony w/ edits)
LibRetro, the developers behind the popular Retro Arch emulator, have added a PS2 core based on the PCSX2 emulator. This core was recently added to the UWP version of Retro Arch, which can be loaded onto the Xbox Series S. While performance isn't perfect, many titles run smoothly with minimal problems.
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We recently reported on the excellent emulation performance of Retro Arch on the Xbox Series S. We noted how smoothly GameCube and Wii games ran. However, the developers behind Retro Arch are not content to rest on their laurels. The Retro Arch team has just introduced a PlayStation 2 core, and it runs fairly well on the Xbox Series S.

As a quick caveat, running Retro Arch on the Xbox Series S and Series X requires the user to jump through some hoops, the largest of which involves paying Microsoft a one-time fee to switch the console into Developer Mode. 

The new core for Retro Arch is based on the popular PlayStation 2 emulator PCSX2. While the core is still in early development, the team’s progress is impressive. In various videos showing off the new core, like the one posted by popular emulation YouTuber Modern Vintage Gamer, many PlayStation 2 games appear to run with minimal issues. Some titles run almost flawlessly, although others have noticeable quirks and bugs, particularly with textures. 

Considering the early build of the PCSX2 core in Retro Arch, these hiccups are to be expected. What is unexpected is how many PS2 titles run well on the console. 

While the Xbox Series S may be the weakest current-gen console on the market, it’s shaping up to be the best value for retro gamers who prefer emulation. 

What do you think of the PCSX2 core for Retro Arch on the Xbox Series S? Let us know in the comments. 

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Sam Medley
Sam Medley - Senior Tech Writer - 1122 articles published on Notebookcheck since 2016
I've been a computer geek my entire life. After graduating college with a degree in Mathematics, I worked in finance and banking a few years before taking a job as a database administrator. I started working with Notebookcheck in October of 2016 and have enjoyed writing news and reviews. I've also written for other outlets including UltrabookReview and GeeksWorldWide, focusing on consumer guidance and video gaming. My areas of interest include the business side of technology, retro gaming, Linux, and innovative gadgets. When I'm not writing on electronics or tinkering with a device, I'm either outside with my family, enjoying a decade-old video game, or playing drums or piano.
contact me via: @samuel_medley
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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2020 11 > Emulation developers show off PlayStation 2 games running on Xbox Series S
Sam Medley, 2020-11-30 (Update: 2020-11-30)