The latest version of the PS3 emulator, RPCS3, recently released this past June and brought with it some major improvements to the software. The biggest one being support for native MSAA.

Here’s a little more on the subject from the RPCS3 blog:

“For many months now, kd-11 has been systematically reworking the texture cache implementation in RPCS3 to behave much closer to the PlayStation 3. His work has made massive progress and fixed countless issues, all of which we have detailed in previous progress reports. This month, kd-11 finished the final piece of the puzzle, the feature that necessitated such a large re-implementation, Multisample anti-aliasing (MSAA).”

After analysing the components that needed to be improved, kd-11 shared a broad roadmap to patreons detailing the work that was to be done to bring true MSAA support in RPCS3. Now that all items on that roadmap have been completed, kd-11 was confident that the roadblocks identified years ago were finally overcome and began work on implementing true MSAA support.”

“However, this was followed by even greater challenges as MSAA is one of the most heavily guarded techniques. Memory used for stencil buffering with multisampling is completely cut off from write access on NVIDIA GPUs. There are easy ways to tackle this on AMD GPUs, but all supported hardware needs to be taken into account to implement this feature successfully. While initialisation on NVIDIA GPUs is easily doable with CPU assistance, we are required to run a stencil test loop through all possible values which is simply too slow for RPCS3’s requirements. After discussion with other developers in the DXVK discord, kd-11 opted to iterate through all bits instead of all values for NVIDIA GPUs which reduced task complexity by a factor of 8. While this still left NVIDIA GPUs to potentially be 5 times slower than AMD GPUs in processing MSAA, it was thankfully enough to make MSAA easily usable on either GPU.”

The developer goes on to state that the implementation of MSAA is still being heavily worked on and that there are plans to have more flexible options available in order to generate visuals that exceed the original hardware.

RPCS3’s frame-pacing using Vulkan has also been improved and has proved most beneficial to the Yakuza titles. Metal Gear Solid 4 is now bootable as well, being able to reach the title screen for the first time.

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