While our Android devices still pale in comparison to conventional consoles when it comes to gaming, this is slowly starting to change. We are seeing more big name studios get involved with mobile gaming, and many more in-depth games that go beyond the traditional time-waster approach of titles like Angry Birds and Cut the Rope.
Of course, many of the best mobile games coming out today are ports from yesteryear, with companies like Rockstar and Square both eagerly putting out some of their biggest titles from years past onto Android. Another way to get an AAA gaming experience on Android is to turn to emulators, even if many of these emulators (or at least the ROMs used) fall into a very gray area (morally and legally speaking). A quick look at the Play Store will unearth emulators for all the classics from Atari to NES, to Playstation to Nintendo 64.
What about more modern consoles? As the power under the hood continues to increase for mobile devices, we are finally at a crossing point where higher-quality 3D console gaming is almost possible. Recently we wrote about a demo of the Dolphin (Gamecube/Wii) emulator being shown off for the Shield Android TV with reasonably decent results. Now it’s the Playstation 2’s turn to make its way to Android via emulation.
The newly announced Play is an emulator for the PS2 that is in very early stages, though according to its community pages many games will actually boot — though expect massive load times, tons of lag, jagged text, and many other issues.
Obviously Play is far from ready for primetime and not worth downloading to actually play games, making it more for testing and proof of concept at this stage. Still, this is a pretty impressive feat. While today’s gaming devices are more than capable of handling ports from the PS2 era, emulation is a very different (and highly unoptimized) animal, making it much more difficult. The fact that a PS2 emulator exists for Android at all is pretty awesome news and we imagine it will only get better in time.
To get involved with the Play emulator community, you’ll want to head on over to their Google+ community page where you can sign up as a beta tester and give the app a download.