The PlayStation 2 emulation scene has just seen the arrival of a new surprise contender. AetherSX2 is a PS2 emulator that runs on Android devices, and is set to release relatively soon. It comes from a new developer named Tahlreth, and while very little is known about the history of how AetherSX2 came to be, certain YouTubers have been given a alpha build of the emulator to show off the performance of PlayStation 2 games. Titles like Devil May Cry, Shadow of the Colossus, God of War, and Final Fantasy X are shown off, even running at fairly smooth framerates. The emulator is said to perform best when used with phones that have Snapdragon SoCs, and has wide compatibility with the PS2's library.
A beta build is planned for release sometime soon, where users will be able to get it from the Google Play Store and test it out, prior to a full launch.
What is it?AetherSX2 is an emulator of the Sony PlayStation 2(TM) / PS2(TM) console for the Android platform. You can play games which you have dumped from disc on your portable device.
What are the requirements?The PS2(TM) is an extremely complex piece of hardware, with many very powerful components, even for today. You need a high end device to achieve good performance.
We recommend at least a Snapdragon 845-equivalent device. This means 4 large cores (Cortex-A75 level). If you only have two big cores (e.g. Snapdragon 700 series SoCs, you should not enable multi-threaded VU, and performance will suffer as a result). Devices with Mali or PowerVR GPUs will run the app, but performance will be much lower than Adreno GPUs, and the Vulkan renderer will not be available. This is because they are missing a critical feature (dual-source blending).
If you want to use the app on a slower device, you can try it, but games will run slow, especially heavier titles. You can try underclocking the CPU by setting the cycle rate to a negative number, and the cycle skip to a positive number in System settings, but this will cause games to lag internally at best, or crash at worst.
Expectations.This is a free app, worked on as a hobby in the developer's free time. At the time of writing, it is in very early stages and missing many useful features, however is usable for playing some games.
It is not going to be perfect, far from it. I will continue to improve it when I have time, but please remember this is not my job, and to have realistic expectations, especially if you do not have a high end device.
As it is an early preview, you should save your game regularly in case of crashes.