Ever wondered if you could play PS4 games on your PC or Android device without buying a Playstation 4? Well, you can! Emulation, in itself, is not illegal. The illegal part lies in downloading games or “ROMs.” So let’s explore how you can enjoy PS4 games on your PC using an emulator.
Playstation Now: The Only True “Emulator” for PS4
As of now, there’s no unofficial PS4 emulator like CEMU for Wii-U. Even PS3 emulation isn’t perfect yet, so it might take a while for a PS4 emulator to emerge.
Beware of websites offering supposed “emulators” to run all PS4 games on your PC or Android smartphone. Most of these sites are scams. Currently, the only service allowing you to play PS4 games on PC smoothly is Sony’s PSNow.
What is PSNow?
PSNow is a cloud gaming service that allows you to play games in streaming mode. The game doesn’t actually run on your machine, but on a Sony server, and the image is transmitted to you in real-time. This requires a strong internet connection, and having fiber is a huge plus. However, not all games are playable via PSNow. Sony carefully controls the catalog, and the newest games like The Last of Us 2 or Ghost of Tsushima are not available on PSNow. Be sure to check the catalog before subscribing.
Keep in mind that Playstation Now is only compatible with PCs. You cannot use the service on Android or iOS smartphones, but a mobile version might be possible in the future.
PS4 Emulation: Still in its Early Stages
As mentioned earlier, PS3 emulation isn’t perfect yet, and not all PS3 games run correctly on PC. This shows that PS4 emulation still has a long way to go.
However, PS4 emulation is making progress. GPCS4, arguably the most advanced emulator to date, can now run the game We Are Doomed. However, the performance is poor, with gameplay resembling a PowerPoint slideshow. If you’re a developer, you can contribute to GPCS4’s development by visiting its Github page.
Another interesting emulator is Orbital, developed by AlexAltea, which is also under development. Orbital hasn’t shown any gameplay videos yet and requires manual configuration, making it challenging for novices. So, we’ll need to be patient for a finished product that can run top PS4 titles.
When Can We Expect a Stable PS4 Emulator?
It’s hard to predict when we’ll have a stable PS4 emulator capable of running games without crashes and with a good framerate. Comparing it to the PS3, emulators for that console are just becoming playable as the PS4 is about to be replaced by the PS5. If the PS4 follows the same pattern, we might have to wait until the end of the PS5 era for reliable PS4 emulation.
Keep in mind that if a stable PS4 emulator emerges, you’ll need a powerful PC or gaming laptop to run the games.
In conclusion, your only option to play PS4 games on your PC today is to use Playstation Now. You’ll have to wait a few more years to play PS4 games without Sony’s service.