Emulator developers spend years of their free time working on software they’ll never make money from, often in pursuit of arcane programming solutions that make old console games run on our PCs. The developers of GameCube and Wii emulator Dolphin estimated last year that they’ve done more than $10 million worth of work over the project’s lifetime. I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that a similar amount of work has gone into PCSX2, a PlayStation 2 emulator project that started two years before Dolphin. On Thursday PCSX2 had its first “stable” release since 2016, bundling up years of development on performance and compatibility into a major release.

A four year gap may make it sound like PCSX2 hasn’t been in active development, but that’s not the case. Dolphin, despite being an extremely active project, hasn’t had a stable release since Dolphin 5.0, which came out in summer 2016. This is because the programmers who work on both emulators focus on improvements and additions that are added to development builds, which likely aren’t rock solid.

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