Emulation, baby!

This emulator runs PS1 games in 4K on the new Xboxes

Duckstation can be manually installed onto Xbox's next-gen consoles and has the capacity to upscale legacy games.

A 2000 Sony PlayStation (PS One model) home video game console, taken on June 19, 2018. (Photo by Ja...
Retro Gamer Magazine/Future/Getty Images

Duckstation, an emulator that allows users to run Playstation games, was recently made available for installation onto the latest generation of Xbox consoles. It’s time to jog those nostalgia muscles, as the emulator will not only be able to play your PS1 favorites but also scale those games up to native 4K resolution at 60fps.

In addition to the 4K treatment, Duckstation will let gamers improve the overall look of the emulation experience in a couple of other ways.

True Color Rendering — Turning this on disables dithering, an effect that was built into the original Playstation hardware. Dithering in layman’s terms was basically a function to improve depth of color by underpinning graphics with a series of lines or dots, which were then blurred by the system’s video encoders.

Texture Filtering — Turning this on helps improve graphic capabilities by smoothing out the blocky textures on 3D objects. The original low-poly graphics of the PS1 would often look cruder as they enlarged, so this function basically smoothes out those clunky compositions.

The mind behind the Modern Vintage Gamer YouTube channel did a nice breakdown of how Duckstation actually runs on Xbox. Since the primary function of the Series X / S is not to emulate, you will have to put on your developer hat by installing the emulator manually. MVG gives a good breakdown on how to do so, in addition to testing out the aforementioned True Color Rendering and Texture Filtering features.

One more thing — With Duckstation you can also get rid of texture warping, which really comes into play during cinematic scenes. Whenever a camera does a wide pan over an environment straight edges in the game tend to warp or shake.

Now, if you plan on using this emulator keep in mind that games will not immediately start running in 4K. Games will run at their original framerate by default. Duckstation has the ability to overclock the emulate CPU, thereby letting users run games at 60fps.

Although it is a little bit of a project to get up and running, installing Duckstation will be worth it for anyone looking to play some of their childhood favorites with a fresh lick of paint. Time to start choosing which games you want to dive back into.