Playstation 4 Emulator on the horizon

Orbital is AlexAltea (Alexandro Sanchez) latest GitHub project which virtualize the PS 4 1.76 kernel to get the Playstation 4 emulation running (LLE emulation). One of the project goal is to get commercial games emulated under Windows, macOS and Linux.

Fake PS 4 emulator
Fake PS 4 Emulator. Picture Source:

Before you get hyped here is a Warning

Even though the PS4 does have an x86 CPU like normal PCs – it doesn’t necessarily mean it’ll be easy to emulate due the fact that the x86 instruction set is a very huge thing.

That said, nearly all of x86 instructions are well documented so the possibility is theoretically there but there some undocumented specifications which must be manually disabled because Sony at it’s own ‘candy’ to it.

Since there is no documentation on the GPU – Radeon 7970M with disabled stream processors – it will be challenging to get PS4’s APU running.

It is true that the console got hacked, but there still some limitations which makes it difficult to provide or code a stable emulator. Another thing is that there is no good solution in order to ‘backup’ the pirated games.

There is currently no Playstation 4 emulator downloadable, if any page claims it has a running emulator – it’s fake or malware. 

Orbital is running, the feature is unclear

The developer shows on Reddit in his announcement post that the emulator is running and proves it with a YouTube video which isn’t originally made by him, but someone on his Discord server which seems to be involved in the development process. However, what you see is only the debugger, no game is actually running and I have doubts hat will anytime soon happen.

The entire source code is available on GitHub but I doubt it will survive because Sony in the past took serious effort in order to remove such things from the Internet. The project itself is legit and compared to other who claims that they have a running emulator it’s definitely not a fake or a joke.

The current state of Orbital at booting decrypted kernels can be followed in the issue tracker: both PS4 4.55 and PS4 5.00 have been tested. You can also get ocasional updates and news via Twitter. Support this project at Patreon.

Future plans for the emulator can be found at the Roadmap page.

Emulator not only for pirates

Keep in mind that emulators are not interesting for software pirates, it would open new possibilities for the Sony Playstation 4 console. You could run a VMWare in it or emulate other apps – depending how well it works once it’s stabilized.

No Download

Since the project is in an very earlier stage there is no binaries provided I’m also not sure how the project will escape Sony’s DMCA takedown request once they provide some download links. This is also not mention on their FAQ or GitHub page.

Closing Words

I have several doubts that we ever see a running build or getting a download link/binary because Sony will monitor this project and remove it immediately once the guys get it running.

Uhm, I also have doubts that the development can keep up with the latest changes Sony will make in order to prevent further damage to the PS 4 – the cracked firmware are only a solution for those who haven’t updated their consoles yet. A downgrade seems not possible. So the only chance you have if you haven’t updated your firmware is to buy another console with an old firmware on it. I’m not sure if it’s worth because the Playstation 5 is ‘around the corner‘.

It looks not bad (on paper) but there will be no running emulator for several years.