So, you’ve got some PSP games that you totally backed up from your own legally purchased UMDs? You probably want PPSSPP to play them on Android. This emulator has more than 10 million downloads, and development is very active. In the latest v1.5.4 update, PPSSPP gains support for the Vulkan API. That means a big performance boost on supported devices.
Vulkan support is the headlining feature, but there’s more in this update. Here’s the full changelog.
- Full Vulkan support. Very fast on supported devices.
- Partial PSP GPS and camera support (reason for the new permissions!)
- Support for Arabic
- Fix Android widgets, screen scaling
- Geometry problems fixed in Medal of Honor
- Implement immediate draws, fixing Thrillville
- Hardware tesselation of PSP Beziers and Splines (used by a few games)
- Sustained performance mode to avoid thermal throttling
- Assorted bugfixes and compatibility improvements
Vulkan is a low-overhead graphics API similar to Metal and Direct3D, offering developers more direct control over the GPU. While the PSP’s hardware wasn’t as fast in absolute terms compared to modern smartphones, emulation comes with a performance hit. The addition of Vulkan to the app should make games much smoother on devices with the necessary software and hardware support. Most modern phones have the necessary hardware, but you also need to be on Android Nougat or higher.
PPSSPP doesn’t come with any games as distributing them would be illegal. It’s just emulation software to play backups of your games (wink wink), and certainly not games you’ve downloaded from the internet. Enjoy responsibly.
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