The PlayStation 4 is turning eight years old soon. And yet, the emulation scene around the fastest console to reach 100 million hasn’t seen significant progress—until now. The PS4 emulator known as Spine has a newly released public build that can launch commercial games.

But before you frantically download Spine with the intent of playing the best-selling PlayStation 4 titles on your desktop computer, you ought to know that Spine is still years away from being a full-fledged emulator and currently has several limitations.

For starters, installing Spine involves hacking a PlayStation 4 console to obtain certain firmware dependencies and game files. The emulator is also littered with bugs, lacks a graphical interface, and is only available in Linux. Support for Windows may be added in the future.


Even so, and considering development only started in 2019 as closed-source software, Spine has already managed to emulate several games at a somewhat playable state. Per a fan-made list of compatible games on Reddit, titles such as Age of Wonders: Planetfall can run up to the intro or title screen.

Other games can render in-game graphics albeit with poor framerate and a lot of visual bugs. The rest of the games do not run at all or display anything. It’s estimated that only 35 percent of the games tested can go past the intro screen and show in-game content. Also, most of these games are 2D indie titles that you’re better off playing on their proper PC versions.

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