Home > Reviews

PS4 Emulation on PC is getting there with Spine Emulator and Linux

PS4 games on PC? What a concept!
Last Updated on December 8, 2023
PC Guide is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Read More
You can trust PC Guide: Our team of experts use a combination of independent consumer research, in-depth testing where appropriate - which will be flagged as such, and market analysis when recommending products, software and services. Find out how we test here.

Emulation is something we’re heavily invested in, with entire projects in the works around either providing you with the perfect machines or keeping tabs on it – like with our three pages dedicated to Dreamcast Emulators.

While the current line of consoles are now seeing their games just release all across the shop – rendering emulation for them a non-issue – the last generation still has a few titles that aren’t available on PC yet. PS4 games like 13 Sentinels, God of War HD collections and The Last of Us remain trapped, while on Xbox One, Halo 5 is notably missing from any PC.

Work on getting these consoles emulation ready is far from done, even with the similar architectures to a PC introduced by moving both consoles to x86 development, but shifting the games over to emulation is an arduous task. Just look at PS3 emulation, which has only just gotten to a good state recently.

Spine is being developed on Linux, as the developer – devofspine – uses that as their main machine. It also lines up with some things on both the PS4’s operating system and Linux both being UNIX based.

There’s a compatibility list as well, but while it lists a lot of games as having ‘in game’ compatibility, this isn’t exactly accurate. This mostly indicates that the game will load further than the introduction and actually into the game. However, a few videos online have pointed out that things like Persona 5, don’t display right and Dark Souls Remastered simply loads a blank screen with the user interface overlapped.

Even 2D games like Shovel Knight load with big blocky artefacts, but the proof that this does work is right there, as lower-end games like Jetpack Joyride runs smoothly and introductions, like in Persona 5, work perfectly.

There’s a lot of work to do, but you can download and test it yourself right now. We’d recommend using POP!_OS, but maybe don’t run it on the Raspberry Pi as spoken about in the article linked!

Joel is a a lover of janky games, Magic the Gathering, and going down rabbit holes. For PC Guide he has written about peripherals, the Steam Deck, retro games, news and more.