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PS4 emulator Spine gets a new demo release

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Spine is an upcoming PlayStation 4 emulator that's currently closed-source while it's under heavy development. It's also currently only available for Linux. Well-known PlayStation "scener" Nagatoro announced the new demo on Twitter along with a download link.

What's interesting is that the PS4 was the generation to come back to x86 CPUs, instead of the Cell style found in the PS3. This makes the emulator a bit more like the Wine compatibility layer and less like a full emulator, the developers even announced it originally as it being "Wine-like".

The readme doesn't contain much right now:

spine version 2021/09/01
 
made by spinedev
compatibility list (rudimentar, please improve it) in compatibility.xlsx
please include firmware dependencies in firmware folder
for linux only. for ubuntu it's required to install libsdl2-dev, rest of libs are available in lib folder
chmod a+x both lib folder contents and spine executable, then you can place these contents in your game folder and type
./spine eboot.bin
fself eboots are supported
 
arrow keys to move (dpad)  
zxcvb etc keys should be for triangle, square, circle, cross, options, etc
undertale works really well as well as we are doomed, others ingame may experience some graphical glitches and artifacts

Compatibility has come on massively though with many titles now able to actually get in-game. The included compatibilty list has 996 titles listed with 345 mentioning the go in-game and 207 that don't work at all yet.

It's not a particularly easy project to follow since the developer keeps to themselves. They are on Reddit occasionally, and they seem to have no plans to bring Spine to Windows. When asked why it was Linux exclusive the developer replied to say:

It makes some things a bit easier but the primary reason is that's the system I use. It could be made to work with some effort (I had a limited macOS version for a while for example) but frankly I don't really care. Especially with the direction Windows seems to be going, I probably won't even be upgrading to 11.

They also confirmed they still plan to open source it eventually and it's at a point now where they can make new releases "fairly easily".

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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23 comments
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Calinou 10 Sep, 2021
Quoting: BielFPsI actually think it's a good move to keep it closed source for now until this "emulator"(?) becomes more mature. Open source it right now would probably result in more feature requests than contributing code, so it's good for the devs to focus on the basic needs right now, without external interference.

About being Linux "exclusive", once it becomes open source someone else will probably port it to windows too and I think we should respect the developer's desire to not work in a port if he doesn't want to.

Open sourcing the code does not require you to allow people to post feature requests on official issue trackers. In fact, you could even disable the public issue tracker entirely and relegate issue tracking to a separate repository accessible only via donating somehow (e.g. Patreon). This is how some open source projects handle user support to keep the volume of requests reasonable.
TheRiddick 11 Sep, 2021
Quoting: SpykerA bit too shady for me to test it now.
I'll wait until it's properly open-sourced.

Just run it inside a container or whatever people use for security these days. I don't really do this myself as I only use a very specific selection of software atm, but it should prevent the app from backdooring into your real filesystem. (assuming they'd do something like that, which I'd highly doubt)

Also I wonder how this works since allot of PS4 titles required updating online to play; I guess that can work if it connects to a PS4 account but no doubt Sony would ban any attempts at online multiplayer.

It's a shame really that Sony doesn't endorse such projects; it be nice to see a Sony Online store for PC and Linux just like how Microsoft has captured so many people with their Xbox Game Pass for PC deal. Which btw is blocked from running under Linux... walled gardens are just crap imo!

With the level of telemetry data hoovering going on under Windows OS's, NOBODY should be paying for the stupid OS! NOBODY!


Last edited by TheRiddick on 11 September 2021 at 12:41 am UTC
elmapul 11 Sep, 2021
Quoting: TheRiddick
Quoting: SpykerA bit too shady for me to test it now.
I'll wait until it's properly open-sourced.

Just run it inside a container or whatever people use for security these days. I don't really do this myself as I only use a very specific selection of software atm, but it should prevent the app from backdooring into your real filesystem. (assuming they'd do something like that, which I'd highly doubt)

Also I wonder how this works since allot of PS4 titles required updating online to play; I guess that can work if it connects to a PS4 account but no doubt Sony would ban any attempts at online multiplayer.

It's a shame really that Sony doesn't endorse such projects; it be nice to see a Sony Online store for PC and Linux just like how Microsoft has captured so many people with their Xbox Game Pass for PC deal. Which btw is blocked from running under Linux... walled gardens are just crap imo!

With the level of telemetry data hoovering going on under Windows OS's, NOBODY should be paying for the stupid OS! NOBODY!

microsoft port xbox games to windows because its an win win situation for then, either they make money on xbox selling the machine +charging for royalites, or they sell the games for windows pc, they dont care as long as people keep using their products.
the main reason why they start breaking their exclusivities is because its still exclusive to then.
sony porting games to pc is not an win win situation for then, microsoft would still win at the end and linux/mac dont have enough marketshare/ecosystem to compete with microsoft.

its a shame but valve really opened the pandora box once they tried and failed with steam machines, and made proton public, microsoft is not focusing on attacking sony anymore but defending their monopoly, and gamers see then as heroes for doing so "fighting against exclusives" what an joke.
elmapul 11 Sep, 2021
Quoting: DerpFoxExclusives are always bad.

We can't make a fuss about interoperability. And things not coming to Linux all the time. And as the same time cheer up when some important project like this one is exclusive to Linux because the devs "don't care". It's the exact same attitude a lot of Windows game-dev are giving us. I truly believe we are better than that.

there is no such a thing as an world without exclusives, there is either what we have on consoles that a few games are exclusive to playstation, others to nintendo, others to xbox and everything else is multiplatform...
or what we have on pc where allmost everything is exclusive to windows due to it higher marketshare.
the only way to break this is increassing linux marketshare, we tried to do that without making exclusives and failed, keeping trying an strategy that dont work seems madness to me.
honestly i hope that i'm wrong and that steam deck can break the curse, but until that happens, i'm tired of waiting 10 years to maybe be able to run an game, or maybe having to wait even more, i'm tired of searching the depts of the web to try to make an obscure game works, not finding anything and trying anyway without even knowing if its at least possible to make the game run or if im wasting my time and should wait for wine to improve.
and im tired of waiting for the bug A to be fixed and when its finally fixed on wine and i can play the game flawless, i found out that an new bug B has appeared.

people will complain that something is exclusive to an platform only when they dont use/have this platform, other than that they are fine with exclusives, just pretend they arent.
if gamers were serious about that they wouldnt use windows to begin with.
trackmasters39181 11 Sep, 2021
closed-source and linux only? these both wont go well together....
slaapliedje 11 Sep, 2021
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Quoting: TheRiddickIt's a shame really that Sony doesn't endorse such projects; it be nice to see a Sony Online store for PC and Linux just like how Microsoft has captured so many people with their Xbox Game Pass for PC deal. Which btw is blocked from running under Linux... walled gardens are just crap imo!
Really? It seems to work on the Atari VCS (which is running Linux). I haven't tested it myself, as I don't own an Xbox. Nor will I ever sign up to any MS service. Not because I'm an open source zealot, just because I hate MS. They're like that psycho we've all dated that just won't go away... :P
slaapliedje 11 Sep, 2021
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Quoting: trackmasters39181closed-source and linux only? these both wont go well together....
Well someone else already mentioned there is another emulator that started that is Windows / Mac only. So why can't we have one that only works in Linux? Imagine if this guy gets it to a state he's happy with, open sources it, and then the other project that is closed source and Windows / Mac only performs way worse. I'd call that a real win for Linux. If it's open source and exclusive to Linux, you only have the Windows / Mac coders to blame at that point.

I'll be trying to remember to keep track of this project, sounds interesting. So would this be like the opposite of the BSD compatibility layer for Linux (taking the mostly BSD based PS4 OS and getting it working under Linux?
jarhead_h 11 Sep, 2021
Quoting: DerpFoxExclusives are always bad.

We can't make a fuss about interoperability. And things not coming to Linux all the time. And as the same time cheer up when some important project like this one is exclusive to Linux because the devs "don't care". It's the exact same attitude a lot of Windows game-dev are giving us. I truly believe we are better than that.

This is non-issue here. This is being done by Linux users on Linux. Looks like they plan to release the code when they have it working, and at that point winblows users and the Apple cultists can spool up their own versions. And I wouldn't get too excited, because as soon as Spiderman PS4 is running smoothly on a Linux machine SONY legal will begin a barrage of cease and desist letters.
flesk 12 Sep, 2021
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It seems like a very odd choice for a Linux exclusive software to use the proprietary XLSX format for documentation.
ATFx 12 Sep, 2021
Quoting: DerpFoxExclusives are always bad.

We can't make a fuss about interoperability. And things not coming to Linux all the time. And at the same time cheer up when some important project like this one is exclusive to Linux because the devs "don't care". It's the exact same attitude a lot of Windows game-dev are giving us. I truly believe we are better than that.

I have to Agree we are better then that as well, that is why it's exclusive to Linux :)
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