Game Console Emulator Software for PC. There are no emulators for either. posted by Benjy at 7:20 AM on October 6, 2011. I know some places that will rent out XBoxes in my local area - maybe you have that option nearby? Then, you could rent Red Dead Redemption as well. Additionally, Rockstar have said that they have no plans to release it for the PC. Apologies, you're going to have to buy, beg, borrow or rent a console for this (excellent) game.
PS2 emulation is barely out of its nascency and is still rather imperfect. You're not going to be seeing PS3/360 emulators on the scene for a while. Definitely look into rentals for both the system and the game. The nature of the PS3 and Xbox360 hardware is such that emulation is very, very difficult to do on a PC. The PS3 and XBox 360 are, at this point, only a few years behind current PC hardware, so even the most bleeding edge PC isn't going to have enough power to properly emulate a modern console game. You're basically asking it to create a virtual machine which is almost as powerful as the actual machine. That isn't how that works.
The emulator scene has a pretty good handle on 8-bit consoles, and DOSBox has 1990s-era PC games locked down. but even consoles as old as the PS2 and N64 are a bit much. posted by valkyryn at 7:29 AM on October 6, 2011. If you want to get into it a little further, there's two types of emulation: high and low level.
Back before the 2000s, there was only low-level: an attempt to recreate exactly what the console did, bit-for-bit. Tweaks were used, but discouraged. A couple of years after the N64 came on the scene (and during its active lifetime, which, I think, was a first) an emulator called UltraHLE (HLE for "high level emulation") dropped. Instead of going bit-for-bit, it looked at what the console was supposed to do, and used the PC/video card's own functions to, basically, simulate it.
Which is why the preservationist side of emulation doesn't really acknowledge HLE as true emulation. Anyway. there's no way in hell a PS3 will be low-level emulated with anything resembling modern consumer technology. High-level is more likely -- PS2 emulators are functionally usable with a good enough PC and the right settings -- but then you run into the problem valkyryn describes above. posted by griphus at 7:49 AM on October 6, 2011. RDR isn't available on it, but OnLive "streams" games (PC and Console) to your desktop. I've heard it's surprisingly good.
posted by mkultra at 7:50 AM on October 6, 2011. Incidentally, it is worth it--I was somewhat incredulous, since I don't like the Old West, but I picked up the game used off of Amazon for $15 or so.
Lots of fun. So much fun that when my old 1st gen 360 RROD'ed last week, I ordered a nice new 360s ($200) within a few hours. Used copy of RDR is $16 on Amazon.
Buy and return Xbox 360 from Walmart. You're out $16. The emulator scene has a pretty good handle on 8-bit consoles, and DOSBox has 1990s-era PC games locked down, but even consoles as old as the PS2 and N64 are a bit much.
It's not that simple, hardware complexity is more important than overall power, which is why the Saturn and PS2 are a beast to emulate and the Gamecube (much more powerful than the PS2) and Wii (almost twice as powerful as the Gamecube) have excellent emulation. I suppose the PS3 GPU should be trivial to emulate since it's nothing more than a Nvidia 7900 but the CPU must be a PITA, so don't count on good PS3 emulators for a very long time, if ever. 360 might be easier but I wouldn't wait for it either, get a second hand console or borrow/rent one. posted by Bangaioh at 8:43 AM on October 6, 2011. Buy and return Xbox 360 from Walmart. Please do not do this.
I have no qualms with the impact this might have on Walmart's profit margin but the impact it will have on your karma and, potential, the wasting of time and energy that went into making a perfectly good device [lord knows what they do with opened, returned devices like this] is not worth it. If you do decide to get a console to play RDR, you may want to check out this related thread. in which I asked about which console to buy, specifically for the purposes of playing RDR. I never did wind up pulling the trigger, though.
[A few things removed. This needs to not descend into sidebars about either the details of emulation or the ethics of returning game hardware. That stuff has been touched on, that's enough. posted by cortex at 12:16 PM on October 6, 2011. Sometimes when I want to play games I watch other people play them on Youtube.
There are lots of "Let's play"s out there - I'm gonna assume there is a complete playthrough of RDR. It might satiate you.