Thanks to backward compatibility initiatives from big gaming companies like Xbox, it's a lot easier to revisit your favorite childhood classics without having to delve into your local thrift store for a dusty CRT TV than it was a few years ago. (That is, assuming the game you want to play is popular or lucky enough to fall onto the limited list of eligible titles offered by Microsoft, but hey, it's better than nothing.) But if you're willing to try out the muddy waters of mobile emulation, this new PS2 emulator can bring you Ratchet & Clank on the go.
The emulator is called AetherSX2, and it's only available for Android devices at the moment. Though it's currently in alpha, a video from YouTuber Taki Udon shows off its considerable capabilities. It's definitely a bit removed from the kind of near-perfect results you can get with PCSX2 on a powerful PC, but if you don't mind slightly choppy frame rates or games running a little faster than intended, it makes for a very playable experience.
Dante on the go — These days, it can be pretty difficult to revisit anything but the most mainstream PS2 hits on other consoles, and the console itself tends to look quite bad on flat-screen televisions that aren't designed for 480 output. As such, if you don't have a beefy PC, AetherSX2 might be the best way to play some of the old games that never made the jump to newer consoles, like Castlevania: Lament of Innocence, or lesser-known games like Klonoa 2: Lunatea's Veil.
A video by Taki Udon shows the emulator running popular PS2 games on different phones, including Devil May Cry 1, Devil May Cry 3, Shadow of the Colossus, Crash Bandicoot: Wrath of Cortex, and others. Overall, while the frame-rate tends to hover around the 30 to 40 mark, the YouTuber seems to prefer underclocking the phone in order to get more consistent performance, at the cost of making the game run a bit too fast.
Still in the oven — As with most alpha software, AetherSX2 is going to require some serious fine-tuning if you want to use it at this early stage. Still, it's a powerful reminder that we will one day be able to play most of gaming history with a device that fits in our pocket — assuming that the big companies don't take our phones away, too. We're looking at you, Nintendo.