You can “Remaster” Red Dead Redemption on PC today through emulation

You can

PC gamers can play Red Dead Redemption today with major visual improvements through emulation 

Digital Foundry has shared a new video showcasing a “Remastered” version of Red Dead Redemption running on PC through emulation, running at 4K 60 FPS with upgraded 16x anisotropic filtering. 

Through emulation, Red Dead Redemption is now playable on PC with significant visual upgrades and a higher framerate. This was possible through the Xenia Xbox 360 emulator, which is able to run the Xbox version of Red Dead Redemption on PC without any major issues.

While Red Dead Redemption is also playable on PC using the RPCS3 emulator, Digital Foundry found that the game ran better through Xenia, and preferred Xbox 360 emulator due to the fact that the Xbox version of Red Dead Redemption features more advanced visuals with increased vegetation draw distances and other improvements. 

Sadly, the hardware requirements for Red Dead Redemption emulation are high, as while Red Dead Redemption is now over ten years old, emulating consoles like the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 is a challenging task, which means that emulated games do not make effective use of modern hardware. To put it another way, emulators make modern CPUs and GPUs pretend that they are the CPUs and GPUs within classic consoles, which is not very efficient. That said, these performance challenges are common in emulators, and these challenges can be addressed by emulator improvements, or minimised by PC hardware advancement.

Digital Foundry managed to play Red Dead Redemption at 4K 60 FPS with an i9-12900K processor and an Nvidia RTX 4090 graphics card with 2x MSAA and 16x anisotropic filtering. That said, framerates could dip into the 50s on occasion, even with this powerful hardware configuration. At 1080p, the game could be played at 120 FPS in open areas, with dips to 90 FPS in towns. For lower-end CPUs like AMD’s Ryzen 5 3600X, Red Dead Redemption could be played at 1080p 60 FPS with an occasional drop to the 40s in some areas. 

While the hardware requirements are higher than what you would expect them to be for a game from 2010, Red Dead Redemption is indeed playable on PC, and it is possible to play the game at stable 60 FPS framerates with the right hardware. Hopefully future improvements to Xenia will make the emulator more efficient and lower these hardware requirements, or the cost of powerful enough hardware will lower enough to make PS3 and Xbox 360 emulation more accessible. 

You can join the discussion on PC gamers being able to “Remaster” Red Dead Redemption on PC through emulation on the OC3D Forums.