CPS3 decrypted: SF3 coming to a MAME cabinet near you

After ten years, Capcom’s CPS3 arcade system board has finally been decrypted. CPS3, the board that powers some of Capcom’s best arcade hardware (Street Fighter III/2I/3S, Red Earth) has been one of the most legendary cast-iron bitches of the emulation underground; meanwhile, other emulation milestones like custom PSP firmware appear within a year or two after availability to the hack-happy public. With the decryption process complete, intrepid MAME-folk can get to the real task at hand: building an emulator to run newly-ripped CPS3 games.

Word around the water cooler (that is to say, y’know, a forum) is that what made the CPS3 such a tough nut to crack was its rather nasty security cartridge which, if tampered with, would erase the decryption code and kill the system board. Given that CPS3 boards aren’t exactly cheap, the work towards proven CPS3 emulation had little hope of advancing — until code-monkey Andreas came along and did the dirty work himself. Be forewarned, his personal record of progress is both technically complicated and Spanish. Abandon all hope before ye Babelfish.

Anyways, keep a watchful eye on your favorite MAME enthusiast websites for further updates — not that I’m necessarily promoting the emulation of CPS3 arcade games or anything. All I’m saying is if you get a chance to play Red Earth, run (do not walk) to the nearest location that would offer such an experience and get to it, punk.

[Haze’s MAME WIP, via the SA Forums

About The Author
Aaron Linde
More Stories by Aaron Linde