Jorge Zhang

Personal website

How to Emulate Persona 3 onto your Android Phone

November 5, 2019

A week and a half ago, I emulated a game called Persona 3 Portable onto my android phone. Just yesterday, after about 80 hours of playtime, I finally beat the game (and realized that I have a disturbing amount of free time). Needless to say, before you read onward, consider yourself warned: this game is highly addictive.

A game that was released in the US in 2007 (Or, 2010 for the portable version), Persona 3 is best described as a mix between a dating sim and a dungeon crawler. It sounds pretty ridiculous, but the designers of the game do a really great job of integrating these two seemingly unrelated genres by tying the strengths of the demons that you summon to the strength of your relationships. While playing Persona 3, I really felt like I was a part of the world. In the mornings, I’d have to carefully choose who I would spend my valuable time with. At night, I’d have to choose between advancing some of my player stats or exploring the dungeon. Without spoiling too much, I really enjoyed the dark tone of Persona 3. The story is extremely well done, and contains some thought-provoking philosophical themes.

Anyway, a lot of people have been asking me how I got Persona 3 onto my phone. The answer is an emulator called PPSSPP. It’s a free app on the Android store (I don’t believe it is on the Apple store unfortunately) that can run Playstation Portable game files. Anyway, you can find the emulator here:

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=org.ppsspp.ppsspp&hl=en_US

Is this legal?

I am not a lawyer, so take this with a grain of salt. That being said, my understanding is that it is legal to download and use the emulator, PPSSP, but illegal to download actual games onto it (unless you take your own copy of the game and transfer it to your phone). So if you aren’t comfortable using PPSSPP to, quite frankly, steal games, then you should probably not use it in the first place.

So why does an emulator like PPSSPP even exist? I think it is because Sony doesn’t care anymore. The Playstation Portable was discontinued in 2014, and Persona 3 Portable isn’t available for sale anymore outside of third-party sellers. This makes the game very expensive, especially given how outdated it is compared to newer and highly popular titles (such as Persona 5). From the perspective of the people making PPSSPP and putting games up online, it’s low-risk since Sony probably can’t be bothered to sue them. At the end of the day it is still piracy, so please keep that in mind before reading the next section.

Shhhh….

That being said, here is the download link that I may or may not have used to get Persona 3 Portable:
https://www.freeroms.com/roms/psp/shin_megami_tensei_-_persona_3_portable.htm

Have you ever played a Persona or SMT game before? Let me know in the comments below, and thanks for reading!

© 2020 Jorge Zhang