RPC3 has long been the best way to play PS3 games on a PC. It’s now also a place you can play some PS3 games online on the PC, with no need to use the PlayStation Network whatsoever.
“Over the past year, developer GalCiv has been working on a private PSN server replacement called RPCN”, the team behind the emulator say of the advance. “This is a free and open source private server that can act as PSN, written in Rust.”
The good news is that it can play Demon’s Souls and Bomberman Ultra! The bad news is that those are the only two games that are working properly at the moment, because the online play functionality relies on a game having “multiplayer and co-op modes in games that don’t require a custom server in addition to PSN, or already have one”.
It’s hoped that as this new feature is tested further that more and more games are made available for online play.
Note that online play isn’t part of the latest stable release of RPCS3, but through its latest preview build.