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Let's Imagine a World Without Emulation


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I first discovered emulation in the early 2000s.  I picked up MAME and a few ROMs.  It was fun to discover.  Since then the emulation world has exploded.  Some good, some not so good.  I liked them because it gave me an opportunity to explore games I couldn't find or never heard of.  It also allowed the exploration of games other regions received that never made it to other parts of the world.  

But emulation is used so much that, in my opinion, has become overkill.  Arcade systems made with MAME are awesome but the smaller things like AtGames stuff have below par emulation.  One emulation will never do is replace customs developed hardware.  Jaguar has never been emulated properly, Atari computer and 5200 emulation still have color issues, and Genesis sound has never been as good as the real thing.  On XBOX arcade Wolfenstein 3D the sound and music plays back at a much lower pitch, making it sound like a tape dragging.

I use emulation just to try before I buy games.  Other than that, for me, emulation will never take the place of real hardware.  The real thing will always be top dog.

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I have no shame at all when I say I've downloaded roms off the internet. If that makes me a thief, so be it. At least I'm a thief who's actually enjoying myself. 

I downloaded roms of the entire Wii Virtual Console library when I learned the WiiShop was closing. No shame. My only problem is I hate playing classic console games on a computer with a keyboard. It's a right pain in the neck.

Edited by LeeJ07
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Emulation will always be something I do. More now than ever it's become complementary to many (real hardware) Apple II activities - like preparing disk images or verifying concepts and ideas. And it keeps wear and tear off 40+ year old hardware.

For other systems and arcade cabs it's the only practical solution for experiencing them. It's the only way (4me) to bring the experience into this modern era.

So I say use it for what it's good at.

 

On 12/19/2018 at 8:55 PM, Atari 5200 Guy said:

But emulation is used so much that, in my opinion, has become overkill.  Arcade systems made with MAME are awesome but the smaller things like AtGames stuff have below par emulation.

True enough. It's all over. And many implementations belong in the bargain barrel. Quality and hi-fidelity emulation exist like with Altirra being spot-on in color rendering colors. A huge amount of work has gone into making just right..

 

On 12/19/2018 at 8:55 PM, Atari 5200 Guy said:

I use emulation just to try before I buy games.  Other than that, for me, emulation will never take the place of real hardware.  The real thing will always be top dog.

I see a time when old systems' custom chips will become impossible to find. Think the SSI-263P speech chip. Hadn't seen one for sale in over 5 years. The only way to experience it is through something like AppleWin. A niche example, sure, but stuff is heading that way eventually.

I do hold out hopes that a CPLD or FPGA version of the SSI-263P will be made someday. Like they did with PokeyOne and the CPLD in the C64.

Now I'll go watch the video!

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