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What are the best console emulators out there?

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Reply 20 of 64, by truth_deleted

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Retroarch is a commandline program, so it will work via the many "emulator" frontends, such as Mala or Hyperspin. However, the RGUI "frontend" system works better in the Android OS than for Windows and Linux, which have alternative frontend software. The RGUI is designed as a minimal, cross-platform frontend, but it is somewhat recent and a work-in-progress. The use of frontends depend more on which emulators are run, the operating system, and how much you'd like to fiddle with settings.

Reply 21 of 64, by Stiletto

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This analysis ain't bad.
http://nonmess.retrogames.com

I'm not so much a fan of Retroarch.

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do the Fandango!" - Queen

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Reply 22 of 64, by Mau1wurf1977

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I feel that most emulators are simply too hard to use. Not much time is spend on good user interfaces, easy of use and pre-configuring it properly.

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Reply 23 of 64, by leileilol

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I do like driving around the RGUI with only a gamepad though, and accessing it by R3 so I don't accidentally hit it open.

However my favorite part of Retroarch is the effort they spent on making great video sync so I don't have to fiddle with each emulator individually trying to avoid the dreaded tear AND the dreaded input lag. getting me better synch in retroarch versions of emulators than the standalone emulators themselves 😀

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Reply 24 of 64, by mr_bigmouth_502

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I actually find I have worse input lag in RetroArch than in standalone emulators. Really the only reasons I use it at this point are for the video filters, the Genesis Plus GX emulation core which doesn't have a recent standalone Windows version, and the fact that it works as a semi-usable frontend for Mednafen.

I haven't tried it on Linux yet, but I installed Zorin 8 Gaming recently so I'm going to give it a spin. Hopefully it doesn't crash and lose my progress like it does on Windoze.

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Reply 26 of 64, by Holering

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GPDP wrote:

I use RetroArch for pretty much everything, as it has some of the best and most high-quality cores ported for use with it, has the best audio/video sync I've ever seen, and its shader support is the best, period. It also works amazingly well with a CRT monitor.

How do you get the overscan option to work? I have it enabled and it doesn't overscan.

For example, Sega CD Snatcher uses a 256 horizontal resolution, but the Sega CD bios uses 320. If I set a proper horizontal resolution for 256, it looks fine. However, then the Sega CD bios has distorted text and Sonic looks crooked while the game loads. The Sega CD bios should be missing 64 pixels horizontally since 320 pixels overscans 256, but it's not; it's clearly stretching (crushing) to 256 pixels. I'm not sure if 256 horizontal pixels are used through the entire Snatcher game, but if not then this is a problem. Same problem happens the other way around (Snatcher gets distorted with 320 horizontal pixels)

Couldn't find any option to keep things centered either (like 256x240 centered in 320x240). This option is available in most emulators btw.

Retroarch really is one of the best programs (or frontend ?) for emulation IMO. But this is a problem, especially for games that use multiple resolutions.

EDIT:
Genplus-gx is a true blessing. This is the best Sega CD emulator bar-none! I think the author is EkeEke... Don't know the actual author, but whoever it is, I wouldn't mind giving him $1000.00 if I had it to blow-away 😐 . Really hope it gets integrated into Mednafen (don't really want to screw around myself hehe), or Mess, or independently with proper resolution support.

Kega Fusion is one of my favorites, but the Sega CD is so so. Its SegaCD emulation still has broken sync after all these years (Heart of the Alien tracks are always out of sync; doesn't matter if you make clonecd, bin-cue, or use real disc). Kega-fusion does have 32X emulation which does make it one of the best IMO. Genplus-gx Sega CD has no problems amazingly, but no 32X IIRC. Gens/gs still has to be ported to 64-bit assembly, but it's very similar to Kega Fusion; and it's open source so that is great.

Great emulators, and great authors as usual!

EDIT:
I forgot I was using video_xscale and video_yscale in Retroarch; but they don't' work as mentioned above! Tried every combination custom_viewport, video_aspect_ratio, and video_force_aspect.

Reply 27 of 64, by GPDP

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What version of RetroArch are you using? The "stable" megapack build hosted by them has severe issues with scaling on the Genesis Plus GX core. Try the dropbox build I linked to earlier in the thread, which fixes the issues.

Reply 28 of 64, by Holering

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I'm using a version from today (cloned git); shows as v1.0.0.2. Thanks for the link, I'll try it later when I have time. I hope the issue doesn't fix because of a setting like interpolation or filter smoothing hehe...

EDIT:
Downloaded RetroArch_MinGW64_gcc-4.8.2.7z but I see lots of executables (was looking for sources). Can you recommend an IDE for Linux 🤣 ?

Reply 29 of 64, by mr_bigmouth_502

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I recently installed Zorin OS 8 Gaming, and after custom compiling a kernel to deal with some performance issues that popped up with the bsnes accuracy core, I can definitively say that its much better for running Retroarch than Windows. I'm having none of the same problems I had before with crashing or input lag, and I can play with my 360 pad without having to shake the mouse every so often to prevent my screensaver from triggering. 😊

It seems that the more I learn about Linux, the more I enjoy using it. I would be a complete convert by now if Wine weren't so flaky.

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Reply 30 of 64, by truth_deleted

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An alternative to retroarch is mednafen. While retroarch provides open source, runs on a wide range of systems, and is optimized for performance and accuracy, mednafen is also open source but is simple to compile. It's an excellent alternative for a P4 or better desktop. It may be compiled by mingw/gcc in 32-bit windows, for instance, with the mere library requirements of SDL and Zlib. I commented out its xinput support so it instead uses directx, and mingw/gcc can use this package to support directx.

Recently, mednafen released version 0.9.36. Attached is a mingw/32 built version, using minimal libraries and a subset of the emulators. It's a command line program, so a front-end may be necessary. Its psx emulation is considered highly accurate and its emulators may run in SDL or opengl mode. Given this mingw/gcc method of compiling, this binary should work on older (Windows) systems which are unsupported by recent builds of the different emulators (typically the developers are chasing new features and do not test across all platforms).

Edit: binary removed.

Last edited by truth_deleted on 2014-06-24, 00:52. Edited 1 time in total.

Reply 31 of 64, by mr_bigmouth_502

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truth5678 wrote:

An alternative to retroarch is mednafen. While retroarch provides open source, runs on a wide range of systems, and is optimized for performance and accuracy, mednafen is also open source but is simple to compile. It's an excellent alternative for a P4 or better desktop. It may be compiled by mingw/gcc in 32-bit windows, for instance, with the mere library requirements of SDL and Zlib. I commented out its xinput support so it instead uses directx, and mingw/gcc can use this package to support directx.

Recently, mednafen released version 0.9.36. Attached is a mingw/32 built version, using minimal libraries and a subset of the emulators. It's a command line program, so a front-end may be necessary. Its psx emulation is considered highly accurate and its emulators may run in SDL or opengl mode. Given this mingw/gcc method of compiling, this binary should work on older (Windows) systems which are unsupported by recent builds of the different emulators (typically the developers are chasing new features and do not test across all platforms).

I use Mednafen with Retroarch, as a core. I like Mednafen's emulation capabilities, but hate its utter lack of a proper UI. Retroarch at least gives it a semi-usable UI.

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Reply 33 of 64, by ElectricMonk

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bSNES
Kega Fusion (for MD/Genesis/SegaCD)
SSF is the best Saturn emulator at the moment (you sometimes have to fiddle with the region BIOS)
ePSXe and PSX fpr PS1 (some ISOs work better in one, than the other)
newest PCSX2 for PS2
Neo Rage is the best for Neo-Geo AES and MVS (I forget how to get Neo-Geo CD games working)
Winkawaks is best for CPS1,2,3
Dolphin is awesome for Gamecube and Wii (you really need Wiimotes, nunchucks, and a sensor bar for Wii games)
PCEjin rocks for TG-16/TG-CD/PCE games
ScummVM is good for Scumm/AGI/SCI/other games (and has ports for the Wii homebrew hack, among others)
ResidualVM is an attempt to support LucasArts GRIME engine (Grim Fandango, Escape from Monkey Island
NullDC-r120 and demul are the closest you're going to get at Dreamcast/Naomi emu at the moment
There's a Taito X/X2 emu floating around that supports a great many of those games.
Supermodel is a work in progress for Sega Model 3 games
Nocash (no$) used to be *the* GBA/NDS emu
And good old MAME for those classic arcade games (Sega-16/Sega 32/Konami/et al...)
Amiga in a box was great for trying out old Amiga games, with options to setup different model variants (Amiga 2000/3000/etc...)

Now, if someone could either come up with a decent Sega Chihiro/Lindbergh/Ring Edge/Wide emulator, I'd be in hog heaven

*EDIT*

Don't worry about the Triforce boards. They're nothing more than stock Gamecube PCBs.

Reply 34 of 64, by Jorpho

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ElectricMonk wrote:

Neo Rage is the best for Neo-Geo AES and MVS (I forget how to get Neo-Geo CD games working)

Come on, NeoRage is as old as the hills! Kawaks or Nebula is a much better way to go, surely.

Reply 35 of 64, by ElectricMonk

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Jorpho wrote:
ElectricMonk wrote:

Neo Rage is the best for Neo-Geo AES and MVS (I forget how to get Neo-Geo CD games working)

Come on, NeoRage is as old as the hills! Kawaks or Nebula is a much better way to go, surely.

If you found a NeoRageX set that came with the ROMs, they don't always work with Kawaks. Something about "misnumbered/missing ROMs".

And the nice thing about NRX, is that it *just works*. No fiddling around with it.

Reply 36 of 64, by leileilol

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Well also consider NeoRageX sets are very old dumps as well and specific for itself (hence the incompatibility with Kawaks/Nebula/etc). It's like suggesting Pasofami for NES emulation to run Pasofami ROMs that don't work in FCEU/Nestopia/etc therefore leaving oldashell Pasofami the only option

I'll also chime in FinalBurnAlpha for the Neogeo games. It's a bit more mature than either Kawaks/Nebula

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Reply 37 of 64, by Stiletto

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Ugh, who the hell mentioned NeoRageX, etc.? ElectricMonk? Geez, man. It's not as if emulation hasn't marched forward in the last ten years or more. Some of your suggestions aren't too bad but a. this one was awful and b. you exceeded the scope tremendously with many of your others (ScummVM is neither a true emulator nor necessarily a console emulator) 😁

"I see a little silhouette-o of a man, Scaramouche, Scaramouche, will you
do the Fandango!" - Queen

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Reply 38 of 64, by ElectricMonk

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Stiletto wrote:

Ugh, who the hell mentioned NeoRageX, etc.? ElectricMonk? Geez, man. It's not as if emulation hasn't marched forward in the last ten years or more. Some of your suggestions aren't too bad but a. this one was awful and b. you exceeded the scope tremendously with many of your others (ScummVM is neither a true emulator nor necessarily a console emulator) 😁

*grasping at straws* Well, ScummVM has ports to various consoles, so that counts. Sorta. Kinda. Ok, not really. (Although using ScummVM on a Wii ROCKS!)

/Duly shamed and chastened

*EDIT*

Is there no strikethrough BBCode option on this board? I'd nix Scumm and Residual, since they really are just VMs. And Neo Rage, since I was unaware that I'm one of the few that still likes it.

Reply 39 of 64, by Lo Wang

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mr_bigmouth_502 wrote:

Gameboy

Kind of late but...

Gameboy emulators don't come better than BGB. Accuracy, compatibility, features (excellent debugger), all covered.

I always had this thought that the Gameboy would have made an excellent, portable, general-purpose computer with just a lil bit of extra built-in hardware/software support (keyboard, serial port, a cassette recorder for storage and a ROM Basic interpreter).

"That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved" - Romans 10:9