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Emulation vs Original Hardware Vs Backward compatibility


ca18s13
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This has probably been discussed before but does it make a difference you to play, for example a PS1 game on a PS1 or PS2 or even a PSP/Vita? I'm no expert but as far as i know they're 100% accurate. PS1 games are better for me on a handheld as the graphics don't look as bad on the 3D games.

 

The same argument for playing on emulators vs the real hardware. I mostly like the feel of the original hardware and having access to roms means you get overwhelmed and don't stick to a game for more than a few minutes.

 

I played Sonic 1 on a Mega Drive and on one of the Mega Drive emulators on the Wii and apart from the controller i couldn't tell the difference.

 

Is it a psychological thing where we have to play on the original hardware?

 

I'm still after a Gameboy Player for the Gamecube but how does it feel to play Gameboy or Advance games on a Gamecube? I have a Super Gameboy but still prefer playing Gameboy games on a Gameboy.

 

Gamecube games on a Wii.

Wii games on a Wii U.

Xbox games on a 360.

PS2 games on a BC PS3.

Gameboy on  aGameboy Color.

Gameboy/Color on a Advance/SP.

Master System on a Megadrive.

 

Would be interested to know what people prefer and if they can even tell a difference. I'm not against emulators at all as it makes old games accessible along with translations and fan hacks.

 

I know lots of people have Retro Pi setups. Do you guys care you're playing on an emulator and not the original hardware?

 

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I can see the perks of playing via emulators etc. Being able to store games away, not have to keep taking them out or in some instances not keep them altogether. Games run smoother, if you have the option you can enhance sound / visuals etc. Less faffing about swapping consoles about, loads of cables strewn about the place etc

 

But personally it has to be the original hardware, it's sometimes the quirks that add to the game. I wouldn't keep to a single game through to completion either if I had the option to download lots of roms. There's also just something to playing everything the original way. Kinda like if you bought a load of vinyl's, you wouldn't use a machine to convert it all to digital format, you would want to play them.

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Preservation and convenience are both good points. I have heard some vinyl rips of music albums and although it will never be the same thing, it's not a bad option as it's digital the sound will never change or deteriorate. I don't have a record player but if i did i'm sure my opinion would change. The same thing applies to people who have had the original hardware or still have it.

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There are three things at work - authenticity, feel, and investment. Ideally, I'd play the original game, with the original hardware, paid for with my own money, thus getting to experience the game largely as intended without my attention drifting off within minutes as it does with any form of pirated title.

 

Realistically though, that's not always an option. I do find it better to use an authentic controller though, either original or reproduction. Playing SNES games on a GameCube pad doesn't feel quite right, so the SNES Mini is going to be right up my street.

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A few random thoughts:

 

Some machines hold up far better than other in emulation. Simpler hardware architecture like the Megadrive or Neo Geo always gives better results. There's a weird accuracy fetish about SNES emulation accuracy at the moment, where the newer emulators are genuinely amazing but it's led to some people being very vocal about the perceived quality of older emulators or console re-releases when to be honest they were already very, very good.

 

There's also a very analogue feel to the sound and video on older machines which will always be impossible to replicate, things like the video sync when you first turn on a machine, or the machines still running for a fraction of a second after power off, sometimes throwing up weird glitches (this still happened as late as the PS2 where the drive would start to spin down while the game still played). Emulation of old sound hardware will always be subject to interpretation, you can't "emulate" the circuitry of the low-pass filter in an Amiga for example, or the analogue conversion circuitry in machines that rely on FM synthesis.

 

I still think of emulation as some kind of miracle witchcraft, it's taught me loads about the original hardware, let me play plenty of incredible games I would never have got the chance to experience and helped me relive some fond memories (most of which still hold up, but there's always the occasional moment of horror!).

 

Emulation: I like it. I think it's good.

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5 hours ago, ca18s13 said:

I'm still after a Gameboy Player for the Gamecube but how does it feel to play Gameboy or Advance games on a Gamecube? I have a Super Gameboy but still prefer playing Gameboy games on a Gameboy.

 

Gamecube games on a Wii.

Wii games on a Wii U.

Xbox games on a 360.

PS2 games on a BC PS3.

Gameboy on  aGameboy Color.

Gameboy/Color on a Advance/SP.

Master System on a Megadrive.

 

Would be interested to know what people prefer and if they can even tell a difference. I'm not against emulators at all as it makes old games accessible along with translations and fan hacks.

 

I know lots of people have Retro Pi setups. Do you guys care you're playing on an emulator and not the original hardware?

 

 

I, like you've suggested, don't do emulators as being faced with a full set of games, I never know what to play and end up wasting time messing around 5 minutes here and there..

 

I think it depends on a few things.  The first one is easy:

Emulation or hardware.

 

Hardware options:

GB games on a GB Colour are fine (assuming you can see the screen!)  The GBC basically has the hardware, so it's not emulation anyway.  Plenty of GB games were 'GBC enhanced' so the original plan was for them to function on both, with enhanced colour support on the GBC, and obviously the controller layout is the same.

GB and GBC games on a GBA are similar.  The GBA has the GBC processor in it (Is it the sound chip or something?  I can't remember, it's been a while!)  There is a screen resolution issue, but so long as you don't press the L or R button and stretch the games out, they look great - plus the GBA screen is much, much easier to see than the GBC on, and the button layout is similar enough and good enough, that for me, the ultimate way to play GB / GBC games is on a GBA SP AGS-101 (the backlit screen SP)

Gameboy Player for Gamecube.. I never really got on with it, but I can't remember why.  I played with a Hori gamecube pad, so had a decent D-pad and shoulder buttons, you only need to other buttons, and again, I'm sure the GB Player was simply a GBA chip which output via the GC.

GB games on Super Gameboy - I never really got on with this either, perhaps that is why I never got on with the GB Player either.

GBA on DS - screen was too small, or stretched.  Oddly, GB Micro always seemed better despite the small screen.

Master System on Mega Drive - again, sure it's a chip thing, no emulation, pad is obviously different.  I never played much Sega stuff, or owned the converter, so not best Gamecube on Wii - it's a chip thing, no emulation, uses the same controller, plus the Wii has better output via RGB which isn't available to everyone with the Gamecube.  the Wii is basically just a Gamecube when you do this.

Playstation on ps2 - same.  Controller is more or less the same too.  

Playstation on ps3 - better.  It does some upscaling or something, possibly restricted to certain games?  Better save game support - no memory card needed - too if I remember correctly.

Wii games on a Wii U - same processor family make this ok too I think?  I always had a Wii setup in the other room anyway.

PS2 games on a BC PS3 - hardware stuff, I presume it's ok given Sony's reluctance to spend any money on controller development ;)

 

Xbox games on a 360 - I think this is getting into emulation, and is dodgy?  I never bothered with it as it wasn't available at launch.

 

So, for me, if it's hardware based its ok.  

If backward compatibility adds something good, and doesn't detract, it might even be better.

If the screen resolution ends up screwed (handhelds really..) it's a no go.

If it's software based emulation, you probably have to go searching through backwards compatibility lists, i'm not interested.

 

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Generally I use emulation more than real hardware, but I can certainly see the appeal of the latter. Most of my pre-"6th gen" stuff is long gone but I still hunt for GBA and PS2 games on occasion and there's definitely a unique appeal to discovering something new on an old bit of hardware you've had in a drawer for years. Heck, there are still things I have my eye on today - things like the GBA Kirbys and a few random PS2 shooters - and if it weren't for my pile of shame I'd get hold of the original games in a heartbeat.

 

However, emulation is its own little world of discovery with its own appeal - you can play games from consoles that you'd have no hope of getting hold of today, and play games from all corners of the world. You never have to worry about faulty hardware or dodgy games, there's lots of customisation available - from simple graphics filters to sillier stuff like online multiplayer or playing Goldeneye with a keyboard and mouse - and it's a great way of discovering how many older games still play well today.

 

BC is a welcome feature on anything but it can be kind of hit and miss - the simple solution with GBA and DS (just put the cart in) is great, but things like Xbox emulation on 360 can have mixed results (poor framerates and graphical issues on JSRF etc), so it depends on the method.

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15 hours ago, Camel said:

Yeah GB Player is a bit pony really.  The issue is that the GBA doesn't run at 60hz while your TV expects 60hz.  Expect jerky scrolling.

 

1 hour ago, Blu3Flame said:

 

The GBA had a 60hz screen.

 

The answers are contained within. I've time stamped it for you so you can get straight to the Game Boy player stuff - 

 

 

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Thanks, but that doesn't really explain the cause of the issue.  According to various discussions around the net, GBA runs very slightly slower than NTSC.  Think it's 59.7hz vs 59.9.  So the Player shows a frame twice every couple of seconds or so.  Pretty annoying once you notice.

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