Now that w have quad-cores, will we see new emulators?

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Now that w have quad-cores, will we see new emulators?

Postby i900frenchaddict » Fri Jul 06, 2012 9:04 pm

Well, since 2009, I've been answering hundreds times that NO, PS2/Dreamcast/etc was impossible, or not before 10 years

But actually, I remember, early 2009, my first discovering of FpseCE, that even if it was only 24fps, Gran Turismo 2 was playable!!!!!
I had a PXA 624mhz single core device, no GPU, small amount of RAM....and I was playing PS1 games!!!

Today, we have quadcores, running at 1.5ghz, 1Gb of RAM, powerful GPU

And so I start wondering if we will see new emulators. I search a lot on the internet but haven't found real projects, or "dead" projects

=> 2 Nintendo DS emulators, slow as hell as soon as it must display 3D, no sound, just some cerebral training games are playable
=> A Saturn emulator in really early stage, yabause, but so far I just had a game to launch, went to the menu, and crash, that's all and that was already really slow. It is said to reach some 5 fps ^^
=> NullDC, a Dreamcast emulator. It was discussed a few years ago, after some videos of a beta were published on youtube, then nothing. Developement is stopped, it seems it was not a fake thus (I've even read that the dev was dead, maybe not true)

I opened this thread for two reasons:
1) Share your findings if you hear about new emulators, new projects, new beta versions, etc
2) What do you think? Possible? Not possible? What emulator would you like to see?
Most of the time, it depends on the difficulty to emulate a console, it's the same on a PC. So if you play emulators on a PC, tell what can be easily emulated, what is harder....and just tell your opinion and dreams! ;)


Here are the emulators I'd like to see:

-NDS: two emulators already exist, they seem very compatible, but really suffer from a lack of developement. Because it's too hard? Don't know...

-Saturn: same as above, needs serious dev !

-GameCube: is it possible? Hard or easy to emulate on a PC??

-Atari Jaguar: just because I used to have it, and it was 64-bits. I know it's hard to emulate, and wouldn't get people's attention.

-PS2: are quad-cores enough to start trying to emulate, even if we have only 20 fps, like FpseCE in 2009?? How is the PS2 compared to the PS1? 10x more powerful??? How is a Tegra3 compared to a PXA624Mhz? 20x more powerfull???????? (I really don't know for the proportions, of you do, please tell!)

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Re: Now that w have quad-cores, will we see new emulators?

Postby bluezeak » Sat Jul 07, 2012 1:23 am

I think the NDS would be the best one to emulate now. It has a HUGE number of games, many very good. I was excited when I saw there was an emulator for it, and then (just like everyone else) disappointed when the main programmer for it stopped working on it.

PS2 - Next best choice from a user standpoint. Most likely it needs to be developed on the PC first as it's a pretty powerful graphical beast (to emulate). However, there are SO many games, and so many are GOOD, that it would be fantastic to be able to do it. I don't know anything about emulation, and so very very little about programming, but I suspect it will be difficult to emulate as the complexity of the device has increased right along with the power of the hardware (compared to PS1).
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Re: Now that w have quad-cores, will we see new emulators?

Postby mrjaredbeta » Tue Jul 24, 2012 2:41 am

I'm sure devices can handle the Saturn, DS, and Dreamcast maybe, but I guess people aren't dedicated enough to make an emulator.

The PS2 is a no go, for sure. The PS2 is very complex, even hard to emulate on x86 architecture on PC. I've been talking on the PCSX2 forums, and a PS2 emulator on Android is not very possible on ARM SoCs, but it is possible to port it to Intel's Atom x86 SoC, not to mention it will be very slow and take a long time to port.

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Re: Now that w have quad-cores, will we see new emulators?

Postby i900frenchaddict » Tue Sep 11, 2012 10:13 am

NDS4droid is back on Google Play, and it has been greatly improved. Now there is sound emulation (without losing half of your fps), many new options to try, etc GPU support is here too.

Some (or many?) 2d games can range full speed with sound, I've tried harvest Moon with sound=>60fps
Mario Kart is now about 20 fps on my One-X(with frameskip just on 3, didn't have time to try more to see how many fps I can get), so still unplyable, but before it was maybe 5 fps

And it's free.

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Re: Now that w have quad-cores, will we see new emulators?

Postby storm20200 » Tue Sep 11, 2012 7:15 pm

Problems with having four cores is that it requires developers to make use of concurrent programming as much as possible which is a difficult task. Concurrency is a mammoth task in programming, especially in emulation and my experience as a software user is that only big development companies appear to make a good effort in optimising for quad core CPUs. It takes a really dedicated developer like Schtruck to programme for multi-core architecture which is something that is quite rare, especially for emulation which is usually something people do as a hobby.

Other than that it would be great to see a DS and Saturn emulator. We might not have enough power for a Dreamcast or PS2 emulator though. Maybe in about 2 generations of hardware we might!
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Re: Now that w have quad-cores, will we see new emulators?

Postby i900frenchaddict » Wed Sep 12, 2012 10:44 am

DS starts to be playable, it mainly misses optimizations, but latest nds4droid shows it's possible, and 2d games are playable

Saturn emulators are definitly too slow (even if games start)

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Re: Now that w have quad-cores, will we see new emulators?

Postby i900frenchaddict » Mon Feb 25, 2013 11:57 pm

Just if some missed it:

-a leaked version of the dreamcast emulator NullDCE can be easily found on the net. Crazy Taxi runs fluently, but theres' no real UI, onscreen controls are just unplayable http://www.paulscode.com/forum/index.php?topic=572.0
This leaked version is supposed to be quite old already, and has an extremy limited game compatibility. The project is continued, we can see much more recent versions of this emulator on youtube, running games like sonic, but the team is really not communicative about their project.
So this poorly-compatible-without-proper-controler-leak-version is all we have for now :mrgreen:

- a PSP emulator is available: PPSSPP, you can get it from Google Play. Of course it's slow, and you can only run less than 10 games. For now it misses many options, even frameskip is not present yet (once frameskip is implemented, it could reach the speed of NDS emulators I guess)

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Re: Now that w have quad-cores, will we see new emulators?

Postby barat » Tue Feb 26, 2013 7:44 am

About GameCube - hard to do IMO.
Best emulator is Dolphin (Wii/GC Emulator) but it needs fast CPU. For example even e7400 overclocked to 4GHz wasn't 100% for all games. i5/i7 performs better (but it still have to be way more than 3GHz)
On my laptop (T9600, 6GB Ram, 9600M GS) i'm not able to have full speed in better details ;)

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Re: Now that w have quad-cores, will we see new emulators?

Postby i900frenchaddict » Tue Feb 26, 2013 1:58 pm

Yes, Gamecube seems hard to emulate, and the existing PC emulators don't seem to be very optimized (I mean I don't think the gamecube is a console that appeals to many developers....)

Is the Dreamcast way easier to emulate than other systems? I mean, when I see Crazy taxi running complete full speed on my Note2, I wonder why! It's faster than the Sega Saturn. Both emulators are poorly optimized yet, but why can the dreamcast be so fast??
All this with existing quadcores.......
NDS emulation may be full speed with octo-cores and QualcommS4pro

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Re: Now that w have quad-cores, will we see new emulators?

Postby barat » Tue Feb 26, 2013 2:05 pm

It's all about architecture. PC/Smartphone CPUs are CISC (well, maybe ARM are RISC but not specialized in that way that console CPUS are), and most consoles have RISC architecture. Those have dedicated engines for phisic, lights, logic, audio, emotion etc.
Our CPU's dont have such instructions normally so everything have to be emulated.
It's even harder than Virtualbox where Host and Guest are both made for this same hardware and You can play certain games.
With emulators Game was developed for hardware that is way different so emulator have to "translate" between game and hardware ...


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