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noshgar

Exciting year for emulation

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For those of you who stalk emulator progress on github and forums you probably would agree that its been a big year for emulation. If you don't you should at least track EmuCR.com, they post releases, stable and unstable builds for just about every emulator out there. So here are some highlights of some emulators i have been following:

Cen64 (Nintendo 64)

If you haven't heard of this, Cen64 is a cycle accurate Nintendo 64 emulator. This year the dev decided to do a rewrite after concerns with performance http://forums.cen64.com/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=99. Just recently he made some great progress on development http://forums.cen64.com/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=130 and it sounds like things are starting to fall into place. Once this emu is released it will definitely blow PJ64 and Mupen out of the water so keep an eye out.

Dolphin (GameCube, Wii, Triforce)

Development has been constant on Dolphin. If you check out September and August progress reports at https://dolphin-emu.org/ there has been huge performance increases. An impressive amount of bug fixes this year as well. If you have shyed away from this emu before because of compatibility or performance, definitely give it another go.

PCSX2 (PS2)

Development seems to be picking up speed now after the addition of a new debugger and optimizations. They are working on a true 64bit build which will be huge. I am seeing commits constantly and i wouldn't be surprised if we see a new version soon. http://pcsx2.net/

Retroarch (Multi-emu)

Well there was a release date for v1.1 sometime in September but obviously that didn't happen. There has been a few distractions like Hyperkin ripping off their code and many other open source emulators which seems to have motivated them to start working on their own Steambox/OUYA platform which is exciting. Development is constant so I am sure we will see 1.1 this year, the improvements and added cores will be worth the wait. You can always download a git version from EmuCR.com if you want the most up to date cores. http://www.libretro.com/

Virtual Jaguar (Atari Jaguar)

I have posted about this one before but its great that development has started up again. I have seen commits here and there after the last two releases so it seems like we will continue to see updates. https://icculus.org/virtualjaguar/

Add on to this list, upcoming emulators we should know about, existing emulators that have made significant progress this year.

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I haven't been following Reicast that much because it is for Android but it has come a long way this year. Libretro already has plans to port it at some point but i doubt we will see that until some time after 1.1. Figured i would throw that out there.

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Others I have been following:

Demul progress: http://www.mameworld.info/ubbthreads/showflat.php?Cat=&Number=332625&page=1&view=collapsed&sb=5&o=&vc=1

Model 3 progress: http://www.mameworld.info/ubbthreads/showthreaded.php?Cat=&Number=332990&page=0&view=collapsed&sb=5&o=&fpart=1&vc=1&new=1414341808

and of course the excellent Raiden progress in mame.

Visual Pinball development also appears to be moving along at a good pace.

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Little confused right now I havent checked Libretro on Twitter recently https://twitter.com/libretro but it looks like 1.0.0.3 is currently in beta with 1.0.0.4 beta coming sometime this week. I have no idea what happened to 1.1, Ill have to scrounge around. If I had to guess they probably decided to incrementally release new features instead of one large update. Anyways they have a build bot up and running now which will be nice to get beta releases now and in the future buildbot.libretro.com/.

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Nice update noshgar! I cannot wait for the next demul release. I probably check emucr once a day just in the hopes it drops. I also have an original shield and can't wait for 3DO Retroarch for Android!

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I had a chance to test a Retroarch nightly last night, so many changes! The new gui options are still in beta but they are there and mostly functioning. So on top of RGUI there are three new gui theme options to choose from one being Lakka that they have demoed before.

The input configuration has changed a bit, RetroKeyboard and RetroMouse are now available input options and can be bound from RGUI. Overall a lot of configuration options have been added. A few cores need to get up to speed with the changes but overall things are looking good.

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You shouldn't be so optimistic about PCSX2. I recently went through a ton of games and there are still bugs galore. Almost every game requires a different config, that was an adventure to set up. The reason I say you shouldn't be so happy about the emu itself though is the author of GSDX - the main graphic plugin - left over a year ago from what I read. I guess the code for the plugin is a complete mess too so it can't be worked on further by the community and if they really want to progress the emu, someone is going to have to rewrite a whole new graphic plugin which is unlikely.

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You shouldn't be so optimistic about PCSX2. I recently went through a ton of games and there are still bugs galore. Almost every game requires a different config, that was an adventure to set up. The reason I say you shouldn't be so happy about the emu itself though is the author of GSDX - the main graphic plugin - left over a year ago from what I read. I guess the code for the plugin is a complete mess too so it can't be worked on further by the community and if they really want to progress the emu, someone is going to have to rewrite a whole new graphic plugin which is unlikely.

I have to admit i haven't tested it recently. The last time i did I was focusing on getting Grand Turismo to work and had a hell of a time getting it to run. I totally agree PCSX2 has a long way to go, I am hoping x64 builds will help with performance. I had no idea about GSDX and the state of the code, hopefully someone will take it on at some point.

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I haven't spent a lot of time on their forums but after some browsing it looks like they are really trying to take a step back and get their dev process in order, focusing on things like the new debugger and cleaning up code to make development time more efficient. I think if they model their process after Dolphin they will be in a much better place. They definitely need help and if they work on the process i am sure they will get it.

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Downloaded the nightly build of RetroArch for 4/11/14 but I'm not seeing these new theme options you're talking about? I just have the standard gui.

Edit: nevermind found it. Its in driver options, have to change it, then restart.

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I am excited, its time for me to take another peek at PS2 emulation, got frustrated making the video snaps the last go around.

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A great year indeed. What I find curious and amazing is how we managed to emulate fairly recent consoles like Wii, PS2 or PSP, and yet we can't emulate smoothly the first 3D hardware generation made 20 years ago. Saturn and N64, and in some minor grade PSX. I wonder if it's a matter of complex hardware or simply lack of interest.

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I believe it's down to the complex design (read: random hodgepodge of coprocessors) that emulation of some machines is so difficult. See also Xbox and Jaguar.

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