Hey, guys. After a brief down period (I was working on my website and KickStarter project, more on that later), I wanted to post some stuff here, and I figure nobody ever posts' stuff about emulators really. At least, not like this! I figure maybe to keep myself busy, I should post here every week or so and update everybody on some emulation news. Since it seems like that's what I'm good at!
So first, let's talk about emulators as a whole. An emulator is a program that runs on a device/computer/game console to simulate another system. A ROM is the game you want to play (sometimes in the form of disc images [AKA ISO, BIN/CUE, MDF/MDS, etc.], like for Sega CD or PlayStation). So you download an emulator, extract or install it, then load a ROM. Ah, technology. If you want a full tutorial, my YouTube channel will have one soon. Again, more on that later. Today, I am going to tell you guys what has been happening in the emulation world since the last time I posted on my website (about January)(in case you don't follow more than the PS3 scene).
1. PCSX2 is preparing version 1.0!
This is huge news. For a couple reasons. First, this is the only decent PS2 emulator. So this or nothing basically! But that's okay, since the emulator runs any game you would want to play! Just in the last month, there have been over 1000 commits to the SVN. Now, the 1.0 build is being prepared and the changes it brings are numerous. For those of you still using 0.9.8, you really should upgrade. It adds better sound emulation, better plugin loading, better video emulation, automatic region patching, a much better controller driver, and a whole slew of new games work. Even more games are now under the playable status. So go to PCSX2.net and download the latest SVN build and try it out!
2. DXBX has an SVN commit after almost two years!
I saw this on my RSS reader and almost pooped my pants. This is currently the best Xbox emulator. Unfortunately, it didn't do much at the beginning of development, since it was based on CXBX (another good one), but after a while it evolved into my favorite Xbox emulator. The SVN commit only brought updated documentation, updated languages, added more XDK samples and more test homebrew, and fixed a crap-ton of bugs, but if this means they are continuing the project, then we can finally play those Xbox exclusives on the comfort of our PC. Sounds nice, right?
3. JPCSP preparing to add online support
The last 50 commits or so mention sceOnline a lot. For those who don't know, that means true online emulation and support! No more lag, better support, more games, etc. Not much else to say other than now, some games that supported online that didn't work mysteriously started working…
4. PCSP updated to 0.5.5 and re-write is now called PSPE4ALL
Again, not a whole lot to say. PCSP was updated to fix a bunch of nasty bugs, and the new version will be on PSPE4ALL.com when it is released.
5. Soywiz PSP emulator progress
I have noticed with every build that more games work, the emulator and games run faster, and the he keeps adding features. This is probably my second favorite emulator now, surpassing PCSP in features and emulation.
6. MAME and MESS teams announce a merger
This is pretty big news. Since they share the same codebase, and they have most members working on both, they decided to merge the emulators, calling it UME or Universal Machine Emulator. This will have good and bad things about it. First, the bad things. First, it will take a while for developers of frontends and fork builds to re-adjust. Second, this means no more MAMEUI/MESSUI, but UMEUI (I don't know, it doesn't sound as good). However, the good things outweigh the bad. Less money spent on separate website hosting, people can ask questions on one forum and one IRC, faster development, easier to communicate with SVN/bug tracker, the list goes on and on. MAME and MESS need a ton of work before the merger, and even after that they will still need lots and lots of work. An example is Phillips CD-i, Virtual Boy, and Panasonic 3DO emulation is REALLY bad in MESS. MAME has always been hard to use, it re-scans for ROMS every time you start the emulator? It takes like 20 minutes for it to scan, only to find out that you have 4 ROMS in your ROMS directory. I could've jailbroken the PS3 in the time MAME has taken away from me. Plus, no GUI is built-in. Um, why? It's really a problem using GUI's built by people who might not understand how MAME/MESS work. URGH. Oh, well. UME will be a start over for both emulators, so hopefully some progress will be easier and faster. And hopefully you weren't using MESS anyway, that's what dedicated emulators are for!
7. Time to set the record straight…
The following systems DO NOT HAVE emulators:
Nintendo 3DS (Similar to other DS systems, so it shouldn't be too hard)
PlayStation 3 (RPCS3, but it's still incomplete)
8. Speaking of RPCS3…
RPCS3 has added over 40 CPU instructions, RSX support, better SPE/SPU emulation, and added a PSP emulator! And all in about a handful of commits!
9. Some thoughts…
I can understand why the PS3/PS Vita and Xbox 360 haven't been emulated yet, but it seems that the 3DS might be easier than we thought to emulate. The author of DeSmuME said on the forums he thinks he will focus on 3DS emulation for after 1.0, but he says he thinks he can do it before anyone else can, as well as do it faster. He must know something I don't!
10. Wrap up
In conclusion, I hope this has been informative. Or at least you learned something cool. But anyway, go to EmuCR.com for all the latest builds, and if you have questions about emulation or anything just ask! Eventually, I want to do some more stuff via YouTube and on my website, so check my website http://turtlesprojects.sf.net/ for info. Also, my Twitter is @vgturtle127, my YouTube username is vgturtle127 (nothing there yet), and you can add me on Facebook too. Have a nice day!