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Best Console to make an emulation machine?


Top Console Emulation Choice  

44 members have voted

  1. 1. Which Console is Best as an Emulation Machine?

    • Original X Box
      25
    • X Box 360
      0
    • PS2
      0
    • PS3
      2
    • Dreamcast
      2
    • Nintendo Gamecube
      0
    • Nintendo Wii/Wii U
      15


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As I realize I have less and less space to house stuff i'm really keeping the best titles and moving more towards SD carts. I also may have to slim down a few systems but may want to play those games still and explore other retro systems I probably won't find in the wild. I have more or less narrowed down my choices to the original Xbox and Wii to use as an emulator box; and I was wondering which you all thought would be better to use as an emulation machine. Here is my reasoning for avoiding other options:

 

-PC/Raspberry Pi: Probably better I realize but I want to use a console for convenience and aesthetics.

 

-Gamecube/PS2-Could be done but seems to make more sense to do an xbox or a wii for various reasons

 

-Dreamcast- Underpowered for emulation purposes of later systems

 

-Xbox360/PS3- Have a PS3 fatty but don't want to void warranty/updates, online features, etc. just yet.

 

I am at this time leaning towards the Xbox because of the MAME capabilities and the fact that the internal hard-drive can be upgraded whereas using a Wii i'd have to burn discs or have an external hard drive connected via a USB (the speed worries me for that option.) I know you can do the home brew channel on the Wii mode on your Wii U, but assume you couldn't access the external hard drive formatted for the Wii U via that channel, creating its own issues. Can anyone speak to that and/or if you are able to partition it?

 

Let me know what you think and if I missed any consoles/options I should be considering! I definitely want to use a CONSOLE though.

 

Thanks!

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I don't have much experience with emulation on the XBox, but I can say that the Wii is where it's at when it comes to 8 and 16-bit emulation on a home console. If you're looking to emulate 32-bit systems or MAME then you'll probably want to look elsewhere for the best results, but for 8 and 16-bit stuff the original Wii is as cheap and easy as it gets. You can get it all up and running in less than an hour with nothing more than an SD card or Micro SDHC card (up to 32 gig) by installing the Homebrew Channel then the emulators of your choice. As far as the systems it supports well you're looking at:

 

Atari 2600 (non-DCP+ games)

Atari 7800

Atari 8-Bit Computers

Atari Lynx

ColecoVision

NES

Super Nintendo

Game Boy

Game Boy Color

Sega Mark III

Sega Master System

Sega Genesis / Mega Drive

Sega Game Gear

Chocolate Doom (Doom, Ultimate Doom, Doom II, & Final Doom)

 

Those are all the ones I've tested and can confirm work well without lag or compatibility issues, though there may be other systems that work well too that I haven't tried. I have tinkered with MAME a bit, though the user interface and configuration settings were a little too clunky and confusing for me to wrap my head around. I can confirm that it does play Aliens well, though I'm not sure exactly how I managed to get it running. :lol: Again, MAME is confusing.

 

The other selling point of the Wii is that most Wii emulators are configured to allow you to use the Wii remote as a light gun for systems that have light gun games. Just pop the Wii remote in the light gun grip of your choice (the Nyko Perfect Shot is a good cheap option) and you'll be able to play almost all Atari 7800, NES, Master System, SNES, and Genesis light gun games on any TV via the Wii remote and sensor bar.

 

The Wii does have it's limitations, but it's still a fine choice if you're looking to emulate pre-32-bit era games without spending a lot of money or jumping through hoops to get it up and running.

Edited by Jin
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I've got an Xbox and would recommend CoinOPS for pretty much the same reasons as Jin recommended the Wii. If your Xbox isn't already modded there are a few more steps to getting CoinOPS on the system. Once it's modded all you have to do is download CoinOPS and FTP it to you Xbox.

 

CoinOPS supports:

Amiga
Amstrad
Atari 2600
Atari 5200
Atari 7800
Atari 800
Atari Lynx
Atari ST
Atari XL
ColecoVison
Commodore 64
DOS
Game Gear
Gameboy
Gameboy Advance
Gameboy Color
Intellivision
Laser Disc DVD Support

MAME
Master System
Mega CD
Megadrive
MSX
NES
Nintendo 64
PC Engine
PC Engine CD
PlayStation
Sega SG-1000
Spectrum
Super Nintendo
Vic 20
Virtual Boy
WonderSwan
X68000
XBOX

 

The biggest reasons for CoinOPS are ease of use, visuals in regards to the menu and it comes pre-configured with games. It's basically a menu system for a bunch of emulators but it's really a very cool system. The only real problems I've had were with the PlayStation and N64 emulators. Some games simply don't work. CoinOPS is very customizable too. I've loaded additional games (mostly homebrew), recorded the videos and CoinOPS displays them right along with the others. It's really slick.

 

Check out this video of the latest version:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qhvPHf9ZKEk

 

There are some good systems out there so your decision may just end up being what you have available. That's basically why I'm using my Xbox. It cost nothing but a little bit of my time to set it up.

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Wii and Xbox seem about even in this regard really.

Xbox seems to have a larger selection of emulators than the Wii, but the Wii is good for basics (GameCube support is pretty nice too). I imagine the cost of getting either one and setting it up is pretty similar too...

 

I'd look over what each offers for emulation but go with whichever console you already have on hand.

 

I voted Wii but that's because I have done a couple softmods of that before and always been pretty satisfied with results.

 

IMO Raspberry Pi is great but can cause a lot of frustrations getting it just right. (More personal experience than anything mind you.)

 

If you aren't careful, you easily spend more on the Rasp Pi setup than either console and still get the same basic experience.

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I have an extra Wii and Xbox around so I think I'll just do both.

 

-Does anyone have a good link to a tutorial/Step by step instructions on how to do the Wii homebrew channel and soft mod w emulators

 

-Anyone know the best Xbox mod man on AA, that one I think I'll send out for the mod and upgrade.

 

Thanks!

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-Anyone know the best Xbox mod man on AA, that one I think I'll send out for the mod and upgrade.

Thanks!

Can't recommend anyone, but it's really not that hard to do it. Biggest thing you want to get right is to make sure you get a compatible hard drive.

 

http://xboxdrives.x-pec.com/?p=list

 

The rest is just downloading the tools. You'll need a softmod exploit to kick it off (Mech Assault, Splinter Cell or Agent Under Fire?) and Auto Installer Deluxe v.4.5.3 (I think that was the last version) to do all the softmod work for you. CoinOPS is just a download away with no setup required.

 

It's been a while but if I can help you through it, let me know.

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^^^ did I mention it's a pain in the ass to run these exploits on the old commercial consoles? Many of the console mod scene sites and communities have dried up or disappeared.

 

I don't think it's that big of a deal but there is definitely some setup involved. A lot of the sites have disappeared but there are still plenty out there probably due to CoinOPS popularity. I modded my Xbox and installed CoinOPS for the first time this year and found plenty of resources. It's more about what your motivations are. I had the Xbox, learned about CoinOPS and just decided to do it right then.

 

Don't want to hijack TravisTouchdown's thread, but I am curious about the Pi. What package are you running on it to get a similar experience?

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It's been many years since I've modded my Xbox, and it's in a closet now, so CoinOps isn't something I've tried...maybe I should load it up. I had all the emulators going and a mess of game rips. I don't think I've run it since my old CRT HDTV died.

 

The absence of HDMI, bulkiness of the console and controllers, and moving parts (fan, spinning hard drive) are turnoffs from using the Xbox. At fifteen years old, it's pretty retro itself now! Some of its best games (KOTOR, GTA, Jade Empire) run on phones now.

 

RetroPie seems to do everything my modded Xbox used to do, only smaller and cooler, with USB and Bluetooth so I can choose my own controllers. Power seems similar --N64 is spotty and imperfect but PSX and earlier is close to perfect. If it breaks, it's easy to reconstitute from common parts, unlike Xbox.

 

Wii Homebrew Channel is ok too, but seems less versatile than either pi or Xbox.

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One thing I know with my Wii is its limited to 32 gig which is enough for most console games

But you start getting into mame or CD consoles its a piss.in the ocean

Edit
Oh I see the pi-tards have shown up to tell us how great their non console is in a thread about emulation on a console

OK I lub my i7 for emulation kicks the shit out of a Dreamcast for ps2 games

Edited by Osgeld
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I have an Xbox, and it was really easy (and cheap)...

I bought a used Xbox at a garage sale for five bucks and took it to my local friendly retro store who put CoinOPS on it (I traded a few extra games I had that he could sell for a profit, so it didn't cost me anything for the mod).

 

Loads of fun. I even use an old PS1 joystick with a Yamaha adapter I picked up somewhere and get a pretty darn good MAME arcade experience.

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Xbox edges out the Wii across the board.. NES,SMS,VCS,GENNY/SNES/TG16, etc... not saying the Wii is bad at all, because it totally rocks. Just saying in comparison between the two if you had to choose, I'd go for Xbox. That said, in this day and age.. Retropie is probably your best best today.

 

Personally while I used to be it's hugest proponent.. I'm shying away from emulation and instead going the flashcart route when it comes to a lot of my "favored" consoles like snes/tg16/NES/VCS . There is nothing more awesome than having nearly all NES games playing properly on a real NES with a real NES pads on a tv, and having save states at that! Love it. Stuff like Odyssey 2 though.. or NEO GEO, or even SMS, I'm totally fine with console emulation for those.

Edited by NE146
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-Anyone know the best Xbox mod man on AA, that one I think I'll send out for the mod and upgrade.

 

Mark_Wolfe used to do them frequently. Maybe hit him up and see if he's willing to take on another project. If he can do the RAM mod, even better. The XBOX would be the ideal choice in that case.

 

I don't see him around often these days, but it shows he was last online a few weeks ago.

 

http://atariage.com/forums/user/3814-mark-wolfe/

 

I don't have CoinOPS on my XBOX, but I have friends that do and they claim it's awesome. I have an older hack (Evolution X) and it works pretty well still. I haven't played with the Wii Homebrew channel so I can't vouch for it.

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I used to do them.. and offered them to anyone on Atariage for 100% free (just pay postage) where basically I'd just clone my entire xbox which was absolutely zero labor.

 

But those days are long gone.. I'd have to clean out the cobwebs of my brain to remember how to do it easily not to mention find that xbox :lol:

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I have a softmodded Xbox, but I was unable to really do anything with it. At the time, I couldn't figure out how to get the games or emulators onto the HD, so I gave up.

 

A little later, I learned how to softmod Wiis. It's super easy, and the emulators for classic consoles work great. I also like the light gun support with the Wiimotes.

 

I'd like to revisit that softmodded Xbox at some point, but for now, I'll use my modded Wii.

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I have a softmodded Xbox, but I was unable to really do anything with it. At the time, I couldn't figure out how to get the games or emulators onto the HD, so I gave up.

 

 

 

easiest way is usb stick and something better than a basic dash (like XBMC) what I used to to all the time was FTP to it since I had it on my network, then its just drag n drop from a pc

Edited by Osgeld
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I have a Pi 1 and I'm having a lot of sound issues using Retropie with Emulation Station. Would that be caused by the lack of horsepower/ram in the Pi 1, or do I need to change some default settings in Retroarch?

 

I'm noticing issues in NES games as well as SNES games.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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I reached out to mark, thanks people!

 

Will try the Wii homebrew channel also; if anyone has a link to a good step by step how to, please do post!

 

 

 

It's pretty simple and easy as long as you have an SD card or Micro SDHC card with an SD adapter laying around. This guide should help you out: http://www.howtogeek.com/210185/how-to-install-the-homebrew-channel-on-a-nintendo-wii-the-easy-way/

 

They also go over how to install BootMii at the end the guide, but that's completely unnecessary unless you're the technically inclined type that likes to mess around with custom operating systems. All you really need is the Homebrew Channel. Once you've got the Homebrew Channel installed you can go to http://wiibrew.org/wiki/List_of_homebrew_emulators#Console then select the emulators you're interested in installing and follow the instructions on each emulator's page to put it on your SD card. There should also be a download link for each emulator on it's respective page as well (look under "Links" in the box in the upper right hand corner of the emulator's page). Generally speaking, for every emulator there will be one folder to put in the root directory of your SD card and one folder to put in the "apps" directory of your SD card that will be created when you install the Homebrew Channel. It's a simple drag and drop procedure. Here are the ones that I'd recommend for the systems I listed above:

 

 

Atari 2600 - Wii2600

Atari 7800 - Wii7800

Atari 8-Bit Computers - WiiXL

Atari Lynx - WiiHandy

ColecoVision - WiiColEm

NES - FCE Ultra GX

Super Nintendo - Snes9x GX

Game Boy / Color - Gnuboy GX and Visual Boy Advance GX (some games will run better on one or the other)

Sega Mark III / Master System / Genesis / Mega Drive / Game Gear - Genesis Plus

Chocolate Doom (Doom, Ultimate Doom, Doom II, & Final Doom) - This one will require some specialized files and a Classic Controller. PM me for details if you want to install it.

Edited by Jin
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