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Commercial Emulators


jhd
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There have been several commercial (vs. homebrew) emulators for the PC:

 

Sega Genesis

Intellivision

Atari 2600

Commodore 64

Several arcade collections (Microsoft released three; there was another of just classic Williams titles)

 

Most of these were released in the days of Windows 3.1 and '95; I am not aware of any currently supported commercial emulators.

 

While "free" is an appealing price, there is also something to be said for a turnkey package with the emulator, documentation, and games all nicely packaged together and ready to go.

 

A few titles (e.g. the Namco arcade game Motos, the Genesis game Shining Force) have not yet reappeared in the more recent console compilations.

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There are quite a few, likely more than the market really wants. Here are a few recent ones:

 

Atari Vault which resembles the DS releases a few years ago and features online multiplayer (if you can find someone to play with)

SEGA Mega Drive and Genesis Classics which is a lot like the AtGames reproduction consoles

Flashback Zone with Colecovision and Intellivision, which are a lot like the Flashback mini consoles, a subset is available as Intellipacks from Intellivision.

 

AtGames is probably doing more soon, along the lines of the Flashback Classics stuff they've done on console. They've also done mini-consoles, as have Nintendo (if you can find one) and Retro-Bit (if you aren't too picky).

 

The problem with commercial emulators is the availability of game licenses ... we keep seeing the same stuff over and over and over again. Namco Museum has been regurgitated a lot on consoles.

 

Legality aside, it's hard to beat the depth of pirated ROM collections, especially for ancient games that don't appeal much to modern players.

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The problem with commercial emulators is the availability of game licenses ... we keep seeing the same stuff over and over and over again. Namco Museum has been regurgitated a lot on consoles.

 

I agree. Licensing issues are really frustrating. I doubt that the world needs yet another implementation of Pac-Man on a different platform!

 

I really wanted to be able to play Moon Patrol, for example, but it is simply not available in any of the commercial compilations. This is the title that drove me to install and configure MAME, and one of the very few games that I actually use it for. I would happily buy a licensed version were someone willing to sell it to me.

 

(Ok, it did appear in a an original PlayStation Midway compilation that I have never actually seen for sale...)

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I had that Playstation collection that included Moon Patrol. It was OK at the time though it cost thirty bucks for like six games. It's probably "rare" now, and there was no digital release. Irem and Midway had some kind of deal at the time, probably long expired. I blame lawyers. :mad:

 

MAME is better. You would do well to explore other games from the period! :D

 

Here's Moon Patrol in a browser. :-o

 

I like this somewhat similar game for iPhone. Donut Games are great. :music:

 

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Freeware emulators are more versatile and of a much higher quality. Commercial emulators tend to run only the games they are bundled with, have less features, and cease development once they reach a certain point - like making it to market!

 

You'll get better support, too, with freeware emus. The developer is typically happy to answer email or provide support in a message forum. That's because it's their personal project and they're more inclined to make it the best it can be.

Edited by Keatah
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I remember a Playstation emulator for the Mac in the 90's that was actually sold in stores. The name escapes me for the moment.

 

 

Virtual Game Station from Connectix?

 

There's more to the story -- Aaron Giles did some amazing work. First he ported some LucasArts games to the Mac. Then he worked on Virtual Game Station, as well as leading the MAME team. Microsoft bought the team, and he worked on the ARM port of Windows. I assume he probably had a hand in backwards compatibility on the Xbox platforms, too.

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Wasn't 2012 about the time the MAME user interface started going to shit?

I suppose that's intended as praise, as it's when Aaron stepped down from the project. There are enough front ends for MAME that in my opinion, the command line interface is the real UI for that software.

 

Aaron also did the emulation for the three embedded Atari Star Wars arcade games hidden inside Rogue Squadron III: Rebels Strike on the GameCube.

 

He's one of those people whose name kept popping up in things I liked, a bonafide retro gaming hero to me.

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