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How many of you are emulation converts?


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#126 derFunkenstein ONLINE  

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Posted Sat Jul 21, 2018 9:56 PM

Emulation has come a long way since I started in 96. It used to be that there was a real benefit in playing the games on real hardware as emulation was just not up to snuff. But 20 some odd years later and it now matches and even surpasses the original experience. Emulators are now used by the original hardware manufacturers.

Items like the nes and snes classic are great as the emulation is (to me) spot on and you get to use new original controllers. And it looks better than ever through hdmi on modern displays.

For me emulation is the preferred way to play these games.


Having played quite a bit on the NES and SNES classic systems, I can say with certainty that the NES does things that the original never did. Some really freaking cool effects when the screen flashes in Final Fantasy that then get passed on to other games. Get one of those enemy-clearing power ups in Castlevania 3 and it does a psychedelic motion blur thing that the original system just cant. Clearing four lines in Nintendo Tetris is equally wild.

The SNES has similar additional effects. Set off a bimb in Contra 3 and youll see what I mean.

No way to control either short of using RetroArch but its a really fun cosmetic thing if youre into that sort of thing.

#127 eightbit ONLINE  

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Posted Sat Jul 21, 2018 10:01 PM

Having played quite a bit on the NES and SNES classic systems, I can say with certainty that the NES does things that the original never did. Some really freaking cool effects when the screen flashes in Final Fantasy that then get passed on to other games. Get one of those enemy-clearing power ups in Castlevania 3 and it does a psychedelic motion blur thing that the original system just cant. Clearing four lines in Nintendo Tetris is equally wild.

The SNES has similar additional effects. Set off a bimb in Contra 3 and youll see what I mean.

No way to control either short of using RetroArch but its a really fun cosmetic thing if youre into that sort of thing.

 

 

That psychedelic effect you are seeing is the epilepsy protection Nintendo added to the classic consoles. I first noticed it in GI Joe and then again when turning on 3D in Worldrunner 3D. When using Hakchi2 you can disable this before writing the roms to the console. Do that and everything will be normal again :)



#128 derFunkenstein ONLINE  

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Posted Sat Jul 21, 2018 10:02 PM

 
 
That psychedelic effect you are seeing is the epilepsy protection Nintendo added to the classic consoles. I first noticed it in GI Joe and then again when turning on 3D in Worldrunner 3D. When using Hakchi2 you can disable this before writing the roms to the console. Do that and everything will be normal again :)

Ah that makes sense. I really like it though. Ill keep it. :)

Strange as it may sound it makes those consoles my preferred platform for NES and SNES games.

Edited by derFunkenstein, Sat Jul 21, 2018 10:03 PM.


#129 Petran79 OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Aug 8, 2018 4:54 PM

Comparedto the bad arcade ports I had to play back then, emulation is not as bad

#130 Nodak OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Sep 2, 2018 9:39 AM

I've had emulation on some device or another for 20 years. I still do.

For some reason I am really input lag sensitive. Some people say it doesn't bother them but I just can't see how. It's bad enough to where it takes the fun out of emulation. I recently started buying consoles with everdrives. Putting on super Mario 2 on a CRT, playing every level and beating it while only losing 6 live was very satisfying as was my kids playing Super Mario world and getting way farther than they ever had was also nice. Those two things were just not possible for us with emulation. They are hooked on those systems now.

That input delay compensation posted earlier is very intriguing. I read the whole thread liberto and they have made some stunning progress and I wish them well. They have a ton of things to consider. Input delay isn't even consistent within the same game in a lot of instances. Now add in wireless or USB type controllers and native lag on flat-screens and it's adding several layers of complication on an already complicated thing.

#131 Lordmonkus ONLINE  

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Posted Sun Sep 2, 2018 9:34 PM

Poorly setup emulation has a lot of input lag.

Properly setup emulation with a good low latency monitor is actually quite low. I can go back and forth between my consoles on a CRT and my PC emulation setup and I cannot feel a difference.



#132 Keatah ONLINE  

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Posted Mon Sep 3, 2018 1:48 AM

Things like page flipping, blitting.. single, double, or triple buffering.. and vsync are other factors that can affect lag in real measurable numbers.



#133 Nodak OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Sep 3, 2018 11:24 AM

Poorly setup emulation has a lot of input lag.
Properly setup emulation with a good low latency monitor is actually quite low. I can go back and forth between my consoles on a CRT and my PC emulation setup and I cannot feel a difference.

What kind of setup do you have? To be honest I haven't really checked the situation out for a couple of years but it definitely wasn't up to snuff yet. The best people were achieving on older systems was 2 frames of lag and I most definitely can feel that.

The ultimate test is Mike Tysons punchout. Play them side by side and see how far you get on each.This game is very unforgiving when it comes to lag. There isn't any compensating with it.

ETA:This all gives me hope though. Between these ultralow lag monitors becoming reasonable and this new tech would give me motivation to build a dedicated mame rig.

Edited by Nodak, Mon Sep 3, 2018 11:29 AM.


#134 Lordmonkus ONLINE  

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Posted Mon Sep 3, 2018 12:37 PM

Now I am in no way saying that emulation even under the best conditions has zero lag in comparison to real hardware on a CRT and I don't have the equipment to do scientific testing.

 

If you use an emulator that supports Frame Delay (Retroarch and GroovyMame) and you have a good CPU that sounds like it's way overkill for an old system you can really push the Frame Delay to pretty high levels. Combine this with other settings in Retroarch such as Hard GPU Sync On and Hard GPU Sync Frames set to 0 on an actual PC monitor you can get results that are substantially lower than what you get with a TV and lower end CPU. What Frame Delay does is it delays when the emulator polls for controller input to the last possible millisecond before it outputs the image to the display. The higher you can set Frame Delay to the longer it will wait (0-15 ms), of course though the higher you set it the more powerful the CPU you will need to drive the emulator without framerate and audio problems. More CPU intensive emulators will also drive up the CPU power required for high Frame Delay settings. For example Snes9x will allow for much higher settings than Higan will depending on your CPU.

 

Frame Delay also assumes you are using the V-Sync on setting which itself adds 1 frame of input lag, you can simply turn off V-Sync but then you will experience screen tearing on a 60 hz display. One way around this and isn't cheap is to use a G-Sync (or Freesync) display. G-Sync is also amazing for Mame setups because you don't have to choose between V-Sync On for no screen tearing or V-Sync Off to have games run at their proper speed.

 

My personal gaming setup is a fairly respectable gaming PC, AMD FX 8350 CPU, GTX 970 graphics card (irrelevant to this discussion) and a G-Sync monitor and a wired Hori Fight Commander game pad. And like I said previously I can move back and forth from my real hardware on a CRT to my PC and I cannot feel any differences in gameplay. But if I try and play on my TV where I have an old toaster of a PC setup for some basic emulation the difference is night and day. Trying to play a fighting game on the TV setup is awful but loading up something like say Street Fighter 3 in Mame on my good gaming PC is smooth and tight.

 

I cannot test Mike Tyson myself because I was never good at the game to begin with but I know it is the ultimate test game but I would love to see someone who is good at the game test it out on my setup. I have run the 240p test suite roms manual lag test though and I consistently score less than 1 frame of input lag.



#135 Nodak OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Sep 3, 2018 2:52 PM

I guess I have to apologize!


Wow, a lot has changed in the last couple of years. I was ready to call BS on your claim because of snesx not even being able to do that itself, last I knew they were still at 2 with the emulation alone. The people hitting two had direct wired controllers and crts. I guess that has changed also. Thanks for the explanation, it looks like I'm going to have to build a make cab this winter.

I'll still be keeping playing all the old stuff on the consoles I can but I'll not have the excuse of lag anymore.

#136 Lordmonkus ONLINE  

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Posted Mon Sep 3, 2018 7:28 PM

No need to apologize at all, the out of the box experience for the most part is in line with what your thoughts were. But with a decent system and some tweaking the experience becomes much better and closer to what people consider a "good" experience.

 

Another thing to always keep in mind though is the majority of the input lag comes from the TV because of its extra image processing, even an average modern PC monitor doesn't have that so the input latency is much better but you can get better if you use a good gaming monitor.

 

If you want to give things a quick test before diving in too deep, download Retroarch and the Snes9x core. Turn on Hard GPU Sync and start bumping the Frame Delay setting up until you start to hear some audio crackle and then set the Frame Delay back down 1 notch. On my FX 8350 I found I could get up to around 9ms Frame Delay and the 8350 is not a great emulation processor.

 

You could also try out the new Run Ahead stuff but personally I think that is a bit of a gimmick though it does work to reduce input lag.






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