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Why I prefer emulation

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Oh, here's a better way to put it. "Game" and "collect" are two distinct verbs. That's the difference. You can do one or the other, or you can do both.

 

But if you don't play games you have no reason to collect and if you don't collect you have no games to play. Both verbs go together.

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In my first response, I said "I suppose you could say that someone who collects roms is a collector, but I would say it's obvious that when pretty much anyone says "collector" they are implying a "collector of physical things"" add to that what I said about the entire issue comes down to the 2 verbs "game" (or "play") and "collect", and that's the only answers there are. Sure, one can collect ROMs and/or emulators. But do they play them? Or just collect them? IF they play them, they are a gamer. And a collector of ROMs. (but most people mean collecting physical carts etc when they say "collector" in this context). If they just collect (or save them to a HD), but never play them, they're not a gamer.

This whole issue quite frankly is very simple, and if you don't get the definitions of 2 verbs at this point, then honestly, I think you're just being dense! ;)

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Oh, here's a better way to put it. "Game" and "collect" are two distinct verbs. That's the difference. You can do one or the other, or you can do both.

 

But if you don't play games you have no reason to collect and if you don't collect you have no games to play. Both verbs go together.

 

Untrue on both counts. Sorry, but there's no logic whatsoever to these statements at all. Many people collect but don't play, and plenty play games but don't collect. You're really beating a dead squirrel now. Seeya.

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Where would the line between gamer and collector be before emulators were created?

 

<double belabor>

 

Collector = collects games, but doesn't play all the games he has (collects).

Gamer = buys games and plays them all. may trade them or pass them along after playing. OR plays on emulators or via other method (flash cart).

 

One can be a gamer AND a collector. MANY are both. (I am both). I think this may be where the lack of clarity comes in, since many of us are really both. The only grey area I see is maybe if a gamer buys games, plays them, then tosses them in a pile, never playing them again, but not selling them either. Is that collecting or just keeping and not selling? I guess the distinction there would just be with the person themselves... meaning, what is their motivation? Is it just laziness in not passing them along, or do they consciously keep them to collect... in which case they become a collector and a gamer.

 

Again, I really don't see any lack of distinction whatsoever between a gamer and a collector. To me, there's no confusion whatsoever. A gamer has one definition (one that plays games), and a collector has another (one that collects items, in this context, we're generally referring to physical items by default). But, each definition is not mutually exclusive. One can be both.

 

The definition of gamer and of collector is not dependent on the existence of or non-existence of emulators in any way. Emulators just enable people to be gamers without owning hardware or purchased (new or used) software.

 

Ultimately, I think it comes down to intent/motivation in any case. What does the person think they are? If I only have 1 cartridge, but I would like to get more, but just can't find or afford any, maybe I consider myself to be a collector (though most would think that collection is pathetic perhaps!). If I play that game too, then maybe I'm a gamer AND a poor collector!

 

</double belabor> :)

 

What catagory would you put Rom Hunter in? What category would you put someone that downloads his collection? What if they have his collection but don't play all the games? It isn't physical but it is a collection of games. What if someone downloads every single emulator and ROM known to exist? Are they still just a gamer all because it isn't a physical collection?

 

I've already answered all these including the non-physical collection question(s). I actually thought of Rom Hunter too, when I was typing those responses. I'm sure you can figure out the rest by yourself. The verbs "game" and "collect" are different verbs. One can do one or the other, or one can do both. Any further conversation on this is obviously just semantics and delving into specific cases of the uses of those 2 verbs.

 

Then I guess we will have to agree to disagree on this point. I just don't see how emulation equates to gamer and real thing equates to collector. A collector can collect ROM's. As a collector I consider Rom Hunter's collection part of my collection. A gamer can prefer the real thing. As a gamer I prefer the real thing.

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Oh, here's a better way to put it. "Game" and "collect" are two distinct verbs. That's the difference. You can do one or the other, or you can do both.

 

But if you don't play games you have no reason to collect and if you don't collect you have no games to play. Both verbs go together.

 

Untrue on both counts. Sorry, but there's no logic whatsoever to these statements at all. Many people collect but don't play, and plenty play games but don't collect. You're really beating a dead squirrel now. Seeya.

 

Sorry that I didn't know that.

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Then I guess we will have to agree to disagree on this point. I just don't see how emulation equates to gamer and real thing equates to collector. A collector can collect ROM's. As a collector I consider Rom Hunter's collection part of my collection. A gamer can prefer the real thing. As a gamer I prefer the real thing.

 

I never actually said what you are saying here. At all. I never said "emulation equates to gamer and real thing equates to collector". What we'll need to disagree on simply the semantics of the verbs. I suspect that we actually agree on what matters here (the actual topic of this thread), since as a gamer, I prefer the real thing over emulation as well. I also prefer the real thing over virtual as a collector. (even though, yeah, I too collect both) See? That's the only thing we've been debating the semantics of, is the meaning of those 2 verbs. I've only been trying to withhold the actual definitions of those 2 distinct words. But I think we agree on all the points that really matter.

Edited by Mirage

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Then I guess we will have to agree to disagree on this point. I just don't see how emulation equates to gamer and real thing equates to collector. A collector can collect ROM's. As a collector I consider Rom Hunter's collection part of my collection. A gamer can prefer the real thing. As a gamer I prefer the real thing.

 

I never actually said what you are saying here. At all. I never said "emulation equates to gamer and real thing equates to collector". What we'll need to disagree on simply the semantics of the verbs. I suspect that we actually agree on what matters here (the actual topic of this thread), since as a gamer, I prefer the real thing over emulation as well. I also prefer the real thing over virtual as a collector. (even though, yeah, I too collect both) See? That's the only thing we've been debating the semantics of, is the meaning of those 2 verbs. I've only been trying to withhold the actual definitions of those 2 distinct words. But I think we agree on all the points that really matter.

 

I like that I'm detecting a peaceful tone. I'm not looking for a heated debate. I'm just wanting a friendly conversation. The emulation equates to gamer... Is what I've been getting at but I'm obviously not expressing myself well. In the OP's argument for emulation only for gamers he is making the arguement that it is a win-win and that he doesn't get why someone would prefer the real thing over emulation unless they are a collector. I'm trying to show that on both sides there are collectors and gamers. People behave as collectors and gamers on the virtual side of things and on the real side of things. I'm also trying to show that someone being a big fan of games type of gamer could be their drive to play the real thing. Kind of like a football fan may prefer to watch the game on TV(emulation) but a BIG football fan may prefer to watch the game at the stadium(real thing). I'm getting tired and about to crash but I hope I explained that well.

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I like emulation for quick gaming. For example, last night since I was on the computer and felt like playing a little "Adventure" I just fired up Stella and played it a bit for a couple of rounds. If I had the time I would have prefered to hook up a 2600 and play the real cart but sometimes the ease of emulation wins out, especially when the convenience is there. Having said that, I prefer the real experience of real hardware, hands down.

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I like that I'm detecting a peaceful tone. I'm not looking for a heated debate. I'm just wanting a friendly conversation. The emulation equates to gamer... Is what I've been getting at but I'm obviously not expressing myself well. In the OP's argument for emulation only for gamers he is making the arguement that it is a win-win and that he doesn't get why someone would prefer the real thing over emulation unless they are a collector. I'm trying to show that on both sides there are collectors and gamers. People behave as collectors and gamers on the virtual side of things and on the real side of things. I'm also trying to show that someone being a big fan of games type of gamer could be their drive to play the real thing. Kind of like a football fan may prefer to watch the game on TV(emulation) but a BIG football fan may prefer to watch the game at the stadium(real thing). I'm getting tired and about to crash but I hope I explained that well.

 

I was never not peaceful or having a heated debate. Just discussing semantics. It does get frustrating sometimes discussing semantics though, when clearly there's a miscommunication or misunderstanding in what is being said, especially when it relates to definitions of words. It's never any skin off my back what someone else thinks. I do think that bringing it back to the original point of emulation vs. real helps bring the whole discussion back to reality though.

 

And yes, I think you're explaining it much better here. I completely agree with the way you have said it here, especially "People behave as collectors and gamers on the virtual side of things and on the real side of things. I'm also trying to show that someone being a big fan of games type of gamer could be their drive to play the real thing." Absolutely agree with that, which is not at all what it sounded like you were saying ever before until now. It was just the semantics before that was really confusing.

Edited by Mirage

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OK here is my take.... First of all.... To the people who say emulation is wrong or emulation sucks....... In a nutshell, HONK ON BOBO!!

 

Let me explain myself. I GUARANTEE I can prove you to be a hypocrite. Did you ever see The Wizard of Oz? The ORIGINAL King Kong? Its A Wonderful Life? Gone With the Wind? Frankenstein? Dracula? Do you own them on DVD? VHS? Watch them on cable? Guess what!! All of these classics were made BEFORE PEOPLE HAD TVs IN THEIR HOUSE!!! They were be made to be viewed in their ORIGINAL FORMAT on the SILVER SCREEN. I do not care how good your 80" 3D flat screen with a 3D Blu-Ray player or a 1080 up-converting DVD player with a million point one surround sound system is, It is EMULATING the way the movie was meant to be viewed.

 

True story Bro.

 

/Rant mode off

 

Now with that out of the way.... I have a storage locker full of 6-8 Atari 2600's. a 7800, an 800, several 800XLs, 600XL, Odyssey 2, Intellivision, Adam, Couple of Vic 20's, Two Commodore 64s, two Amiga 500s, and I am sure I am forgetting some. I also have monitors, joysticks, Cassettes and floppy drives to go with most if not all the systems. I have a lot of software to go with the various systems. I have 15 coke crates FULL of floppy discs for various systems and as well as old dos based, and early windows PC games. . http://byemylife.com...coke7crates.jpg . Here at the condo, I have a Dreamcast, PS1, PS2, PS3, Wii, XB360, Gameboy, GBA, Nintendo DS 2 NESs, SNES, 2 Microvisions, PSP. and again, I am sure I have a few more that escape me. I live in a small two bedroom Condo, and I have 3 upright arcade games here as well. I think I am more than qualified to talk as a collector.

 

Herein lies the problem. SMALL CONDO. Would I love to have a house with a huge basement and have all these things set up? Of course. Can I do it? Not yet. Hopefully some day, but not any time soon. That is where emulation comes in. I have tested every emulator known to man. I was emulating a Mac and PC back in the Atari ST days. Sold the STs and bought an Amiga and did the same thing. I have been with Mame since it was known as the Multi Pac-Man emulator. You name it, I have it. Full sets of Atari 2600, 8bit, 5200, 7800, ST, Lynx, Jag, Jag CD, Mame, Mess, NES, SNES, GB, GBA, Sega Master System, Genesis, Saturn, Sega CD, 3DO, Virtual Boy, MSX, TRS-80.... You name it I have it. Guaranteed. I also have a huge collection of controllers along with USB adapters to connect alomost any controller. I have been collecting for many years. No, I will not send you roms, so do not waste my time or yours asking me for them. That being said, I think I am more than qualified to talk as a gamer.

 

NOTE: Not being sarcastic or bragging, as that is not my style. I am actually a quiet and low-key person. Just listing my credentials.

 

I love the real thing, but I also love emulation. Would I pay more than $10 for Chase the Chuck Wagon or Air Strike? Hell no. I love emulation. Every thing I could ever want or need, right in front of me. Aside from the large cabinet of controllers sitting next to my desk, you would never know. I hate clutter, and emulation allows me to play virtually anything I want whenever and wherever. I have both a 21" CRT and a 24" LED connected to the gaming PC to keep the authenticity of the CRT games. For the record, the 21" CRT is a NEC MutiSync FE2111 SB. SB is Super Bright. You will not get a blacker grill with brighter pixels. This thing has fooled people in to thinking it was a real vector monitor, It really IS that good. I am sorry, but I have not noticed the slowdowns other people have complained about. I dual boot XP and 7 x64. Intel 7300 Dual Core at somewhere around 2.66 or so. Really do not remember, as I have no problems with lags. Can I play PS2 games at full speed? No. I have a real one. Can I play the newest 3D games MAME is emulating at 60 fps? No. Can I play MILLIONS of other games just fine and discover new favorites and have great parties? You betcha!! Anyone who complains about emulation has not connected 4 PCs together and ran the Model 2 emulator and played 4 Player Daytona USA!

 

Like I said at the top of the message, how can you honestly say how great your home theater is when all you are doing is emulating a movie theater? Both real hard ware and emulation are wonderful, but you have to remember, not everyone can afford their own cinemaplex.

Edited by scotty

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BTW... Anyone have a copy of Dusty Diamonds All Star Softball for the NES that they want to sell at a REASONABLE price? I can not quit playing this game!!! Each kid has their own abilities, and you have to really play it alot and take notes to assembe your team, and what position to put each player at.

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Before Covid I would probably agree with you.

I was really happy with emulation.

But with all those lockdowns  I found  time and  I hooked  my old computers  on CRTs. 2 Atari 8bits and one Amiga. None of them worked.

I had more fun with the process of  repairing, upgrading and refurbishing those machines than  playing their games on  emulation. So it is purely subjective what  makes people happy.

And then, there was the familiar  odor of the plastic case and electronic parts getting hot, the feeling of the keyboard, the sounds of the system, the original crt  artifacts....Waiting for your favorite game to load from a cassette after 25+ years.

Searching and loading your programs and games  you wrote in Basic , loading your music, paintings and primitive animations. Priceless DejaVu.

Emulation can be pretty good for a console and from a gaming perspective,  because of  all those advantages you mentioned and this is why I use emulation daily, but it is really limited when it  comes  to replicate  the experiences  you had with your  computer.

 

 

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Having been on both sides of the coin for substantial amounts of time, I find emulation a compelling choice. Especially when seasoned with 1 or 2 favorite platforms in real hardware.

 

It's been fun experiencing the halcyon days of early videogaming and computing, the 300-baud era, when the VCS was new, when Apple was operating out of a garage. Watching and playing the systems as they'd come to market and fade away, to be replaced by the next big thing. A trend that continues today though at a slower steadier pace bought on by a less creative market. A mechanized market that maximizes profit.

 

Emulation in the past 25 years has evolved so much, and is prevalent everywhere you go. Some emulators have been around a quarter-century already. And thus benefit from years of refinement, technological improvements, and ever-increasing host capabilities.

 

When I chose to do emulation almost exclusively (est 95%) back in the pre-dotcom days I did so with an eye to the future and the benefits emulation would eventually bring. It hasn't disappointed. The main goals of versatility, consistency, and reliability continue to be be delivered in spades & droves.

 

Naturally I didn't give up my Apple II material, that's the 5% real hardware, and have since added to it from time to time. Throw in some vintage PC hardware for good measure. Emulation complements Apple II activities in many diverse ways. Archiving & preservation, exploring new games, learning about new ways of doing things. Modding games and making cheats. Recreational Applesoft programming. And just plain old nostalgia. A great sidekick if I do say so myself.

 

All that.. And bringing all the cartridge-based consoles and arcade cabs to single aesthetically pleasing point of play is of tremendous value to me. Games I thought I'd never ever play again were beginning to come back one by one.

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Posted (edited)

Interesting, I can't say I expected a decade-old thread to be revived...

 

Well, anyway.

 

I can see both sides of the argument.  For people who don't have a lot of money and/or really appreciate the convenience of just having multiple systems with their ROMs on one PC/console at the ready for whatever their needs may be, Emulation is clearly the better choice for them.  Nowadays, for all the main systems and computers, there are some really excellent Emulators out there which will give you an experience that is gonna be on par with the actual hardware on a pragmatic level.  (There is an argument to be made as to whether or not using old video standards with the actual hardware and the visual artifacts that come with them will give you a "better" experience. i.e using RF on an Atari 2600).  But in terms of gameplay, it will essentially be identical if you're using a good Emulator.

 

With that said, at the same time, there really is something special about using the actual system.  It's... hard to explain.  But, I'm sure anyone who has experienced it for themselves can relate with me.  I always get a fuzzy feeling when I wake up in the morning and see my Mega Drive with its Sonic cartridges just sitting there on my desk, waiting for me to play them.

 

Then again, I'd be living on the streets if I actually bought every game, computer, and console I ever wanted.  Which is why I consider myself to be an "in-between" kind of guy.  For the systems I don't own, I emulate them.  And for the systems I DO have, I play the real deal.  (Admittedly I'll use my EverDrive for the games I don't own...yet........hopefully).  

Edited by RetroSonicHero
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53 minutes ago, RetroSonicHero said:

Interesting, I can't say I expected a decade-old thread to be revived...

(apologies for going off topic)

Ha, stuff like that used to happen wayyyyy too often in the marketplace subforums... People reviving posts from like 2004 and asking if that Gameboy display Kiosk was still available for $200. It was hilarious. Doesn't seem to happen any more though.

 

Back on topic, I have a rather weird stance on emulation. I don't find emulation to be fun if I'm emulating it on something completely different to the original system, with certain exceptions, with that being that I don't dislike emulating old systems on old computers. For example, I don't like emulating game consoles on a modern PC. However, I have no problem with emulating, say, the PS1 on my Powermac G4 using CVGS. I also have no problem with emulating game consoles on game consoles, particularly if both were made by the same manufacturer. I like emulating, say, N64 on Wii U.

 

Otherwise, I only use emulation as a tool to help me use things on real hardware. For example, I use VICE to make CP/M floppy disks to use on my real 128, because it's the easiest way to get files copied over from the internet through a CP/M file copy utility to a real floppy into my 1571.

 

And I simply don't play what I can't on real hardware.

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Posted (edited)
12 minutes ago, bluejay said:

Ha, stuff like that used to happen wayyyyy too often in the marketplace subforums... People reviving posts from like 2004 and asking if that Gameboy display Kiosk was still available for $200. It was hilarious. Doesn't seem to happen any more though.

Okay, that's objectively funny.

12 minutes ago, bluejay said:

Back on topic, I have a rather weird stance on emulation. I don't find emulation to be fun if I'm emulating it on something completely different to the original system

Yeah I mean, I can see it being a bit bland.  At least with N64 Emulation on a Wii U you can be like "oooo look it's a Nintendo game on a Nintendo console!".

 

The use-case you described with VICE reminds me of another way I actually use Emulation I forgot to mention earlier. Recently, I've gotten into Sonic romhacking, and I've found it to be more convenient to just compile my quick ASM edits and just load the ROM in an Emulator rather than loading it onto my EverDrive and testing it from there. (Although, I ALWAYS check to make sure it works on the real hardware as well when I'm satisfied with what I've created).

Edited by RetroSonicHero
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13 hours ago, RetroSonicHero said:

Interesting, I can't say I expected a decade-old thread to be revived...

I did the same thing on the PoP thread and now...revived the conversation and now its a bloodbath  lol. Fortunately the users here understand that an opinion on this question is subjective and can be affected by  practicality of both choices.

It is also fair to say that it is reasonable to expect  from  most people in  a forum on retro computers to  have  access to real hardware and emulation!

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Posted (edited)
14 hours ago, RetroSonicHero said:

Interesting, I can't say I expected a decade-old thread to be revived...

Why not.. It's either revive an old topic and continue the discussion or create a new duplicate topic. Either is ok. Reviving is better. Better because you get a perspective from back-in-time as well as current thinking.

 

The people that truly complain about necroposting seems to've diminished in the past 3-4 years. A good thing I guess.

 

13 hours ago, bluejay said:

Ha, stuff like that used to happen wayyyyy too often in the marketplace subforums... People reviving posts from like 2004 and asking if that Gameboy display Kiosk was still available for $200. It was hilarious. Doesn't seem to happen any more though.

Asking if something for sale years later is just plain dumb.

Edited by Keatah
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14 hours ago, RetroSonicHero said:

I can see both sides of the argument.  For people who don't have a lot of money and/or really appreciate the convenience of just having multiple systems with their ROMs on one PC/console at the ready for whatever their needs may be, Emulation is clearly the better choice for them.

It's the convenience, reliability, longevity, and consistency. Not to mention a little bit of elegance too. When I travel up North it's really easy to pack an Intel NUC and bring everything with me. If you don't know what a NUC is it's a sandwich-sized Windows computer.

 

14 hours ago, RetroSonicHero said:

Nowadays, for all the main systems and computers, there are some really excellent Emulators out there which will give you an experience that is gonna be on par with the actual hardware on a pragmatic level.  (There is an argument to be made as to whether or not using old video standards with the actual hardware and the visual artifacts that come with them will give you a "better" experience. i.e using RF on an Atari 2600).  But in terms of gameplay, it will essentially be identical if you're using a good Emulator.

Yes it is. Nearly identical. Different though and usually in better ways, like maybe a faster restart/load, or savestates, or running multiple instances.

 

Like with AppleWin (Apple II emu) I can do two instances. One I can set my old BBS up on, the other I can set up AE or ProTerm. And I can call into my old BBS. The two emulators connected by comm0comm, a virtual serial port & cable emulator. Ha! Shit like that.

 

But. As far as the video output goes. Several emulators offer enough knobs to create the NTSC & Composite & RF "experience" or come close to it. And coming close is good enough, because "coming close" yields results that we always wanted as kids of the 70's and 80's. Like sharper, bigger, more vivid displays.

 

14 hours ago, RetroSonicHero said:

For the systems I don't own, I emulate them.  And for the systems I DO have, I play the real deal.  (Admittedly I'll use my EverDrive for the games I don't own...yet........hopefully).  

I do this with Apple II. And I've found emulation to be a great complementary tool to the real thing. In a roundabout way, the Apple II that Applewin emulates is akin to the supercomputer we dreamed about as kids.

 

We always postulated what it would be like to have a 1000MHz Apple II with the ability to hold billions of floppies. Today we have that in a sense. Applesoft programs can run hundreds of times faster than on real hardware. Interesting and amusing if you like programming mathematical graphics and such style of art. And we can instantly call up any disk from FTP Asimov. Faster if mirrored locally.

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I've been an emulation fan since 95/96 whenever it was that the scene exploded.  

 

I don't really have the space to keep old systems up and running, nor the time to maintain them.   They sat in my basement for years until I sold them.   Hopefully the new owner will give them a nice retrobrighting and anything else they might need.

 

The other nice thing about emulation is the enhancements it provides.   You can load disks at warp speed, even give a speed boost.  Save states and reload them later whether or not the game actually supports saves.

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It was neat over 12 years ago collecting all the systems and games then it became a pain in the ass storing all that stuff. Sold it all off before Covid. Now I have 10000 games loaded on a Raspberry Pi taking up a small space on my entertainment center. Sitting my fat ass in a recliner 20 feet away from the TV using a wireless controller. Couldn't be happier. Fuck nostalgia.

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8 hours ago, VectorGamer said:

It was neat over 12 years ago collecting all the systems and games then it became a pain in the ass storing all that stuff. Sold it all off before Covid. Now I have 10000 games loaded on a Raspberry Pi taking up a small space on my entertainment center. Sitting my fat ass in a recliner 20 feet away from the TV using a wireless controller. Couldn't be happier. Fuck nostalgia.

I'm glad it works for you... but I own a Retro Pie, and... it's really not the same experience.

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On 7/20/2021 at 8:04 PM, Keatah said:

Why not.. It's either revive an old topic and continue the discussion or create a new duplicate topic. Either is ok. Reviving is better. Better because you get a perspective from back-in-time as well as current thinking.

 

The people that truly complain about necroposting seems to've diminished in the past 3-4 years. A good thing I guess.

Yeah, I never understood why necroposting is so frowned upon on other sites. Can't tell you how many times I read a really interesting post, wanted to respond, and then noticed that the thread was locked just because it was old.

Back on topic; I've been a collector a few times over the last couple of decades, and I've realized that it's the games that I have an attachment to, not the plastic it is housed in. I simply do not care about having the authentic experience with the official controller, and the official hardware, on a CRT. I've played tons of games on real hardware and emulation, and most of the time, haven't noticed much of a difference. Sold 90% of my collection over the past couple years, and couldn't be happier. All that clutter is gone.

 

But, if other people only want to play on real hardware, there's nothing wrong with that.

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4 minutes ago, BawesomeBurf said:

Yeah, I never understood why necroposting is so frowned upon on other sites. Can't tell you how many times I read a really interesting post, wanted to respond, and then noticed that the thread was locked just because it was old.

Also starting a new thread about a topic that already exists even if years old is frowned upon on many sites.   Can't win!  

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Posted (edited)

I mean personally, I don't have an issue with it. I'm just not used to it cus all the other forums I was on would automatically lock threads after a certain number of time.

Edited by RetroSonicHero

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