Jump to content
PFL

The Future of Emulation?

Recommended Posts

I'm not quoting the entire message. I can see all that you say as being a real possibility. I'm counting on some sort of backward compatibility provided through OS facilities or yet another emulation program. An emulator within an emulator. Or a virtual machine running a different OS which is running a translator which runs an emulator which runs another emulator.

 

Eventually there could be this kludge of a stack needing 20GHz to play Slot Racers!

 

And I feel that compilers and instruction sets like x86 will keep growing like a garbage heap till some paradigm shift in computing happens. I feel that feature sets (of future emulators and virtual machines) will be complete. For it will be easier to just include the whole damned shebang rather than pick and choose what features are to be provided by the VM or its likeness.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm counting on some sort of backward compatibility provided through OS facilities or yet another emulation program. An emulator within an emulator. Or a virtual machine running a different OS which is running a translator which runs an emulator which runs another emulator.

DOSBox emulates...

 

DOS (1980-Mid 1990's (Excluding 95, 98, ME command line))

 

which runs...

 

Sparcade Arcade Emulator (1999) and ADAMEm (1999) - A ColecoVision (1982-1985) & ADAM Computer (1983-1985) emulator...

 

under...

 

Windows 7 64-bit (2009-current), perfectly.

 

:)

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

How far into the future are we talking about? If we get something similar to a Holodeck, we'll be able to have an exact recreation of the real consoles, not emulation. Years before Holodecks are available, we'll use something like quantum scans to help recreate consoles in virtual reality. They'll work like actual consoles. Imperfect emulation will be a distant memory.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I had the Activision Action Packs and Microsoft Arcade running in Windows 3.1.

Windows 3.1 was in DosBox.

DosBox was in XP.

 

I even had Mike Cuddy's Gyruss Audio Emulator and DASArcade going. DASA is the precursor to Sparcade. DASA goes back to 1994/1995 and played just a few games like Frogger, Amidar, Galaxian, and Phoenix. Some of those roms were dumped in 1993!

 

In another instance I had Dosbox rolling. And it was running a 286 emulator for the first Pentium 60/66 machines. And in that 286 emulator I had a CGA emulator going, running Zaxxon and some Lunar Lander remake.

 

You can also run Altirra and in that you can run an Asteroids Emulator. This Asteroids Emulator uses the original Arcade roms.

 

So you see, the heap has already started. Eventually there will be a need to emulate or translate today's operating systems, and as a by-product, all the other super old stuff will work.

 

 

TRIVIA:

What were the first arcade games to be emulated on consumer-available hardware?

 

TRIVIA 2:

What is hubcap.demon.co.uk?

 

If you're using google you automatically fail.

Edited by Keatah
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@RT I too would like to see a holodeck-style simulation & re-creation of classic hardware. I'm trying to be very realistic in all my predictions and I don't see it happening for another 200 years if not longer.

 

The state of genuine research today is so abysmal. The need to turn a profit gets in the way and continually breaks concepts and theories. Scientists today can't even agree on what makes "stuff" have mass. They can't even understand light vs matter! Ohh sure they can write reams of equations and publish and endless supply of papers. And that's all financially driven.

 

Like with the space program (or lack of) we need advancements in propulsion and materials sciences. To make a holodeck we'd need major breakthroughs in understanding light and matter and origin of mass.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

How far into the future are we talking about? If we get something similar to a Holodeck, we'll be able to have an exact recreation of the real consoles, not emulation. Years before Holodecks are available, we'll use something like quantum scans to help recreate consoles in virtual reality. They'll work like actual consoles. Imperfect emulation will be a distant memory.

You're making me itch for a Next Generation marathon viewing. :grin:

 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I believe we need to put Keatah on Doomsday Preppers

Simple really. 10,000 MREs in an underground bunker with a small geothermal renewable power generator for electricity. Use an air compressor to condense humidity into potable drinking water. Squat in a bucket and dump the refuse outside to eliminate waste. And of course Keatah will get thrown out of the club for continually insisting they include a CRT television set with an Atari 2600 and a stockpile of games, while everyone else is stocking up on ammo for self defense and hunting supplies. Yeah, playing games is always more important than hunting deer or defending the fort from waves of zombies...

 

:rolling:

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One must consider social hour, camaraderie, and team building. Video games will allow time for relaxation and reflection. A very practical use would include training and strategic planning (with the appropriate software). Every base of operations could use a good battle computer. And in this situation, the VCS is it!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Then there emulation of something surprising I recently saw this vid where someone hacked a Leap Pad Gamester GS and was running Neo Geo roms.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

TRIVIA:


What were the first arcade games to be emulated on consumer-available hardware?



TRIVIA 2:


What is hubcap.demon.co.uk?



Answers:


(1) Should know this and would say Pac Man, Space Invaders, Galaxian , Phoenix, Asteroids, etc.. The early days of emulation were exciting for sure and most believe that it was on the PC when in fact the Amiga had various emulators in the early 90s (Mac/Atari / PC emulators)... most likely an arcade machine as well.



(2) Sparcade site


Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One must consider social hour, camaraderie, and team building. Video games will allow time for relaxation and reflection. A very practical use would include training and strategic planning (with the appropriate software). Every base of operations could use a good battle computer. And in this situation, the VCS is it!

Yes, because everyone knows Combat and River Raid are highly accurate training sims. :P

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I wasn't aware of any emulators for the Amiga in its early days. Perhaps latter toward the mid 1990's a few came to pass. It would be interesting to see what was available early on. I know about the PC emulator. But those are boring. An arcade emulator, no matter how crude and unfinished it was would be amusing to see.

 

One of the first, if not the first, emulated game *I played* was Amidar. But I believe (and would need to research my files) the first emulated game was Galaxian.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I wasn't aware of any emulators for the Amiga in its early days. Perhaps latter toward the mid 1990's a few came to pass.

Looks like AppleonAmiga was released in January of 1993, and Apple2000 1.0 was released in April of 1994.

Edited by Hatta
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Let's not harken back to the dark days of 90's emulation. We all know how badly Nesticle (the original MS DOS NES emulator) sucked. I'm sure other classic systems weren't much better.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We all know . . .

 

Not all of us know. I missed out on the 1990s. I didn't get a PC with slow dial-up until the last few months of 1999.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Not all of us know. I missed out on the 1990s. I didn't get a PC with slow dial-up until the last few months of 1999.

1999 was when I got my first PC and jumped on the emulation bandwagon, along with Napster. I would later become a serious retro gamer some couple years later.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nesticle was a funny name back then to an immature kid into bathroom humor. But it was cool because it showed that things could be done. Other systems could be emulated! It showed a growing interest in the scene! Genecyst was even better because it emulated a more complex system. It demonstrated that complexity and sophistication in a console was no barrier. All you needed was MHz on the host.

 

One of the first games I played on Genecyst was Boogerman - A Pick and Flick Adventure. It was just too cool. Flipping snot and farting on your enemies. Loads of fun.

 

Though I never really cared for the consoles themselves I was grateful they weren't being ignored by the emulation scene.

 

My early Nesticle version has file dates from mid-1997.

 

I wonder what the earliest ROM dump, for any system including arcade cabinets, was.. Oh I'm sure many roms for many systems were already on disk at the mfg. and in hobbyist circles. But I want to know what was the first dump done with emulation-at-home in mind was. I note Galaxian and Frogger dated from FEB'93. With Frogger being a few days earlier.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nesticle and Genecyst might not be as accurate as newer emulators, but they were amazing at the time because you could still play the games, at full speed, on a 486-class DOS PC with VESA Local graphics. One of my secondary PCs circa 1997 was a DOS/Win95 dual-booter with a 133MHz Am5x86 processor and a Diamond Stealth graphics card, and I put in many hours with both emulators on that machine.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I also wanted to comment that some games work better and are easier to set up in DOSbox than back on original hardware. In dosbox you can tweak speed and graphics cards, soundcards, controls, and especially memory configurations almost instantly. And you can do it quickly without getting dragged through reboot after reboot. And some of the interrupt and DMA issues seem to kinda go away.

 

While I just mentioned videocards as being tweakable, I'd still like to see more choices and options. Perhaps include some of the very first 3D chips like Rendition Verite, nVidia Riva128, S3 Virge, 3Dfx Voodoo 1, intel i740.. And maybe throw in a few more soundcards or wavetable options.

 

Bahh.. I just want to see DOSbox updated, period. It it still stuck at 0.74 for over 2 years now!

Edited by Keatah

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I also wanted to comment that some games work better and are easier to set up in DOSbox than back on original hardware. In dosbox you can tweak speed and graphics cards, soundcards, controls, and especially memory configurations almost instantly. And you can do it quickly without getting dragged through reboot after reboot.

 

While I just mentioned videocards as being tweakable, I'd still like to see more choices and options. Perhaps include some of the very first 3D chips like Rendition Verite, nVidia Riva128, S3 Virge, 3Dfx Voodoo 1, intel i740.. And maybe throw in a few more soundcards or wavetable options.

 

Bahh.. I just want to see DOSbox updated, period. It it still stuck at 0.74 for over 2 years now!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A few thoughts after reading the posts since my earlier one: first of all, very good points by Pixelboy about the importance of clear documentation to aid in maintaining emulators for future platforms. Thanks to faster hardware, and all that has been learned about optimization, the problems of speed and efficiency have been greatly ameliorated. It seems to me that the most pressing problems in emulation today are indeed documentation, accuracy, and as much as possible, achieving platform independence.

 

I think it would be a mistake for the next generation of emulators to specifically target contemporary platforms and environments, in the way that earlier emulators did. In the 1990s and early 2000s, you had to code pretty close to the hardware in order to get the necessary performance. That allowed emulation authors to do some amazing things on DOS, old Windows CE portables, Win32 in the days before DirectX, etc. However, as impressive as they were, how many of those emulators are still in use today? They didn't die because they were bad emulators, but because their native platforms died. Fortunately, once new platforms came along, there were still enough emulation authors to create new emulators for them, but they had to start over again each time. Operating systems today are in an even more rapid state of flux than usual in both the mobile and desktop spaces, so the same problem can only manifest itself again more quickly in the future. But, as others have pointed out, there may not be enough interested developers by that time to create new emulators, or even functional specimens of original hardware that can be used as a guide.

 

It seems like a much better idea to target a pseudo-platform instead, one which can evolve and adapt with the underlying operating system. Java, despite its problems, seems like the most promising possibility to me: the core API is stable enough that I can take (well-written) Java code from almost twenty years ago and drop it into a new project, there are Java VMs for many different platforms, and as the success of emulators on Android indicates, Java is fast enough and powerful enough to create a high-quality emulation experience. If a new generation of Java-based emulators could be created, while there are still specimens of original hardware to refer to and enough developers who care enough to take the effort and to meticulously document their work, I think it will greatly increase the probability that these emulators will survive across many subsequent generations of technology.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Starting on January of 2014, people who make Java applets will have to pay at least 200 bucks every 3 years to have a certificate. For example, Javatari will probably stop working since Paulo Peccin doesn't make any money from his emulator. That's probably not the only hobby project that will die out there in Internet land. Seaweed Assault already has this warning in the dialog box:

 

Warning: Running unsigned applications like this will be blocked in a future release because it is potentially unsafe and a security risk.

 

Java emulators will only work if the creators have enough money to pay for the certificates.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That only seems to be the case for applets, though. As long as you're not running your code in a browser, you don't need a certificate, at least as I read the new requirements.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...