ProDigit
Posts: 374
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Re: pi for Nintendo 16 bit emulator?

Sat Feb 18, 2012 7:53 pm

Hi,

According to my rough estimations, the Raspberry pi would make an excellent emulator for:

1- MS DOS (with games upto 640x480 pix)

2- Atari games

3- Neo Geo games

4- Gameboy / color / advanced games

5- Nintendo and super nintendo (8/16 bit)

6- Sega game gear, Mega drive, ..

7- PS1 emulators

and if we're lucky, and the R-pi supports 64 bit extension, it might even be able to run N64,PS2, and perhaps PSP emulators.

XBox, Wii, and PS3 are out of the question.

My question will be, if there will be any support for these emulators, or at least a way to port some of them (from Debian/Redhat compilations) to this operating system?

Prometheus
Posts: 308
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Re: pi for Nintendo 16 bit emulator?

Sat Feb 18, 2012 9:00 pm

ProDigit said:


and if we're lucky, and the R-pi supports 64 bit extension, it might even be able to run N64,PS2, and perhaps PSP emulators.
XBox, Wii, and PS3 are out of the question.


To be honest, PS2 and PSP are currently pretty much out of the question on machines running the next processor generation up from the Raspberry Pi (such as the Pandora and the Nokia N900, for example, which both use the Cortex-A8 based OMAP3530 SoC). I'd imagine that the RPi would have no chance with these.


My question will be, if there will be any support for these emulators, or at least a way to port some of them (from Debian/Redhat compilations) to this operating system?


At least some of them exist in the ARM repositories for both Fedora and Debian (I'm afraid I don't have the links to hand for their search facilities at this time – sorry about that!). However, there may be merit in drawing from the source code of the versions already ported to ARM handhelds, such as the GP2X, Wiz, Caanoo, and the Pandora, and possibly the MIPS-based Dingoo A320 (which has had stuff brought across to the previously-listed four), as they're more likely to be optimised for low-power architectures than straight recompiles of stuff aimed at beefy x86 machines.

Worthy of note is that you would have to do this for Snes9x, anyway, as the current versions of that don't work properly on ARM CPUs – my understanding is that you get a blank display. In that case, I'd recommend recompiling Snes9x4D or Snes9x4P, which are Dingoo A320 and Pandora ports of it, respectively, which work beautifully, though they do run Star Fox at twice the speed that it should run at.

ProDigit
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Re: pi for Nintendo 16 bit emulator?

Sat Feb 18, 2012 9:21 pm

Thanks for taking the time to reply!
I'd really love to bring the old N16 bit games back in the household via this device,

However, are we going to be limited to a keyboard/mouse configuration, or do you think a USB gamepad would work using standard Joystick drivers?

The experience of gaming could be greatly improved if there was some kind of joystick driver that had a digital 4/8 way direction buttons, and 4+2 to 8+2 action buttons (the 2 buttons generally being 'select' and 'start'; or esc and home/enter).

If 2 analog controllers could be added later on, would only improve gaming (think 1 analog wheel, 1 analog gas pedal, so you could play car games with a USB steering wheel, or analog pad).

Also, compiling, although a very easy job, is way above the head of most people adopting the R-Pi. It would be nice to have an open community helping out with pre-compiled programs that could just be double clicked or 'installed' somehow (like a repositories system like in Ubuntu).

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abishur
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Re: pi for Nintendo 16 bit emulator?

Sat Feb 18, 2012 9:25 pm

Let me just jump in long enough to make the standard disclaimer that you must own any game of which you are emulating and to check and see what any extra laws may exist for your local government.
Dear forum: Play nice ;-)

Prometheus
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Re: pi for Nintendo 16 bit emulator?

Sat Feb 18, 2012 9:28 pm

ProDigit said:


Thanks for taking the time to reply!
I"d really love to bring the old N16 bit games back in the household via this device,


No problem – happy to be of any help that I can be.


However, are we going to be limited to a keyboard/mouse configuration, or do you think a USB gamepad would work using standard Joystick drivers?


Joysticks and gamepads are generally in the same "class" as keyboards and mice – that is, they"re all "USB Human Interface Devices". Anything that"s USB HID compliant will, as they say, "just work". So, yes, you"d be able to use any joypad or joystick that complies with this – and that"s most of them.


Also, compiling, although a very easy job, is way above the head of most people adopting the R-Pi. It would be nice to have an open community helping out with pre-compiled programs that could just be double clicked or "installed" somehow (like a repositories system like in Ubuntu).


I know, but I"m sure that that will come with time. In the meantime, and certainly right now as far as Snes9x goes, it"s part of the learning experience, for sure!

EDIT: I'd just like to second what Abishur said, too. (I actually only emulate stuff I own, myself – it's format-shifting, for me, and saves a fair few cable-nests!)

ProDigit
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Re: pi for Nintendo 16 bit emulator?

Sat Feb 18, 2012 9:30 pm

Your info has been noted!
I think it's just way nicer to have the Rpi replace old and dusty gaming consoles, DVD players and all that.
I really like to see it replace my hole home theater.

If I had an external DVD drive (via USB) that I could connect, I could create my own intelligent and compact DVD player, which does not only playback DVD's but also does gaming, writing e-mails etc…

I do own plenty of games; and if I really like some emulations, I will buy a version of them, though probably through the second hand market (like ebay), as Nintendo and gameboy no longer are produced as gaming consoles, thus it would not surprise me that I won't be able to support the authors anymore by buying a legal (meaning new) version (even if there are still companies selling these, they won't be selling them for long).

ReCreate
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Re: pi for Nintendo 16 bit emulator?

Sat Feb 18, 2012 10:07 pm

I think it could be pretty possible to simulate a PSP on the raspi. They're both arm based. So it wouldn't require complete difficult emulation as if we were doing it on a PC that's x86 based. Maybe?

Miskatonic
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Re: pi for Nintendo 16 bit emulator?

Sat Feb 18, 2012 10:43 pm

Theorically, the Pi should be able to emulate a PSP, because the PSP only has a  Mips R4000 32bits 333Mhz processor.

Although there won't be any problems with GBC, GBA, NES, SNES, Megadrive, Neo Geo..

ReCreate
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Re: pi for Nintendo 16 bit emulator?

Sat Feb 18, 2012 11:14 pm

Wow. I've just learned that MIPS isn't arm... ._. How did I never know this.

BAFFLED
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Re: pi for Nintendo 16 bit emulator?

Mon Apr 16, 2012 2:53 am

ReCat said:


Wow. I've just learned that MIPS isn't arm... ._. How did I never know this.



I thought 'MIPS' was the name of the rabbit that appears in Super Mario 64...

AlArenal
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Re: pi for Nintendo 16 bit emulator?

Mon Apr 16, 2012 5:49 am

Miskatonic said:


Theorically, the Pi should be able to emulate a PSP, because the PSP only has a  Mips R4000 32bits 333Mhz processor.

Although there won't be any problems with GBC, GBA, NES, SNES, Megadrive, Neo Geo..



Only?

The R4000 isn't that bad. My SGI Indigo has one and this one is not only clocked faster but also has a 128 bit bus. And don't forget even if the PSP has a lot less RAM it is its more closely to the main and graphics processors and is dedicated to them. The GPU also has to be emulated or wrapped to OpenGL ES which I think is not quite so easy.

It may be possible to emulate it on the Pi, but my guess is it would require much more than just a recompile. You'd have to tweak the code, rewrite quite a lot in ARM v6 assembler and probably requires rewriting some stuff to OpenGL ES to offload it from the ARM to the GPU.

Also, isn't Sony using a dual-core version of the R4k architecture in the PSP?

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