MAME is surely one of the most active emulators out there. After more than 10 years since its first release the development work continues at a sustained pace, the coders contributing to the project are so many for they are Legion and almost every week there is an intermediate version (marked by the “u” suffix) before the next main release. Since January 2009, the month in which version 0.129u1 has been distributed with support for two new lasergames, in these days MAME has arrived to release 0.131 that, among the other things, shows some advancements in the emulation of a powerful 3D arcade system.
“PS2 emulation is a complex task“, as it can be read on the about page of PCSX2, but it isn’t an impossible task as demonstrated by the advancements achieved during time by the only software currently able to replicate the most successful Sony console (a hit enduring even today) with an accuracy level that is enough to run a good number of commercial games. PCSX2 emulates the PS2 on PC, and the last release of the emulator delivered in these days, version 0.9.6, once again confirms that a group of talented and passionate coders is generally much more capable of achieving such kind of objectives than a multinational investing billions of euros and obtaining in return results embarrassing at least.
Alerted by the inexorable advancing of the next digital dark age, the European academy started a preservation plan for digital contents and artefacts with great ambitions. The KEEP (Keeping Emulation Environments Portable) project considers with particular care videogames and intends to create what has been defined the first “general purpose” emulator, capable of providing access to obsolete media and formats for nowadays and future generations.
There’s no doubt about the fact that ElSemi take his time when it’s about updating his Sega Model 2 arcade board emulator, but it’s similarly true that any new Model 2 Emulator update offers such an amount of improvements to give meaning to the time gone-by between a release and another. Seven months after the last revisions, therefore, the talented Spanish coder has in the past days delivered the 0.9 version of his thoroughbred arcade emulator.
If there’s something that the new digital store Good Old Games has clearly emphasized is the fact that retrogaming can become a business, but at its heart there must necessarily be the passion and the commitment of hobbyists able to feed that business with their coding and software engineering efforts. Without projects amateurish in shape but extremely sophisticated in essence like DOSBox and ScummVM, to say it frankly, probably GOG.com would have never opened.
The first two weeks of 2009 have marked significant news for MAME, the most advanced and complex arcade machines emulator kicking around. The development cycle of the main release 0.129 has ended and another one has unfolded to lead the code toward the next version 0.130, in the middle the Nicola Salmoria and mamedev’s virtual machine has brought further, radical changes, the likelihood that in the future there will be multiplayer for those games that comprise it and the emulation of two new laserdisc videogames.
The development cycle for the MAME 0.129 release isn’t finished yet, but the last intermediate version delivered by the mamedevs brings such important changes and novelties that it’s worth to look closely at them. The structural design of the emulator of emulators has undergone the nth shift while the list of emulated games includes now Firefox, the second laserdisc videogame to be added to MAME after Cube Quest.
Dark clouds await on the horizon of MESS, the all-inclusive emulator of home systems that shares a great part of the MAME base code and that above all embraces its philosophy of great fidelity to the inner workings of the hardware reproduced within the software. According to Haze, one of the eldest mamedevs that has been a long-time coordinator of the development on the Nicola Salmoria’s emulator, “the MAME framework is too fundamentally flawed to actually emulate these things properly“.
UPDATE: As widely expected, all the sources quoted in the post are now offering the download for the first laserdisc videogame emulated by MAME, though with various shapes and variously practical modes. The guide has been modified and updated according to the new wider availability.
Passed away the emotional fuddle for the news of the emulation of the first lasergame in the MAME history, here it is the question that necessarily follows: where to get the ginormous file in CHD format, of more than 10 Gigabytes, containing the dump of the game laserdisc? What I propose here is a brief yet useful (or at least I hope that) guide to the Internet recesses from which is currently possible to obtain this digital moloch to feed the emulator of emulators with.
UPDATE: A lucky user writing from the USA has received via mail the invite code that GOG.com has granted me. Happy retrogaming to him, to me and everyone enjoys the experience
Dunno why (yet), but the beta of Good Old Games, the digital store of retrogaming that would like to become a point of reference for the peculiar audience to which it refers, isn’t closed yet. Not so bad, anyway, personally I’ll profit to continue to test the service, buy some old classic that I still haven’t played and more generally devote myself to my preferred activity after sex. That is retrogaming
Sony Computer Entertainment chairman Kazuo “Kaz” Hirai would like to sell 150 millions of PlayStation 3 in ten years, but even that wouldn’t be enough to recover from the astounding cost of the 3 billions of dollars lost for the console. It has been said not by a Nintendo fanboy but by the Sony Corporation Chief Executive Officer Sir Howard Stringer, who has frankly admitted with the press that PS3 is and will be a product at a loss for the coming years yet.
After nine months of waiting and the recent foray in the meanders of the technologically gifted (but maybe not enough) handhelds, nullDC returns on PC with version 1.0.3 released in these days. The plug-in based emulator that has renewed the glories of the Sega Dreamcast console, offering its most advanced and accurate emulation available by now, is for this time coupled with its arcade counterpart, that is the NAOMI system supposed to be impossible to emulate in the past years and now turned into the nth technological wall knocked down thanks to the work of drk||Raziel & fellows.
Summer brings memorable news for the emulator of emulators MAME, that after the introduction of the dynamic recompilation engines and the preservation of obscure soviet games experiences a “first time” long awaited by enthusiasts, priers and simple players interested of the matter: the last version of the software adds the first lasergame (or laserdisc videogame) to the supported arcade titles, making real a work of years and putting an end to controversy and speculations that go along with the matter since.
UPDATE: on the DOSBox official homepage Qbix writes that, “after careful studying the statistics“, the date in which downloads summed up the 10 millions amount has been determined in July 21. Because of this the contest with the CD edition of Dune as a prize is still valid, and the winner selected “randomly” from the 4 people that guessed the date will be contacted shortly to receive it.
That’s an important goal achieved by “the x86 emulator with DOS“: DOSBox has passed over the crucial amount of 10 millions downloads, including all the supported platforms’ versions. As stated on the official forum hosted on VOGONS, the stats on SourceForge.net (the delivery platform that hosts the emulator) of the 17th of August have scored 10,025,792 downloads, and now DOSBox is the 43rd of the 50 most downloaded FOSS projects.
Just when you think you have seen emulated any sort of things, it is than that the guys of MAME Italian Forum amaze you with the announcement of a pretty odd addition to the endless heritage of the digital archive of MAME. This time the Borg-emulator created by doc. Nicola Salmoria re-creates S.O.S., a rare example of arcade built in Russia in the period between past and present better known as Perestroika.
He has recently opened one of the most burning debates in the emulation scene and now drkIIRaziel, maker of the awarded Sega Dreamcast emulator nullDC, steps in to establish some steady points for his last adventure, namely the conversion of the above said software originally developed on PC, for the Sony PlayStation Portable console.
The news run fast, newbies begin to become excited and spread the happy tale: Sony PlayStation Portable is able to emulate the Sega Dreamcast! And the credit of this epochal event would go to the author of nullDC, an emulator that can already reproduce, with remarkable fidelity, the Japanese console on Wintel PCs. Obviously reality is very different, pretty unlikely nullDC will emulate Dreamcast on PSP and his author has ragged a great deal of gullible unable to reckon a bit before exalting themselves for nothing.
This time I’m not talking about old (and always attractive!) corpses of emulation like Model 2 Emulator and ePSXe, but about actively developed projects released in their corresponding updated versions during the last few days. Projects like MAME, the emulators Borg which assimilates and annihilates everything, like MESS, which would like to do the same with home machines emu and like Raine, small but combative emulator optimized for a limited number of systems.
These aren’t exactly last hour events but, taking into consideration the specific gravity of the mentioned software and the twist that emulation has taken in the last months/years, it seems to me due to report that two of the more advanced and appreciated standalone emulators out there haven’t stopped their race yet to the development and termination of bugs and assorted defects.