This news would have come out a bit earlier if I hadn’t have to deal with some other stuff, nevertheless the subject is interesting and deserves to be reported anyway: MESS, MAME twin emulator which embraces its philosophy of completeness and accuracy shifting the focus from the arcades to the home machines hardware, has recently added support for Philips CD-i, ie what almost certainly is the worst videogame “console” ever appeared in the not-so-young history of the medium.
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.
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“.
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.