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Forlorn Drifter
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Best option for an emulator box?

by Forlorn Drifter Thu Nov 24, 2016 10:24 pm

Right, I'm still on the skids as to figuring out what would work best for me. A Raspberry Pi seems like the best option, but I'd figure I'd do some looking around just to be sure. I'm looking for simplicity of use, and ease of setup, though that last one might not be quite the easiest to find.

Other things I'm interested in are controller variety (through USB, Bluetooth, adapters, etc), the widest emulation ability (up to N64 mainly, though Dreamcast would be nice... Saturn is a pipe dream), and usability by non-gaming informed people.

Ideally, I'd like to be in the $100 or less range, but "ease of use/setup" might drive me over. I don't really have any preference of what it runs on or anything like that.
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samsonlonghair
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Re: Best option for an emulator box?

by samsonlonghair Fri Nov 25, 2016 7:12 am

I feel like we had this discussion recently, but maybe it got sidetracked. Sorry about that.

For less than a hundred dollars just pick up an old PC. That's maybe not the form factor you were looking for, but bear with me here.
  • simplicity of use - You already know how to use a windows PC
  • ease of setup - Console emulators on windows require no hacking or coding on the part of the end user. Just download the emulator and the ROM files and start running. Usually no installation is necessary; the emulator typically just runs straight off the files. The only contrivance is to download a BIOS file for disc-based consoles like SegaCD, PS1, and Dreamcast.
  • controller variety - There are literally thousands of USB and bluetooth controllers on the market, and all are windows compatible. There are also adapters for any retro controller to connect to the PC. Your controller variety is unlimited.
So I recommend looking for a used mini-PC in a form factor you find attractive - or you can even hide the PC behind a shelf if you like.
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Anayo
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Re: Best option for an emulator box?

by Anayo Fri Nov 25, 2016 5:15 pm

I use a jailbroken Nintendo Wii with the homebrew channel installed on it. It has 32 GB SD card full of NES, SNES, Sega Genesis, Sega CD, and PC Engine games. I also connected a 40 GB hard drive via USB full of Gamecube games. It's really convenient, since most of these support Wii remotes, Wii classic controller, and Gamecube controllers.

N64 and Playstation emulators for the Wii are available as well, they just weren't as big of a priority for me so I haven't checked how well they perform.
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Re: Best option for an emulator box?

by fastbilly1 Fri Nov 25, 2016 6:10 pm

Anayo wrote:I use a jailbroken Nintendo Wii with the homebrew channel installed on it. It has 32 GB SD card full of NES, SNES, Sega Genesis, Sega CD, and PC Engine games. I also connected a 40 GB hard drive via USB full of Gamecube games. It's really convenient, since most of these support Wii remotes, Wii classic controller, and Gamecube controllers.

N64 and Playstation emulators for the Wii are available as well, they just weren't as big of a priority for me so I haven't checked how well they perform.

N64 is spotty at best, PSX is actually decent. Despite that, I second softmodded wii. It takes about thirty minutes to do, there are tons of great games that work well on it, and Wiis pop up for very cheap (I have bought two this year for $10 each)

Other than that, a cheap PC. Refurb business laptops popup for $100ish on Ebay, they will run everything up to 6th gen - sans Saturn.
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Re: Best option for an emulator box?

by coloradog1 Fri Nov 25, 2016 7:01 pm

After reading the previous thread I decided to go the Rasberry Pie route with Retropie. So far, I am quite happy. Easy to set up. I have a 64GB micro SD card installed which has just about everything I could want.

The only complaint I have is that lack of a power switch, so I must unplug/replug the power to turn on.
Systems: Genesis 1&2&3, Sega CD 1&2, CDX, 32X, Saturn, Dreamcast, NES, SNES, N64, GameCube, Wii, Wii U, Jaguar, Jaguar CD, TG 16, TurboDuo, PC Engine Duo-R, PS1, PS2, PS3, PS4, Neo Geo AES, MVS, Neo Geo CD, Xbox, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Amiga CD32, 3DO FZ-10, FZ-1, Pioneer CLD-A100
Portables: Gameboy, GB Advance, DS, 3DS, Sega Game Gear, Nomad, Neo Geo Pocket Color, PSP, Vita
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Jagosaurus
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Re: Best option for an emulator box?

by Jagosaurus Fri Nov 25, 2016 8:24 pm

@ OP, do you already have an oXbox or Wii laying around? That would be a great start. You could get started for next to nothing.
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Forlorn Drifter
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Re: Best option for an emulator box?

by Forlorn Drifter Fri Nov 25, 2016 9:30 pm

No, I sadly don't have an Xbox or Wii laying around. I have an old 360, but from what I've seen that's a terrible option for emulation.

I can probably find a Wii somewhere pretty easily. I like the idea of grabbing a Wii U and just getting homebrew on vWii, but I don't think I'll be likely to find a cheap Wii U for a while yet.
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samsonlonghair
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Re: Best option for an emulator box?

by samsonlonghair Fri Nov 25, 2016 10:12 pm

fastbilly1 wrote:N64 is spotty at best, PSX is actually decent. Despite that, I second softmodded wii. It takes about thirty minutes to do, there are tons of great games that work well on it, and Wiis pop up for very cheap (I have bought two this year for $10 each)

Other than that, a cheap PC. Refurb business laptops popup for $100ish on Ebay, they will run everything up to 6th gen - sans Saturn.


How about virtual console WADs of N64 games? Wouldn't those work well?

In any case, I think a wii is also a good option for forlorn. If you don't use a PC, a Wii would be my second choice.
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Forlorn Drifter
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Re: Best option for an emulator box?

by Forlorn Drifter Sat Nov 26, 2016 3:47 am

From what I've seen, the N64 through VC games are good, and some others that were never released on VC, but the big problem children still have issues.
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Re: Best option for an emulator box?

by Ziggy587 Sat Nov 26, 2016 9:40 am

If you go the Wii route, be sure to get one that has GCN support! As already mentioned, there's already a ton of official controller options available. What's more, there's a ton of adapters available that either plug into a GCN controller port or a Wii remote.

For example: http://www.raphnet-tech.com/products/sn ... /index.php
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