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flamepanther
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Re: Hardware Vs Emulators

by flamepanther Tue Oct 12, 2010 1:23 pm

On preference of emulators damaging retro cred:

Well first of all, the idea of "retro cred" is just a little bit silly. That said, I think it depends. For a seasoned gamer, emulation can provide a convenient way to relive the games of past systems. You know what it was like to press down on an NES cart (if you grew up in North America, anyway), or to dump quarters into a wooden cabinet inside a crowded arcade. Playing the games again can evoke all of those memories, even if the whole experience isn't right there anymore.

If, on the other hand, you're a younger gamer getting into retro gaming, I think you owe it to yourself to at least try to get the whole experience. Not knowing what it is to hold a platform's original controller, to see first hand what the quirks and limitations of the hardware is... Never having played the games as they were meant to be played, I think it would be much harder to have any sort of retro cred in any way at all--if such a thing matters. Just sayin'.
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Re: Hardware Vs Emulators

by noiseredux Tue Oct 12, 2010 1:24 pm

Hatta wrote:That's when the emulated display syncs at a different rate than the actual display, so the top and bottom of the screen seem to scroll at slightly different rates. Try playing Sonic without vsync or double buffering and you'll see what I mean. Here is a pretty good explanation and illustration.


woah that sucks:

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I've never seen that. Though I don't emulate all that often myself.
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Re: Hardware Vs Emulators

by palebluedot Tue Oct 12, 2010 1:24 pm

I was going to say pretty much exactly what Irixith said...

I've used both hardware and emulation extensively, and emulation just has way more possibilities! I like being able to bring my laptop and snes usb controllers to campus so I can play tetris attack, mario kart, etc. with all my friends between classes. It's nice for people who wouldn't have an easy access to the actual thing as well. Not everyone has money to spend on getting a nice collection together, so it's nice to be able to play some of the more expensive games in the meantime. People who would never get the chance to play those old classics now can whenever they please. :D

But, when I'm at home, I always go for the actual console first, if I already own the game. If I'm here with friends then for the most part they really do prefer the console anyways. I have a few friends who despise emulation though, and they just come off as really elitist, so that may influence why I love emulation. (more fun for everyone!)
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Re: Hardware Vs Emulators

by xan_racketBOY_fan Tue Oct 12, 2010 1:33 pm

pepharytheworm wrote:
irixith wrote:Emulation. I've got the original controllers + adapters, and to me the controllers are generally the missing link. Visual filters, save states, cheat searching, etc, etc etc -- why would I want to deal with things like RF output with today's display technology? I'm not keeping around an old CRT television -- they're huge, heavy and suck too much power.

I'm completely happy with the state of emulators for all the things I like to play. I have no want whatsoever to collect up all the physical carts and systems and such. I've already been there once, and it means absolutely nothing.


I always consider people with this mind set, gamers who play retro games and not retro gamers. People like this don't want to deal with the limitaions of the actual games and want modern convenieces. Whats retro about wanting it modern?

Valid point -- makes a ton of sense.
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Re: Hardware Vs Emulators

by irixith Tue Oct 12, 2010 1:33 pm

Hatta wrote:Save states, etc. That's cheating. Not much point in playing then.


I really dislike it when people take this view.

I'm not a 13 year old kid with all the time in the world anymore. The real world calls constantly, and it requires me to get up, go away, do something else, what have you. Save states allow me to pause what I'm doing exactly where I am, deal with the real world, and then come back and keep playing.

Not everyone evokes save states to avoid death, avoid respawning at the beginning of a level, or produce tool assisted perfect speedruns. I cannot always sit around waiting for the next save point (if the game even has one), you know? Time is limited. If I only have half an hour before the real world calls, I don't want to be replaying the same part of the game over and over because I didn't have the time to reach that save point. Think about it.

Hatta wrote:lag, lag, lag


This is one of those "ultimate hardware purist" arguments. It's like debating real audio CD vs a FLAC version. You'd have to give specific examples -- when I press the button on my controller, there's no lag between the button press and what happens on the screen using any emulator I can think of save one. SNES9x on the PC (up to and including the latest version) has some horribly broken controller code that makes the games unplayable with controllers. Press the button, wait, wait, wait, wait, there it goes!

palebluedot wrote:I have a few friends who despise emulation though, and they just come off as really elitist, so that may influence why I love emulation. (more fun for everyone!)


That's the biggest problem with the whole hardware vs emulation thing -- the hardware folks come off as pretentious elitist snobs, while the others are just trying to have fun. One of the best parts about retrogaming is sharing, not growing an e-penis because you have an NES with 700 real cartridges while someone else has them on a disc instead.
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Re: Hardware Vs Emulators

by Opa Opa Tue Oct 12, 2010 1:40 pm

irixith wrote:That's the biggest problem with the whole hardware vs emulation thing -- the hardware folks come off as pretentious elitist snobs, while the others are just trying to have fun.


Whoever said elitist snobs don't have fun?
(don't answer that)(nobody is going to win this emulation vs hardware discussion anyway because it's all personal preference)
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Re: Hardware Vs Emulators

by pepharytheworm Tue Oct 12, 2010 2:00 pm

irixith wrote:Retrogaming is about love for the systems.


Thats my whole point where is the love for the systems if you just emulate on a PC? I don't think everyone needs 20 systems and tons of games, I just can't see how anyone considers themselfs retro if all they do is emulate. The games you are playing may be retro, but the way you are playing, the feel and the look is not. Do you consider a car designed just like an 70's car with modern convenieces retro or retro styling? Now I do emulate to a point, to try things out or get translations, so I find nothing wrong with it as a personal choice. I would rather people emulate older games then not play them at all.
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Re: Hardware Vs Emulators

by Hatta Tue Oct 12, 2010 2:14 pm

irixith wrote:I'm not a 13 year old kid with all the time in the world anymore.


Neither am I, but I seem to get by with just hitting pause. You're right though, not all use of save states is cheating. But it can be easily abused, and since you mentioned cheat codes in the same breath I assumed you were. Simply using them as an enhanced pause button is fair, but I don't see the need myself.


Hatta wrote:lag, lag, lag


This is one of those "ultimate hardware purist" arguments. It's like debating real audio CD vs a FLAC version. You'd have to give specific examples -- when I press the button on my controller, there's no lag between the button press and what happens on the screen using any emulator I can think of save one.


I'll happily admit that I may be a bit paranoid about lag. But then again, just because you can't see it doesn't mean that it's not there and affecting your gameplay. Go compare the lagless MAME patches to mainline MAME. One or two frames of lag looks instantaneous, but you can feel the difference.

I'd say this is more of a 320kbps MP3 vs WAV debate, rather than a FLAC vs CD audio debate. In the former there are valid points on either side, in the latter there's no difference whatsoever.

That's the biggest problem with the whole hardware vs emulation thing -- the hardware folks come off as pretentious elitist snobs, while the others are just trying to have fun. One of the best parts about retrogaming is sharing, not growing an e-penis because you have an NES with 700 real cartridges while someone else has them on a disc instead.


Dunno why I'm coming off as elitist. I tried to be clear that these are my reasons for preferring hardware. You may have different habits or concerns that lead to a different conclusion. There's no right answer here. Though, I still feel that digging through a box of carts with a friend is a shared experience that can't be imitated by popping in a CD of ROMs.
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Re: Hardware Vs Emulators

by flamepanther Tue Oct 12, 2010 2:30 pm

irixith wrote:This is one of those "ultimate hardware purist" arguments. It's like debating real audio CD vs a FLAC version. You'd have to give specific examples -- when I press the button on my controller, there's no lag between the button press and what happens on the screen using any emulator I can think of save one. SNES9x on the PC (up to and including the latest version) has some horribly broken controller code that makes the games unplayable with controllers. Press the button, wait, wait, wait, wait, there it goes!
That's not quite an accurate analogy. It's not so much like comparing CD audio to a FLAC copy, which in theory should be identical. It's more like comparing an original CD to a 320 kbps MP3 copy--in theory there is definitely a difference, but the question is whether a human can perceive that difference. If a human can't tell the difference, the next question is whether the difference matters at all. Even there, the emulation side of the argument does a little worse.

See, depending on the song being played and the equipment it's played on, it's possible that a person with unusually good hearing might be able to identify a song as high quality MP3 instead of CD audio. In most cases, this would probably not significantly impact their enjoyment of the song. For it to be a problem, you'd have to both have outstanding hearing and be unusually picky.

When gaming, the factors are the amount of lag introduced, the ability of the player to notice lag, and the level of timing accuracy required by the game. In most (but not all) cases, the lag is probably slight enough that no human player would notice it. Even without noticing it though, that still leaves the possibility that a delay, even that small, could make the difference between winning and losing. Unlike with the music, you don't have to be able to perceive the difference for it to affect you.

That's not as far-fetched as you are probably thinking. Things like HDTV signal encoding/decoding and lag introduced by controller adapters has been a very large, well known issue for players of rhythm games like BeatMania and Dance Dance Revolution. I can easily imagine this also affecting hardcore shoot-em-up players and tournament level fighting game players.
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Re: Hardware Vs Emulators

by palebluedot Tue Oct 12, 2010 2:38 pm

Dunno why I'm coming off as elitist. I tried to be clear that these are my reasons for preferring hardware. You may have different habits or concerns that lead to a different conclusion. There's no right answer here. Though, I still feel that digging through a box of carts with a friend is a shared experience that can't be imitated by popping in a CD of ROMs.


I don't think anyone here is acting elitist at all. In my original post that he referred to, I was talking about guys who actual are really mean about emulation use or whatever, the 'stop having fun guys' :P.

I agree entirely with the whole nostalgia aspect of gaming, but I also believe new experiences can be created by use of emulators which someday will be looked at the same way as playing the original consoles. For example, I know I'll have plenty of fond memories of playing my emulators at school with people who would never actually play any games if I hadn't brought it to them.

I guess it's all sort of a waste of time, gaming rules, regardless of what you are gaming on. :D everything else is just a small part of that whole experience.
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