The Best NES Emulator for the Nintendo DS: nesDS
Adding some retro functionality to your Nintendo DS is always a good thing. This time we will be showing off NES emulation for all your favorite 8-bit Nintendo classics.
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What Is The Best NES Emulator?
I was surprised to find that most of the emulation sites out there are pushing old NES emulators that are just slight modifications of their GBA counterparts. nesDS, on the other hand, customized the PocketNES code to take full advantage of the DS hardware and to improve performance and compatibility. It isn’t perfect, but I think you will find it quite suitable for most games.
After some of my frustrating experiences getting some of my GP2X emulators to run, I was very happy with the simplicity of the nesDS installation. Assuming your homebrew cart doesn’t require patching, all you do is download the executable file and put it in a folder with some NES ROMs. (Actually, you don’t need folders, and your ROMs can be elsewhere, but folders usually help keep things organized)
For my CycloDS Evolution cartridge, I just copied over a folder (named “NES”) that had the executable and my ROMs on to MicroSD card, popped it in my DS Lite, and I was good to go. No configuration needed. (Configurations options are availible for tweaking, but I don’t bother)
If you need need installation assistance with older DS homebrew solutions, check out this wiki guide at PocketHeaven.
Video Tour of nesDS
To get a better feel for how nesDS handles, I’ve recorded a quick video that walks through some of the menus and shows a few popular games in action.
nesDS’s Best Features
- High compatibility
- Full speed for most games
- “Rewind” feature with R-trigger
- “Fast Mode” with L-trigger
- Save states
Complaints & Limitations
- Not a huge deal, but I can’t seem to navigate the menus with the D-pad and face buttons. It all seems to be touch-screen based. Since the menu options are small, you will need a stylus for best results.
- There is no DPCM sound (SMB3 drums, Kung Fu laughing, etc), unlike PocketNES.
- There is also no raw PCM sound (speech in Joshua, SCAT, Big Bird’s Hide and Speak), like PocketNES.