Emulation on "mobile" hardware

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Emulation on "mobile" hardware

Postby Stone » October 14th, 2008, 8:48 am

As I'm thinking about getting a netbook, I thought it's time to discuss the Retro-ability of those and on mobile phones in an extra topic.

Netbooks: I've heard that SNES should be flawless even on Celeron powered EeePC's from the first generation, can anyone confirm this?

Mobile Phone: I'm using MeBoy on my SE W910i, it's a Java Game Boy emulator, good enough for Tetris Attack and Pokémon.
Like Qyzbud said, the N-Gage is even capable of SNES emulation to a certain degree.

Any further experiences?
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Re: Emulation on "mobile" hardware

Postby Qyzbud » October 20th, 2008, 7:28 pm

Hey good idea. I can add a fair bit to this topic from personal experience, so I'll edit and bump this post (or just post again below) when I get a chance. I'm working with my E71 currently to see what emulators work best, and so far the Vampent ones are the best I've used when the big N's concerned.

More info soon.
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Re: Emulation on "mobile" hardware

Postby Kiddy14 » October 21st, 2008, 10:54 am

I had never heard of Java-based mobile phones being capable of doing emulation; it'd be cool if I could use mine actually.

I know there are some SNES emulators for the NDS and the PSP though; a friend has it and I've seen some videos in YT. The only bad thing about the PSP is that the games look flat because of the widescreen, but I don't think that's too bad.
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Re: Emulation on "mobile" hardware

Postby Stone » October 22nd, 2008, 8:28 am

Just got my Eee 901, SNES9x is working well.
I also tested the CPS3 emulator with Street Fighter 3, also nice!
Tomorrow I may test Project 64, VBA, etc. ...
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Re: Emulation on "mobile" hardware

Postby Stone » October 30th, 2008, 1:26 am

So, some news:
VBA isn't working that well at the moment, but I've just tested SMW3 - Yoshis Island yet.
Most N64 games from the first generation are working (Mario 64, Mario Kart 64, Wave Race)
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Re: Emulation on "mobile" hardware

Postby Qyzbud » November 2nd, 2008, 3:08 am

Good to hear that your Eee is doing well as an emulation station for the most part... I'm surprised to hear about VBA causing problems, though. If Mario 64 is working okay, I'd think Yoshi's Island would be fine. I'm not a GBA expert, but I figure PJ64 would be the real challenge for your netbook. I remember when I was shopping for my first laptop, my main requirements were that it could rip CDs, and run ZSNES with transparency effects. :P Ah, that was some years ago now.

Okay, so I've tested all of Vampent's emulators (link), and they are all pretty darn excellent. All SNES games I've tried run amazingly well on my E71 - as long as I play without sound. It seems that sound support is what slows things down all round, as even the GB and NES emulators have a hard time producing non-stuttery sound/music. Maybe a more 'powerful' phone (like the Nokia N95 or N96) would do the job better, but I've pretty much resigned myself to playing without sound... or putting on a custom playlist, perhaps.

Besides sound, the only issues I'm having are to do with the keys/controls - although that's purely an issue with my phone's hardware rather than a shortcoming with the emulators. Basically, it's the 'rollover' issue I'm having; if I press more than two keys at a time (certain combinations only), the third keypress will be ignored. It's a bit unfortunate, but hey; I'm sure I'll find a suitable workaround to make roll-jumps more accessible when going to the left...

Anyhow, the Vampent emulators get my full recommendation. The main drawback is that they are NOT free software. I purchased the NES, SNES & GB emulators a few years ago, and have just been issued a free upgrade of each of them for compatibility with my new phone. It's a shame they aren't free, but I guess it's a pretty tricky task creating such sophisticated software for hardware of such limited power... they deserve a little something for their efforts.

I'm not too sure how wide the compatibility is with Vampent's emu's, actually - is symbian software supported on many non-Nokia phones? Hopefully this post is of interest to someone, anyhow. :P
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Re: Emulation on "mobile" hardware

Postby Stone » November 3rd, 2008, 5:58 am

I'm doing a little PJ64 session now, so there will be new info soon.
To the VBA problem: There are 3 possibilities I can think of:
- The rom I have is a hacked one (starts with a silly screen that tells me who was ripping it. What a waste...)
- VBA emulation started at a time with PC's more than fast enough for this kind of emulation, so there may have been no optimization for older/less powerfull hardware.
- PJ64 uses the graphic card, while the VBA may rely on CPU-power only (I'm not that experiened with VBA 8-) )

Qyzbud, after reading about your "emulation-on-phone" experiences, I really wished I would have taken emulation capability into account when I was buying my Sony Ericsson.
But on the other side, I'm a fan of free software - and especially in DKC - a fan of sound! :mrgreen:

EDIT: From the games I've tested now, Conker's Bad Fur Day and Perfect Dark had the slowest framerates (possibly playable with patience and TASing' ambitions ;) ).
These games have good framrates (some with occasional slowdowns, of course):

1080° Snowboarding
Banjo-Kazooie
Banjo-Tooie
Blast Corps
Bomberman 64
Forsaken 64
Iggy's Reckin' Balls
Legend of Zelda - Ocarina of Time
Mario Kart 64
Starfox 64 / Lylat Wars
Super Mario 64
Super Smash Bros.
Wave Race 64

Unfortunately, some of them aren't very stable in PJ64. Both Banjos may crash in the first minute already, f.e.
Perhaps I can stop them crashing with the right (video) settings.
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Re: Emulation on "mobile" hardware

Postby Stone » July 19th, 2009, 5:54 pm

I've recently downloaded another VBA version, somehow it works perfectly fine.
At least with F-Zero Maximum Velocity.
Now I think I have done some faulty setting in the old one, or that it wasn't good to start it from an external device (USB flash drive f.e.)
It's about time testing more games ;)
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Re: Emulation on "mobile" hardware

Postby Cody » August 25th, 2014, 5:08 pm

Bumping this topic... it's crazy how the smartphone market has practically become saturated in just a few short years.

I remember the day I got the Motorola Droid, my first foray into smartphones. It was early February 2010. I looked up something along the lines of "emulators for android," only to find out that there were already NES, SNES, GB/GBC and GBA emulators, with an N64 emulator in the works! I was stoked to say the least. The NES and GB/GBC emulators ran near-perfectly (as one would expect), and GBA lagged a bit at times but otherwise perfect. The SNES was a unique case... the emulator ran lots of ROMs but with mountains of audio and graphical problems. Games like DKC and Super Mario World ran fairly well. DKC2's graphical issues caused the game to be nearly unplayable at times, and DKC3's cavern levels crashed the emulator. Super Mario RPG was unplayable entirely.

A month later the N64 emulator was released, and it was just good enough to run Mario 64 at nearly-full speed with audio disabled. It was a huge battery waster and the phone would borderline-overheat, but it was Mario 64 on the go, which blew my mind. I think I got to Shifting Sand Land before I gave it a rest, I was so stoked.


I was more than content with portable emulation regardless of its problems... but sometimes my phone would freeze during emulation, or my battery would overheat. Eventually the physical keyboard's keys started to fall off, so I kind of had to stop playing.

About 6 months ago I got the LG Enact, a small, cheap Android phone that, like the Droid, boasts a sturdy physical keyboard (a rarity nowadays). Despite having only average specs in terms of what other modern smartphones have to offer, it has everything I could ever want, including more than enough processing power to successfully run a plethora of emulators at full speed (with a powerful battery to back it up!)


Image

^ here's a mock-up of the SNesoid emulator with an appropriately-marked button input layout. For reasons I can't seem to comprehend, multi-button press is strangely unresponsive with certain key combinations, with the above input being the most viable fix I can find.

I'd recommend the LG Enact to anyone looking for a nice Android phone with emulation capabilities. NES, GB/GBC, GBA and SNES run as well as they could ever. N64 emulation is also phenomenal; games like SM64, Banjo-Kazooie, Mario Kart and Diddy Kong Racing are fully playable even with audio.

SM64 in particular was an exciting experience, tons of fun getting all 120 stars on the go.
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