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The FPGA thread, better than emulation.

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So how many of you people messed with FPGA consoles yet.


In my opinion, the MiSTer with it's Neo Geo, CPS1, and various console cores make this an almost no brainer. 


Only thing that is currently missing is netplay, but the MiSTer cores been running better than MAME or even Final Burn Alpha does, the FPGA been doing some near perfect simulation of the original hardware. 


There some other FPGA systems/consoles too like the Sidi, the MIST, the Analogue Consoles, the AVS, ect. 



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I've been wanting to get a MiSTer but I know RAM was hard to find for a while and I've been waiting for PS1 to be supported.  Proper 32-bit era console support will replace the need for ODEs on Saturn/PS1.


I'd normally use one for Neo Geo but I have a MVS so no need for a MiSTer on that front yet. 😃

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I'm not terribly hype about arcade cores since I think MAME is good enough for most sprite-based arcade platforms.  2D consoles are similar in that they can be emulated with a high degree of accuracy pretty easily on any modern computer.


Once you start doing 3D stuff things get weird with different graphics plugins and differences in how things are rendered.  PS1/PS2 games are super easy to run but getting that high accuracy is still a pain in the ass using emulation.  That's why I can't wait for FPGA systems that are powerful enough to recreate 3D-based gaming hardware.

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True, but the problem with Emulation is you need a powerful CPU for actual accurate emulation.

The most accurate SNES Emulator BSNES (now called Higan) actually taxes a PC's CPU quite heavily and requires a 3.7ghz processor (which is required to accurately run SNES games with any add-on chips). Sure you can get Zsnes as it can run on a potato, but Zsnes is  an out dated speedhack emulator that runs with such bad accuracy that it makes  games unbearable to play. 

For most people their Smart phones or a Raspberry Pi is "Good Enough", but to those who played on real hardware enough or grew up on theses devices notice the sounds are off, graphical glitches, that there shimmering and screen tearing, and there noticeable amounts of lag. 

You also have to look at High level and Low Level Emulation, at the high level you are just tricking the game to run, you are only simulating the higher end functions of that system you trying to emulate. Its why I felt the n64 emulation gone nowhere in the last 21 years. Yeah they got compatibility up, but this requires a host of game specific plug-ins or per game patches to make the game run "correctly". Even then you got games like Pilotwings 64 and certain levels in Mario kart 64 with graphical glitches (in Mario Kart's case the jumbo-tron screen in one of the courses will not work). The Sega Saturn Emulators I think is good enough to run a okay performance of Radiant Silvergun, but does not run that many games. 

Also comparing various emulators to Neo Geo, as I too own a MVS, Mame does a good enough approach which already sours my view of it, Neo Rage X does a better job than Mame, but it has a lot to left desired, so you are stuck with RAINE or FB Alpha both are decent but does not compare to actual hardware. Oh and what ever they used for recent PC ports of Neo Geo games are awful, but the upside is that the GOG/Steam ports are a good legal source of the game roms.

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Yeah I have used higan in the past and thought it was pretty great.


I feel like by the time FPGA is something that gains widespread adoption CPUs will have become fast enough to run high-spec emulators for 2D systems.  At that point it won't matter too much if you want to go FPGA or emulator for accuracy.


For 3D games I think FPGA will become viable sooner.  If PS1 core development picks up then maybe I'll hold off on modding my PS1 with HDMI and an ODE...

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5 hours ago, misterBee said:

At that point it won't matter too much if you want to go FPGA or emulator for accuracy.

To be honest, it depends how well the code is written for ether one 
I like the MiSTer as its one machine going like a dozen or so consoles. 
Yeah I could just install RetroArch on my PC and call it a day, but in the end I get more out of FPGA for me.
Now only if they can do Tetris The Grand Master and Tetris the Absolute The Grand Master 2
I found the only emulator that does Tetris right at the moment is a modified MAME built for Shumps, Shump Mame 4. 

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