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Smellbringer

Emulate or Not

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Posted · Original PosterOP

I'm going stir crazy over this and need help. I have a PC and several retro console, but the retro consoles all look like ass on an upscaler. I know there are fixes like the Retrotink and OSSC but tha's really expensive, but emulation looks good without spending all that money, but OG hardware gives you 100% compatibility, but the hardware is rotting away, but the feel of sitting down with the original system can't be beat, but emulation gives you everything under one roof without all that space taken, and I just can't choose. Emulate or not? What do I do? I don't know how to choose and i just want to play the games and I can't decide how.

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1 hour ago, Smellbringer said:

I'm going stir crazy over this and need help. I have a PC and several retro console, but the retro consoles all look like ass on an upscaler. I know there are fixes like the Retrotink and OSSC but tha's really expensive, but emulation looks good without spending all that money, but OG hardware gives you 100% compatibility, but the hardware is rotting away, but the feel of sitting down with the original system can't be beat, but emulation gives you everything under one roof without all that space taken, and I just can't choose. Emulate or not? What do I do? I don't know how to choose and i just want to play the games and I can't decide how.

If you want to why do you just restore the caseing and stick in a raspberry pie and load retropie and sort of the best of both worlds.

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1 hour ago, Smellbringer said:

I'm going stir crazy over this and need help. I have a PC and several retro console, but the retro consoles all look like ass on an upscaler. I know there are fixes like the Retrotink and OSSC but tha's really expensive, but emulation looks good without spending all that money, but OG hardware gives you 100% compatibility, but the hardware is rotting away, but the feel of sitting down with the original system can't be beat, but emulation gives you everything under one roof without all that space taken, and I just can't choose. Emulate or not? What do I do? I don't know how to choose and i just want to play the games and I can't decide how.

I'm in the same boat, buddy.  I have a non-working SNES sitting around.  I say go with emulation.  Most emulation is near perfect for older console systems (NES, SNES, Genesis, etc.) and the output quality is best on any modern PC.  Also emulators are free unlike hardware solutions like Retron or Super Nt.


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13 hours ago, quakeguy81 said:

I'm in the same boat, buddy.  I have a non-working SNES sitting around.  I say go with emulation.  Most emulation is near perfect for older console systems (NES, SNES, Genesis, etc.) and the output quality is best on any modern PC.  Also emulators are free unlike hardware solutions like Retron or Super Nt.

Retron is the worst of both worlds IMO. Pay for hardware and cartridges but still get emulation. I don't see why any one would buy one.


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Original systems on SNES/Genesis era and before only make sense on a CRT IMO. A modern TV adds delay so you're not getting the original hardware experience anyways. I can't imagine beating Tyson on PunchOut without playing on a CRT to zero out input lag.


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My buddy still has his old systems (Saturn, PS2, Gamecube, Wii/U, 360, PS3, Xbox) and we went through the effort of trying to get them all set up and working in his office. It's a pain in the ass. The PS2 has something like 90% of its library running at 480i, and there's no good way to get video output that isn't ass. The Xbox has 5.1 surround sound, but he only has the RCA cable which outputs a noisy 480p, and his receiver won't convert that analog signal to HDMI, so he needs an adapter. Or to try and find a $100 component cable.

 

There's HDMI converter cables, but they all have drawbacks. For us, we actually have surround sound, and for some reason the HDMI adapter cable doesn't support that. The video is significantly cleaner, which is nice, but a lot of the games get some kind of odd darkening. I've found somewhere a guy that makes a more native HDMI output you solder directly on to the Xbox board which is a nice solution, but we'd have to make it. He's an electrical engineer, so it's literally his job and I'm sure he could do it, but still.

 

Or we could just run emulators on the PC and buy modern controllers for all the systems adapted to USB, and play them with flawless images anywhere up to 4k. We wouldn't have to switch inputs or have bookshelves full of consoles and games. But we still probably would anyways, let's be real. Some of the emulators even support surround sound, though that's mainly for the PS2 and Xbox, which there's also the chance that the games are just natively on PC. There's also not having to spend $90 on a Dreamcast game from a used book store.

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This probably isn't a very popular opinion, but emulation usually gets you a better experience than the original hardware: the video and audio are usually cleaner, you don't need to worry about up-scaling and conversion on modern TVs and you can usually tweak quite a few settings, which you can't do on a console. What's more, the original hardware isn't always very reliable depending on age. Plus, emulators for popular consoles are now at a point where compatibility and accuracy are near 100%

 

But i also get why people want the original systems. Heck, i own a NES, a SNES and 2 game gears (both of which needed cap replacements btw).The feel of using the old hardware can't be matched by an emulator.  There are ways to get the OG controllers connected via USB, but it isn't always the same.

So it's up to you, really. Do you value the experience or the authenticity more?


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37 minutes ago, Coaxialgamer said:

This probably isn't a very popular opinion, but emulation usually gets you a better experience than the original hardware: the video and audio are usually cleaner, you don't need to worry about up-scaling and conversion on modern TVs and you can usually tweak quite a few settings, which you can't do on a console. What's more, the original hardware isn't always very reliable depending on age. Plus, emulators for popular consoles are now at a point where compatibility and accuracy are near 100%

I'd argue that a clean video signal is a detriment unless the emulator can, well, emulate composite filtering. Otherwise you lose out on the way developers designed their games' graphics and it makes the game look uglier by comparison.

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13 hours ago, Coaxialgamer said:

This probably isn't a very popular opinion, but emulation usually gets you a better experience than the original hardware: the video and audio are usually cleaner, you don't need to worry about up-scaling and conversion on modern TVs and you can usually tweak quite a few settings, which you can't do on a console. What's more, the original hardware isn't always very reliable depending on age. Plus, emulators for popular consoles are now at a point where compatibility and accuracy are near 100%

 

But i also get why people want the original systems. Heck, i own a NES, a SNES and 2 game gears (both of which needed cap replacements btw).The feel of using the old hardware can't be matched by an emulator.  There are ways to get the OG controllers connected via USB, but it isn't always the same.

So it's up to you, really. Do you value the experience or the authenticity more?

Personally... I'd argue that emulating 6th generation consoles specifically is an odd one. You normally don't get cleaner audio even if we're talking GameCube games on Dolphin and in the case of PCSX2, there's a decent number of games (cough Gran Turismo 3) that honestly look worse because they have to be deinterlaced in a strange way.

But that being said, the cost of an ideal 6th generation setup is fucking expensive. Funny enough, I'd argue that getting the Xbox to look its best is the cheapest because the Component video adapter for it isn't all that uncommon or expensive (they're like $50 or something on eBay but you can probably find them cheaper locally in the States). The PlayStation 2 perpetually looks terrible on most TVs (but honestly? Hilariously, I think it looks just fine through capture cards upscaled through that) and the GameCube is WAY too expensive to make it look good for most people. Even the HDMI adapters that are coming out are at least $150+ or something like that, and if you want the real deal Component cables? Fucking forget about it. That is where I see 6th gen emulation becoming a really appealing proposition.


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