The Future of Portable Emulators


dogstar

Still Fresh
Joined
Jul 6, 2003
Messages
16
Ok, I have played the gamepark and love it. It really is an amazing machine capable of great emulations.

So I always have fun breaking out my crystal ball to look into the future. Please note, this is just my personal opinion and may be inaccurate. I am just going off on a tangent here :)

Right now, with the gamepark, it looks like the most powerful machines it can emulate are:

group #1
In theory: Running at 30 fps, frameskip 1
SNES
GENESIS
CPS1
AMIGA

These will probably be optimized, but never reach full speed. Probably something like half speed with sound.

So what would it take for the gamepark2 or tapware or whatever to emulate the next tier of systems, specifically:

group #2
In theory: Running at 5 fps
Playstation
Nintendo 64
Complete MAME
Gameboy Advance

The processor on the gamepark is an arm9 running at 133mhz. It looks like state of the art right now is the DragonBall i.MXL, which is the processor that the tapware will probably use. It runs at 200 mhz.
http://e-www.motorola.com/webapp/sps/site/...FQZrDR#features

The gamepark has 8 megs of ram. Currently it would be possible to drop in a chip with 32 megs of ram. So in theory our hypothetical next generation system might have 4 times as much ram as well.

Let's just assume that it is twice as fast as the gamepark processor with other on-chip optimizations and has four times the ram. So what will twice the speed bring us?

Not too much I would expect. It would probably double the speed of the group #1 emulators so they would now be running at full speed. That will be great, but will the doubling of speed really be worth it? Most games are pretty playable at 30 fps anyway.

But the group #2 games will only go from 5 fps to 10 fps. 10 fps is still completely unplayable. Now if there are 3d coprocessors than this figure might change, but tapware is not speced for such a chip (will have 2d coprocessor though) and it is doubtful the gamepark ever will have something like that.

What this means is that the next generation of portables will be completely unable to emulate the group #2 consoles (without overclocking) and will not until we can get the processors up to 400 mhz or so.

The exception might be the GPA which if the rumors are true is running at maybe 10 fps and might be playable with a doubling of the processor speed and more optimizations.

What do you guys think about this? Is this flawed reasoning or do you suspect there will be enough power and/or genius programmers to take on the group #2 emulators?
 

Tobriand

Very Active Member
Joined
Dec 27, 2002
Messages
4,071
Age
36
Location
Croydon (UK)
Website
Visit site
Placing the Amiga in group 1 might be a little optimistic... same with SNES... they prolly really belong in a group 1.3 - 30fps, fs 2, helluvalot of ASM. But that's personal opinion. Other than that, sounds reasonably fair. (tentatively testing the waters :) )
 

Twimfy

OMG 3 years here!
Joined
Jun 11, 2003
Messages
1,716
Age
36
Location
Bournemouth, UK
Website
www.stctg.co.uk
I don't think you can just catergorise emulators by just halving Fps. Hardware is what defines emulation possibilty. Look at todays Next generation consoles, Xbox is a lot easier to develop for than PS2 therefore on The GP512 it'll be running on a much lower frameskip than the PS2.

Your theory would definately fit back in 1992 but now I think things are changing just a bit too much and custom code and assemblies is screwing up the balance.

Interesting concept though.
 

dogstar

Still Fresh
Joined
Jul 6, 2003
Messages
16
Twimfy posted on Jul 12 2003 said:
I don't think you can just catergorise emulators by just halving Fps. Hardware is what defines emulation possibilty. Look at todays Next generation consoles, Xbox is a lot easier to develop for than PS2 therefore on The GP512 it'll be running on a much lower frameskip than the PS2.

Your theory would definately fit back in 1992 but now I think things are changing just a bit too much and custom code and assemblies is screwing up the balance.

Interesting concept though.
I know that each emulator will be slightly different in its frame rate, depending on the complexity of the system involved.

But I think my two main points are still sound.

Firstly that group #2 systems will all be in the same range of fps because they are in the same range of power generally. GBA is supposed to be as capable as a PSX without 3d hardware. N64 pushes less polys than PSX but has additional advanced capabilities. MAME is just kind of a big app that takes a lot of horsepower to run effectively and generally is thought to be out of reach of current gamepark hardware.

And secondly that whatever framerate that the emulator runs at, whether it be 5 or 15 fps, that that frame rate will effectively double with the doubling of the power of the host processor.

It is not clear how a quadruple increase in ram would affect the emulators if at all. I know it can help immensely in speeding up games because you can trade size for speed (with lookup tables and so forth) in many cases, but I'm not sure how it could be applied to speed up emulators.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

craigix

Mega GP Mania
Joined
Feb 3, 2003
Messages
11,010
Location
England
Website
twitter.com
The GBA emu from LAST YEAR ran at 10fps and it was totally in C. I don't think the author is working on it anymore, although its pretty easy to find online.

-Craig

www.gbax.com
 

crazeeplaya

That's the way I like it
Joined
Apr 26, 2003
Messages
740
Any chance of this guy releasing his sources. 10fps is very good for just C
 

dogstar

Still Fresh
Joined
Jul 6, 2003
Messages
16
craigix posted on Jul 12 2003 said:
The GBA emu from LAST YEAR ran at 10fps and it was totally in C. I don't think the author is working on it anymore, although its pretty easy to find online.

-Craig

www.gbax.com
Ok, now I'm going to be scouring the internet until I find this emulator!

So far google searches have turned up nothing. Please pm me a link if you know where this emulator is.

I would the gba would be easier to emulate actually because a) it was designed as a tiny, inexpensive portable and as such has more limitations than a full console, B) has a smaller resolution that most consoles and c) uses a compatible processor arm7 so an emulator may be able to run more efficiently.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

crazeeplaya

That's the way I like it
Joined
Apr 26, 2003
Messages
740
I also know where to get it, but I don't want to post it here as people might get annoyed
 

Rico

Certified Guru
Joined
Apr 4, 2003
Messages
5,649
Age
36
Location
England, UK
Website
Visit site
IMHO I don't care who gets it IF it's stopped being worked on. I see few reasons not to release the sources of canned projects, legal troubles in this case, maybe? Plus we don't know if he's really quit it.

Uh...putting GBA and N64 in the same fps class is insane. The N64 emu would require some sort of 3d graphics hardware for a start.
 

dogstar

Still Fresh
Joined
Jul 6, 2003
Messages
16
Rico posted on Jul 12 2003 said:
Uh...putting GBA and N64 in the same fps class is insane. The N64 emu would require some sort of 3d graphics hardware for a start.
Yeah, I'm starting to think maybe there is a 3rd category between the two that would probably include:

Gameboy Advance
CPS1 & 2
NeoGeo

These will run at less then half speed with full sound with full optimization but may still be playable. I still hold out that SNES will eventually run at half speed with sound once it has been fully optimized in assembly and so keep it in the first group.

This group is the one that would be likely to gain the most from the doubling of cpu speed and quadrupling of ram (many of their games are larger than the gp's 8 megs of ram).

As you said, the 3d group (group #2) may require a graphic coprocessor or maybe not. For instance, the system requirements for bleem was a pentium 166mhz, no graphics coprocessor. And there is no reason why all the N64 graphic effects need be implemented. For example, anti-aliasing may not be necessary with such a small screen.

Anyway, I am amazed at the solutions brilliant programmers can come up with. There is a work-around for anything if you try hard enough. I just can't wait for the day when I can play psx ridge racer or wave race 64 on my gpXX
 
Last edited by a moderator:

NiN^_^NiN

YOUR AUSSIE GP32 GURU!!!!!!!!&#3
Joined
May 30, 2003
Messages
1,008
Age
38
Location
Melbourne, Australia
Website
ninja.doomportables.org
Correct me if im worn g here but say the gba emulator comes out for the gp32

Nintendo would sue gameparks ass

not on the reason that the gba is on the system but the reason that gamepark made the system for people to play illegal games now im pretty sure that gamepark would be ok but the way nintendo does lawsuits i think they would win look at the flashcarts and lik-sang the damn N won altho they r appealing cause of the judge not knowing copyright law

But think the Big N wont care if they win by the time they get the lawsuit done gamepark will be out of business and in big debt

Dont u think this is what could happen?

:ph34r:
 

pubjoe

Member
Joined
May 21, 2003
Messages
577
Age
42
Location
Eastbourne SE England
Website
Visit site
Nintendo would sue gameparks ass

not on the reason that the gba is on the system but the reason that gamepark made the system for people to play illegal games now im pretty sure that gamepark would be ok but the way nintendo does lawsuits i think they would win look at the flashcarts and lik-sang the damn N won altho they r appealing cause of the judge not knowing copyright law

I think nintendo wouldn't have a case. All gamepark have done is release a handheld machine capable of open development. It does nothing more illegal than a PC.

It would be like sueing Bill Gates for running emulators within Windows.
Ha! actually that would be pretty cool.

But think the Big N wont care if they win by the time they get the lawsuit done gamepark will be out of business and in big debt

...yeah maybe I suppose it might interest some ignorant court officials. But at the end of the day the GP32 is a completely legal peice of hardware, about as illegal as a packet of Rizlas. - It's the abusers who are breaking the law - Okay... most users but Gamepark hold no responsability for what people use there hardware for, it's capable of so much more anyway.
 

Esn

(:";
Joined
Mar 5, 2003
Messages
3,239
Location
Toronto, Canada
Website
esn.newgrounds.com
I don't think that's the way court cases work today.

Here's an example of what I think will happen:

1. someone releases a playable GBA emulator for GP32

2. Nintendo finds out, and slaps a huge lawsuit onto Gamepark, with their main arguments being that the GP32 early in its development said that it included a GBA emulator built-in, and that GP later made its console specifically in a way as to allow emulation of other systems. It'll provide a ton of things that Gamepark said long ago as evidence, and then some, until there's be an enormous pile of evidence against Gamepark (although most if not all of it will be false).

3. Gamepark is forced to hire professional lawyers, who must then spend much time proving Nintendo's evidence wrong.

4. Gamepark wins the lawsuit, but because of the huge legal costs it goes bankrupt in the process and has no money left to sue Nintendo for those damages.

5. Production of GP32s stops. The end. :ph34r:
 

NiN^_^NiN

YOUR AUSSIE GP32 GURU!!!!!!!!&#3
Joined
May 30, 2003
Messages
1,008
Age
38
Location
Melbourne, Australia
Website
ninja.doomportables.org
Thankyou ESN thats what i was saying (i prob didnt write it proper).

But don't forget that the court case would be in korea and that it could have the same porblem as lik-sang had in hong kong.

Even if the BIG N lost (which will prob happen but u never no) gamepark would be stuffed unless another company helped by them out and get the damages claims.

Now i think about it i heard that korea dosent have videogames there that much why is that? could they argue that it was made in korea and only for korea so they arnt responsiable?

ok thats a bit fo a long shot :(

:ph34r:
 

pubjoe

Member
Joined
May 21, 2003
Messages
577
Age
42
Location
Eastbourne SE England
Website
Visit site
Hmm.... I didn't know that Gamepark said that about emulating the GBA. I didn't think Nintendo would have any grounds to sue until I read that.

Still a tough one to call, might make a good poll.
 

chortya

Still Fresh
Joined
Jul 12, 2003
Messages
20
Location
Germany
Website
Visit site
Hm..
Did Nintendo sued any PC or PocketPC software or hardware manufactor for emulating all N consoles from GB to N64 and GBA? No.. emulation isn't a crime, but distribution of illegal roms coused by popularity of emulators is.
Sorry for my English ;)
 

pubjoe

Member
Joined
May 21, 2003
Messages
577
Age
42
Location
Eastbourne SE England
Website
Visit site
yeah, but the question is, would nintendo have grounds enough to just take it to court (and cripple Gamepark in the process)

[edit]
...Especially if Gamepark was mouthing of about GBA emulators. - Does anyone have any info/links regarding this?
 

RoboJoe32

Member
Joined
Mar 9, 2003
Messages
815
If nintendo even tried such a thing, don't you think us die-hard GP32 fans would get PO'ed and flood them with emails about TRUE legal documents and how that the GBA emulator is an amatuerly coded APP and no software came with the GP32 to use is? Don't ya think that SOMEONE may stand up against nintendo's reign of microsoft-ish tyranny and speak out against their outdated iron fisted ways from the NES days? And mention their many illegal choices in their backgrounds? AND mention that their OWN gamecube, runs an emulator (The un-released and original zeldas on the wind waker extra disc ACTUALLY runs, on an emulator) and their GBA can be used for emulation of the NES? Let's all try to make a sort of deal now, if nintendo ever pulls such idiocy, let's flood them with complaints, truths, and such, if that doesn't work... Take it to the courts with petitions, surveys, legal documentation. And arguements against nintendo's legal status on the situation.
 
Top