As a Retro Game fanatic I have owned, imported, hacked or emulated pretty much EVERY Arcade, Console & Computer system over the years. Now it’s the Pi’s turn to be a platform for my emulation obsession! With this in mind I am posting my observations so far -
Emulation - Be mindful, emulators are notoriously exacting animals, most are painstakingly coded by fans of the original platform and distributed FOR FREE for our enjoyment! Most WILL NOT work straight out of the box! Also, the platform emulated often bears no correlation to performance, i.e. the Atari VCS, although not very powerful specification wise, IS processor intensive to emulate due to its custom TIA graphics/sound hardware! So, with that in mind here are my findings of the best emulator solutions I have discovered so far, all except Atari++, Mednafen and UAE can be run straight from terminal for added performance!
Advancemame-0.106.1 - THE ORIGINAL arcade emulator! Be wary though, often you need the CORRECT revision of ROM and/or sample! Dependencies required: libsdl1.2-dev, use gcc-4.7 to compile!
Advancemess-0.102.0.1 - *BBC Model B (MUCH faster than Beebem), *C64, *Colecovision, Nintendo NES, also runs *Atari 400/800 and *Vectrex, both are SLOWISH, but playable! *Bios required. Dependencies required: libsdl1.2-dev, use gcc-4.7 to compile!
Atari++ 1.60 - Fantastic, Atari 400/800 emulator, shame it will not run FULLSCEEN!
FBZX 2.10.0 - I find it a more elegant solution for ZX Spectrum emulator than FUSE!
Gngeo-0.7 - Neo-Geo AES/MVS, MUCH faster than Advancemame! Run with option --scale=2. As the core is based on MAME code this will also suffer from the need of the correct ROM revision! NB Though unlike Mame, which gives DISPLAYS the missing Rom files, this just reply’s “unknown or unsupported romset” making it a bit trickier to find the correct ones!
Mednafen - PC Engine, PC Engine CD and Supergrafx, can also be used to run Nintendo NES, works fine so long as you limit your resolution with the /boot/config.txt and DON’T run more that Scale x 1!
Pcsx Rearmed-r15-14 - A Sony Playstation emulator that effortlessly works FULLSPEED on the Pi! What an extraordinary piece of coding! Dependencies required: libbz2-dev, configure with --sound-drivers=sdl
Stella - Atari VCS, MUCH faster than Advancemess! Also effortlessly plays Pitfall 2 which had the addition of a custom DCP in the original cartridge, a lot of emulators struggle with this particular game!
UAE-0.8.29 - A pretty robust Commodore Amiga emulator, though “GLITCHY”. Dependencies required: libgtk2.0-dev, configure with --with-alsa
I am currently using image 2012-09-18-wheezy-raspbian, with the Pi over clocked to 900MHz. Mednafen and Stella can be installed straight from the Repo’s, I have compiled all the others myself, feel free to post any queries!