Retro gaming/Emulation

I’m a big fan of emulation on the PC of old(er) games; arcade, home systems, even older computer games.

This will be organized by topic concerning some of the larger groups that either allow you to play the games (i.e. the hardware emulator) or allow you to play them more easily (i.e. front ends or collections).

Generally speaking, you use a hardware emulator to run the game software for a specific system. If you only want to emulate arcade video games, you could use the hardware emulation built into MAME to run the software for each video game. If you want to run games on the Wii or GameCube you could use the Dolphin hardware emulator.

The hardware emulator is like having the actual console or arcade inner workings on your computer. You still need the actual game to play ON the hardware emulator – a ROM for an arcade game, or one of the CDs/DVDs/cartridges from the home systems. Just like you plug in a cartridge into a Super Nintendo (SNES), you load the game software into the SNES hardware emulator.

If you want to emulate multiple hardware devices, it is convenient to have a front end. You choose the game you want to play, and it loads the correct hardware emulator and loads the software of the game into that hardware emulator.

Finally, in between the hardware emulator and the front end there are some systems – I call them launchers – that add to the experience either by allowing the front end to be used by you more easily, or adding features such as pausing, passing commands to controllers (i.e. using an Xbox360 controller with your Dolphin emulator to simulate using a Wii controller), etc.


Front ends (LaunchBox, GameEx, EmulationsStation, HyperSpin, etc.)

  1.  Compressed ROMs in LaunchBox (using Demul as example)

Launchers (RocketLaunch, RetroArch)

  1. RocketLauncher with Launchbox
  2. RetroArch tips and tricks
  3. Adding default emulator to RocketLaunch when system name not recognized

Hardware emulators (CEMU, Dolphin, MAME, PCSX2, Xenia, etc)

  1. Mednafen core for Sega Saturn through RetroArch