Arcade emulators

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Example of a Ms. Pac-Man arcade cabinet.
Arcades were venues in which many games were played at, often containing thousands of games. Arcades often got their revenue from players who paid to play games. Machines often varied by their design and, unlike consoles, were often tailored to just one game. Most arcade emulators focus on emulating many systems in one program, the scope of which varies between projects.

Emulators[edit]

Name Operating System(s) Latest Version # of Emulated systems Libretro Core Active Recommended
PC
MAME Multi-platform 0.197 Thousands[1] [N 1]
Final Burn Alpha Windows 0.2.97.43 Hundreds
DICE Windows, Linux, OS X 0.9 18
Model 2 Emulator Windows 1.1a 1
(Sega Model 2)
Supermodel Windows, Linux, OS X 0.2a
SVN
1
(Sega Model 3)
Daphne Windows, Linux, OS X 1.0.12 ?
(LaserDisc)
DEmul Windows 0.7 Build 180428 6
(NAOMI and variants)
TeknoParrot Windows 1.51 Hotfix #2 7
(PC based)
Nova Windows 0.2.2 1
(ST-V)
Raine Windows, Linux, OS X 0.64.15 1058
Kawaks Windows v1.65 3
(Neo Geo, CPS1, CPS2)
CPS3 Emulator Windows 1.0a 1
(CPS3)
Name Operating System(s) Latest Version # of Emulated systems ROM Set Libretro Core Active Recommended
Consoles
Virtual Console Wii ? Various[N 2] ?
NJEMU PlayStation Portable 2.3.5 4
(CPS1, CPS2, Neo-Geo, Neo-Geo CD)
MAME 0.152
Unofficial Mod PlayStation Portable 2.3.1[N 3] 4
(CPS1, CPS2, Neo-Geo, Neo-Geo CD)
MAME 0.120
FBA4PSP PlayStation Portable v12.4.0 1
(CPS1)
MAME 0.141
Mobile
MAME Android 0.197[N 4] ? Depends on core [N 1]
MAME4droid (0.139u1) Android 1.12 ? MAME 0.139u1
(mame2010)
MAME4droid (0.37b5) Android 1.5.3 ? MAME 0.37b5
(mame2000)
Final Burn Alpha Android SVN ? FBA 0.2.97.42
(based on MAME 0.187)
(libretro)
  1. 1.0 1.1 RetroArch cores: mame (latest), mame2016 (0.174), mame2014 (0.159), mame2010 (0.139), mame2003 (0.78), mame2000 aka mame4all (0.37b5)
  2. Includes games from publishers such as Namco, Sega, Tecmo and Capcom, also Neo Geo
  3. Generate cache with included romcnv utility.
  4. Only available on mobile as a libretro core (e.g. RetroArch).

Comparisons[edit]

MAME
Very extensive in scope, with the majority of arcade system boards from the 1970's, 1980's and early 1990's supported. Do not expect support for more recent boards, such as Atomiswave. MAME focuses on accuracy and preservation, meaning usability comes second for the end user. Only the most up to date ROM dumps will work in the latest MAME. There are many MAME front-ends available.
Final Burn Alpha
Supports many boards, such as Neo Geo, Capcom CPS1-3, and others. It is very good for the boards it supports. The Neo-Geo X system, in fact, uses FBA. It offers much better speeds on lower-end hardware than MAME and has been ported to many different devices, such as PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Original Xbox, Sega Saturn, Android, Wii, Dingoo, and many others.
DICE
Emulates old arcade machines from the early 1970's at a very high level of accuracy. Since these machines had no CPU, the emulator instead emulates discrete logic components in the circuit board. This method is very system-intensive, and getting full speed requires at least a mid-range gaming PC along with the 64-bit version of the emulator.
Supermodel
Emulates Sega's Model 3 arcade platform focusing on accuracy. Presently, Supermodel is in a very early "alpha" stage of development, meaning it lacks many planned features. It does not yet have a user-friendly graphical interface, game compatibility remains low, and all CPUs are emulated using straightforward (and slow) interpretation rather than fast just-in-time translation.
Model 2 Emulator
Emulates, as per its name, Sega's Model 2 arcade platform with a focus on speed over accuracy. Despite this, however, it still manages to play games for that hardware with far higher accuracy than MAME currently can.
Virtual Console
Emulates Sega, Namco, Capcom and Tecmo arcade games, in addition to Neo Geo. It is a viable method for official emulation, but forces you to play like you would on a real arcade machine.

References[edit]

  1. http://mamedb.com/history