Difference between revisions of "Sega Dreamcast emulators"

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{{Infobox console
 
{{Infobox console
 
|title = Sega Dreamcast
 
|title = Sega Dreamcast
|logo = Dreamcast-and-controller.jpg
+
|logo = DreamcastConsole.png
|developer = [[:Category:Sega consoles|Sega]]
+
|developer = [[:Sega]]
|type = Home video game console
+
|type = [[:Category:Consoles|Home video game console]]
|generation = Sixth generation
+
|generation = [[:Category:Sixth-generation video game consoles|Sixth generation]]
 
|release = 1998
 
|release = 1998
 
|discontinued = 2001
 
|discontinued = 2001
Line 10: Line 10:
 
|emulated = {{✓}}
 
|emulated = {{✓}}
 
}}
 
}}
The '''[[wikipedia:Sega Dreamcast|Dreamcast]]''' is a sixth-generation console released by [[wikipedia:Sega|Sega]] in November 1998 in Japan and later in 1999 in other territories. '''[https://segaretro.org/Sega_NAOMI Naomi]''', an arcade system board similar to the Dreamcast, is supported by some Dreamcast emulators. '''[https://segaretro.org/Atomiswave Atomiswave]''' is an arcade system board that is based on Naomi.
+
The '''[[wikipedia:Sega Dreamcast|Dreamcast]]''' is a sixth-generation console released by [[wikipedia:Sega|Sega]] on November 27, 1998 in Japan and later on September 9, 1999 in NA. It retailed for $199 ($298.72 in 2018 money). It had a Hitachi SH-4 RISC CPU at 200 MHz with 16 MB of RAM and 8 MB of VRAM. It had a PowerVR2 GPU at 100 MHz, which theoretically was capable of pushing 3 million polygons/second on-screen. There is a 2 MB audio RAM, which complemented a powerful 67 MHz Yamaha AICA sound processor, with a 32-bit ARM7 RISC CPU core. The audio chip could generate 64 voices with PCM or ADPCM codec and provided ten times the performance of the [[Sega Saturn emulators|Saturn's]] sound system.. Sega also released the '''[[Sega NAOMI and variants|Naomi]]''', an arcade system board with similar components to the Dreamcast. Sammy's '''[https://segaretro.org/Atomiswave Atomiswave]''' arcade board was also based on the Dreamcast and Naomi.
  
Microsoft collaborated with Sega for DreamCast development (which would continue later with the Xbox). The Sega Dreamcast is known for running an optimised version of '''Windows CE''' (with DirectX) as an operating system. However, Sega chose to go down a different route than what was originally planned - bundling simple operating systems within the discs themselves. Running games through Windows CE was still an option for developers, but most games used Sega's proprietary software instead out of convenience. This aspect isn't implemented in all emulators.
+
Sega collaborated with Microsoft on the Dreamcast's development, and this partnership would continue later with the [[Xbox emulators|Xbox]]. What came out of this was the possibility for games to be developed for an optimized version of '''Windows CE''' (with DirectX) on each disc. However, Windows CE wasn't mandatory to use and most developers opted for Sega's development tools instead out of convenience. Even in major emulators, this aspect isn't implemented (or implemented well).
  
 
==Emulators==
 
==Emulators==
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! scope="col"|Operating System(s)
 
! scope="col"|Operating System(s)
 
! scope="col"|Latest Version
 
! scope="col"|Latest Version
 +
! scope="col"|Open-Source
 
! scope="col"|Naomi
 
! scope="col"|Naomi
 
! scope="col"|Atomiswave
 
! scope="col"|Atomiswave
 
! scope="col"|Windows CE
 
! scope="col"|Windows CE
 +
! scope="col"|[[libretro|Libretro Core]]
 
! scope="col"|Active
 
! scope="col"|Active
 
! scope="col"|[[Recommended Emulators|Recommended]]
 
! scope="col"|[[Recommended Emulators|Recommended]]
 
|-
 
|-
!colspan="8"|PC
+
!colspan="9"|PC
 
|-
 
|-
 
|[[DEmul]]
 
|[[DEmul]]
 
|Windows
 
|Windows
 
|[http://forum.emu-russia.net/viewtopic.php?p=26178&sid=9d186ca9c444883bceeed6f185ed3fa9#p26178 0.7 Build 180428]
 
|[http://forum.emu-russia.net/viewtopic.php?p=26178&sid=9d186ca9c444883bceeed6f185ed3fa9#p26178 0.7 Build 180428]
|{{✓}} ||{{✓}} ||{{✓}} ||{{✓}} ||{{✓}}
+
|{{✗}} ||{{✓}} ||{{✓}} ||{{✓}} ||{{✗}} ||{{✓}} ||{{✓}}
 
|-
 
|-
|[[Reicast|reicast]]
+
|[[reicast#Libretro_core|reicast libretro]]
|Windows, Linux
+
|Multi-platform
|[http://builds.reicast.com/ Dev builds]
+
|[https://github.com/libretro/reicast-emulator Git]
|{{}} ||{{✗}} ||{{}} ||{{✓}} ||{{✓}}
+
|{{✓}} ||{{✓}} ||{{✓}} ||{{✗}} ||{{}} ||{{✓}} ||{{✓}}
 
|-
 
|-
|[[libretro|libretro]] (Reicast OIT)
+
|[[reicast]]
 
|Windows, Linux
 
|Windows, Linux
|[https://github.com/libretro/reicast-emulator Git]
+
|[http://builds.reicast.com/ Dev Builds]
|{{✗}} ||{{✗}} ||{{✗}} ||{{✓}} ||{{✓}}
+
|{{✓}} ||{{✗}} ||{{✗}} ||{{✗}} ||{{✗}} ||{{✓}} ||{{✓}}
 
|-
 
|-
|[[libretro|libretro]] (Reicast regular)
+
|[[redream]]
|Multi-platform
+
|Windows, Linux, macOS
|[https://github.com/libretro/reicast-emulator Git]
+
|[https://redream.io/download {{RedreamVer}}]
|{{✗}} ||{{✗}} ||{{✗}} ||{{✓}} ||{{}}
+
|{{✗}} ||{{✗}} ||{{✗}} ||{{✗}} ||{{✓}} ||{{✓}} ||{{✓}}
 
|-
 
|-
 
|[[nullDC]]
 
|[[nullDC]]
 
|Windows
 
|Windows
 
|[http://www.emucr.com/2013/03/nulldc-svn-r150.html 1.0.4 r150]
 
|[http://www.emucr.com/2013/03/nulldc-svn-r150.html 1.0.4 r150]
|{{✓}} ||{{✗}} ||{{✗}} ||{{✗}} ||{{}}
+
|{{✓}} ||{{✓}} ||{{✗}} ||{{✗}} ||{{✗}} ||{{✗}} ||{{~}}
 
|-
 
|-
|[[redream]]
+
|[[Makaron]]
|Windows, Linux, macOS
 
|[https://redream.io/download {{RedreamVer}}]
 
|{{✗}} ||{{✗}} ||{{✗}} ||{{✓}} ||{{✓}}
 
|-
 
|Makaron
 
 
|Windows
 
|Windows
|T12/5
+
|[https://www.zophar.net/dreamcast/makaron.html T12/5]
|{{✗}} ||{{✗}} ||{{✓}} ||{{✗}} ||{{✗}}
+
|{{✗}} ||{{✗}} ||{{✗}} ||{{✓}} ||{{✗}} ||{{✗}} ||{{✗}}
 
|-
 
|-
|Chankast
+
|[https://segaretro.org/Chankast Chankast]
 
|Windows
 
|Windows
 
|[http://chanka.emulatronia.com/FrameSetDC_Down.htm 0.25]
 
|[http://chanka.emulatronia.com/FrameSetDC_Down.htm 0.25]
|{{✗}} ||{{✗}} ||{{✗}} ||{{✗}} ||{{✗}}
+
|{{✗}} ||{{✗}} ||{{✗}} ||{{✗}} ||{{✗}} ||{{✗}} ||{{✗}}
 
|-
 
|-
 
|Lxdream
 
|Lxdream
 
|Linux, macOS
 
|Linux, macOS
 
|[http://www.lxdream.org/download.php 0.9.1]
 
|[http://www.lxdream.org/download.php 0.9.1]
|{{✗}} ||{{✗}} ||{{✗}} ||{{✗}} ||{{✗}}
+
|{{✓}} ||{{✗}} ||{{✗}} ||{{✗}} ||{{✗}} ||{{✗}} ||{{✗}}
 
|-
 
|-
 
|WashingtonDC
 
|WashingtonDC
 
|Linux
 
|Linux
 
|[https://github.com/washingtondc-emu/washingtondc Git]
 
|[https://github.com/washingtondc-emu/washingtondc Git]
|{{✗}} ||{{✗}} ||{{✗}} ||{{✓}} ||{{✗}}
+
|{{✓}} ||{{✗}} ||{{✗}} ||{{✗}} ||{{✓}} ||{{✓}} ||{{✗}}
 
|-
 
|-
 
|[[MAME]]
 
|[[MAME]]
 
|Multi-platform
 
|Multi-platform
 
|[http://www.mamedev.org/release.html {{MAMEVer}}]
 
|[http://www.mamedev.org/release.html {{MAMEVer}}]
|{{✓}} ||{{✓}} ||{{✗}} ||{{✓}} ||{{✗}}
+
|{{✓}} ||{{✓}} ||{{✓}} ||{{✗}} ||{{✓}} ||{{✓}} ||{{✗}}
 
|-
 
|-
!colspan="8"|Mobile
+
!colspan="9"|Mobile
 +
|-
 +
|[[reicast#Libretro_core|reicast libretro]]
 +
|[[Android emulators|Android]], mobile
 +
|[https://github.com/libretro/reicast-emulator Git]
 +
|{{✓}} ||{{✓}} ||{{✓}} ||{{✗}} ||{{✓}} ||{{✓}} ||{{✓}}
 
|-
 
|-
 
|[[reicast]]
 
|[[reicast]]
|Android
+
|[[Android emulators|Android]]
|[http://builds.reicast.com/ Dev builds]
+
|[http://builds.reicast.com/ Dev Builds]
|{{}} ||{{✗}} ||{{✗}} ||{{✓}} ||{{✓}}
+
|{{}} ||{{✗}} ||{{✗}} ||{{✗}} ||{{✗}} ||{{✓}} ||{{✓}}
|-
 
|[[libretro|libretro]] (Reicast regular)
 
|Android, mobile
 
|[https://github.com/libretro/reicast-emulator Git]
 
|{{✗}} ||{{✗}} ||{{✗}} ||{{✓}} ||{{✓}}
 
 
|-
 
|-
 
|}
 
|}
  
 
===Comparisons===
 
===Comparisons===
;[[DEmul]]:Has the highest compatibility and is the most accurate Dreamcast emulator. Supports Windows CE games, but in general, they run worse than standard Dreamcast titles. Tends to be the more demanding option in PC requirements; but one of the best ones if the user's PC has enough power to play the games at fullspeed.
+
;[[DEmul]]:Has the highest compatibility and accuracy, but is Windows-only. It supports Windows CE games, but in general, they run worse than standard Dreamcast titles. It's also more resource-intensive than other emulators.
;[[NullDC]]:No longer developed and is replaced by Reicast, which is made by the same team. Can run a lot of games at great speed in mid-end PCs.
+
;[[nullDC]]:Can run a lot of games at great speed in mid-end PCs. It's no longer developed in favor of its fork…
;[[redream]]: Nice GUI interface, simplicity of setup, can run without BIOS (but it's highly recommended to use one with it).
+
;[[reicast]]:Made by the same team. Runs on Android, Windows, and Linux.
;Makaron:One of the only two Dreamcast emulators that can properly play Windows CE games.
+
:;[[reicast#Libretro_core|reicast libretro]]:[[libretro]] fork similar to [[Mednafen]]'s PCE-fast and PCE-accuracy cores that backport changes from [https://github.com/flyinghead/reicast-emulator flyinghead's fork] of reicast. It aims to be compliant with OpenGL 2 and OpenGL ES 2 so that it can continue to run on mobile devices and mid-tier PCs. A graphics feature of the Dreamcast, Order-Independent Transparency, can only be properly emulated using recent versions of OpenGL 4 on supported hardwares and platforms (currently Windows and Linux).<ref>Daniel De Matteis. [https://www.libretro.com/index.php/introducing-reicast-oit-libretro-core-updated-reicast-regular-core/ Introducing Reicast OIT libretro core + updated Reicast regular core] on libretro.com. June 12, 2018.</ref> This fork also supports [https://www.patreon.com/posts/reicast-libretro-19733457 Naomi and Atomiswave] hardware.
;[[libretro]]:The Reicast core of libretro/[[Retroarch]] has gained huge advancements in emulation quality as of early [https://www.libretro.com/index.php/introducing-reicast-oit-libretro-core-updated-reicast-regular-core/ June 2018], and is now split into two cores named 'Regular' (Suits mobile devices) and 'OIT' (Order Independent Transparency. Works on PC platforms only). The new graphics renderer in Reicast OIT's core is backported from [https://github.com/flyinghead/reicast-emulator flyinghead's fork] of the separate Reicast emulator. The OIT core has "significantly increased system requirements, but in return you get much more accurate graphics which tend to fix nearly all the issues that plague Dreamcast graphics with the regular version."
+
;[[redream]]:Has a good interface, is simple to set up and can run without a BIOS (though it's better to use one anyway).
 +
;[[Makaron]]:One of the only two closed-source Dreamcast emulators that can properly play Windows CE games.
  
 
==Emulation issues==
 
==Emulation issues==
Dreamcast emulation is not very good. For the emulators that are either mature or maturing, a very large percentage of games work well, but many games still have problems and glitches.
+
Dreamcast emulation isn't very good. For the emulators that are either mature or maturing, a very large percentage of games work well, but many games still have problems and glitches.
  
Fortunately, the first viable open-source Dreamcast emulator that has a near complete graphics renderer began appearing in June 2018 in two newly split cores inside the libretro multi-system emulator. But the more accurate core works on PC's only. Its graphics renderer can be found in a fork of the separate Reicast emulator which it backported the code from.
+
In recent times, the open-source community has gotten a better leg to stand on thanks to RetroArch's reicast cores. Their team has been integrating a version of reicast that deals with many graphical issues (elaborated on above).
  
===VMU Emulation===
+
===Poor VMU emulation===
 
<!-- Update this entry if you have anything else on it -->
 
<!-- Update this entry if you have anything else on it -->
While current Dreamcast emulators can display the VMU display when the game is running, none of them can be used to play the minigames which were made to run on the VMU. To play those minigames you'll need to use another emulator. There is no complete list of VMU emulators and the ones which can be found are poorly documented and/or closed source.
+
While current Dreamcast emulators can leverage the screen of the VMU while the game is running, none of them allow you to play the minigames developed for it so playing those minigames would require another emulator. The problem is there aren't any complete lists of VMU emulators, and the emulators that can be found are poorly documented.
  
 
==Downloads==
 
==Downloads==
 
* [[Emulator_Files#Dreamcast|BIOS]]
 
* [[Emulator_Files#Dreamcast|BIOS]]
  
==VMU emulation==
+
==VMU emulators==
 
Emulating the Dreamcast VMU is possible via use of this emulator:
 
Emulating the Dreamcast VMU is possible via use of this emulator:
[https://www.dropbox.com/sh/rai7db85bqq5iz0/AAAbnQfEJpTFaHkQ8K6nP6kVa?dl=0 Dropbox link]
+
[https://www.dropbox.com/sh/rai7db85bqq5iz0/AAAbnQfEJpTFaHkQ8K6nP6kVa?dl=0 Dropbox link of ElysianVMU]
 +
 
 +
[http://forums.elysianshadows.com/viewtopic.php?f=48&t=9171 Link to the forum thread about it]
  
[http://forums.elysianshadows.com/viewtopic.php?f=48&t=9171 Link to forum thread about it]
+
==References==
 +
<references />
  
  
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[[Category:Sega consoles]]
 
[[Category:Sega consoles]]
 
[[Category:Sega Dreamcast emulators]]
 
[[Category:Sega Dreamcast emulators]]
 +
[[Category:Sixth-generation video game consoles]]

Revision as of 11:21, 12 February 2019

Sega Dreamcast
DreamcastConsole.png
Developer Sega
Type Home video game console
Generation Sixth generation
Release date 1998
Discontinued 2001
Predecessor Sega Saturn
Emulated

The Dreamcast is a sixth-generation console released by Sega on November 27, 1998 in Japan and later on September 9, 1999 in NA. It retailed for $199 ($298.72 in 2018 money). It had a Hitachi SH-4 RISC CPU at 200 MHz with 16 MB of RAM and 8 MB of VRAM. It had a PowerVR2 GPU at 100 MHz, which theoretically was capable of pushing 3 million polygons/second on-screen. There is a 2 MB audio RAM, which complemented a powerful 67 MHz Yamaha AICA sound processor, with a 32-bit ARM7 RISC CPU core. The audio chip could generate 64 voices with PCM or ADPCM codec and provided ten times the performance of the Saturn's sound system.. Sega also released the Naomi, an arcade system board with similar components to the Dreamcast. Sammy's Atomiswave arcade board was also based on the Dreamcast and Naomi.

Sega collaborated with Microsoft on the Dreamcast's development, and this partnership would continue later with the Xbox. What came out of this was the possibility for games to be developed for an optimized version of Windows CE (with DirectX) on each disc. However, Windows CE wasn't mandatory to use and most developers opted for Sega's development tools instead out of convenience. Even in major emulators, this aspect isn't implemented (or implemented well).

Emulators

Name Operating System(s) Latest Version Open-Source Naomi Atomiswave Windows CE Libretro Core Active Recommended
PC
DEmul Windows 0.7 Build 180428
reicast libretro Multi-platform Git
reicast Windows, Linux Dev Builds
redream Windows, Linux, macOS 1.3.1
nullDC Windows 1.0.4 r150 ~
Makaron Windows T12/5
Chankast Windows 0.25
Lxdream Linux, macOS 0.9.1
WashingtonDC Linux Git
MAME Multi-platform 0.206
Mobile
reicast libretro Android, mobile Git
reicast Android Dev Builds

Comparisons

DEmul
Has the highest compatibility and accuracy, but is Windows-only. It supports Windows CE games, but in general, they run worse than standard Dreamcast titles. It's also more resource-intensive than other emulators.
nullDC
Can run a lot of games at great speed in mid-end PCs. It's no longer developed in favor of its fork…
reicast
Made by the same team. Runs on Android, Windows, and Linux.
reicast libretro
libretro fork similar to Mednafen's PCE-fast and PCE-accuracy cores that backport changes from flyinghead's fork of reicast. It aims to be compliant with OpenGL 2 and OpenGL ES 2 so that it can continue to run on mobile devices and mid-tier PCs. A graphics feature of the Dreamcast, Order-Independent Transparency, can only be properly emulated using recent versions of OpenGL 4 on supported hardwares and platforms (currently Windows and Linux).[1] This fork also supports Naomi and Atomiswave hardware.
redream
Has a good interface, is simple to set up and can run without a BIOS (though it's better to use one anyway).
Makaron
One of the only two closed-source Dreamcast emulators that can properly play Windows CE games.

Emulation issues

Dreamcast emulation isn't very good. For the emulators that are either mature or maturing, a very large percentage of games work well, but many games still have problems and glitches.

In recent times, the open-source community has gotten a better leg to stand on thanks to RetroArch's reicast cores. Their team has been integrating a version of reicast that deals with many graphical issues (elaborated on above).

Poor VMU emulation

While current Dreamcast emulators can leverage the screen of the VMU while the game is running, none of them allow you to play the minigames developed for it so playing those minigames would require another emulator. The problem is there aren't any complete lists of VMU emulators, and the emulators that can be found are poorly documented.

Downloads

VMU emulators

Emulating the Dreamcast VMU is possible via use of this emulator: Dropbox link of ElysianVMU

Link to the forum thread about it

References

  1. Daniel De Matteis. Introducing Reicast OIT libretro core + updated Reicast regular core on libretro.com. June 12, 2018.


Dreamcast logo.png
Consoles: SG-1000Master SystemGenesis / Mega DriveCD32XSaturnDreamcast
Handhelds: Game Gear
Arcade: System seriesModel 1Model 2Model 3Naomi