Difference between revisions of "History of emulation"

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This page contains information of emulation history.
Emulation, in general, gained popularity around 1995-1997, mostly due to increased CPU speed, increased usage of the Internet, and increased number of decent emulators.
The early history of NES emulation is vague, but there are some early emulators known to the public.
*'''Family Computer Emulator V0.35''' for FM Towns, by "Haruhisa Udagawa", with file timestamps of December 12, 1990. It could run some simple NES games such as Donkey Kong.<ref name="Zophar NES post">[http://www.zophar.net/forums/showpost.php?p=85512&postcount=1 MyaMyaMya's post in "First Famicom/NES emulator?"]</ref>
*'''Pasofami''' for the FM Towns, with a release date of May 1, 1993, in its info file. It had very preliminary sound emulation.<ref name="Zophar NES post"></ref> Windows version was released on 1995.
*'''LandyNES''' by Alex Krasivsky, which seems became the base of iNES emulator. At least one beta version for [[Intel CPUs|DOS]], called '''Prerelease "Stupid" version''', was released to the public on September 8, 1996 with the filename "DC-NES.ZIP".<ref>[http://lngn.net/archaic-ruins/features/ar-dc/nes-emu.htm#lnes Archaic Ruins: Nintendo]</ref> This version supported some simple Mapper 1 games and had graphical glitches.<ref>[http://oldies.malban.de/firstpage/EMU2.HTM EMULATOR PAGE 2]</ref> Unfortunately no copy of this emulator remains on the internet; it was mainly hosted on now-defunct FTP sites and none of websites that supposedly hosted it was archived by Wayback Machine. This project was discontinued after the release of NESticle.
*Marat Fayzullin's [http://fms.komkon.org/iNES/ iNES] (also known as interNES in early versions) is the first (or at least one of the first) emulator to use [http://wiki.nesdev.com/w/index.php/INES NES header format (also known as iNES format)]. The release date of the first version is 1996 according to its site.
*[http://www.zophar.net/documents/nes/nesa.html NESA] (Nintendo Entertainment System in Assembler) by British programmer Paul Robson was one of the first free NES emulators with source code available. [http://metopal.com/2012/04/06/interview-paul-robson-programmer-of-the-nesa-emulator/ metropal.com] has an interview with the author.
*[[NESticle]] (first version known as v0.2) was released on April 3, 1997. It was one of the first freeware NES emulators.
*There was an unreleased NES emulator for the Genesis that was programmed by Yuji Naka during the early 1990s as a hobby.
====External Links====
*[http://www.zophar.net/forums/showthread.php?t=10169 First Famicom/NES emulator?] - Zophar's Domain
*[http://forums.nesdev.com/viewtopic.php?t=6905 Anyone remember the first NES emulator?] - nesdev.com
*[http://forums.nesdev.com/viewtopic.php?t=8721 NES Emulation History] - nesdev.com
*Old [http://www.nesworld.com/ NES WORLD] archive pages
**[http://www.nesworld.com/old/emu1.htm Page 1] - Unknown Year, but probably in 1996. Has information on Pasofami and interNES.
**[http://www.nesworld.com/old/emu2.htm Page 2] - Sometime around May 1996. Does not have much info of emulators (only lists variants of "Famicom (NES) emulator" which is likely Pasofami) instead forces on game screenshots taken from early NES emulators.
**[http://www.nesworld.com/old/emu3.htm Page 3] - Sometime around May 1997. Has information on various early NES emulators such as NESticle.
===Game Boy/Color===
Not much is known about GB/C emulation before 1995.
*Marat Fayzullin's [http://fms.komkon.org/VGB/ Virtual GameBoy] (VGB) was first known GB/C emulator that could run commercial games. First released in 1995 for some unknown platform then ported to PC sometime in 1995 or 1996.
*[[No$|No$GMB]] was released for [[Intel CPUs|DOS]] in 1997. Game Boy Color support was added in 1998 along with it being paid only.
Genesis emulation dates as early as 1994.
*An emulator simply called [http://segaretro.org/Megadrive_(emulator) Megadrive] released in 1994 could run Sonic the Hedgehog very slowly with no sound and many glitches. Quickly discontinued because the author lost its source code from a hard drive crash. It is currently the earliest known Genesis emulator.
*[http://segaretro.org/GenEm GenEm], first released in 1996, is the second Genesis emulator released. The [[Intel CPUs|DOS]] version of it was the first emulator to feature (preliminary) sound emulation.
*[[Genecyst]], first released in 1997 was one of the first widely used Genesis emulators.
*[http://www.zophar.net/genesis/kgen.html KGen] was the earliest predecessor of [[Kega Fusion]], released around 1997-1998.
Just like NES, the SNES emulation history is quite fuzzy, but there is evidence that SNES emulators existed as early as 1994.
*[http://www.zophar.net/snes/vsmc.html VSMC] was released in 1994 and could run select few Homebrew roms. Apparently it was updated a few times after its initial release, and later versions could run some commercial games including Final Fantasy 2.<ref>[http://ftp.lanet.lv/ftp/mirror/x2ftp/msdos/programming/reviews/emu_002.txt EMULATION Issue #2 - 23/07/96]</ref> [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J7YXaaYdPGw (Video of one early version. Please note the music is inserted by video editing, not from the emulator.)]
*'''Super Pasofami''' or '''SPW''' (Super Pasofami for Windows), developed by the author of Pasofami, was released sometime in 1996. Very little information is available about this emulator aside of the reports that version 1.4a deleted some people's Windows directories.<ref>[http://ftp.lanet.lv/ftp/mirror/x2ftp/msdos/programming/reviews/emu_004.txt EMULATION Issue #4 - 28/08/96]</ref>
*[http://www.zophar.net/snes/esnes.html ESNES] was one of the first SNES emulators that could emulate sound. It later merged with NLKSNES to become NLKE.
*[http://www.zophar.net/snes/nlksnes.html NLKSNES] was one of the fastest SNES emulators, though it lacked sound emulation. It later merged with ESNES to become NLKE.
*[http://www.zophar.net/snes/nlke.html NLKE] is a successor of ESNES and NLKSNES and contained both speed and sound.
*[[Snes9x]] was a merged effort of '''Snes96''' and '''Snes97''', both released sometime in 1996-1997.
*[[ZSNES]] was first released on October 14, 1997.
====External Links====
*[http://patpend.net/articles/ar/s9xpast.html The Past of SNES '9x (archaic ruins)] - Contains some history of SNES emulation scene.
*[https://archive.org/details/tukuyomi-snes-archive Download archive for Old SNES Emulators]
*[http://cd.textfiles.com/20mnn/EMULATOR/ Emulator archive. Includes VSMC prerelease and the 1996 release]
Earliest known attempt at PlayStation emulation is 1998. PlayStation emulation is notable for two controversial commercial emulators, both of which Sony sued and lost.
*[http://www.zophar.net/psx/psemu-psemu-pro.html PSEmu/PSEmu Pro], first released in early 1998, was one of the earliest PS emulators that could run commercial games. It also created the plugin standard that is still used by [[ePSXe]].
*[http://www.zophar.net/psx/psyke.html Psyke], released around 1998-1999, was the first PS emulator that used Dynamic Recompilation to speed up the emulation. It could run a few games such as Metal Slug and Tekken 3. An interview with the author on September 13, 1998, is available on [http://www.emuviews.com/show.php?SERIAL=223 this site].
*[[Bleem!]], first released in March 1999 for Windows, was a commercial software that could run several commercial games in full speed with enhanced resolution and texture filtering. There were also three separate Dreamcast versions that could run Gran Turismo 2, Metal Gear Solid and Tekken 3.
*[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Connectix_Virtual_Game_Station Virtual Game Station], another commercial emulator, was released in 1999 but for Macintosh. Windows version was released later and allegedly had better compatibility than Bleem!, albeit without enhanced graphics.
===Nintendo 64===
Earliest known attempt at N64 emulation is 1998.
*[http://www.zophar.net/n64/project-unreality.html Project Unreality], released in May 1998, was the first Nintendo 64 emulator that could run several homebrew ROMs and could show N64 logo screen of Mortal Kombat Trilogy and Wave Race 64. It was discontinued after the two main developers decided to join a game development company to create commercial N64 games.<ref>[http://games.slashdot.org/story/98/07/12/1713252/project-unreality-in-limbo Project Unreality in limbo (Slashdot)]</ref>
*[[UltraHLE]], released in January 26, 1999, was so good that it angered Nintendo.
*[http://www.zophar.net/n64/Nemu64.html Nemu64], probably released in 2000, was one of the first N64 emulators that used plugin system that is still used by [[Project64]] and was used in early versions of [[Mupen64Plus]]. It is also known for its extensive debug features which any of newer emulators do not have.
===PlayStation 2===
*[[PCSX2]] started sometime in mid 2001,<ref>[http://forums.pcsx2.net/Thread-blog-The-History-of-PCSX2 The History of PCSX2]</ref> with its first release on March 23, 2002.<ref>[http://pcsx2.net/download/category/10-pcsx2-v0-026.html PCSX2 v0.026 Download]</ref> It was the first PS2 emulator boot games Dec 19, 2002 with release v0.1.<ref>[http://pcsx2.net/download/category/14-pcsx2-v0-1.html PCSX2 v0.1 Download]</ref>
*PS2Emu started development sometime in 2001, but its first and only release wasn't until May 6, 2004.<ref>[https://web.archive.org/web/20040513005525/http://ps2emu.efx2.com/ PS2Emu site on archive.org]</ref>
*NeutrinoSX (nSX2) first released on Aug 23, 2002.<ref>[http://nsx2.emulation64.com/downloads.html nSX2 Downloads]</ref> It could boot its first commercial game on March 10, 2003.<ref>[https://web.archive.org/web/20030402125427/http://nsx2.emulation64.com/index2.html nSX2 site archive]</ref>
*[[Play!]] started development June 14, 2006.<ref>[https://github.com/jpd002/Play-/commit/0c5fb983fd69793334995054d41c81da54e580ed Play!'s initial Github commit.]</ref>
===Game Boy Advance===
Unlike other consoles, GBA emulation and Homebrew scene was started as early as 2000, a year before GBA's release. <!-- Why? I don't know... I heard a rumor that some GBA internal docs have leaked (as well as Yoshi demo) but I have no source. -->
*[http://www.zophar.net/gba/gbaemu.html GBAEmu], released in September 2000, was the first known GBA emulator. It could run some homebrew ROMs as well as Nintendo's "Yoshi's Story" tech demo.
*[http://fms.komkon.org/VGBA/ Virtual GameBoy Advance (VGBA)], done by the same author of iNES and VGB - Marat Fayzullin, was first released in 2000 according to its official site. In versions released in 2001, it could run a few commercial games.
*[http://www.zophar.net/gba/igba.html iGBA], which was available as early as February 2001 and last updated on March 25, 2001, could run a few commercial games with some graphical glitches and with no sound.
*Several GBA emulators with more accuracy were released in 2001, for example [http://www.zophar.net/gba/boycott-advance.html Boycott Advance], [http://www.zophar.net/gba/dreamgba-tng.html DreamGBA], [[No$|No$GBA]], and [[VisualBoy Advance]].
* [[Dolphin]] was first released on Jan 24, 2004. More info: [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WdhoFIRHckE 10 Years of Dolphin video.]
* [https://code.google.com/archive/p/gekko-gc-emu/ Gekko] was started in April 2006.
===Nintendo DS===
Initial attempt to emulate the Nintendo DS was made in 2004. With so many emulators like iDeaS and the leaked [[Ensata]], it only got decent enough by 2007.
* [http://www.zophar.net/ds/dsemu.html DSEmu], first released in 2004, was the first "attempt" to emulate the Nintendo DS, although it only emulated GBA hardware.
* [http://www.zophar.net/ds/ideas.html iDeaS], first released in 2004 or 2005, was the first Nintendo DS emulator that could run commercial games. It also had some plugin system that was not widely used.
<!-- http://www.ne.jp/asahi/krk/kct/misc/emu.htm says 2004 for above two emulators but no other source mention release dates -->
* [[Ensata]]: An official Nintendo DS emulator made by Nintendo (and Intelligent Systems?) that was leaked to emulation community in an unknown year (perhaps 2005 or 2006). It could run select few commercial games, though compatibility was very low.
* [[DeSmuME]]: Developed by YopYop156 around 2005, first as "YopYop DS". Discontinued at version 0.3.3 in April 2006, citing a change of laws regarding emulation in France. The source code was then released. Many devs tried on their own to make their own follow-up (one such emulator includes NDeSmuME, of which only one version was ever released), before teaming up and merging their work, resulting in build 0.5.0 as the starting point for the new emulator.
:With partial Wi-Fi emulation enabling online MP (but not local MP) in 2010, Nintendo supposedly threatened the devs with legal action (though this is unconfirmed). This resulted in the online Wi-Fi functionality being removed from the main trunk, yet it still had its own active branch which didn't face any legal action whatsoever.
:The main trunk devs decided to drop all development of the Wi-Fi feature or anything related (online, local, download play, Wii/DS connectivity, DSiWare). This had the unfortunate side-effect of stalling efforts to preserve online content near the closure of Nintendo's DS servers in 2014 as other parties were scrambling to get the emulation enough to preserve packets from online play.
:Similarly, the high-resolution DS rendering feature appeared first in shikaver's port (X432R), which was also more optimized for speed and kept getting updated with features from the trunk. Then in the closed-source commercial emulator [[DraStic‎]], before making it to DeSmuME.
* [[No$|No$GBA]]: originally a GBA emulator, it received e-Reader and Nintendo DS emulation by its 2.4 version by 2006. It was for a long time THE emulator for DS games. It also had a partial implementation for local multiplayer that went nowhere and a very useful debugger for modding NDS/GBA games. Development stalled for a long time with version 2.6a published in April 2008. While it's not nearly up-to-par with the more recent games due to graphical problems, the apparent crashes on boot could be solved with a separate tool to decrypt DS images.
:Came back after a long hiatus in 2014 with version 2.7 and is now more or less under development - 2.8a notably is the first emulator to include DSiWare emulation.
===PlayStation Portable===
*PSP Player was the first PSP emulator, starting development on July 4, 2006.<ref>[https://github.com/benvanik/pspplayer/commit/1765423c9565a7435da2df0adc5e0bc662dcb364 PSP Player's initial commit.]</ref> It was the first PSP emulator to boot and run a game on Mar 6, 2008.<ref>[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zqyIjPFHKsI PSP Player emulating Puzzle Bobble on YouTube]</ref>
*[[JPCSP]] started development July 17, 2008.<ref>[https://github.com/jpcsp/jpcsp/commit/c474891013ff211736e3b72e24abbf568ea3486a JPCSP's initial commit.]</ref> It booted its first game Oct 14, 2008<ref>[https://web.archive.org/web/20081017063707/http://www.jpcsp.org/ JPCSP news archive]</ref>
*[[PPSSPP]] first released and went open source on Nov 1, 2012.<ref>[https://github.com/hrydgard/ppsspp/commit/4f7ad157585c0f1a8e7f7f854d477d003507be50 PPSSPP's initial commit.]</ref>
===Xbox 360===
*[[Xenia]] started development Jan 11, 2013 .<ref>[https://github.com/benvanik/xenia/commit/7e4a9220d7781c4c641c47f89ffd177b55b7f9bb Xenia's initial Github commit.]</ref> It was the first emulator to run a commercial Xbox 360 game on Mar 24, 2014.<ref>[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oAk0_jidpA0 Xenia Xbox 360 Emulator: Frogger 2 first run on YouTube]</ref>
===PlayStation 3===
*[[RPCS3]] started development May 23, 2011.<ref>[https://code.google.com/archive/p/rpcs3/source/default/commits RPCS3's initial commit on Google Code]</ref> It booted its first commercial game March 6, 2014.<ref>[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N2yjoDdFIu0 Youtube video of RPCS3 running Arkedo Series - 02 Swap!]</ref>
*Short Waves first released Dec 30, 2013.<ref>[http://emuplace.com/news/novosti_ehmuljacii/244-short_waves_0_0_1_ehmuljator_ps3_ot_razrabotchika_inorirus.html Short Waves 0.0.1 release info]</ref> It was faster and could run more complicated tests than RPCS3 at the time of its release, but development stopped before running any commercial games.
*[[Nucleus]] started development Aug 26, 2014.<ref>[https://github.com/AlexAltea/nucleus/commit/9042b530bcd92fc1989efecfa996841b67a84341 Nucleus's initial Github commit.]</ref>
* [[Dolphin]] was the first Wii emulator to release when it went open source on July 13, 2008. More info: [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WdhoFIRHckE 10 Years of Dolphin video.]
===Nintendo 3DS===
* [[Citra]] was the first released 3DS emulator. Its first commit was on Aug 29, 2013.<ref>[https://github.com/citra-emu/citra/commit/8404376c6ba46433a3fe0ab81e029e39f85c6b65 Citra's initial Github commit.]</ref> It was able to boot its first game, Ocarina of Time 3D, on Dec 13, 2014.<ref>[https://www.reddit.com/r/emulation/comments/2p6m3k/citra_3ds_emu_boots_first_commercial_game/ Citra 3DS emu boots first commercial game - reddit thread]</ref>
* [[3dmoo]] was started shortly after Citra, on Mar 19, 2014.<ref>[https://github.com/plutooo/3dmoo/commit/2c42353b7262a3d66483fbbccb83c12dcfe85594 3dmoo's initial Github commit.]</ref>
* [[TronDS|TronDS's]] first version was released May 11, 2014.<ref>[http://trondsemu.byethost15.com/?i=1 TronDS changelog.]</ref>
===Wii U===
* [[Decaf]] was the first released Wii U emulator. Its first commit was on May 18, 2015.<ref>[https://github.com/decaf-emu/decaf-emu/commit/b121b9290c1eca5de0a2f43b5497c2ac6613c397 decaf's initial Github commit.]</ref> However, it didn't run any games until Oct 28, 2015,<ref>[https://www.reddit.com/r/emulation/comments/3qmcnm/decafemu_runs_a_game_now/ decaf-emu runs a game now! reddit thread.]</ref> a couple weeks after Cemu had released.
* [[Cemu]] was first released Oct 13, 2015.<ref>[http://cemu.info/changelog.html Cemu changelog]</ref> It was the first Wii U emulator that could run games. The developer has stated that work began on it around the end of 2013.<ref>[https://gbatemp.net/threads/question-about-wii-u-emulation.398838/page-4#post-5712397 gbatemp discussion on Cemu.]</ref>
===Nintendo Switch===
* CageTheUnicorn, now [https://github.com/reswitched/Mephisto Mephisto], was the first program to attempt to emulate only a part (Not the whole) of the Nintendo Switch, it started development May 16, 2017.<ref>[https://github.com/reswitched/CageTheUnicorn/commits/master CageTheUnicorn's Github commit history]</ref> The developers have stated their goals are for it to be used as a debugger and that there are no plans for getting commercial games running.<ref>[https://reswitched.tech/hacking/tools/cagetheunicorn CageTheUnicorn's page on the ReSwitched website]</ref>
* [[yuzu]], a fork of [[Citra]], started research and early development sometime in Spring 2017,<ref name="yuzu announcement">[https://gbatemp.net/threads/yuzu-nintendo-switch-emulator.494181/ yuzu announcement and public release.]</ref> with its first commit on September 24, 2017.<ref>[https://github.com/yuzu-emu/yuzu/commit/6bafd3f4f754e093fe0f99ebf2e1136d3398981a yuzu's NSO support commit on Github]</ref> It was publicly released January 13, 2018.<ref name="yuzu announcement"></ref>
* [[Ryujinx]] was the first Nintendo Switch emulator to boot a commercial game, Puyo Puyo Tetris, when it released on February 4, 2018.<ref>[https://github.com/gdkchan/Ryujinx/tree/b7e1d9930db6d80fcb1f7c5c6b0aa627e42e6595 Ryujinx's initial GitHub commit.]</ref>
==External Links==
*[http://www.zophar.net/oldnews/ Old news archive] - Zophar's Domain
*EMULATION: The ALL Format Newsletter - a series of emulation newsletters published in July to August 1996
**[http://ftp.lanet.lv/ftp/mirror/x2ftp/msdos/programming/reviews/emu_001.txt Issue #1 - July 1996]
**[http://ftp.lanet.lv/ftp/mirror/x2ftp/msdos/programming/reviews/emu_002.txt Issue #2 - 23/07/96]
**[http://ftp.lanet.lv/ftp/mirror/x2ftp/msdos/programming/reviews/emu_003.txt Issue #3 - 30/07/96]
**[http://ftp.lanet.lv/ftp/mirror/x2ftp/msdos/programming/reviews/emu_004.txt Issue #4 - 28/08/96]
*[http://www.ne.jp/asahi/krk/kct/misc/emu.htm コンシューマエミュレータリスト (Consumer Emulator List)] - A Japanese page that lists initial release year of various emulators

Revision as of 08:55, 17 March 2019