Building The Perfect Super Nintendo (on A PC)

We've all used an emulator at one stage in our lives. Whether to replay some classic old arcade games or play an obscure console title you missed first time around, they're a dime a dozen.

But have you ever considered how accurate they are?

While emulators exist to, well, emulate the experience of playing a game from one system on another system, they're often far from authentic experiences. They might play too fast, or too slow, or the sound might screw up, or in some cases (like the Dolphin) look better than the original!

They can also be messy to program and, strangest of all, take up enormous amounts of processing power. It's a quirk of the trade that a PC that can handle Crysis may struggle playing a PS2 game.

Coder Byuu, the man behind the popular Super Nintendo emulator bsnes, has posted a great feature on Ars Technica that goes into excruciating detail on the challenges he faces balancing the need for authenticity in an emulator with the need to keep a PC from dying.

Accuracy takes power: one man's 3GHz quest to build a perfect SNES emulator [Ars Technica]


    Well the emulator may not be all that accurate, but it's usually accurate enough. What choice is there, anyhow?

    Thanks for the link! (No pun intended...)

    I've had a keen interest in SNES emulation over the years, so I found it a really interesting read.

    I admire Byuu for his commitment to achieving a perfect SNES emulator, as I've always been vaguely aware that others like ZSNES use a lot of tricks to make things work. It's nice to know that we will hopefully be able to play perfect recreations of these games without losing them to failing hardware!

    I particularly liked his analogy:

    'Imagine if we only had a JPEG of the Mona Lisa...'

    While SNES games perhaps don't QUITE rank up there, it'd be nice to play them as they originally were.

    It may not mean that much to some people, but it's the same reason why I'll spend hours tracking down and building old computers to be able to play late 90s Windows games as I remember them!

    VBA is awesome.

Join the discussion!