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Graphics Games Hardware

Old Doesn't Have To Mean Ugly: Squeezing Better Graphics From Classic Consoles 167

Posted by samzenpus
from the what's-old-is-new dept.
MojoKid writes If you're a classic gamer, you've probably had the unhappy experience of firing up a beloved older title you haven't played in a decade or two, squinting at the screen, and thinking: "Wow. I didn't realize it looked this bad." The reasons why games can wind up looking dramatically worse than you remember isn't just the influence of rose-colored glasses — everything from subtle differences in third-party hardware to poor ports to bad integrated TV upscalers can ruin the experience. One solution is an expensive upscaling unit called the Framemeister but while its cost may make you blanch, this sucker delivers. Unfortunately, taking full advantage of a Framemeister also may mean modding your console for RGB output. That's the second part of the upscaler equation. Most every old-school console could technically use RGB, which has one cable for the Red, Green, and Blue signals, but many of them weren't wired for it externally unless you used a rare SCART cable (SCART was more common in other parts of the world). Modding kits or consoles cost money, but if you're willing to pay it, you can experience classic games with much better fidelity.
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Old Doesn't Have To Mean Ugly: Squeezing Better Graphics From Classic Consoles

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  • Just buy a CRT (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 27, 2014 @07:24PM (#47770851)

    Seriously, just buy a good CRT. Stop fooling around with all this line doubler crap

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Or just use emulators which produce a much better end result [tinypic.com].
    • by Nyder (754090)

      Seriously, just buy a good CRT. Stop fooling around with all this line doubler crap

      I still have 3 Commodore era monitors I use for my older console gaming. In fact, I like to have my wii hooked up to it because I get the best looking emulators running that way. (going to point out while I have some consoles, I don't have them all, so emulate I must)

      On top of this, at least in my city, you can get a big ass free CRT TV for free, all you have to do is pick it up. Check Craigslist free section.

      Trying to use old consoles on modern TV's is silly, as they don't scale well at all. Even the

      • by Rei (128717)

        On top of this, at least in my city, you can get a big ass-free CRT TV for free,

        My hobby... [xkcd.com]

        • by Guspaz (556486)

          Slight difference: a big ass-free CRT is desirable, while a big ass-CRT would be undesirable.

          • by tepples (727027)

            a big ass-free CRT is desirable, while a big ass-CRT would be undesirable

            That depends on whether or not you're playing an H game. For an H game, you want ass on your CRT.

      • by anjrober (150253)

        i'm literally trying to get rid of a big CRT right now (in boston)
        its in my driveway
        my neighbor and i moved it from my basement yesterday and we both barely made it. we are both strong, in shape guys but damn this thing is massive
        its replaced with a projector that, in comparison, is so small
        i got a ton of basement space free by getting rid of this beast
        the sad part is that this is a nice tv, end of the crt era, flat screen, great pic, just too damn large.

      • by nwf (25607)

        Even the Wii, which does 640x480p looks crappy on a 1080p TV.

        Maybe you have a crappy TV. My Wii looks great on my 8 year old Sony SXRD 1080P TV, even up close. However, it has a much better upscaler than most TVs, I'd guess.

      • by menkhaura (103150)

        I'm getting old, but can't help smiling when I read things such as "I like to have my wii hooked up to it (...)".

    • I like what can be done with an hqx filter in an emulator [tinypic.com] (in my case, Nestopia).
    • by HalAtWork (926717)
      That high pitched whine is irritating, and I don't have room for a CRT. After a while you won't be able to find them anyway. I wouldn't be able to use it for anything else so why bother? I want the convenience of having my consoles look good on my HDTV. Don't dismiss the problem here. A lot of retro gamers want 240p on HDTVs.
    • by antdude (79039)

      Where can we buy a good quality CRT?

      • Try a local government run recycling center. The one in my county lets you take stuff if you want it. I got my chain saw case that way, as well as a number of solvents that I use and a number of other things all for free.
        • by antdude (79039)

          But in new conditions?

          • Not new condition as in mint in box, but new as in still has plenty of useful life and functions just fine. The old CRT TVs are things that worked very well and tended to last for long times, much like the old model 500 phones. Granted you will find some that have been abused, dropped, had liquids spilled on them, etc but even if you get a dud you could always bring it back for recycling.

            I have found that the county recycling center is a great mostly one stop shop for freecycling (another stupid term I ha
    • by gl4ss (559668)

      rgb is still nice to have, even with a crt.

  • by wbr1 (2538558) on Wednesday August 27, 2014 @07:27PM (#47770873)
    Pretty interesting idea and a nice slashvertisement. How about instead, using an emulator,pushing a resolution that looks good onyour panel, and even possibly applying AA and other filters till it looks how YOU like, You have far more options for less cash that way. This reeks of monster cableitis to me.
    • by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Wednesday August 27, 2014 @07:44PM (#47770961) Homepage Journal

      I'm not going to buy an "expensive" upscaler, but I'd rather use the real consoles. I actually run into emulation errors with games I want to play on a semi-regular basis. I don't think that it's unreasonable to think about buying a scaler, even if it's unreasonable to buy this one.

      It would be nice if someone would kick out a television with a fancy scaler built in. AQUOS and Bravia televisions (among others... I have an older example of the former, just barely pre-LED-backlight) have scalers which provide pretty good results for video sources at typical resolutions while also adding minimal latency, which is their primary appeal as compared to other lines — especially since the competition caught up in the black level department. But someone like Vizio (which is commonly favored by gamers due to sharp, clean scaling, if a bit jaggy at times) might consider offering some models with a seriously upgraded scaler and offering them to gamers as a means of improving their old-school gaming experience. Even people who don't own classic consoles, or who keep them in a box in their closet, might consider spending some extra money on such a feature even if they wind up never actually using it.

      Not me, but some people :) Never know what the future holds for my TV, though.

      • You know, modern emulators for old school games are a 'pretty good enough' substitute for the 'real thing'.

        Add on a decent bluetooth joystick to them, you're pretty much there.

        I just got the ''A Moga Pro" joystick a few weeks ago, and it makes all the difference when I revisiting older games like 'Defender', 'Joust', 'Ms. Pac Man', 'Tetris', 'Contra', 'Elevator Action', 'Galaga', 'Qix', 'Q-Bert', 'Rolling Thunder', 'Punch-Out' (et al ad nauseum).

        • My kids 6 and all the kids at school were talking about the new Mario Kart game. He wanted it sooo bad but I wasn't about to get him started on consoles so I downloaded SNES and the orgional Mario Kart game... now he's bragging to all the kids he's got the "FIRST" one, and they have the lame version. lol

          • My kids 6 and all the kids at school were talking about the new Mario Kart game. He wanted it sooo bad but I wasn't about to get him started on consoles so I downloaded SNES and the orgional Mario Kart game... now he's bragging to all the kids he's got the "FIRST" one, and they have the lame version. lol

            Right? The 'oldies' really are the 'goodies' in gaming, as it turns out. Adding extra great graphics does not always equal more fun gameplay.

            Jeez, I'm having a blast just replaying the original 'Starfox'. Tightening up the framerate won't make a bit of difference to it's playability, IMO.

            • Right? The 'oldies' really are the 'goodies' in gaming, as it turns out.

              Well... let's not go overboard here. Even the most nostalgic X'er will admit that the 2600's graphics looked like total ass, even in 1980, and 98% of Atari 2600 games have almost zero enduring fun value. Seriously, play 'em for 5 minutes for the first time in 20 years, and the last minute before you hit reset will seem to LAST for 20 years.

              Well, besides Circus Atari & Warlords (the original 4-player "party game"). It's kind of ironic that two of the 2600's least graphically-sophisticated games ended up

              • It's really a shame Colecovision's short-sighted licensing deals and messy bankruptcy left their games covered in the legal equivalent of toxic sludge that nobody will ever be able to scrub away cheaply enough to make a $24.95 embedded Colecovision-in-a-(joy)stick with the dozen or so most popular games ever viable.

                I don't think its the legal issues... it's the controllers. Colecovision controllers were awful.
                http://atariage.com/forums/upl... [atariage.com]

                The only ones worse were the intellivision controllers.
                http://www.gratuitousscience.c... [gratuitousscience.com]
                Those actually made my thumbs bleed every time I used them. The lip next to that dial would literally peel your thumb nail away from your finger.

      • by gman003 (1693318)

        I actually run into emulation errors with games I want to play on a semi-regular basis.

        Which emulators are you using? For NES/SNES/GBC/GBA, I've been using higan [byuu.org], and I've yet to find a single emulation error. Checking the forums, the kind of emulation bugs still getting reported are literally "on the Super Game Boy player for the SNES, an obscure series of cross-system memory writes with multiple joypads enabled ends up writing the wrong value to a register, which breaks this contrived test case". So it seems to be exceptionally solid. For more recent systems, yeah, I haven't found any trul

        • the kind of emulation bugs still getting reported are literally "on the Super Game Boy player for the SNES..."

          What kind of lunatic plays his Game Boy games on an emulated adapter for a different console entirely instead of just using a Game Boy emulator?!

          For more recent systems, yeah, I haven't found any truly good low-level emulators, but those are also not the ones you'd be breaking out the CRT display for.

          I don't know about that; I think anything up to and including the PS2, GameCube/Wii and (for all I

    • This is not a slashvert, these solutions have been around for a long time, and as for the NES RGB board it's constantly sold out so they don't need our help on that. Actually this was posted on Kotaku a day ago and someone probably found it geekworthy, and it is. Getting 240p to display properly on HDTVs is a huge pain for retro gaming enthusiasts.

      Use an emulator?! No thanks, that's like telling vinyl enthusiasts to get MP3s. Accuracy is important, and emulators are a mixed bag, and to ask someone wh
      • by ncc74656 (45571) *

        Getting 240p to display properly on HDTVs is a huge pain for retro gaming enthusiasts.

        It largely comes down to the quality of the scaling hardware within the display and the assumptions it makes about the signal. I knocked together an RGB-to-component converter for the Apple IIGS [upverter.com] recently and tried it out with the LCD displays I had on hand: three TVs (two name-brand and one not-so-name-brand) and a monitor that also has component input (and S-video and composite, in addition to the usual VGA and DVI). T

    • by tepples (727027)

      How about instead, using an emulator

      That'd be fine if more people had a PC in the living room.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    ... for super Nintendo and retro gaming.

    The image of these little monitors were the best one could get for a reasonable price.

  • Pretty neat if you can afford it plus the cost of modding your console for RGB-out, which by itself is at least $100 for just the parts, and there are a limited number of those - the ones I've seen were stripped from old PlayChoice 10 cabinets. For us common trolls, a good emulator + a warezed ROM collection does the job.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 27, 2014 @07:34PM (#47770919)

    Classic consoles, notably the NES, purposefully used the blur of the CRT for shading and other effects that the console couldn't do. The graphics simply aren't meant to be seen in super clarity. You see all of the pixels, and the colors are overly bright and flat. It's just... wrong.

    • by WilyCoder (736280)

      And that's why the old consoles can output RGB via SCART.../sarcasm

      • by Lunix Nutcase (1092239) on Wednesday August 27, 2014 @07:53PM (#47771019)

        That the (S)NES and Genesis can output RGB via modding doesn't change the fact that game developers did use the artifacts from the composite output and the CRT to do what the GP mentioned.

        • Megadrive (the Genesis in EU and Japan) supported RGB out-of-the box (all the signals are there on the DIN / miniDIN cable), no need to mod the console, just buy the appropriate cable (SCART in EU, or the Japanese equivalent).

          (I have no first-hand experience, but I might guess that the situation is similar with Super Famicom vs US' SNES)

          That the US market had a crappier output possibility, combined with a worst Video standard (nicknamed Never The Same Color :-P ) doesn't change the fact that everybody else

          • That the US market had a crappier output possibility, combined with a worst Video standard (nicknamed Never The Same Color :-P ) doesn't change the fact that everybody else around the world had better quality, including the developers back in japan.

            The analog TV standard in Japan was NTSC with a different black level. This is why the Famicom and NTSC NES use the same 2C02 PPU, while PAL regions need a different 2C07 PPU.

            The situation is completely different from the first home computer doing "composite synthesis" and achieving more colours on the screen than supported in the GFX hardware.

            You're referring to the 7.16 MHz pixel clock of several early game consoles and home computers (Apple II, Atari 400/800, Atari 7800, IBM CGA, etc.), which was exactly twice the NTSC color burst frequency. This let the program synthesize the exact waveform going out the wire. The Genesis's pixel clock, on the other hand, was 15/8 times

            • by Shinobi (19308)

              Then you also had the Amiga with its copper that allowed you to play all kinds of tricks to give you more colours, such as recomputing a new palette every line etc.

              • Amiga is used a co-processor to display cool stuff on the screen. But its displaying things that it has an actual internal representation. And work on any display connected to the machine (or even emulator, if the emulator can handle the internal copper chip).

                CGA/composite is a hack abusing the way NTSC singal work. The machine is ouputing a monochrome signal, but the software abuses the way an NTSC display work and it appears as a coloured picture. (But these colours don't exist in the display buffer. It d

                • by Shinobi (19308)

                  Actually, the Copper did allow you to sidestep hardware limitations too. Hardware-wise you were limited to a maximum of 12-bit palette, but the Copper effectively let you get, IIRC, 18-bit palette.

                  Also, there were plenty of tricks to get NTSC Amigas to play PAL demos, and vice versa.

                  • I'm just a pedantic fool nitpicking between:

                    - a in-hardware solution: the platform can be asked to generate a different signal creating a different output.
                    yeah, there are also hardware limitation (RAM is expensive, so Video-RAM is in small quantities) and thus tricks required (HAM stores small 'deltas' between adjacent pixels instead of coding full RGB tripplet, so it can cram hi-colour picture inside the limited video-ram ; copper can be used to change palette at each line refresh, so that you get a nice g

            • The analog TV standard in Japan was NTSC with a different black level. This is why the Famicom and NTSC NES use the same 2C02 PPU, while PAL regions need a different 2C07 PPU.

              Except that, in the eighties, virtually any TV sold in Europe had a Scart connector (Mandatory on any TV sold after 1980. I don't remember having seen a TV without it), and TV sold in Japan had a RGB-21 connector (technically similar. physically, the connectors have the same shape but use slightly different pin-outs). That was simply the standard interconnect to plug *any* consumer electronics on a TV outside of the US.

              So starting with MasterSystem and Megadrive (again that's my first hand experience. I'm n

      • Another thing about the NES: its output was purely composite video, even through SCART.
    • There are a number of titles on NES that I can think of such as Empire Strikes Back which only look correct on CRT or anything that does proper NTSC color artifact emulation. (and actually sonic games on genesis too!) I've written a game editor for Apple // graphics which uses NTSC artifacts as part of the editing experience -- and also part of the image dithering/conversion algorithms -- and believe me: It makes a huge difference when you are designing graphics with a 6-color palette where you actually g
      • There are a number of titles on NES that I can think of such as Empire Strikes Back which only look correct on CRT or anything that does proper NTSC color artifact emulation. (and actually sonic games on genesis too!) I've written a game editor for Apple // graphics which uses NTSC artifacts as part of the editing experience -- and also part of the image dithering/conversion algorithms -- and believe me: It makes a huge difference when you are designing graphics with a 6-color palette where you actually get an extra handful of extra "fringe" colors when using some combinations. If you are still unsure, use an emulator with NTSC emulation (Blargg's is great) and then switch over to plain RGB. There is a huge difference.

        Also, a final note on this (Caveat: I am an emulation author and this information is in a very well written wikipedia article on Y'UV if you want to fact check me...) You will NOT EVER get the same colors from RGB than you get from a CRT. The color spaces are different. Emulators can simulate (and in some cases very well) what an analog display does, but it only goes so far. In the NTSC-to-RGB conversion process you wind up having to transform from one color system (Y'UV) to another (RGB) using some rather simple math but then you also have to alias the results to fit the values (which are often outside the 0-255 range). There are colors in the Y'UV spectrum (I'm talking about the Apple colors but there are some on Atari and NES too) that are so saturated that they look completely neon, and those colors actually don't exist in the RGB spectrum at all so you wind up with a rather muted look compared to the real thing.

        A scan doubler is okay I suppose for this, but really if you want it to look old school nothing beats the real warm glow of a CRT. If you want to play retro games on an RGB screen, just use an emulator. They're cheaper, and if done correctly you're lucky to ever really notice a difference. :-) I think that you can take a Raspberry Pi and make a dedicated emulator solution for 20% the cost of this scan doubler solution and be just as happy if not happier.

        You can't say YUV has colors that RGB doesn't and expect that to apply to reality. You have to compare the actual output of a CRT to the actual output of something displaying an RGB signal. Monitors and TVs have such wildly different physical mappings for given color spaces that you simply can't make such a blanket statement.

        • by Twinbee (767046)
          Right. Ultimately it would depend on how true, the red, blue and green components of the display are. IIRC, most standard CRTs are around as poor as LCDs at displaying green, and probably worse than decent LCDs.
          • IIRC, most standard CRTs are around as poor as LCDs at displaying green, and probably worse than decent LCDs.

            I dunno, but if you ask me, it seems like green [comley.us] was the only color standard CRTs were good at displaying.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I'm not sure I'm buying the "NES relied on blur and shadowing" argument. The first two years of US first-party titles had purposely blocky box art [google.com]. This was apparently done as to not raise buyers' expectations of the graphics (compared to box art for other systems like the 2600).

      • by Parafilmus (107866) on Thursday August 28, 2014 @04:10AM (#47772615) Homepage

        I'm not sure I'm buying the "NES relied on blur and shadowing" argument.

        Here's an example that may convince you. From a snes game, but still 240p.

        Crisp Blocky pixels: http://files.tested.com/upload... [tested.com]

        With NTSC blur and artifacts: http://files.tested.com/photos... [tested.com]

        Which do you think is closer to the artist's intention?

        • by Twinbee (767046)
          Nice comparison. I'd upvote if I could.

          I think the main effect apart from the brightness is that every pixel's colour is smoothed out into the surrounding pixels. A bit like what the inherent motion blur does with 24fps cinema film.
        • I've used the NTSC filters since they started showing up in emulators, and they definitely look more appealing than unfiltered video - but for this to be a sound comparison, I suggest having both images be the same size.
          • Good point on the size. After zooming the pictures so that they're roughly the same size in my browser, the blocky pixels don't look *that* bad.

            But goodness, the blurred version looks beautiful.

    • My thoughts exactly.
      Back in the day there were a lot of tricks that enhanced the graphics due to the blur.
      The IBM CGA Display Used tricks on old monitors to enhance the output [wikipedia.org] The Composite mode which is what standard TV's were like were blurry in high resolution 640x200 but, created color artifacts that could be utilized. The RGB displays were crisper but made all those tricks moot and you ended up with a B&W display.

      Nintendo didn't want people to see the pixels they wanted to see the characters. So

  • but, we were 10, then...and she was 29.
  • Was anxious to use all those cracked programs from the 90s. Rigged up a Win98 machine and what a blast from the past! Sure the drivers can be a pain to hunt down but everything works like it used to. Simple Fast and Free with all the stuff I kept on file. Audio editors MIDI editors, wav recorders etc. The hardest part was finding equip (CPUs and chipsets) that work in the 98 realm.
  • obviously this person has never heard of Ebay

  • by Tempest_2084 (605915) on Wednesday August 27, 2014 @08:01PM (#47771063)
    I've done this with all my classic consoles, and the results are worth it. Most consoles can support RGB without any mods, but a few require building an amp or a special board (the NES is the hardest to mod). I'm using RGB for my Genesis, SNES, Saturn, Dreamcast, N64, Neo Geo, NES, PSX, TurboGrafx, and SMS. On systems that could already support S-Video (Saturn, PSX, SNES, N64, DC) RGB isn't a huge step up but it is noticeable, but on systems that were stuck with composite (NES, Genesis, Neo Geo, TurboGrafx, SMS) it's a night and day difference.

    I have all my consoles using Euro style SCART cables (these are fairly cheap and easy to find on ebay). The biggest issue is finding a nice CRT that supports RGB as most end user monitors do not. This is where the Sony PVM comes in. It's a high end CRT display that was mostly used by video production and television companies. These monitors support RGB along with S-Video and composite (although why you'd want to use composite after you have RGB is a mystery). They used to be pretty cheap, but now that more people are getting into RGB modding they've shot up in price over the past year or two. 20" models can still be found for $100 or so, but the larger models (27" tubes) can run $300 or more. If you're resourceful enough you can find them locally or on Craigslist as many local companies are finally starting to junk them. I have some friends who use the Frame Meister, but I think the PVM looks better. These systems were meant to be played on CRTs (not to mention you can use light guns).

    In the end it's really not that hard to do, but there is an upfront cost involved. Still, if you're into classic gaming on original systems you should really look into it. This site has a lot of good info: http://www.chrismcovell.com/go... [chrismcovell.com]
    • I thing I forgot to mention is that for most systems you will have to find a way to strip out the sync signal from the video cable. You can either build your own device (using a LM1881 chip) or buy something a little fancier like the Sync Strike (http://arcadeforge.net/Scaler-and-Strike-Devices/Sync-Strike::15.html). If you don't use a sync stripper the picture will be all distorted and, as you would guess, out of sync
  • When I used to have a Nintendo (NES), I would hook it up to my cheap TV and the picture was fuzzy, edges were clipped, etc. Then I connected it to an Amiga 1080 (?) NTSC video monitor. The improvement was dramatic. Same (theoretical) resolution, but much sharper and better color.

  • by GoodNewsJimDotCom (2244874) on Wednesday August 27, 2014 @08:13PM (#47771125)
    My modern card turns on the high gear fans when I play... Asheron's Call 1. I just got it because it is my favorite MMORPG and there are no monthly fees anymore, just a one time fee of 10$. I don't know how to play with my driver software because I'd assume you could frame cap it. If anyone still remembers when Starcraft 2 came out, lots of people's cards fried because they were doing way over 60 FPS, and Blizzard needed to patch.

    There's no reasons modern cards should engage into all out maximized FPS mode on old games. I also don't like the extra heat in the summer. I'm thinking of playing some AC1 in a few months when it gets colder. There's no reason AC1 should crank much heat at all, but I guess I just don't know how to turn my graphics card from going all out on an older game.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Get a new GPU and monitor that supports FreeSync/Adaptive Sync IIRC it's part of the DisplayPort 1.2a and HDMI2.0 specs. This way the GPU will only produce a frame when the screen is actually ready, the results are a much smoother picture then vSync or running the card maxed out.

      Weither you go for picture quality, color accuracy and viewing angles with a 60Hz IPS panel or raw framerate with a 144Hz TN panel you'll have much better rsults then the current way of doing things.

    • Proper Zapper support relies on the 15.7 kHz flicker of the horizontal retrace. To play Duck Hunt, Operation Wolf, To the Earth, or ZapPing [pineight.com] without an emulator, you will need either a CRT or another display that can flicker individual lines at that rate.
  • SCART was more common in other parts of the world

    What other parts? Where are you from? If you include a relative reference, at least mention what it's relative TO. You know, the internet is worldwide, FFS.
  • by jgotts (2785)

    Very bad typo in the article. Composite is what's bad. Component is excellent. People get the two mixed up.

    My HDTV is one of the few picture tube HDTVs ever made, and it does not have HDMI at all. Component is what I use for video, and even though the television doesn't do 1080p, the picture for games for example like Grand Theft Auto V which has to run in 780p is amazing.

  • Graphics look plenty crisp on my C64 emulator. Need to check out a console emulator or two (my old C64 got as much play as a console)
  • I don't know why the hell they omitted 240p/line doubling mode from HDTVs. It's truly a pain in the ass. I wish I knew what I was doing, I'd try and implement it in the SamyGo firmware. As it is now, game systems that are supposed to display in a line doubling mode instead display as interlaced, so you get a ton of ugly artifacts. I even bought a few HDMI-outputting VHS/DVD players hoping that it would recognize the mode and display correctly, but nope. Now I'm trying to outfit my consoles with SCART c
    • I don't know why the hell they omitted 240p/line doubling mode from HDTVs. It's truly a pain in the ass.

      Because it's only a pain in the ass for a tiny proportion of users.

  • "Component video is absolutely terrible." Incorrect.
    • Yeah, they meant composite.

      Also, these are not "better graphics." They're the same graphics, upscaled differently.

      bad integrated TV upscalers

      They're not bad, they're just meant for - wait for it - upscaling TV pictures, not console games.

  • When I use a SNES emulator, I jump through hoops to make it look like it did when I was growing up, simulating a CRT television and the artifacts of composite video. Why would I want to take my SNES and try to make it look like an unmodified emulator? That's the exact opposite of what I want. These games were never meant to be hyper-sharp and pixelated. In fact, some games rely on composite artifacting to make certain effects work.

    In fact, I want an upscaler that I can plug my SNES into that will simulate a

  • I was really excited to see that new builds of ffmpeg [ffmpeg.org] (which is FOSS) implement the hqx family of filters, [wikipedia.org] but I've also read that these filters are pretty outdated at this point. So I was hoping that this article would be a comparison of upscaling algorithms, both free and proprietary. But alas...
  • Game play trumps "realistic graphics" any day.

    If the game sucks, all the graphics in the world won't save it.

  • It looks to me like they intentionally darkened the image of the WiiU output. I have the Mario Classics collection (basically Mario All Stars) on my Wii, it looks beautiful on my 36" CRT, and I put the virtual console version of the original Super Mario Brothers on my parents Wii, again, looks great on their 60" LCD, other than some aspect ratio induced bad feelings.

    Of course advertising materials have a reason to push for their product instead of virtual console.

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