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Education Classic Games (Games) Emulation (Games) Entertainment Games

UK University Making Universal Game Emulator 217

Techradar reports that researchers at the University of Portsmouth in England are working on a project to create a game emulator that will "recognise and play all types of videogames and computer files from the 1970s through to the present day." One of the major goals of the project is to preserve software from early in the computer age. David Anderson of the Humanities Computing Group said, "Early hardware, like games consoles and computers, are already found in museums. But if you can't show visitors what they did, by playing the software on them, it would be much the same as putting musical instruments on display but throwing away all the music. ... Games particularly tend not to be archived because they are seen as disposable, pulp cultural artefacts, but they represent a really important part of our recent cultural history. Games are one of the biggest media formats on the planet and we must preserve them for future generations."
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UK University Making Universal Game Emulator

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  • mess, eh? (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 12, 2009 @07:34AM (#26825559)

    mess is just that for home systems (consoles and computers), while mame is for the arcade machines... so where are the news except that someone just decided to invent the wheel once again?

    btw mess and mame are excpetionally well documented... [] for those too lazy to google it up

  • Re:So basically (Score:5, Informative)

    by courseofhumanevents ( 1168415 ) on Thursday February 12, 2009 @07:49AM (#26825677)
    Wrong. [] Dolphin is already playing two or three Wii games perfectly.
  • Re:So basically (Score:5, Informative)

    by damaki ( 997243 ) on Thursday February 12, 2009 @08:26AM (#26825865)
    It's more like Mame and MESS [] together.
  • Re:So basically (Score:3, Informative)

    by ultranova ( 717540 ) on Thursday February 12, 2009 @08:42AM (#26825953)

    You will never see, in your lifetime, successful emulation of the latest generation of consoles. The decryption keys, internal architecture and DRM protections are virtually impossible to reverse engineer.

    And yet those consoles already have modchips or other cracks, which kinda implies that someone has managed to reverse engineer said protections.

    No, the real problem is that current generation of PCs simply don't have the horsepower to emulate the latest generation consoles. Moore's law will take care of that problem in a decade or so. And even if console X would turn out to have a truly uncrackable security, given enough time it can be emulated at the level of individual transistors, given the chip blueprints; for a machine containing 1 billion transistors that would take about 30 Moore's cycles - or 40 if you want to do it in Python, 39 for a Bash script ;).

  • by Kankraka ( 936176 ) on Thursday February 12, 2009 @09:52AM (#26826539)
    Zsnes took everything I ever threw at it. Every rom I tried to play -worked-, even the StarFox II beta was fully playable, and really, really fun. Snes9x choked on it, but zsnes came through. The only SNES games I've had trouble with were using an emulator on my DS, and I believe it's largely because the emulator is still under development. Kirby's superstar doesn't work at all, Link to the Past is playable but has sprite layering issues. Aerobiz Supersonic works awesome, and I wish Koei would pump out a modern version for the ds; given the hours I've put into it recently because I can now take it with me very easily, they'd have my 40 bucks.
  • Re:So basically (Score:5, Informative)

    by tuffy ( 10202 ) on Thursday February 12, 2009 @10:26AM (#26826927) Homepage Journal

    No, I think the point here is not to just recreate MAME, but to create a legitimate system of emulation that can can be used for valid historic archive purposes

    MAME is a system of emulation for valid historic archive purposes. [] Its whole purpose is to preserve classic video games with the greatest accuracy possible. If these guys don't leverage the MAME team's work, they have no chance of success because systems like the CPS-2 or DECO Cassette System will have degraded out of existence while they spend 10 years reinventing the wheel. []

  • Re:So basically (Score:3, Informative)

    by blincoln ( 592401 ) on Thursday February 12, 2009 @10:38AM (#26827087) Homepage Journal

    MESS has really crappy support for a lot of games, it was a great idea but quite a let down from my experience.

    What did you run into trouble with?

    I've thrown a bunch of Atari 5200, ColecoVision, Intellivision, and Sega Master System games at it and they all worked great. I haven't tried some of the more obscure consoles though.

  • Re:So basically (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 12, 2009 @10:47AM (#26827253)

    Actually, the lights appear in different places. Therefore, all you have to do is see which spot the light is coming from and associate that with what you should be doing.

    Me having pointed out the enormous flaw in your argument, the guy wasn't issuing a call to arms over the horrific mistreatment of his kind, he was lamenting a decided inability to have an alternate way to distinguish compatibility.

    It's a shame that you are capable of being such a craven douche in four languages, but kudos to you all the same.

  • by peter303 ( 12292 ) on Thursday February 12, 2009 @12:30PM (#26828957)
    The AFI is a hybrid government-industry organization charged with identifying and preserving key Hollywood films. It started in the 1960s when the fear was television would decimate Hollywood and original film negatives lost. Each year they choose 25 classic films for special preservation. Since then movie technology and economics has changed considerably. But there is still the chance that even digital films can be lost.

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