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Pandora's Emulators - What Will Work And What Won't


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#1 Prophet

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Posted 04 May 2008 - 10:29 PM

As more people around the world discover the Pandora, we're likely to get many requests for emulators. This topic is designed to clarify what sort of emulators are likely to work very well on Pandora, what sort probably won't, and what *might* happen (depending on many variables). This list will also begin indicating emulators known to already be in development, and/or being planned by reputable developers.

Last Updated: 10/18/08 (scroll to the bottom of this post to see a detailed list of updates)

THIS LIST IS SEMI-SPECULATIVE
DO NOT expect to see emulators for every system in the list!


Systems colored in green are known to have emulators already being worked on (i.e. not just planned) using Pandora hardware. When possible, the name(s) of the developers will be listed.

Systems colored in yellow indicate a well known developer has publically declared intent to emulate, but have not yet received Pandora hardware. If more than one emulator is planned, each will have its dev(s) listed in seperate brackets.

Emulators that COULD work well on Pandora: (full speed emulation, full sound, rare frame skipping)

8bit consoles, computers and other platforms including (but not limited to):
Adventure Vision
Atari 2600/7800 [zx-81] [Tinnus->Little John]
Colecovision [zx-81]
Fairchild Channel F
Gameboy & Gameboy Color [Tinnus->Little John]
Intellivision [zx-81]
Microvision
NES/Famicom/FDS [Tinnus->Little John]
Odyssey/2
Sega Master System & Game Gear [Tinnus->Little John]
Sega SG-1000 (pre-SMS console in Japan)
Vectrex [SDW->Vecx]

Amstrad [zx-81]
Apple II
Apple IIGS
Atari 800/XL/XE/5200 [zx-81]
BBC Micro (possible zx-81 port, not confirmed)
Commodore 64 [Gnostic - see here]
Commodore PET
Commodore Plus/4 [zx-81]
Commodore VIC-20
Dragon 32/64
MSX [zx-81]
Oric 1
Sam Coupé [zx-81]
Sinclair QL
Sinclair Spectrum [Dio/Firefox->EMU]
Sinclair ZX-80/81 [zx-81]
Tandy Color Computer (CoCo) [zx-81]
Tandy TRS-80
Thompson TO7-70 [zx-81]

Arcade games from the 70's and 80's [Zodttd->MAME4ALL port]
+ various other systems from that era
16bit consoles, computers and other platforms including (but not limited to):
Amiga CD32
Atari Lynx
Genesis/Megadrive/SegaCD [Tinnus->Little John] [Notaz->Picodrive]
NeoGeo AES/MVS [Squidge->Finalburn Alpha] [Pepone->GnGeo]
NeoGeo CD
NeoGeo Pocket/Color [Tinnus->Little John]
Philips CDI
SNES [Squidge ->PandaSNES, see here] [Tinnus->Little John]
Turbografx-16/PC-Engine/CD-ROM (technically an 8bit system but eh...) [Exophase->Temper port]
Wonderswan/Color [Tinnus->Little John]

286 DOS PC (& 386) [DJWillis->SCUMMVM] [Zodttd->DOSbox] [Pickle->DOSbox see here]
Amiga [Notaz] [Gnostic]
Atari ST [Skeezix]
MacIntosh (early models i.e. 68000 based)
TI 99/4A [zx-81]
X68000 (Japanese computer with arcade quality graphics)

Arcade games from late 80's - 90's (i.e. M68000 based hardware etc.) [Squidge->Finalburn Alpha port] [Zodttd->MAME4ALL port]
TI-92 Calculator [zx-81]
32bit consoles, computers and other platforms including (but not limited to):
Atari Jaguar [Firefox - see here]
Gameboy Advance [Exophase]
Playstation [ZodTTD & Tinnus *LINK*]
Virtual Boy

386 DOS PC (& 286) [DJWillis->SCUMMVM] [Zodttd->DOSbox]

Arcade games (i.e. PSX based hardware) [MAME - not sure these would run at good speeds on Pandora though)]
Emulators that MIGHT work decently on Pandora (these are all speculative!): (playable w/frame skipping and/or no sound etc.)

3DO
NEC PC-FX (CD based JPN-only system with mostly FMV games)
Nintendo 64 (no active projects)
Sega 32X [Notaz->Picodrive]

MacIntosh (later generations i.e. PowerPC based)
Emulators that probably will NOT work well on Pandora (these are all speculative!): (unplayable or just plain impossible)

Nintendo DS (might eventually move into the "work decently" tier, time will tell.)
PSP (might be attempted, believe it or not...)
Sega Saturn (altho 32bit, it's very messy hardware to emulate)
Dreamcast [drkIIRaziel->nullDC, see here]
Playstation 2
XBox
Gamecube
486 based PC's and higher
Current mainstream consoles (Wii, PS3, 360 etc.)
These lists are preliminary and semi-speculative. But hopefully they give some idea of what Pandora's emulation furture will hold. As always in emulation, you never know what some brilliant dev will do in the future, but it's good to have a sense of proportion. Remember, Pandora is very powerful (easily surpassing all current handheld game devices) but it's not a miracle machine. So don't hold your breathe for things like Dreamcast or PS2 emulation - you'll only end up dying! wink.gif

Any mistakes or suggestions for additions/changes, please post below!

And remember:

THIS LIST IS SEMI-SPECULATIVE
DO NOT expect to see emulators for every system in the list!


UPDATES:
5/26 - started indicating systems that are actually in development using Pandora dev hardware
5/27 - indicated that PSP emulation is being considered *LINK*
5/27 - started yellow lighting declared emulators by well known devs who don't have Pandora hardware yet; added NeoGeo CD to list
5/28 - yellow lighted various classic systems since zx-81 announced intent to adapt his many emu ports for Pandora (including ZX-80/81, MSX, Intellivision, Thompson TO7-70, Amstrad, Atari 2600 & 7800, Sam Coupé, Commodore Plus/4, Colecovision, Atari 800/XL/5200, TI 92 calculator)
5/28 - moved Atari Jaguar to "work well" category and yellow lighted Firefox for intent to emulate smile.gif (Tempest 2000 on a handheld, yum!)
5/28 - semi-alphabetized "work well" & "work decently" lists in this order: consoles,computers,arcades,others
5/28 - removed "defining terms" section since this info is repeated in the list headers
5/28 - yellow lighted Pepone for a GnGeo (NeoGeo) port, and Tinnus for a Little John (NES, SNES, GB/C, SMS/GG, Genesis, NGP, Wonderswan/Color and Atari 2600 + possibly others!) port
5/28 - yellow lighted Genesis/Megadrive/SegaCD for Notaz' intended port of Picodrive
5/29 - yellow lighted Amiga having found this post by Gnostic smile.gif
6/3 - yellow lighted all arcade sections in regards to the inevitable MAME port to Pandora
6/3 - yellow lighted TG16/PCE/CD in regards to Exophase indicating a port of Temper
6/4 - yellow lighted 286 & 386 PC in regards to SCUMMVM (it's an interpreter really but eh...) DOSbox is also likely but awaiting confirmation
6/5 - indicated DOSbox for x86
6/11 - yellow lighted TI-994A & Tandy Color Computer for zx-81, added MacIntosh, BBC Micro and NEC PC-FX to the list
6/11 - readded Gameboy & GB Color, must've accidentally deleted them when I alphabetized parts of the list
6/13 - added Sega SG-1000 to the list, there are still a few more obscure/unusual things to possibly add (i.e. PalmOS)... wondering if I should add GP32?
6/13 - moved NEC PC-FX from "work well" to "work decently" group in light of Exophase's comments on emulating it on Pandora, adjusted list format a little for clarity
6/20 - added Oric 1, TRS-80, Apple IIGS Commodore Vic and Commodore PET. NOTE: generally I will only add platforms that had software uniquely written for them (i.e. won't list every version of a particular computer platform; like Amiga for example), and which were reasonably popular and/or well known in their day and/or historically significant to some degree
6/20 - added Adventure Vision, Microvision, Fairchild Channel F, Dragon 32/64 and Virtual Boy
6/21 - added Sinclair QL and later gen Macs (i.e. PowerPC based)
7/19 - Atari Jaguar green lighted since Firefox successfully ported his emulator, and it's running very, very fast!
7/24 - added link to Firefox's PandaSNES thread (note PandaSNES is by Squidge, not Firefox) for SNES
7/27 - green lighted Genesis/SegaCD since Picodrive is now confirmed to be ported and running on Pandora hardware
7/29 - yellow lighted Vectrex (SDW) and Dreamcast (drkIIRaziel) - personally I'm not expecting DC to ever run well, but you don't know until you know, ya know? tongue.gif Good luck devs!
7/31 - yellow lighted Sega 32X, since Notaz has said he will add it to Picodrive _after_ Pandora is released
9/14 - Amiga greened for Notaz, GB/GBC yellowed for Tinnus, greened Speccy for Dio/Firefox, added Amiga CD32 to list
9/17 - N64 blackened. Zod backed out.
9/23 - Added DOSbox port by Pickle with board link
9/27 - yellowed Commodore 64 for Gnostic, and added him as an Amiga dev
10/18 - arcades green lighted and noted for Zodttd's port of MAME4ALL (link)

Edited by Prophet, 18 October 2008 - 03:49 PM.


#2 Firefox

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Posted 04 May 2008 - 10:47 PM

64bit consoles and computers including (but not limited to):
Atari Jaguar

(Only joking about the 64bit category; I see it as a 32-bit console myself smile.gif)

#3 Vorporeal

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Posted 04 May 2008 - 10:50 PM

Suggestion: sticky!

Great list, hopefully people will read this. New users should somehow be redirected to this page their first time they try to access one of the Pandora forums.

#4 Prophet

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Posted 04 May 2008 - 10:52 PM

For now I'll put Jag and 3DO in the "MIGHT work decently" list.

#5 Firefox

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Posted 04 May 2008 - 10:55 PM

"Might"?!? On a Cortex A8? I'll have to attach a couple of boat anchors to the back to slow it down! smile.gif

#6 Prophet

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Posted 04 May 2008 - 10:57 PM

OK, Jag and 3DO are in the work well list.

Edited by Prophet, 04 May 2008 - 10:59 PM.


#7 Firefox

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Posted 04 May 2008 - 10:59 PM

Well, put the Jag there. I don't know about any 3DO emulators (are there any?)

#8 Prophet

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Posted 04 May 2008 - 11:01 PM

QUOTE(Firefox @ May 4 2008, 10:59 PM) View Post

Well, put the Jag there. I don't know about any 3DO emulators (are there any?)


I think there have been some, but I never tried any. 3DO wasn't as powerful as PSX, and not as messy architecture-wise as Saturn so in theory at least it's probably a "work well" emu target for Pandora.

#9 Chip

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Posted 04 May 2008 - 11:05 PM

Until recently, a list very much like this existed in the FAQ. It was moved to the emulation section of the wiki, then deleted entirely for being too speculative. I don't think having the list stickied here will cut down on the nuisance questions any more then it did in the FAQ (not at all). If anything, it way invite nuisance questions and will undoubtedly be a subject of pointless debate. There will be no end to the "You forgot XXX!" and "Why not YYY?" and "Wouldn't ZZZ work if you just did blah blah blah?" Besides, no matter how many qualifying words like "might" and "should" and "eventually" you put in the post, somebody is going to get all angry when they get their Pandora in the mail and they can't download a Colecovision emulator (which doesn't exist yet) when the list said Pandora could emulate Colecovision.

The FAQ already gives a broadly accurate, non-committal statement about what systems are likely to be emulated. Anybody who is not satisfied with that is going to post their question here no matter what. If any list gets stickied, it should be a list of actual working emulators available for download. Anything more is just asking for trouble.

#10 Prophet

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Posted 04 May 2008 - 11:07 PM

Squidge basically requested someone to make a list so I made one.

And the word 'speculative" is sprinkled all over it.

Also, it's correct to NOT include such a list in the WIKI or FAQ since they should be more limited to absolute facts. But here on the messageboard, such a list can help guide emulation topics, which are by definition speculative much of the time anyway.

Edited by Prophet, 04 May 2008 - 11:21 PM.


#11 zacaj

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Posted 04 May 2008 - 11:22 PM

Isnt the DS less powerful than the N64, and has the same architecture as the Pandora?
Is the 32X really harder to emulate than the PSX?

#12 naples39

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Posted 04 May 2008 - 11:22 PM

What indication is there that 3DO will work well? Many games don't even run fullspeed on my dual core laptop on the only 3DO emulator I'm aware of, whereas PSX emulators have tons of speed to burn. I'd love to see 3DO emulation, but I'm very skeptical.

#13 quartercast

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Posted 04 May 2008 - 11:26 PM

QUOTE(Chip @ May 5 2008, 09:05 AM) View Post

Until recently, a list very much like this existed in the FAQ. It was moved to the emulation section of the wiki, then deleted entirely for being too speculative. I don't think having the list stickied here will cut down on the nuisance questions any more then it did in the FAQ (not at all). If anything, it way invite nuisance questions and will undoubtedly be a subject of pointless debate. There will be no end to the "You forgot XXX!" and "Why not YYY?" and "Wouldn't ZZZ work if you just did blah blah blah?" Besides, no matter how many qualifying words like "might" and "should" and "eventually" you put in the post, somebody is going to get all angry when they get their Pandora in the mail and they can't download a Colecovision emulator (which doesn't exist yet) when the list said Pandora could emulate Colecovision.

The FAQ already gives a broadly accurate, non-committal statement about what systems are likely to be emulated. Anybody who is not satisfied with that is going to post their question here no matter what. If any list gets stickied, it should be a list of actual working emulators available for download. Anything more is just asking for trouble.


Maybe you could make clear which systems are LIKELY to be emulated (see the Key below). Although X68000 emulation may be "doable", do you think anyone would be willing to spend time on it?

Key:
Bold text = emulator already being worked on for this system
Normal text = reasonable probability that emu will be developed (the system is already emulated on GP2X / there is sufficient interest in the system by devs and gamers / source code exists for PC-based emu)
italic text = low probability of system being emulated

#14 Prophet

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Posted 04 May 2008 - 11:32 PM

I'm putting 32X, 3DO and Jag into the "MIGHT work decently" list.

I know PSX is technically more "powerful" than all 3 of them, but I don't think their emulation is as mature as the PSX, and as stated, even PC based emus struggle (i.e. 3DO).

QUOTE(quartercast @ May 4 2008, 11:26 PM) View Post

Maybe you could make clear which systems are LIKELY to be emulated (see the Key below). Although X68000 emulation may be "doable", do you think anyone would be willing to spend time on it?

Key:
Bold text = emulator already being worked on for this system
Normal text = reasonable probability that emu will be developed (the system is already emulated on GP2X / there is sufficient interest in the system by devs and gamers / source code exists for PC-based emu)
italic text = low probability of system being emulated


It would be great for the FAQ/Wiki to add a list of emus definitely being worked on and/or a list of emus that actually exist when the time comes. This topic is only meant as a guide to all the inevitable speculation we'll see as the Pandora's release approaches.

#15 Gruso

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Posted 04 May 2008 - 11:44 PM

The thread is a good idea imo, it should definitely be stickied. Even if it does invite more silly questions and speculation, at least the mods can keep it all in one place. This will free up room on the page for more EeePC discussion.