Still on the topic of Nintendo, MAME now emulates the earliest versionof the RP2A03 audio processing unit, used on arcade boards as well asearly production runs of the Famicom console. Several games play soundsincorrectly with the later RP2A03G used in the NES and the majority ofFamicom consoles. Several issues with Famicom peripherals have beenfixed, too.
Look, anyone with a serious gaming den probably has an impressive gaming TV to go with a fleet of consoles or a sick gaming desk to serve as the heart of a battle station. We don't think there's any problem with that, but there's a lot more that can be done to deck out a recreation room. One of the niftiest options is an arcade cabinet.
It's easy enough to see the appeal of having a throwback arcade machine in your home. But, old technology had a tendency toward being big and bulky. Cabaret models keep the design a bit more on the svelte side, and that's the case here with the Arcade1UP Galaga Arcade Machine.
This model stays trim at just 19 inches wide. It would also normally stand at just under 46 inches tall, but it includes a hefty riser that can boost it up to 61.8 inches tall. It features both the classic Galaga and Galaxian arcade games plus original artwork on the cabinet.
Everyone loves a bit of nostalgia, and the NEOGEO Mini Arcade takes you back in time when arcades reigned supreme, but in a much smaller form factor than the original cabinets. This little machine fits in the palm of your hand, and 40 classic games for SNK fans are built-in, including The King of Fighters '98, Metal Slug X, Samurai Shodown II, and Shock Troopers. You can also save your current game progress and load previous profiles all on the device.
Priced under $600, you get 2 sets of robust controls that will get you kicking, punching, blocking, and running. The real feel, full-size joysticks labeled with moves for Mortal Kombat II have a nice response and the games play just like they used. Although this unit has an LCD screen rather than CRT, there isn't any smearing or ugly ghost effects. Everything looks as crisp and colorful as the original games were down to the pixelated blood squirts. If you're ready to take a leap back in time and help Raiden defend the Earthrealm, save your quarters and grab this cabinet.
From the King of Fighters and Samurai Showdown to Metal Slug and Fatal Fury, these iconic arcade franchises all came from one place: SNK. So, what better way to relive those classic arcade experiences than a dedicated SNK Neo Geo machine loaded with 50 games.
The SNK MVSX Arcade Machine delivers a large batch of titles from those classic franchises, as well as Real Bout, World Heroes, Sengoku, and more. For $500, you're getting access to a classic library that'll deliver plenty of play time. And, it provides an option to play through either the arcade or the home console versions of the games. The cabinet itself offers room for you and a friend to play shoulder-to-shoulder, as it stands 57-inches tall, has a 17-inch display, and features full-size arcade controls for two players. Fortunately, you won't have to go running for quarters if you run out of lives with this cabinet.
MAME (formerly an acronym of Multiple Arcade Machine Emulator) is a free and open-source emulator designed to recreate the hardware of arcade game systems in software on modern personal computers and other platforms. Its intention is to preserve gaming history by preventing vintage games from being lost or forgotten. It does this by emulating the inner workings of the emulated arcade machines; the ability to actually play the games is considered "a nice side effect". Joystiq has listed MAME as an application that every Windows and Mac gamer should have.
MAME's architecture has been extensively improved over the years. Support for both raster and vector displays, multiple CPUs, and sound chips were added in the project's first six months. A flexible timer system to coordinate synchronization between multiple emulated CPU cores was implemented, and ROM images started to be loaded according to their CRC32 hash in the ZIP files they were stored in. MAME has pioneered the reverse engineering of many undocumented system architectures, various CPUs (such as the M6809-derivative custom Konami CPU with new instructions) and sound chips (for example, Yamaha FM sound chips). MAME developers have been instrumental in reverse engineering many proprietary encryption algorithms utilized in arcade games, including Neo Geo, CP System II and CP System III.
MAME's popularity has gone mainstream, with enthusiasts building their own arcade game cabinets to replay old games, and even with some companies producing illegal MAME derivatives to be installed in arcades. Cabinets are built either from scratch or by taking apart and modifying an original arcade game cabinet. Cabinets inspired by classic games can also be purchased and assembled (with MAME optionally preinstalled).
Although MAME contains a rudimentary user interface, the use of MAME in arcade game cabinets and home theaters necessitates special launcher applications called front ends with more advanced features. They provide varying degrees of customization, allowing one to see images of games' cabinets, histories, playing tips, specialized logo artwork for games, and video of the game's play or attract mode.
On 27 May 2015 (0.162), the games console and computer system emulator MESS was integrated with MAME (so the MESS User Manual is still the most important usage instruction for the non-arcade parts of MAME). This also lead to the removal of the acronym, as MAME can now emulate more than arcade machines. Since 2012, MAME has been maintained by former MESS project leader Miodrag Milanović.
The MAME core coordinates the emulation of several elements at the same time. These elements replicate the behavior of the hardware present in the original arcade machines. MAME can emulate many different central processing units (CPUs) and associated hardware. These elements are virtualized so MAME acts as a software layer between the original program of the game, and the platform MAME runs on. MAME supports arbitrary screen resolutions, refresh rates and display configurations. Multiple emulated monitors, as required by for example Darius, are supported as well.
Individual arcade systems are specified by drivers which take the form of C preprocessor macros. These drivers specify the individual components to be emulated and how they communicate with each other. While MAME was originally written in C, the need for object oriented programming caused the development team to begin to compile all code as C++ for MAME 0.136, taking advantage of additional features of that language in the process.
The original program code, graphics and sound data need to be present so that the system can be emulated. In most arcade machines, the data is stored in read-only memory chips (ROMs), although other devices such as cassette tapes, floppy disks, hard disks, laserdiscs, and compact discs are also used. The contents of most of these devices can be copied to computer files, in a process called "dumping". The resulting files are often generically called ROM images or ROMs regardless of the kind of storage they came from. A game usually consists of multiple ROM and PAL images; these are collectively stored inside a single ZIP file, constituting a "ROM set". In addition to the "parent" ROM set (usually chosen as the most recent "World" version of the game), games may have "clone" ROM sets with different program code, different language text intended for different markets etc. For example, Street Fighter II Turbo is considered a variant of Street Fighter II Champion Edition. System boards like the Neo Geo that have ROMs shared between multiple games require the ROMs to be stored in "BIOS" ROM sets and named appropriately.
Hard disks, compact discs and laserdiscs are stored in a MAME-specific format called CHD (Compressed Hunks of Data). Some arcade machines use analog hardware, such as laserdiscs, to store and play back audio/video data such as soundtracks and cinematics. This data must be captured and encoded into digital files that can be read by MAME. MAME does not support the use of external analog devices, which (along with identical speaker and speaker enclosures) would be required for a 100% faithful reproduction of the arcade experience. A number of games use sound chips that have not yet been emulated successfully. These games require sound samples in WAV file format for sound emulation. MAME additionally supports artwork files in PNG format for bezel and overlay graphics. Furthermore, emulation of games with liquid-crystal displays such as Game & Watch or extra physical aspects such as slot machines usually require extra image files for backgrounds or other aspects of the games.
MAME emulates well over a thousand different arcade system boards, a majority of which are completely undocumented and custom designed to run either a single game or a very small number of them. The approach MAME takes with regards to accuracy is an incremental one; systems are emulated as accurately as they reasonably can be. Bootleg copies of games are often the first to be emulated, with proper (and copy protected) versions emulated later. Besides encryption, arcade games were usually protected with custom microcontroller units (MCUs) that implemented a part of the game logic or some other important functions. Emulation of these chips is preferred even when they have little or no immediately visible effect on the game itself. For example, the monster behavior in Bubble Bobble was not perfected until the code and data contained with the custom MCU was dumped through the decapping of the chip. This results in the ROM set requirements changing as the games are emulated to a more and more accurate degree, causing older versions of the ROM set becoming unusable in newer versions of MAME. 2b1af7f3a8