Discussion in 'Article Discussion' started by bit-tech, 1 Jun 2020.
You'll probably see both Microsoft and Sony announching compatibility for 'most games' or 'thousands of games' rather than ever promising all games. There will always be some edge cases, as there has with previous back-compat efforts. Heck, there were a handful of PS2 games the PS2 Slim couldn't play, and that was the same damn console! Someone, somewhere, will have used some bass-ackwards timing trick in their game for no good reason that you missed during code review that will only work properly on bare metal.
From what I remember, the list of games the PS2 Slim couldn't play was a bit weird. It included things like Final Fantasy XI (obvious thing is obvious, since it required the PS2 HDD) and also qualified games with minor graphical corruption on a single screen (Final Fantasy Anthology) as incompatible. Games were also deemed incompatible when one model of Slim would work and another wouldn't... or the NTSC version wouldn't work but the PAL one would. Stuff like that.
I wasn't too pleased with the appalling backwards compatibility from Sony from the PS3 (bought a "fat" PS3 for BC, but the EU one only had software BC, so it was generally a terrible experience) and find it rather depressing that people who are developing emulators unofficially do a better job of it than the people who hold all the original schematics.
I've got a rather eclectic XB360 library, most of which I picked up basically as spur-of-the-moment "eh, it's two quid" buys from various shops, and to be honest the only games I really want to still play are the Forza ones.
- FOSS emulator devs have years to decades to work with and no pre-set performance budget (e.g. if it works with a Threadripper 3990X and a Titan RTX with a handful of games, it works!). Official emulators need to run within a narrow console spec, and have that console life cycle to work on it. And if it needs to work at launch, they have the time between spec lockdown and console launch which may only be a handful of years.
- FOSS emulators need to 'work' with the correct esoteric hardware, acceptable blood-sacrifice, and sacred dance, with random glitches accepted as cost of doing business. Official emulators need to work by pressing a button and any issues are not acceptable.
I feel we're ignoring the fact that a non-zero number of the "official emulators" are just FOSS emulators with the serial numbers filed off. Off the top of my head:
PlayStation Classic: PCSX ReArmed
TheC64/TheC64 Mini: VICE
ZX Spectrum Vega+ (the handful that ever shipped, anyway): FUSE
Every old DOS game on Steam and GOG: DOSBox
I believe Nintendo's Virtual Console emulators are in-house and, ostensibly, not based on any open-source stuff (though the NES Classic Mini and SNES Classic Mini both include several open-source libraries and, more notably, the Linux kernel) - but let's not forget when Nintendo couldn't be bothered dumping an original Super Mario Bros. cartridge so just downloaded a pirated ROM and sold it as "official" instead.
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