Re: [stella] The future of emulation

Subject: Re: [stella] The future of emulation
From: Glenn Saunders <cybpunks@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Sat, 26 Aug 2000 19:29:08 -0700
At 08:06 PM 8/26/2000 -0400, you wrote:
They have it for the PC too, though, right?  I know I've seen at least two
volumes of supposedly emulated Activision 2600 games for the PC.

Action Pack was the only game in town for a while. 2600 emulation was very primitive at the time. It was a different scene.

I can understand why companies wouldn't want to release a commercial 2600 emu for the PC these days, but I still think it's viable on the consoles. Just look at how they released the Williams Arcade Classics titles on Dreamcast. There is still some life there, I think.

I don't (well, aside from the scanned manuals which I think is a great
idea,) but of course I'd buy it to support emulation products anyway.

There is no need to buy something just to be a nice guy.

I'd much rather see Java than CaptiveX or Director (being a Linux guy who

The problem with Java is that it would be two layers of emulation. Java is a virtual machine, which in and of itself is like an emulator, running an emulator for the 2600. You'd probably need at least a 1GHZ machine to get it to 1:1 throughput. Arcade emus are a different story. You can precook the audio for that individual game with sample triggers, and the architectures tend to be more straightforward bitmap-based systems. Plus I think Phoenix and Space Invaders both use Z80/8080 chips which is the core of the x86 lineage and is probably simpler to emulate than the 6502. Plus, I don't thinK Java's 2D Graphics engine is as robust as DirectX. Java runs as fast as it can. Implementing system timing functions and intelligent frame skipping is tricky in Java. I saw a fairly good Java emulation of Battlezone at E3, but I think vector graphics are easier to do because it's just drawing lines, not refreshing the entire bitmap.

I think Java emulation of the 2600 IS going to happen, but it's probably another year or two away before the average PC will be able to run it well enough for it to be fun.

Glenn Saunders - Producer - Cyberpunks Entertainment Personal homepage: Cyberpunks Entertainment:

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