Debug 360/PS3 + future of console emulator ports

Xbox 360 XDK

I have acquired an Xbox 360 XDK recently and am in the process of acquiring a Test PS3 as well. The main reason for me buying these two is to further improve the already existing emulator ports on PlayStation3 – the lack of any decent performance profiling tools was really becoming a hindrance to the future development of the ports, and to get anywhere, I thought it was necessary to take a financial hit and buy proper debug units.

Screenshots

Some still images I’ve taken from the 360 XDK –

360 XDK screenshot album

Future of the PS3 emulator ports

Now that I’m able to target both Xbox 360 and PlayStation3 (and also given that the two consoles are quite similar to each other), I’m planning to make the emulator ports cross-platform in a similar vein to FBANext. FBANext runs on both Xbox 360 and PlayStation3 with only minimal differences. If I take a look at my own PS3 emulator ports – there exists the possibility to do something similar for projects like VBA, SNES9x, FCEU and Genesis Plus GX PS3. VBA PS3 is very heavily based on Lantus’ VBA 360 – and since Lantus does not actively maintain VBA 360 anymore and there is still some work remaining to be done on the 360 front (such as Sonic Advance 1/2 support and D-pad controls) – I’m planning to make a separate project on Google Code so that both platforms will have an up-to-date version of the emulator –

VBANext

https://code.google.com/p/vbanext/

VBANext will target both PS3 and Xbox 360, and will be based on the VBA PS3 codebase. It will most likely supersede VBA PS3 as it stands.


MAME 360/PS3

https://code.google.com/p/mame-360-ps3/

This is Lantus’ MAME 0.72 port to Xbox 360. I have co-ownership of the project – and I will be porting it to PS3 shortly.

Games like Mortal Kombat 1/2/3/Ultimate run at full speed on 360 – similar performance is expected on PS3.

I could target even more machines than just these two – I have DevkitPro set up for Wii and I’m also able to compile for Xbox 1 – but perhaps it’s best to focus on 360/PS3 for now instead of spreading myself too thin. I’m still intent on helping out madmab with his Xbox 1 port of SNES9x 1.52 though –

SNES9x Slim

https://github.com/squarepusher/snes9x-slim

SNES9x Slim aims to be a slimmed-down version of SNES9x for use on platforms that currently struggle to run the latest versions. The codebase still lags behind the PS3 version considerably – but once done, it will target PS3, Wii, Xbox 1, Android, Xbox 360 and other systems. Most of the improvements/removals are totally platform-agnostic.

17 comments on “Debug 360/PS3 + future of console emulator ports

  1. That’s really great news and I’m looking forward for those enhanced multiplatform versions. By the way anyone has the problem of having mono audio with FCEU for PS3 via HDMI? Because the last version that worked fine for me was 1.3 🙁

  2. Hey, just wanted to say thanks for putting up with my whining about input lag a few months ago. I just recently ran through several SNES games without noticing anything 😀 The CRT filter is gorgeous on my HDTV as well (though it’s a little funky, resolution-wise, in Gens… the scanlines in the version I tried weren’t evenly spaced.) The biggest thing on my wish-list at present is a fast forward button in FCEU, to be honest – ideally mappable to a shoulder trigger, hold instead of toggle – but I’m pretty happy with the way everything looks right now!

    Just wanted to drop a line from a fellow enthusiast and say thanks again!

    • Hi there Gideon Zhi,

      big fan of your work here. I can only feel honored that you have used my ports in the first place – I’ve gotten a lot of mileage out of your ROM translations.

      I wll take your requests to heart and see what I can do.

      Zieg: By the way anyone has the problem of having mono audio with FCEU for PS3 via HDMI? Because the last version that worked fine for me was 1.3

      Yes, I will re-implement this later today – the sound duping to the other channel was a hack to ‘simulate’ stereo output since the NES has mono-only sound – I took that out when I was doing some code refactorings in order to reduce input lag – I will make it a toggleable setting so that you can either play with mono sound or ‘duped’ stereo sound.

  3. Hey again!

    Thanks for the answer and I would appreciate if you include that as a toggleable setting because I use audihones mostly and to hear only one ear pad … well … you know. XD

    P.D. Kepp the nice work, you are the man.

  4. Hey buddy thanks for all your awesome work on the ps3 emulators really grateful for that 🙂 Do you think in the future you could port an n64 emu to ps3? how awesome would it be to play smash bros, and zelda on big screen. thanks for everything you do.

  5. John: so now when you get a debug station will you help us to research how to make retail into debug?

    I would if I could – but I’m not hopeful just having a debug PS3 is going to bear any fruit with regards to finding out a solution for retail-to-debug. That being said, you know as well as I do that there are certain people in the PS3 scene that are sitting on that stuff – I don’t even need to mention their names becaus everybody knows them – they didn’t gain it by legit reverse engineering either. It’s just unfortunate they won’t share it with the public – because they are holding back legitimate homebrew development and they force guys like me to take a heavy financial hit to gain an actual debug unit.

  6. Square – The Mame that you are porting is based of .72, right? If so, if I were to backport a few drivers for games to .72 that were not supported yetin that version can I submit them to you for inclusion? Basically the updated driver file and driver list file?

    I know the speed was better in Mame a while back for a number of games prior to many of the Mame core changes.

    Rotten

  7. RottenBologna – You’re welcome. In fact, me and Lantus are very much hoping for individual driver coders to help us out in this endeavor – we’re hoping to use MAME 0.72 as a new codebase for a MAME version that at least performs decently on in-order consoles like PS3 and 360 – and who knows, perhaps something that would perform well on mobile as well with a few tweaks.

    In any case, regular MAME (0.142+) is far too slow for our needs. Even going from MAME 0.72 to MAME 0.99 on 360 has a big performance drawback – Ninja Warrior drops from 75fps with Vsync off (MAME 0.72) to 35fps (0.99).

    I could test submitted drivers right now – the main project has a working 360 version at the moment – PS3 is still WIP and not yet submitted.

    https://code.google.com/p/mame-360-ps3/

  8. Dunno if the ones I’m gonna drop back in are of any interest to anyone else. I wanted to get the Golden Tee 3d thru GTClassic ones plugged into the itech driver. (they weren’t supported until .92) I have an old usb trackball itching to get set back up. Not enough room on my Mame cocktail cab for GT without breaking fingers. lol

    I’m no coder, but used to compile my own since .36. I can do the old “compare the newer driver to the older one”, drop them in, and update the driver.c file. I’ve gotta resetup the old compiling tools, grab some of the older source ones and will test them before I send them.

    I’ll knuckle around with it sometime this week.

    Rotten

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