Emulation might be a bit controversial, but (like it or not) it’s arguably played a crucial role in gaming over the past two decades.
Beyond fan-made projects and attempts to preserve long-forgotten releases, developers and publishers have also made use of emulators to revive certain releases.
With this in mind, the most popular (and free to download) Nintendo 64 emulator, Project64, just turned 20 years old. While you wouldn’t suspect there to be a celebration for something like this, after a number of years, the build has been updated from Version 2.3.2 to Version 3.0.0.
Interestingly, there have been a few fixes to make some games (like Donkey Kong 64) run better, and the emulator now supports the graphics plugin, GLideN64. Here’s the full rundown, courtesy of PCGamesN:
“Project64 3.0 adds GLideN64 support, and the option to make it your default plugin, as well as new audio and input plugins, The cheat system has been revamped, saves now conveniently live in their own director, there are fixes for issues with Donkey Kong 64 and Indiana Jones and the Infernal Machine.”
According to the developer, the plan now is to continue making “a lot of huge changes…to the code base of project64”, which will slowly lead up to Version 4.0.
What are your own thoughts about the emulation of video games? Yes, you can talk about this in the comments below.
I don’t really use emulators myself. Not for some misplaced conception of higher morals, just a mix of I just haven’t had much desire to, those I would I typically already have in abundance in other means and the laptop I’m stuck with isn’t particularly good for or fun to use for games.
I don’t see the fuss over downloading roms, I mean I certainly wouldn’t emulate current gen games but what’s the difference between downloading an N64 rom or buying the game off eBay? The original developer or publisher isn’t affected either way, plus then you have the whole homebrew and rom hacking scene which has spawned some great games, even retail games like Sonic Mania.
Also for many like myself it doesn’t stop me supporting the same games at retail, last night I bought Metal Slug 2 on Switch despite being able to play it on my PC and I bought Mario 3D All Stars despite being able to play them, even a much better version of Mario 64 and I’ll still be buying the Sonic Origins Collection.
Plus without emulation we would never be able to play those unreleased versions of games such as the N64 version of Starfox Adventures (before Fox), or the 360 Goldeneye or Resident Evil 1.5. In fact without emulation the overwhelming majority of retro games would not be available to most people