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Can companies do more with Retro 8 & 16 bit games/systems?

Xenon

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With all these retro system coming out, especially a proper Genesis in 2019, I was thinking about what can be done to improve the games. Could they develop emulators that could recognize things like dithering, fake transparencies, etc and replace them with 32 bit color equivalents. Maybe even recognize sprites and add frames to smooth out motion. Remove mode 7's glitter effect. But most importantly, get rid of the side effects of techniques companies used to get around the limitations of the hardware at the time.

I know for some the lag this would create would be a deal breaker. But, Im not as sensitive. It has never really bothered me.
 

DunDunDunpachi

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Some companies are trying to do this for specific games (like Hamster's Arcade Archives series, M2 ShotTrigger's releases of Ketsui, Dangun Feveron, etc, and the SEGA Ages series) but we're many years away from a console doing it automatically.
 

jshackles

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Well, look at what Microsoft is doing to Xbox and Xbox 360 games as an example of what's possible on modern hardware for your answer. Yes - tons of post-processing effects can be added to older games to make them awesome. But it's an expensive (in terms of hardware / cpu cycles / GPU) process which makes it an expensive (in terms of money) endeavor.

There doesn't currently seem to be enough interest in these sorts of overhauls to make them viable right now at the hardware/console level, and worse you have purists on the other side of the argument that would actively rebel against something like this for it not being "correct".
 
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Xenon

Member
Some companies are trying to do this for specific games (like Hamster's Arcade Archives series, M2 ShotTrigger's releases of Ketsui, Dangun Feveron, etc, and the SEGA Ages series) but we're many years away from a console doing it automatically.

Yeah that is what I want.

Well, look at what Microsoft is doing to Xbox and Xbox 360 games as an example of what's possible on modern hardware for your answer. Yes - tons of post-processing effects can be added to older games to make them awesome. But it's an expensive (in terms of hardware / cpu cycles / GPU) process which makes it an expensive (in terms of money) endeavor.

There doesn't currently seem to be enough interest in these sorts of overhauls to make them viable right now at the hardware/console level, and worse you have purists on the other side of the argument that would actively rebel against something like this for it not being "correct".

I didn't consider the effect on support from hard core purists. But if they could make a toggle button ala the Halo enhanced titles or Wonder Boy: Dragon's Trap I think they could win some over.
 
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DunDunDunpachi

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Yeah that is what I want. .
The best we have are post-processing filters. There are hardware options (like deinterlacers, scalers, and scan converters) that can make things look cleaner but in terms of improving effects and replacing textures... you'd need to dive down to the code itself. It's impossible to automate that on a hardware (or even OS) level without some serious R&D.

And for these companies, they may as well invest that R&D into fixing up the older games and selling them -- one handful at a time -- in compilation packs.
 

Xenon

Member
The best we have are post-processing filters. There are hardware options (like deinterlacers, scalers, and scan converters) that can make things look cleaner but in terms of improving effects and replacing textures... you'd need to dive down to the code itself. It's impossible to automate that on a hardware (or even OS) level without some serious R&D.

And for these companies, they may as well invest that R&D into fixing up the older games and selling them -- one handful at a time -- in compilation packs.

True. I was just thinking that software to detect known techniques like those listed here would be easier to do.
 
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JimboJones

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Some playstation emulators have been able to fix the texture wobble which is pretry cool and I think emulators for 8/16 bit games have been able to remove sprite limits for a while now.
 

Akuza89

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Personally growing up with these games, I don't want to see them "fixed" let's call it... sometimes it's part of the charm that glitches exist, heck some games took advantage of consoles issues to make gameplay.

It would be interesting to see yes, but to me I wouldn't look at them. :messenger_ok:
 

Pompi

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I don't know if I did something wrong, but Android seem to have immense lag between when you press a gamepad button and when sonic starts to jump.
When I played with my friend on my old genesis, he was amazed how responsive the original gamepads are.
Not sure if the old gamepads just had simple wires with a simpler or analoge protocol that give them almost 0 latency.
 

DunDunDunpachi

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I don't know if I did something wrong, but Android seem to have immense lag between when you press a gamepad button and when sonic starts to jump.
When I played with my friend on my old genesis, he was amazed how responsive the original gamepads are.
Not sure if the old gamepads just had simple wires with a simpler or analoge protocol that give them almost 0 latency.
The old systems have near-0 latency. An old game system plugged into a CRT has direct control over the electron gun. The only "lag" is the time it takes for the electrical signal to leave your Genesis controller, travel to the Genesis, and then from the Genesis to the TV.

On modern systems, you have the lag from the input, the lag from the emulator processing the game, and the lag of the video information being sent to the screen. Modern displays that claim 1ms of lag are only referring to the time it takes for individual LED bulbs to change their color.

There has been some modern workarounds (like the runahead feature in Retroarch) to reduce lag from emulators but nothing compares to original hardware + original display.
 

Pompi

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So the PC master race is actually not the master race, the retro consoles are.
I don't know, but the responsiveness on old games just feels a lot more fun than the lazy latency laden new PCs.

 

Spukc

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So the PC master race is actually not the master race, the retro consoles are.
I don't know, but the responsiveness on old games just feels a lot more fun than the lazy latency laden new PCs.

get a modern tn panel with gsync 144hz
that comes close to a snes platformer on a crt (dkc2)
 

DunDunDunpachi

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So the PC master race is actually not the master race, the retro consoles are.
I don't know, but the responsiveness on old games just feels a lot more fun than the lazy latency laden new PCs.

The "Antediluvian Nephilim-tier Master Race" of gaming would be the arcade gamers, followed by the retro consoles, yes. :D

In all seriousness, though, PC hardware back then also used the same advantages of CRT technology. PC running games in EGA or VGA on a 480p 31khz CRT is still a thing to behold.

So, I'd say the "master race" is "retro", yes.
 
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Pompi

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It's not only CRT, new PCs has so much latency introduced in all of it's systems.
In old CPUs you knew exactly how much time it would take to perform machine commands. In modern PCs, the commands might delay or do all sort of lazy evaluation or predictions.
But even if we say, well, modern PCs are so fast that these lazy evaluations don't matter. Then where is the latency coming from?
Are you saying it's only the screen that is responsible?
I don't think so, because I connected my Genesis to my TV(LCD) and it's still blazing fast.
Edit: According to the video, the latency for an XBOX controller connected to a modern PC is abotu 50ms, and for a Genesis connected to CRT is about 32 ms.
Sure, it might sound like not such a big difference, but it is. It just feels different like the difference between 30 FPS and 60 FPS
 
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JimboJones

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It's not only CRT, new PCs has so much latency introduced in all of it's systems.
In old CPUs you knew exactly how much time it would take to perform machine commands. In modern PCs, the commands might delay or do all sort of lazy evaluation or predictions.
But even if we say, well, modern PCs are so fast that these lazy evaluations don't matter. Then where is the latency coming from?
Are you saying it's only the screen that is responsible?
I don't think so, because I connected my Genesis to my TV(LCD) and it's still blazing fast.

I mean it's cool original hardware has such low latency but PC aren't built just for playing old games and the fact that they can play them as well as they do with other benefits like having graphical improvments and having a digital library in one place is pretty amazing and more than makes up for a bit of lag.
 

Pompi

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For me it doesn't. It can't play simple 2D games as good as an old console.
 

PhoenixTank

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It's not only CRT, new PCs has so much latency introduced in all of it's systems.
In old CPUs you knew exactly how much time it would take to perform machine commands. In modern PCs, the commands might delay or do all sort of lazy evaluation or predictions.
But even if we say, well, modern PCs are so fast that these lazy evaluations don't matter. Then where is the latency coming from?
Are you saying it's only the screen that is responsible?
I don't think so, because I connected my Genesis to my TV(LCD) and it's still blazing fast.
Edit: According to the video, the latency for an XBOX controller connected to a modern PC is abotu 50ms, and for a Genesis connected to CRT is about 32 ms.
Sure, it might sound like not such a big difference, but it is. It just feels different like the difference between 30 FPS and 60 FPS
A few months back Retroarch debuted some new tech to reduce latency in emulated games.
As I understand it the tech is computationally expensive but there are claims of lower latency than original hardware. Worth a read.
 
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JimboJones

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For me it doesn't. It can't play simple 2D games as good as an old console.
To many it can though and it can play a multitude of systems under one box with many improvements.
Not everyone want to return to big ass crt's but I do get their appeal.
So it's a pretty OK compromise imo and to plenty of others as seen with the popularity of emulation solutions.

I have a gamecube and wouldn't dream of plugging it back in after using dolphin.

Plus living in the uk I would have to import hardware as the pal conversion of many games are less than ideal, so much so I'd easily take a very slight latency hit than the treacle like gameplay situation many games suffered over here.
 

petran79

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The "Antediluvian Nephilim-tier Master Race" of gaming would be the arcade gamers, followed by the retro consoles, yes. :D

In all seriousness, though, PC hardware back then also used the same advantages of CRT technology. PC running games in EGA or VGA on a 480p 31khz CRT is still a thing to behold.

So, I'd say the "master race" is "retro", yes.

Especially if you consider that console ports of arcade games added extra lag, even back then
 

120v

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it's surely interesting from a technical perspective.

but really, what's the point? modern hardware can pare down to 8/16 bit graphics and give that oh so slightly oomph not afforded by past consoles. take mega man 9 for example, you could play that in 1991 and be completely convinced it's an NES game but (according to the devs) it was in no way possible on that system or would require some fancy chipset and bulky ass cart

the mini consoles are neat novelty items and probably best to leave them at that
 
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Horsemama1956

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get a modern tn panel with gsync 144hz
that comes close to a snes platformer on a crt (dkc2)
Yeah I would rather use an old crt tv as a monitor over a crummy TN any day. Hell I would rather just not even play on the damn computer.
 

Pompi

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it's surely interesting from a technical perspective.

but really, what's the point? modern hardware can pare down to 8/16 bit graphics and give that oh so slightly oomph not afforded by past consoles. take mega man 9 for example, you could play that in 1991 and be completely convinced it's an NES game but (according to the devs) it was in no way possible on that system or would require some fancy chipset and bulky ass cart

the mini consoles are neat novelty items and probably best to leave them at that
What you don't understand that in order to get more "average" performance, they had to sacrifice latency.
Or sometimes just for a broader compatibility they have to sacrifice latency.
 

phil_t98

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i think they should make a way to legally add extra games to the systems. 20 games is cool and all but what happens when we finish them all? I think it could be awesome to purchase more games for them
 

jshackles

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i think they should make a way to legally add extra games to the systems. 20 games is cool and all but what happens when we finish them all? I think it could be awesome to purchase more games for them

I agree, but then you have to start adding things like wifi/ethernet as well as coding settings screens and wizards to help people set and change their network settings. You would also need some sort of account system (PSN, Nintendo account, etc) as well as screens to set and change settings for that as well - not to mention coding your actual storefront interface, the ability to make purchases, store payment information, etc. On top of all that, you've now got to build interface elements that give users the ability to delete games they've already purchased and manage the system's memory.

These things all seem trivial, but they all involve a pretty huge investment of UI designers, programmers, QA testers, and project managers. Those are soft costs tacked on to the cost of including additional hardware (ethernet ports, wifi adapters, licensing costs for those) which also drives up the cost-per-unit to produce. In business, when the cost goes up the price goes up usually by a factor of 1:2. So if these things all together add up to being, say, $25 per unit produced (just guessing, it'd probably be much much higher considering the low number of units produced) then the MSRP on the Playstation Classic rises to $149.99 which means less people are going to buy it regardless of how much more "cool" it is that you can download games from PSN.

Sony in particular probably wants to stay away from this, given that a lot of us already own a ton of PS1 games on PSN and given the PSP->Vita licensing fiasco they went through probably wouldn't be too keen on letting us download those games on yet another system for free. Nintendo's probably in the same boat with the NES and SNES classics considering how many people already bought extra virtual console games on the Wii and Wii U and would feel ripped off if they had to purchase them again on yet another system.

I'm 100% confident that these options were on the drawing board from the very beginning, and were likely shot down due to the fact that the costs of doing this wouldn't ever be recuperated.
 

RokkanStoned

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I'm always disappointed in most scanline solutions, as they don't really match my memory of playing on CRTs. Of course, this might be flawed memory of mine painting things a bit bright, but I never saw as much obvious horizontal scanlines on my tv and they weren't so crisp and blended well in.

I mean, my experience with CRT is more like this






I just want them to do that well, because often it seems like they're just pushing horizontal lines on the image. Even better solutions like the NES System on the Switch never manages to represent this. I just want a good CRT mode for ports of old games.




If we were to add what emulators and video game ports think they looked like, you'll only have to add horizontal scanlines.
 

Spukc

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this is a neogeo cd + full rgb scart +frame meister + lg oled c7

looks pretty legit imo



this is a snes super famicom + full rgb scart on an B&O beovision 32 CRT TV
i dont get your point



samsung galaxy s7 edge + ny oldboy! emulator
 
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CJY

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If Sega do a new genesis mini like is being rumoured, it would be really nice if they put a couple of exclusive, unique games on it. That would really help it sell more
 

RokkanStoned

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Spukc Spukc
First one looks ok, though it looks very muted and lacking the light and softness of a CRT, though I guess that's depending on preference. Is it just the game or the camera? I'm a bit unsure how Metal Slug looks on CRT. Couldn't you just use the same game and same scene on both screens? That's how a comparison should be done, because the second one looks brighter and a bit more soft.

And your last one looks very weird and doesn't look at all to how I can remember it looking on GBC. Looks more like a mosaic overlaid, unless my eyes are failing. With the game having so few colors, the yellow parts are really distracting seeing the tiled pattern there. They do look good on the brick tiles though.
 
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