• Hey, guest user. Hope you're enjoying NeoGAF! Have you considered registering for an account? Come join us and add your take to the daily discourse.

Why doesn't Nintendo release SNES- and N64-games for the virtual console of the 3DS?

Astral/H3X

Member
Aug 17, 2012
10,178
0
0
SOMEWHERE. In Indiana
PORT. Native code, not emulation.

Because Nintendo makes a ton of really questionable decisions with everything that isn't making new first party games.



It can run a 3D remaster of Ocarina of Time but not the original Ocarina of Time?

I know there are other factors, i just wanted to say this because it sounded funny
Port. Native code, not emulation.

There are SNES games on 3DS tho

https://youtu.be/G_akQF-b1HQ?t=119
https://youtu.be/tzyUs2UxSas?t=153

The system is capable of that at least
Port, native code, not emulation.

Homebrew emulators tend to rely on speed hacks, which will make some games run, and make others glitch out.
 

Zombegoast

Member
Mar 30, 2015
5,014
1
0
Because of weak CPU. There is an article about how a CPU is needed to run a Snes game properly .The New 3DS could make it possible now that is a quad-core..
 

Rich!

Member
Dec 16, 2009
29,978
2
0
Because of weak CPU. There is an article about how a CPU is needed to run a Snes game properly .The New 3DS could make it possible now that is a quad-core..
1. SNES emulation is possible on all 3DS models through homebrew, and many games run at a full 60fps with sound.

2. ignore what I said previously, you're right on the quad core. I was mistaken.

Okay, here we go:

Virtual Console is emulation. IE, there is a software interpreter that does the running of the games. This is incredibly taxing on the hardware and resources. I think estimates that I've heard once, was that to get anywhere near "good" emulation, it's about 5x the resources.

The GBA isn't being emulated. The 3DS hardware natively is able to execute and run GBA binaries. There is no emulation. It takes advantage of the second processor in the system to be able to provide you with return to home menu functionality. In fact, if it WEREN'T for taht second processor, you'd have to shut the system totally down just to get back to Home.

The 3DS (dunno about New 3DS, but that's another story) cannot emulate the GBA quickly or accurately. Could it run a game? Sure. Would it be glitchy and run at less than fullspeed without a fuckton of hacks that ruin features in a lot of games? Definitely. I'm sure you can see how this is far from ideal.

The SNES is even more powerful than the GBA. Better sound chip, better GFX chip, better CPU, everything is basically just straight up better, particularly when it comes down to raw specs. Now, the GBA's CPU might be more modern, allowing it to do more things with a single clock etc, but that's doesn't mean jack shit when you're trying to emulate, since you pretty much have to emulate what the other machine did, ie, what it did in 3 clocks, you have to emulate those 3 clocks. So if the 3DS can't EMULATE the GBA, what makes you think it can emulate a beefier system?
The 3DS CAN emulate the GBA. There's a homebrew emulator which, again like BlargSNES, runs games with sound at near fullspeed. Runs on all models exactly the same.

Little bit frustrated with the misinformation being thrown around here. I'm uploading a video which should shed some light on what the 3DS can emulate, and how well.
 

Cody_D165

Banned
Sep 22, 2009
6,447
2
0
Is there something wrong about playing games in this manner?
You can't access any of the 3DS's menu, OS or features while playing GBA Ambassador games. There are also no save states or other emulation features.
 

Zombegoast

Member
Mar 30, 2015
5,014
1
0
1. SNES emulation is possible on all 3DS models through homebrew, and many games run at a full 60fps with sound.

2. The New 3DS does not have a quad core processor. Not sure where you got that from.



The 3DS CAN emulate the GBA. There's a homebrew emulator which, again like BlargSNES, runs games with sound at near fullspeed. Runs on all models exactly the same.
It's not about performance, it's about the accuracy.
 

DonMigs85

Member
Sep 3, 2009
26,769
2
850
35
Philippines
It could probably emulate SNES games on a case-by-case basis, although accurate SNES emulation without hacks is pretty demanding. As for N64 it's really just not powerful enough to handle the overhead.
 

Rodney McKay

Member
Jun 13, 2009
10,180
0
0
Homebrew emulators tend to rely on speed hacks, which will make some games run, and make others glitch out.
Well, it's not like Nintendo ever releases all of their games anyways even if they DO support a system on Virtual Console.

If I could buy Super Metroid and Super Mario World for my 3DS I'd get them whether they were natively moved over or using a game specific emulator speed hack to do so.

Like richisawesome posted on the last page, people seem to have made it work on the 3DS for at least a few games, including Metroid and Mario which are two of the few VC games I'd be interested in getting. If Nintendo took some time to tweak them so they worked 95-99% perfectly, then I'd happily pay them 5-10 bucks for them
 
Jun 26, 2013
2,392
0
425
1. SNES emulation is possible on all 3DS models through homebrew, and many games run at a full 60fps with sound.

2. ignore what I said previously, you're right on the quad core. I was mistaken.



The 3DS CAN emulate the GBA. There's a homebrew emulator which, again like BlargSNES, runs games with sound at near fullspeed. Runs on all models exactly the same.

Little bit frustrated with the misinformation being thrown around here. I'm uploading a video which should shed some light on what the 3DS can emulate, and how well.
Does this mean that the issue is emulating those games while also maintaining access to the OS for features like Miiverse? That is to say, those game could be emulated, like the Ambassador GBA titles, but Nintendo doesn't want to do this as it would mean losing access to Miiverse. Of course, this is strange given Nintendo's willingness to forsake Miiverse etc. on the Wii U when it comes to Wii titles.
 

Varjet

Member
Aug 6, 2006
3,457
0
0
Europe
It doesn't really have anything to do with the topic at hand, but the SNES sure as hell isn't stronger than the GBA.
Although the custom chips in SNES cartridges make a direct comparison messy.
 

Robin64

Member
Dec 7, 2011
18,715
25
755
England, UK
I can play a better version of Super Metroid on 3DS right now than the piece of shit Nintendo released on Wii U in Europe. Always ends up coming down to fans doing stuff that Nintendo won't. Baffling at times.
 

Starwolf_UK

Member
Dec 5, 2008
17,023
0
0
twitter.com
PORT. Native code, not emulation.
Read the interviews. They go into a lot of detail. But to save you time:
http://blogs.sega.com/2013/12/23/sega-3d-classics-–-3d-streets-of-rage-interview-with-developer-m2/ said:
- And this isn’t just regular 3D compatibility; it also works for this side-scrolling beat ‘em up.

YO: Laying out the initial groundwork was the hardest part; everything was a slog until M2 built the GigaDrive. Getting the MegaDrive to run emulated on 3DS was the first hurdle, and once that was done, they had a platform from which to build the GigaDrive which was its own challenge. They then had an environment where an artist or programmer adding 3D could do so according to their own personal style… Since the titles overlapped, they were able to work more efficiently and cut down on the really laborious parts of the process.
 

Peff

Member
Dec 10, 2008
7,040
0
0
lol at the people who think Namco would pay for a company to reverse-engineer the code of several 20-year old SNES anime games as an extra for a budget-price nes compilation release.
 

Rich!

Member
Dec 16, 2009
29,978
2
0
N3DS sure, but that's unideal as we mentioned.
Regardless, explain how I am able to play SMW and Super Metroid at a locked 60fps with sound on my N3DS and OG 3DS with no graphical or gameplay glitches?

And then previously, you were stating the SNES is far more intensive to emulate than the GBA. So why, pray tell, do you assume 60fps GBA emulation on the 3DS is a N3DS only thing?

spoiler: it's not.
 

visiblemode

Member
Mar 16, 2015
2,167
170
390
Because they're Nintendo.
It can't handle those. The 3DS can't actually emulate GBA games (it simulates a GBA in order to play the Ambassador games), so it'd be a huge stretch to think it could emulate the SNES or N64 (especially the N64).


This is the impression I'm under too. You'd think by now their current handheld would be able to easily emulate Snes, but apparently not.

Of course it's more powerful, but it has to be way more powerful to pull of emulation. Then there's the issue of all the effects chips in the carts and stuff, I'm guessing but I bet that causes more issues too.
 

Rich!

Member
Dec 16, 2009
29,978
2
0
They apparently already wasted resources making this
Which happens to be the most impressive game I've ever played on a 3DS. It's absolutely incredible that they pulled it off, and even more amazing that it actually performs better than the Wii original in some instances (the fight in the
bionis heart with lorithia
is now free of any slowdown whatsoever)
 

Ridley327

Member
Feb 7, 2005
37,712
0
1,480
You can't access any of the 3DS's menu, OS or features while playing GBA Ambassador games. There are also no save states or other emulation features.
Not to mention the funky blurring that happens that has a serious impact on how the games look in motion.

It would be far preferable for them to do a real emulator for GBA than using the Ambassador solution again.
 

ZeroX03

Member
Oct 23, 2009
27,340
0
620
Australia/New Zealand
Regardless, explain how I am able to play SMW and Super Metroid at a locked 60fps with sound on my N3DS and OG 3DS with no graphical or gameplay glitches?

And then previously, you were stating the SNES is far more intensive to emulate than the GBA. So why, pray tell, do you assume 60fps GBA emulation on the 3DS is a N3DS only thing?

spoiler: it's not.
Can you play those SNES and GBA games with full access to home menu and with enough memory to load something like Miiverse? Nintendo has made it clear that's a standard they want to have before selling those games. I have no idea what stage 3DS emulation is at.

They also obviously can't spend a lot of time optimizing the emulator for specific games and testing. It should reliably play most titles with little modification.
 

JoeM86

Member
Aug 11, 2012
20,289
4
575
Bournemouth, England
www.serebii.net
What people seem to be missing is that it's not as simple as "oh it works in homebrew". It does, sure, but then you have people saying it's at "near perfect" speed. Near perfect is not enough for Nintendo.

Nintendo want the games running as they did (if not better) than on the original consoles, and having it be "near perfect" is an issue. Then there's the Virtual Console features. Just throwing the GBA binaries on the handheld and selling them would be terrible, especially as they don't activate sleep mode when you close the 3DS.

There's also the issue of accuracy. This article will explain why it takes a 3GHz PC machine to accurately emulate a SNES.
http://arstechnica.com/gaming/2011/08/09/accuracy-takes-power-one-mans-3ghz-quest-to-build-a-perfect-snes-emulator/

People say it'd be fine as they can get them working through other methods, but can you imagine the hell Nintendo would get for releasing imperfect Virtual Console releases with speed issues, accuracy etc.? Nintendo want to get it as close to the original as possible and cutting corners just to get them out is not their style.

It's not just a matter of "SNES has XMhz but 3DS has X+YMHz so it should be running better". It's not a straight conversion. The consoles had different architecture which is why emulation is necessary.

As has been said, the NX...both handheld and portable are said to absorb Wii U architecture and run the same OS with similar architecture to eachother. As such, developing the Virtual Console further for the 3DS and N3DS to try and get SNES working, especially as the 3DS has less life ahead than it has behind, is a waste of resources. By putting the focus on the Wii U, they'll be far more easily be able to have it run on both the upcoming handheld and home console, possibly even completely at launch which has been hinted by Iwata
 

Rich!

Member
Dec 16, 2009
29,978
2
0
Can you play those SNES and GBA games with full access to home menu and with enough memory to load something like Miiverse? Nintendo has made it clear that's a standard they want to have before selling those games. I have no idea what stage 3DS emulation is at.
Actually, yes.

I can pause BlargSNES using the home menu button, browse on youtube with the web browser and go back into playing SMW. I installed the emulator as a CIA application, so it runs just like any eshop title would.
 

DonMigs85

Member
Sep 3, 2009
26,769
2
850
35
Philippines
SNES runs at 21MHz. GBA runs at 16MHz. Yes it is.
SNES is 3.58MHz. You're probably thinking of the SuperFX2 chip.
The GBA is definitely more powerful with its 32-bit ARM7 chip even at just 16MHz. Only the audio quality is worse.
It could handle SNES ports just fine graphically, even FX2-enhanced games like Yoshi's Island with a few downgrades.
 

frankie_baby

Member
May 3, 2007
18,401
0
0
The 3DS certainly seems powerful enough. My PSP ran an emulator for N64 games back in 2009.
The psp has a higher clocked processor, though the 3ds has more cores, emulation I believe though only works on one core anyway so the psp would possibly be be suited to emulating
 

Pokemaniac

Member
Mar 20, 2015
4,725
0
340
To answer the question in the thread title, it seems that Nintendo is more focused on making new emulators that they can reuse for future platforms then downporting their current emulators to 3DS. Getting SNES working might be doable, but would probably require more work then Nintendo is willing to invest right now. Since the 3DS (or at least Old 3DS) seems to have trouble emulating GBA through software, I severely doubt it's even possible to get N64 games running at full speed on 3DS.


Which happens to be the most impressive game I've ever played on a 3DS. It's absolutely incredible that they pulled it off, and even more amazing that it actually performs better than the Wii original in some instances (the fight in the
bionis heart with lorithia
is now free of any slowdown whatsoever)
I'd be more impressed if the port didn't also feature a pretty huge graphical downgrade.
 

Rich!

Member
Dec 16, 2009
29,978
2
0
I'd be more impressed if the port didn't also feature a pretty huge graphical downgrade.
Huge graphical downgrade? It still has a fantastic draw distance, and every location is intact exactly as it was on the Wii. I can go to the top of Digit 2 miles above the fallen arm and I can still see everything below as clear as day.

It had a resolution drop from 480 to 240. Nothing else much changed. It's a damn impressive 3DS port.
 

Rich!

Member
Dec 16, 2009
29,978
2
0
So what percentage of the games would you say can run currently at full speed with full sound?
No special chips yet. So, no mario kart, pilotwings, kirby or megaman etc.

Games like Tetris Attack, Prince of Persia, Super Mario World, Super Metroid, Twinbee, Final Fight all run at 60fps locked with no slowdown and sound. No graphical glitches in any of those, but I have heard Super Metroid crashes at a certain point in Maridia.

Zelda LTTP used to run flawlessly with the exception of a weird pegasus boots glitch, but then blargsnes 1.3 broke it entirely. It'll be fixed soon.

All in all, it's significantly more impressive than Snes9x was on the PSP.

That's good. Presumably zero performance drops?
no effect whatsoever.
 

JoeM86

Member
Aug 11, 2012
20,289
4
575
Bournemouth, England
www.serebii.net
No special chips yet. So, no mario kart, pilotwings, kirby or megaman etc.

Games like Tetris Attack, Prince of Persia, Super Mario World, Super Metroid, Twinbee, Final Fight all run at 60fps locked with no slowdown and sound. No graphical glitches in any of those, but I have heard Super Metroid crashes at a certain point in Maridia.

Zelda LTTP used to run flawlessly with the exception of a weird pegasus boots glitch, but then blargsnes 1.3 broke it entirely. It'll be fixed soon.

All in all, it's significantly more impressive than Snes9x was on the PSP.
That's the thing, though. Nintendo wants it to work for every game perfectly from the offset. Sure, theytweak each one for optimal performance, but when there are games with freezes and everything, it's a big issue. It's not as simple as you think it is.
 

Rich!

Member
Dec 16, 2009
29,978
2
0
That's the thing, though. Nintendo wants it to work for every game perfectly from the offset.
Wii VC didn't work perfectly for every game from the offset. Initial SNES releases on the Wii VC didn't have support for ROMs over a certain size or with special chips as discovered through hacking and ROM injection.

I understand you mean that the individual game needs to work flawlessly from the offset though. That's what Nintendo want, and likely why the SNES isn't available on the 3DS - but people in here stating that the 3DS cannot handle SNES emulation are quite simply wrong.
 

JoeM86

Member
Aug 11, 2012
20,289
4
575
Bournemouth, England
www.serebii.net
Wii VC didn't work perfectly for every game from the offset. Initial SNES releases on the Wii VC didn't have support for ROMs over a certain size or with special chips as discovered through hacking and ROM injection.

I understand you mean that the individual game needs to work flawlessly from the offset though. That's what Nintendo want, and likely why the SNES isn't available on the 3DS - but people in here stating that the 3DS cannot handle SNES emulation are quite simply wrong.
They're not saying it cannot handle SNES emulation. They're saying it can't handle accurate emulation, which is what Nintendo wants.

Can it emulate the SNES? Sure, but more and more games will have issues. Check that article I linked to previously, it's quite illuminating.
 

Peff

Member
Dec 10, 2008
7,040
0
0
That's the thing, though. Nintendo wants it to work for every game perfectly from the offset. Sure, theytweak each one for optimal performance, but when there are games with freezes and everything, it's a big issue. It's not as simple as you think it is.
That explains why the Wii never got SNES VC games, because it couldn't run Super FX games.

Oh, wait.