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How do you do....it? Thread, Console Games PC in Technical; Hi everyone, I want to build/setup a PC to connect to my TV to play some old console games so ...
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    Nick_Parker's Avatar
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    Console Games PC

    Hi everyone,

    I want to build/setup a PC to connect to my TV to play some old console games so myself and some friends can play some of the old classics (Mario/Sonic/Contra etc...).
    Has anybody done this and do you have any suggestions for me?
    What sort of software should I install to run the games? What controllers work well for this sort of setup?

    Thanks everyone!

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    Domino's Avatar
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    You might wanna consider an XBMC install for this kind of thing: Turn Your XBMC Media Center into a Video Game Console

    You get a nice tv-friendly interface, plus all the media-playing goodness of xbmc.

    As for the emulators themselves, decide what platform you want to emulate and have a poke around here: The Emulator Zone - Your Source for Emulation! you'll find something that fits your needs.

    And of course, your ROMs are all legally obtained right...?

    In some countries, it is legal for an individual to personally make backup copies of a game they own. Individuals may make backup copies for various reasons, perhaps as insurance against losing the game or as redundancy in the event that the original game's medium becomes unreadable. See the section on ROMs and Preservation.
    However, in the U.S. it has been illegal since 1983 for a user to create their own backups of video game ROMs onto other cartridges. This was decided in the court case of Atari v. JS&A. JS&A manufactured a "game backup" device that allowed users to dump their Atari ROMs onto a blank cartridge. JS&A argued that the archival rule allowed for this. The court disagreed, noting that ROM media was not subject to the same volatility as magnetic media (for which the law was created). Thus, not being so relatively vulnerable, ROMs were not applicable under section 17 USC 117(a)(2).[5]
    Chuck Cochems has put forth the argument that copying a legitimate item of software specifically for personal use with an emulator is legally justifiable under principles established by the Sony v. Universal ruling, particularly with regard to personal use being favorable towards justification under the fair use doctrine.[6]
    Some games companies, such as Nintendo, print warnings inside their game manuals that they do not allow users to make backup or archival copies. Whether or not these warnings in this specific form can be considered valid contracts is legally questionable. For an overview of relevant issues, see user agreement (EULA), shrink wrap contract, clickwrap, Fair Use, Fair Dealing and DMCA.
    ROM images may be directly licensed by the rights holder. For example, Atari once made a number of their original arcade games available in ROM format which is compatible with the MAME emulator through the online ROM retailer Star ROMs. Nintendo provides a service on their 7th generation console, the Wii, that allows players to purchase old games from various systems, such as the NES, which will download a ROM image and emulator upon purchase (see Virtual Console). This is similar to the PlayStation Store re-releases of games for the original PlayStation for the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Portable, and the Xbox Live Arcade's re-release of many old video games such as the original Sonic the Hedgehog for the Xbox 360.
    The vast majority of computer and video games from the history of such games are no longer manufactured. As such, the copyright holders of some games have offered free licenses to those games, often on the condition that they be used for non-commercial purposes only. For example, fourteen of the games emulated in MAME, including Gridlee and Robby Roto, have been made available under such licenses and are distributed by the MAME project

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    Nick_Parker (21st November 2011)

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    To run emulators you don't need the latest processors, massively powerful graphic cards or masses of RAM thankfully, but what I would advise on are the following:

    1. A HDCP HDMI graphics card if you are planning to output to a flat screen TV (you sometimes get sound/graphic issues if you don't have HDCP even is your signal is not encrypted)
    2. A silent/passive cooler for both the CPU and graphic card. It makes the experience nicer.
    3. Decent joypads. I use a Logitech Rumblepad. Not expensive but a lot more responsive than a cheaper 'no-brand' pad I also have.
    4. Use the best emulators. There are plenty of MAME varients out there, but some have issues with detecting and using controllers. The N64, Meagdrive and SNES emulators all seem to work fine with joypads.
    5. Ensure you fulfil the legal requirements for ROM playback/usage as Domino mentioned.
    6. Don't expect old arcade/Mega Drive or SNES games to look as nice as they once did on small TFT screens. Moders hi-def screens really bring out the pixels!


    Hope this helps.

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    Nick_Parker (21st November 2011)

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    nephilim's Avatar
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    Get an old style xbox and put XBMC on it like @Domino said

    Once its on there, you can install various Emulators (Gameboy, Atari, Commodore 64, NES, SNES, Master System, Megadrive, Sega Saturn). The ROMS legally you can only have if you have the game before hand, and of course I advocate you do not download them unless you own them.

    As @Dos_Box has said, getting things to run silently as possible makes life better for you and makes the whole thing more enjoyable.

    http://lifehacker.com/299809/transfo...r-media-center < link to make old style xbox into XBMX (the old style xbox costs around 25 from gamestation nowadays)
    Last edited by nephilim; 21st November 2011 at 09:15 AM.

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    Nick_Parker (21st November 2011)

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    Domino's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nephilim View Post
    Get an old style xbox and put XBMC on it like @Domino said

    Once its on there, you can install various Emulators (Gameboy, Atari, Commodore 64, NES, SNES, Master System, Megadrive, Sega Saturn). The ROMS legally you can only have if you have the game before hand, and of course I advocate you do not download them unless you own them.

    As @Dos_Box has said, getting things to run silently as possible makes life better for you and makes the whole thing more enjoyable.
    XBMC is no longer supported on the xbox, believe it or not.

    That said if you JUST wanted the emulators you could do that with one of the older releases.

    But probably be best to run it on a nettop or HTPC

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    Dos_Box's Avatar
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    The best thing about this kind of a project is that if you have a mass of old components lying around (c'mon, we all do somewhere) you can make a retro gaming rig in next to no time. Making it look and sound good however is a different matter, although not very expensive if you already have the basic components to hand.

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    Nick_Parker's Avatar
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    Thanks for all your input guys, I will definitely have a read and see what's the best way forward.
    With regards to the legality of the games, I do still have a lot of the originals packed away in a box somewhere in the loft, sadly all the consoles kicked the bucket years ago
    I'll post an update and some pics when I get it all up and running!

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    nephilim's Avatar
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    *edit*

    Nevermind!
    Last edited by nephilim; 21st November 2011 at 01:49 PM.

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