Thursday, March 30, 2017

I've Turned To The Dark Side Of Video Gaming

Over the years I've made it clear that I wasn't a fan of emulation and have almost never played any emulated games, the few times that I did it was with my friend's setup. I like playing games on the consoles and TVs that they were designed to be played on. It doesn't matter how fancy your new TV is, it won't play light gun games. The designers utilized the limitations of the CRT TVs when creating the graphics which looked great years ago on those TVs but they look off on modern HDTVs. I could go on and on but my point is made, I don't like emulation.

So a few weeks ago I was at my brother's house dropping off my daughter for a sleepover. We get to talking and he shows me the tablet remote for his Nintendo WiiU that his son broke. He rewired it to charge through a normal droid USB charger. He then pulled a street fighter arcade stick that his friend had gave him after it broke. My brother shoved a Raspberry Pi into it and uses it to play all the old games. I gave it a try and it was great to use.

On the way home I started to think about emulation more. When you start to think about it lots of games you play today are through emulation. The Rare Replay that I played awhile back used emulation to play the games in the set. Each backwards compatible game released for the Xbox One are played through emulation. So as you can see I've been using emulation for years.

For me, it came down to originality and money. Every NES game I download and emulate is basically stolen as no money goes to the original designer or Nintendo. At the same time, I could go and buy the games I want from places like eBay. I legally purchased the game but again the original designers and Nintendo didn't get any money from it. You say, "Nintendo was paid for the game when someone bought it new from a store." Right??

Finally, there is the collectible angle. I like collecting games because it's a hobby on its own but the other reason being that I have to have an NES to play NES cartridges and when I power on the NES hooked up to a classic CRT TV I get the same experience I had when I was a kid and also I get to play it the way it was designed to be played.

But we need to combine the collectible side and the money side. As of today, even the worst NES games sell for around five dollars for a loose cart. If you don't count the NES carts that were not officially sold like the World Champion carts, the top ten games loose cost around five thousand dollars. There is just no way I'm going to spend all that kind of money to play these old games. And that's just Nintendo, when the CD-I came out really wanted one but it cost way too much. Today it's still expensive, though not as much as it was when it was new, but do I really want to buy one just to play a game or two?

In the end, I decided that I will dip my toes into emulation and see where it takes me. I'm getting too old to wait to play games until I've bought them. I would still like to get all these old games and consoles because I definitely have more fun playing the games on the consoles. My one hold out will be Sega CD, it's my favorite console and I will only play games on it that I own.

Stick around to see my  Retro Pie and what I can do with it.

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