What do you think it will happen once MiSTer reach its limit?

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throAU
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Re: What do you think it will happen once MiSTer reach its limit?

Unread post by throAU »

The VCS runs linux with 100% open drivers.

The problem with a bare metal emulator is effort. You’re going to need to learn the intricacies of modern PC hardware and its simply far too complex for most individuals to understand. Even AMD/NVIDIA have problems getting decent GPU drivers out for their own hardware for a long time - and they have dedicated, paid teams working on it :D

And you’re going to need to do much of the stuff the OS does anyway to host your emulator. Sure, you can write your own scheduler to very specifically cover your use case, but you may well still be better off with an extremely stripped down linux distribution and just writing your own scheduler / virtual devices for that.

Even the late 90s and on consoles didn’t require programmers for the native platform to program the hardware directly. The dreamcast for example offered DirectX via Windows CE built into it, if the programmer wanted to use that. Sega Rally 2 for example was written using the included Windows CE support.

So for more modern consoles you just neeed to emulate the console’s APIs that the software was written for, not the hardware. If you emulate the APIs fast enough, the hardware implementing them is irrelevant. Just like no PC game cares for example whether you’re on an NV20 GPU, it just cares that the driver does OpenGL or Direct3d fast enough.
MiSTer_Kirk
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Re: What do you think it will happen once MiSTer reach its limit?

Unread post by MiSTer_Kirk »

Taking a 240p image and scaling it to 4k is not a hack. Changing how the graphics chip is emulated internally, so that this upscaling doesn't even need to happen, is a hack. Doesn't matter if it's FPGA or software emulation.
Original hardware don't have 4k scalers, if you connect original hardware to a fancy 4k OLED TV then the resolution will be native, and the TV will do the scaling. On a Mister, the display isn't doing the scaling, the Mister is. So, if emulation running at 4k is a hack then so is the Mister.

If THIS, isn't a hack...

dvi_mode=8

For 1080p scaling on the Mister, then neither is this...

resolution = 1920x1080

in any emulator's ini file. If the Mister is scaling up the image, then so are the emulators. You can't say one is scaling, while the other is a hack.
softtest9
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Re: What do you think it will happen once MiSTer reach its limit?

Unread post by softtest9 »

So, if emulation running at 4k is a hack then so is the Mister.
No core is "running at 4k" or "running at 1080p". The core runs at 240p or whatever the console is designed for. Then the MiSTer's scaler upscales the image as a post-processing step. Emulators of 2D consoles generally work the same way. The emulated console is rendered at the original resolution, and then the final output gets upscaled by the emulator's user interface.

This has _nothing_ to do with increasing the rendering resolution, which is what a lot of hardware renderers do for emulators of 3D consoles.
You can't say one is scaling, while the other is a hack.
Correct. Nobody is saying that.

You are either a troll or you have serious problems with reading comprehension.
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Reed_Solomon
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Re: What do you think it will happen once MiSTer reach its limit?

Unread post by Reed_Solomon »

If raspberry pi's and other SBC's keep getting more powerful, we'll probably see the day where a future rPi compute module can be paired with an compatible FPGA development board to work in a similar way to how the DE10-Nano interfaces with its ARM side, but with the increased power on the ARM side probably be capable of hybrid emulation maybe even up to the N64, maybe even the Gamecube and Wii. Perhaps in several years from now.
MiSTer_Kirk
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Re: What do you think it will happen once MiSTer reach its limit?

Unread post by MiSTer_Kirk »

You are either a troll or you have serious problems with reading comprehension.
You're an idiot.
Bas
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Re: What do you think it will happen once MiSTer reach its limit?

Unread post by Bas »

A universal software emulator would look like a lopsided PC: CPU with extremely fast single-threaded performance and at least a second core for housekeeping chores, and a GPU that can do both 2D in wonky resolutions as well as good 3D and output it all through every type of port from ancient analogue monochrome to the latest DisplayPort. RAM would be far less important. Low latency IO pins for controller interfacing and a generous amount of GPIO for misc add-ons and some fast interconnect like PCI(e) for integration of the device into even bigger constructs would round it off for me. Adding an FPGA into that mix could prove to be very interesting.. But as it stands now, such a system is mostly just a pipe dream.
Sigismond0
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Re: What do you think it will happen once MiSTer reach its limit?

Unread post by Sigismond0 »

MiSTer_Kirk wrote: Tue May 04, 2021 1:00 amIf the Mister is scaling up the image, then so are the emulators. You can't say one is scaling, while the other is a hack.
You're missing something here--emulators for N64, Playstation, Wii, etc. can alter the internal rendering resolution and actually run the game at native 1080p or 4k or whatever, plus they can load in HD texture packs. Completely separate from scaling native render resolution.
justaguy
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Re: What do you think it will happen once MiSTer reach its limit?

Unread post by justaguy »

throAU wrote: Mon May 03, 2021 10:26 pm
justaguy wrote: Wed Apr 28, 2021 3:38 pm If Dreamcast and up wouldn't really benefit from FPGA emulation, would a hypothetical "MiSTer but for more advanced consoles" really need to be FPGA-based?
it’s called a PC. you can build them in small form factor these days and they have the advantage of the emulators running on them having often had decades of performance tuning and debugging.

see: the new atari VCS. it’s a small form factor pc.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not the kind of guy who turns up his nose at PC emulators just because they're "software emulation". It's just that I find the experience of setting them up, keeping them updated, and just about everything besides actually playing a game (which to be fair is the most important part) to be so much worse than MiSTer. If there were a Linux-based emulation frontend with a MiSTer-like UX, but which supported emulators for systems that MiSTer could never run, I'd be all over that.
keilmillerjr
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Re: What do you think it will happen once MiSTer reach its limit?

Unread post by keilmillerjr »

justaguy wrote: Tue May 04, 2021 6:16 pm
throAU wrote: Mon May 03, 2021 10:26 pm
justaguy wrote: Wed Apr 28, 2021 3:38 pm If Dreamcast and up wouldn't really benefit from FPGA emulation, would a hypothetical "MiSTer but for more advanced consoles" really need to be FPGA-based?
it’s called a PC. you can build them in small form factor these days and they have the advantage of the emulators running on them having often had decades of performance tuning and debugging.

see: the new atari VCS. it’s a small form factor pc.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not the kind of guy who turns up his nose at PC emulators just because they're "software emulation". It's just that I find the experience of setting them up, keeping them updated, and just about everything besides actually playing a game (which to be fair is the most important part) to be so much worse than MiSTer. If there were a Linux-based emulation frontend with a MiSTer-like UX, but which supported emulators for systems that MiSTer could never run, I'd be all over that.
There is. It's called attract-mode. I created a layout that has inspiration from the neogeo unibios picknmix. Works perfect at 240p on crt as well as a high resolution lcd. It wouldn't be hard to create one that looks like the mister.
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SegaSnatcher
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Re: What do you think it will happen once MiSTer reach its limit?

Unread post by SegaSnatcher »

Devs will just continue to make the cores available better. There are still plenty of things that can be implemented on MiSTer. I never expected MiSTer to go beyond say PS1 anyways. I'm actually really excited and happy with all the recent improvements on the C64 core.
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