So I used to be a person who insisted on playing games on actual hardware, but now I think that was an unwise way to spent my money and I should have stuck with emulators. I have three main reasons for this (the first one is the longest by far) 1. Actual hardware requires modding to get right. I'll use the SNES and Mega Drive (or Genesis for you Americans) as my examples. Let's have a quick rundown on video signals and 50/60hz settings. RF – This combines the video and audio signals into a single wire. Horrible quality. Composite – If you had a 4th or 5th gen console you probably used this. One yellow wire for video and two separate red and white cables for audio. Bad quality. S-video – A big improvement over composite. The best your going to get for retro consoles unless you live in Europe. Good quality. RGB – Almost pixel perfect. Supported by a lot of retro consoles. The problem is most Australian and American TV's don't support it. Great quality. Component – Same quality as RGB and quite commonly supported by displays across Australia and America. Unfortunately only 5th gen (PS2, Xbox, Gamecube) consoles and onwards support it. Great quality. 50/60hz – Hertz is a measurement of cycles per second. Games are designed to run at 60hz, however rewind time 20 years and most European and Australian TV's only supported 50hz. 50hz runs 17% slower than 60hz and has a higher resolution. That extra resolution becomes black borders at the top and bottom of the screen giving you a squished image. The Mega Drive 1 has nice sounding audio, but a shitty Sony CXA 1145 video encoder. On top of that the system outputs RF composite and RGB. As mentioned above unless you live in Europe good luck finding a TV that supports RGB. For those who live elsewhere the solution is an s-video mod. If you know what your doing you'll get the job done within an hour. But if you want a REALLY nice looking picture you have to build a Sony CXA 1645 circuit which is a lot more complicated You could choose a model two Mega drive. It has a good quality Sony CXA 1645 video encoder, but still needs modding to support s-video. The real problem here is the audio is (apparently) terrible. I've never played a model two myself so for this point I'm relying on what I've read from posts on various websites. There is a fix. It looks pretty damn time consuming. Time to discuss the SNES. I'm going to simplify the motherboard revisions to just 3. The standard, the 1-chip and the mini SNES. The standard and 1-chip SNES consoles support composite, s-video and RGB right out the box. Now look into this link, it compares the video quality between the standard and 1-chip consoles. The 1-chip consoles give a sharper picture that looks a lot more pleasing. The SNES Mini looks even better as explained by JimmyCrackCorn on the Assemblergames forums. The problem with the SNES Mini is cheap Nintendo wanted to save a few cents per console and didn't add the components for s-video and RGB output. Soldering time. Now its time to get into 60hz modding. If you live in America or Japan you don't have to worry about this. Us who live in PAL land are not so lucky. A standard SNES has a very simple 60hz mod which requires one switch and one resistor. As mentioned previously they're not worth it. The 1-chip consoles require a slightly more complex mod where you have to solder in a second crystal. The Mega Drive 1 and 2 have a quick and simple 60hz mod if you are using RGB. If you can't run RGB then you need to do a colour fix mod. I can go on about other systems, but I think I've said enough. 2. Actual hardware is costs money. I'm using eBay prices in this discussion and including a power adapter and controllers. If you want a SNES Mini your looking at roughly $70 + postage. The Mega drive would cost about $40 + postage for you Americans or for us Aussies around $80. 60hz and composite and s-video mods aren't difficult and can be done by someone new to soldering. If you want to buy a pre-modded console expect to pay double. Then its time to get a flash cart. Retro flash carts aren't cheap. Marshallg's explains why this is the case. 3. The Wii emulates 8 and 16 bit consoles almost perfectly. Chances are you already have a Wii. Since your on GBAtemp you probably already hacked it for the sake of USB loaders. The Wii has some great emulators on it and the average user isn't going to notice or care for the emulation glitches. It also supports 60hz and component cables right out the box. If you don't have a Wii you can always hook your PC up to your TV and this approach allows you can take advantage of high res textures on N64 games and HD Gamecube and Wii games. With all this said actual hardware does have its advantages too. I still use a real N64 with s-video. Check out this article written by the author of bsnes (a 100% accurate SNES emulator). You can't forget the look and feel of the original hardware and controllers. The mods aren’t at all hard to perform, my point is they take time and effort. We can't forget the price either. An emulator on the other hand gives almost as good a result quickly and for free. To finish off this post I will say whichever way you choose to go a good game is still good.