Looking for some recommendations (pointers) on PC emulation

peteruk

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Hi all and thanks for looking in, I had a quick look and this seems to be the correct sub forum to post this

I've been putting off this project for more than a year now and really want to stop procrastinating and get on with it

So here goes....

I've seen tons of videos on YouTube of loads of people who have these great emulation systems with lovely beautiful menus and cover arts with nice easy to use selectable menus, from what I can see some have names like Batocera, Emulation Station and in particular Launchbox looks great

What I have at my disposal... I have various consoles, but I really want to use a Ryzen mini pc I bought which has 16gb ram, 1tb storage and internal (yeh i know) Vega 8 graphics

I thought about using a Batocera image and burning it to the harddrive and doing it that way, but some videos I've watched are suggesting if you're using PC architecture you should be looking at Launchbox with retroarch as a backend (another thing I'm not very experienced with) because you can use the full power of the Ryzen cpu and Vega 8 graphics would be better supported

As far as controller pads, I have a Sony Dual Shock 4 and a Switch Pro Controller - I'm worried about compatibility or lag over bluetooth (i have no real experience), I'd prefer use the DS4 tbh, rather not have to buy another controller like a 8bitdo pro 2 (looks great in reviews but if I can get away with not buying that's better).

So as you can tell I've never done this before, I won't need full hand holding all the way through but I am open to some suggestions OR opinions from people that have done this please

I thank you in advance :)
 

Tom Bombadildo

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Well the easiest way would be to go for Windows and then installing a pre-configured Emulation Station setup, there are plenty of places that offer portable Emulation Station packages that has everything configured for you with Retroarch, and then all you have to do is add your ROMs and configure your controllers. Launchbox with Retroarch is another way to go, setting it up yourself is pretty easy but if you need help there are plenty of newbie guides and such on Youtube that are pretty straightforward and helpful for someone new like yourself. Either way, once you have all your ROMs added and all that, you would then use the built in scrapers for whatever option you choose, which will scan your ROMs and download things like coverart and descriptions and all that.

There's also Recalbox which runs from an external boot device (like a USB stick, on PC), which is a custom Linux distro with Emulation Station and Retroarch all setup and ready. The only problem is I don't know 100% if the Recalbox team ever bothered to implement proper AMD GPU driver support for modern AMD components and I can't find anything concrete that says they definitely do, sooo maybe best to avoid...

In regards to controllers, both would work just fine, simply connect either one to your PC via Bluetooth and you won't have any compatibility issues since they're both DirectInput devices and basically all emulators on Windows support that. As for lag, that will vary depending on a lot of different variables, how good your BT device on your PC is, potential interference, distance, etc so it's hard to say. Generally speaking, so long as you're not running a billion 2.4ghz wireless things around your PC while trying to use BT controllers, you shouldn't have much problems with input lag or anything. I use some cheapo BT 4.0 dongle I bought on Amazon for like $5 that works without issue.


I do like NostalgiaJS that was linked above by Dinoh, I use that personally on my living room PC whenever I want to play old stuff on a bigger screen, but TBH it's probably not something totally suited for someone new to this kind of stuff.
 
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peteruk

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Thank you both @DinohScene and @Tom Bombadildo - you've both given me some food for thought, I will certainly have a read through that JS guide linked above in the morning (i've marked the thread as 'watched').

Also Tom, I appreciate all that information there too

I think I need to stop being lazy and just get hands on and do something, I really like the idea of "portable Emulation Station packages that has everything configured for you with Retroarch" however genuinely have no idea where to look for that.... I'm on a lot of different types of sites that have a lot of gaming resources but searching those sites doesn't really bring anything up.

I shall do some reading.... thank you both !
 

Tom Bombadildo

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I'm not...100% sure if I'm allowed to link you to them, mostly because they almost always have BIOS files included for emulators, which we don't allow here...

But one such package can be found perhaps by maybe doing a, I don't know, web search from some popular search engine overlord for a particular RETRO thing that may or may not have to do with the lovely BAT creature ;) ;) ;) ;) ;) ;) ;) ;) ;) ;) ;)

:lol:

But yeah, search those particular terms on Google and you'll find a link for an installer package that will setup the latest Emulation Station along with Retroarch, and all you have to do is plop your ROMs in there and go.
 
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peteruk

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I'm not...100% sure if I'm allowed to link you to them, mostly because they almost always have BIOS files included for emulators, which we don't allow here...

But one such package can be found perhaps by maybe doing a, I don't know, web search from some popular search engine overlord for a particular RETRO thing that may or may not have to do with the lovely BAT creature ;) ;) ;) ;) ;) ;) ;) ;) ;) ;) ;)

:lol:

But yeah, search those particular terms on Google and you'll find a link for an installer package that will setup the latest Emulation Station along with Retroarch, and all you have to do is plop your ROMs in there and go.


brill mate, thank you
 
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