What's the best possible emulation box, in terms of systems and portability

Discussion in 'General Gaming Discussion' started by Chary, May 17, 2018.

  1. Chary
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    Chary Never sleeps.

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    There's a plethora of different ways to play older games not on their original hardware. Ranging from a powerhouse PC, to a Wii U, to smaller little things like the Pi and such. Which one is the best in terms of portability (not meaning handheld--I'm talking about things you can plug into your TV) in being able to take it with you easily, AND having the most coverage of systems playable?

    I thought about it for a bit. The first thing that came to mind is the Wii U--it has nearly every possible Nintendo game worth playing on it. GameCube, Wii, virtual console, Wii U, it's a monster of a system. But at the same time, it's a tad bit heavier than the Wii, and it also requires to potentially have the Tablet, and a swath of different controllers. Plus, it's power brick is a little beefy.

    Then you have the little portable mini computer things, like the Pi. I have little to no knowledge on these, or how easy they are to set up, other than that they're small. As far as I'm aware, they also only emulate very retro systems, maybe up to the N64/PS1 max, if even possible?

    Then, there's the PlayStation TV. It has retro consoles up to around the SNES/Genesis era, GBA, PSP-Vita, and PS1. Not bad. It's also incredibly tiny, has a very small power cord, making it very easy to carry around.

    What's the best option for having a little emulation powerhouse that you can easily take with you to a friend's house, plug into a TV, and enjoy the most amount of games from?
     
  2. Sakitoshi

    Sakitoshi everything is going according the plan...

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    A laptop.
    You can emulate up to ps2 or wii u with a decent one while maintaining some portability and you don't even need a tv or power source.
     
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  3. x65943

    x65943 Dr. Rabbi Prince X, Sr., Ed. D.

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  4. CeeDee

    CeeDee Doing The Best I Can

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    I've been digging the SNES Classic personally. Wii U is also fantastic.
     
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  5. RHOPKINS13

    RHOPKINS13 Geek

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    I think it's simply a compromise to be made, the more systems you want to emulate, the less portability you're going to have. I suppose if you got a powerful enough gaming laptop you could have portability and emulate systems like PS3, Wii U, and PS2, but that would be one hell of an expensive laptop, much more expensive than any of your other options.

    So, you've got a triangle between portability, number of systems, and affordability. Pick two, sacrifice one.
     
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  6. Sakitoshi

    Sakitoshi everything is going according the plan...

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    it doesn't have to be a gaming laptop so it can be fairly affordable.
    my main laptop (specs in my sig) is able to run dolphin with ease (the only issue I have seen is in mario sunshine that needs the store efb copies to texture only hack disabled, I assume is a memory bandwidth shortage) and several ps2 games at full speed even with the integrated graphics card.
     
  7. RHOPKINS13

    RHOPKINS13 Geek

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    Right, but you're not running Cemu or RPCS3.
     
  8. Sakitoshi

    Sakitoshi everything is going according the plan...

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    false, take a video of my laptop running afterburner climax.
    Warning: Spoilers inside!

    I know, using afterburner climax is cheating, but you need a beast to run rpcs3 correctly, a beast that cost more than double that of a laptop that can run up to dolphin and pcsx2.
    the most cost effective machine for emulation purposes is a middle-high tier laptop, once you step into the high end you get diminishing returns.
     
  9. Psionic Roshambo

    Psionic Roshambo GBAtemp Addict

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    Depends on your budget, if your super cheap a hacked SNES Mini (if you can find it at retail price) a little more and you get into Android TV boxes and a cheap Bluetooth controller. A bit more and you can get a Android tablet with Bluetooth controller (with HDMI out) then Shield TV then PC...

    Unless your going at least mid range PC you can forget PS2 and GC or higher emulation, so that makes this decision about "best" portable emulation a bit easier as mostly all of the devices I listed will be about the same.

    I avoided Pi because after looking into them, if pure emulation is your goal they are not the best price to performance devices (if you like to tinker and have a super flexible device you can do a bajillion things on they are bar none the best thing to get.)

    But out of all the things I own that I do pretty much what you describe I would get an Android tablet from China (root and custom ROM) something with Android 7.0 on it Bluetooth and I have these 9 dollar bluetooth controllers I use, works fantastic full speed PS1 and N64 and of course everything bellow it. You could get the whole set up for like 140 bucks (2 controllers and the tablet and HDMI cable).

    Android TV boxes you could probably shave off like 60 bucks, and get the same performance (but with tablet you can take it and play it anywhere even if there isn't a TV around.)

    Bellow that price point is pretty much SNES mini land or Pi (Pi you have to be careful they come with nothing you have to buy all the stuff it adds up quick.)

    Edit:

    https://www.aliexpress.com/item/T3-...670.html?spm=a2g0s.9042311.0.0.27424c4dcME7Nu

    These for a bit over 10 bucks, I have 2 of them they work fantastic... for Android, if you try to use them on a PC they will work precisely 1 time.. after that you must reboot your PC and then pair them to the PC each and every time you want to use them... Oh it went to sleep because you got up to get a drink? lol time to reboot and pair them again... (Or spend a bit more and get the wireless dongle thingy with them that is said to fix the issue.) But on Android 10 out of 10 work great and feel great (buttons could be a little less mushy but they get better with use.) the sticks are surprisingly great and the pad is great too.

    https://www.aliexpress.com/item/ALL...f4fd-4bd0-a2aa-d693e447739a&priceBeautifyAB=0

    Some tablet like this would probably pretty nice, I tried to find something with Android 7 a 10 inch screen and HDMI out and an 8 core CPU (like mine except mine is stuck on 4.4) but it was not possible at the price range I thought they should be... but this one to be honest will probably run all the emulators mine would and probably slightly better.... (Mine has a PowerVR GPU and in Android land I found my Mali stuff runs much better.) If you spend just like 20 bucks more you can find them dual booting with Windows and 4GB's of RAM... but I am not sure about Android on X86 chips I have no experience with that except reading that it runs apps slower than native ARM (it has to do some sort of emulation? or have a native X86 Android app or something.)

    Edit 2: lol most of the functionality of a Switch but open with great emulators and video streaming options galore :P All for under 140 bucks :P
     
    Last edited by Psionic Roshambo, May 17, 2018
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  10. Taleweaver

    Taleweaver Storywriter

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    Thus far, I like @Psionic Roshambo 's answer most. An actual tablet with cheap controllers give a fairly good balance between complexity to set up, cost and it actually being portable in the other sense of the word (meaning: you can play on the go with it as well).


    The wiiu comes in at a second place. Setting it up properly takes some effort (if you're doing it from scratch), but it's fairly portable and easy to set up once you've got everything. Heck...you don't even really need a television: just a couple power outlets (or even one, if you have a decent external hard drive) and you're good to go. Plus...most households have some wiimotes somewhere. It's probably the best way to get four players together.

    The GPD line-up would be my third choice, but I honestly don't even know which one to pick. The GPD XD plus is apparently an emulator's dream. The GPD win 2 is stronger, but the price tag is nothing to laugh about.
     
  11. DarthDub

    DarthDub Amateur Hacker

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    Your mom's basement.
    If you have a backpack, the Wii U is easy to lug around.
     
  12. Veho

    Veho The man who cried "Ni".

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    In the context of emulation I would say GPD XD plus would be the best choice.

    The first GPD Win is great if you're interested in older PC titles but if you're only after console emulation it's not worth the extra $200.

    The GPD Win 2 is an overall improvement on the first one but at $700 there are more powerful devices available and it's only worth it to people with a massive hard-on for the size and form factor.


    PR covered it pretty well, an Android box and a few bluetooth controllers is a cheap and simple option that's easy to lug around and set up once you get there, and it gives you access to a wide range of emulators and titles.
     
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  13. lcie nimbus

    lcie nimbus 100th degree asskicker

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    My favorites are still, and will remain, my Android and PSP.
     
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