A little over a year ago I lamented the death of the Atari Jaguar, then five years gone. One of the things that I always found interesting was the lack of an Atari Jaguar emulator. I knew for a fact that there were ones being worked on (in fact at one point in time it was somewhat fashionable, it seemed, to announce you were working on one), but no progress was being made. Jagulator could render a couple of frames from Flashback and homebrew demos, and there was maybe one more that kinda emulated one of the CPU’s but didn’t do anything. Jagulator was even the product of the guy who did UltraHLE, the first working Nintendo 64 emulator. It seemed as if Jaguar and a few other consoles from that era (the 3DO comes to mind) were in an odd rut – extremely old consoles (NES, Genesis) were pretty much sprite-pushers – no real 3-D to speak of. They can be handled in software easily. More modern consoles bear more resemblence to modern PC hardware (especially the video cards), so N64 and PSX emulation have come around. But the Jaguar wasn’t really 2-D or 3-D and it was pretty much like nothing else, so it was stuck so to speak.
But then last week Project Tempest was released, the first working Jaguar emulator. After some minor versions, Version 0.2 now plays Tempest 2000 more or less graphically perfectly. It’s Windows only and there is no sound and the compatibility is spotty, but if you’re like me and you mainly just want to play Tempest 2000 again, this is good stuff indeed. Check it out.
In that vein, to me emulation has gotten somewhat boring. It used to be that we had less than perfect NES emulators and SNES games that wouldn’t run. Nowadays pretty much everything has been hammered out. These days we have badass PSX and N64 emulators. I’m personally disinterested in emulators for the PS2 or other newer consoles, though I know eventually they’ll be done. I’m somewhat shocked no one has come out with an XBox emulator, given the similarities to the PC. I figured for sure someone would come out with something by this point. Hell, the Dreamcast will be an impossibility since the GD-ROM is incompatibile with the PC.
The one thing that was interesting to me for a while was the Dreamcast emulating other platforms. Now of course we have a nearly perfect NES emulator, plus spot on entries for other consoles like the 2600, the Intellivision and Genesis. Bleem came out with 3 discs to emulate PSX titles and that’s pretty much the extent of PSX emulation on the DC. The lone SNES emulator alive for the DC has pretty much topped out (and was never full speed), so DC emulation to me has gone stale.
So that leaves one thing in emulation that’s interesting to me – unemulated platforms. We still don’t have a good Virtual Boy emulator (the best one was a DOS based emu un-updated for over two years now when the author got laid off and lost interest). We need a finished Jaguar emulator (easy enough – only about 50 games total). And there’s probably some more I haven’t thought of.
So in any case go home and get your Tempest 2000 on.