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#1
lex.

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hey fellas, noob here ;) Just got a Wing as a gift. Wanted some guidance on how to Run Nes Emulator on this device. Had some luck with the SNES runs laggy but ok. umm NO luck with NES...can someone help here.

Tmobile Wing
Windows mobile 6

thanks

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nufanpe

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hey fellas, noob here ;) Just got a Wing as a gift. Wanted some guidance on how to Run Nes Emulator on this device. Had some luck with the SNES runs laggy but ok. umm NO luck with NES...can someone help here.

Tmobile Wing
Windows mobile 6

thanks



hi , i have the wing too , i installed a nes emulator and runs good for me, look for pocketnester on google and download it. now can you help me how to install and use a SNES emluator?

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#3
Menneisyys

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hey fellas, noob here :wub: Just got a Wing as a gift. Wanted some guidance on how to Run Nes Emulator on this device. Had some luck with the SNES runs laggy but ok. umm NO luck with NES...can someone help here.

Tmobile Wing
Windows mobile 6

thanks


Here's all you'll need to know (paste from my blog so that I don't link external sites):

UPDATE (05/28/2007): New, 0.24 version of excellent multiplatform gaming console emulator SmartGear out! It is definitely an enhanced version with a lot of new functionality (lowered CPU usage (no need to underclock your device to conserve battery life), configurable rapid fire, working Landscape support with NES emulation, in-game menus now accessible, screen size settings, new, even more effective “quick and dirty” rendering mode) and fixes some problems. Unfortunately, it still has the same, not very good game compliance ratio and still doesn’t support high-res VGA devices.

See THIS for more info. Note that I will NOT edit the original article below to reflect the changes – after reading the original article, move on to reading the changes so that you’ll see what has been changed.

UPDATE (05/25/2007): getting the Sticky status, along with ALL my other emulation-related tutorials & roundups, in the Emulators forum of one of the most active Windows Mobile forums, AximSite. By no other than Michu, the manager of the well-known Emupage! This certainly shows – along with the other for example PocketGamer.org and YAMM frontpages – these tutorials & roundups are simply the best.
(end of update.)

Nintendo Entertainment System (NES for short) (also known as Family Computer or “Famicom” in Japan or “Dendy” in the former Soviet Union) was a very famous third generation (8-bit) in the second half of the eighties with several notable games.

Being a 8-bit, comparatively simple (even when taking into the different Multi Memory Controllers I’ll later elaborate on) game console, not very powerful hardware like current Windows Mobile devices can easily run NES games at their original speed, including music. In this roundup and tutorial, I elaborate on how this can be done. In addition, I publish a reliable, dependable (I've made all the tests MYSELF and don't rely on any other, in most cases, unreliable source) compatibility list with many-many famous titles.

As with my previous emulation-related articles (see the reader feedback (also at AximSite) I’ve received to my, say, SNES emulation article), it was because of many reasons that made me publish this roundup:
  • There are absolutely no comparative, let alone up-to-date roundups on emulating this platform.
  • There are a LOT of apps to choose from (see Michu's related, excellent link / archive repository HERE), which really makes a newbie cry, given that there has been almost no comparative information on these titles on the Internet.
  • Users’ reports you can run into in different Windows Mobile forums are really unreliable. So are the advertisements of some software developers ;-) (never EVER believe any advertisement without reading an unbiased expert’s report / evaluation!)
  • While, technically, NES is pretty much inferior to fourth generation (16-bit) and fifth generation (32/64-bit) consoles released later (fourth-generation consoles - and even some of the fifth-generation ones; namely, PlayStation - are very easy to emulate on Windows Mobile), the platform still has a lot of titles worth playing. For example, it was on the NES that the Final Fantasy, the Dragon Warrior (Dragon Quest) and the Zelda series debuted. These titles (the first three Final Fantasy and first four Dragon Warrior titles) are not necessarily available on later, technically more advanced and/or, under Windows Mobile, easily / efficiently emulated platforms (except for the Sony PSX re-releases of the Final Fantasy titles, which are perfectly playable even under the current version of the Windows Mobile PlayStation emulator).

    As they’re very good RPG’s, if you are into the genre, you may definitely want to check them out. The same stands for some other titles like Elite (which doesn’t have a really non-beta WM version, as is also explained in the Bible of Windows Mobile Games – Part I) and Prince of Persia, which has a pretty good NES version (Windows Mobile still lacks a decent port of this title; it’s only recently that a port has been announced and an early alpha released by Mobirate but it’s still far from being perfect).
  • Finally, the generic games (which I and Allen Gall have cleaned up last year - after that, we haven't received any criticism) and, particularly, the Emulators category received so much negative criticism (see for example THIS and THIS) before my starting to completely update & rework the annual Best Software Awards at Smartphone & Pocket PC Magazine that I found it absolutely necessary, now that I’ve been appointed the Awards Nomination Manager, to, finally, show the whole world the right person (someone that REALLY knows what he’s doing and REALLY knows everything about the available software titles for Windows Mobile) was chosen for this task ;).
Bird's-eye view on NES emulation: what makes NES emulation easy / hard?

While the built-in circuitry itself in the basic NES console is pretty easy to emulate, the custom chips / electronics (for example, enhanced sound generators for the Japanese Famicom – Famicom supports external sound generator circuitries, as opposed to the NES sold in Europe / the States) present in many game cartridges requires require a lot of additional work. You can read a bit more HERE on what chips there are. Implementing emulation for all of these technologies takes a LOT of time and effort; this is one of the reasons why “from-scratch” one-man projects like SmartGear have so low a compatibility rate.

Getting game ROM files

As usual, I may not tell you were to download games from. Believe me: it's far easier than you think if you know what Google is. Fortunately, there isn't a plethora of available ROM formats: everything you run into (most probably .nes files, in most cases, in a compressed form) will run under the emulators.

The available emulators I – the three (+1) most recommended ones

First and foremost, there are three (and an additional one) major, up-to-date, recommended emulators for Windows Mobile. Note that, in the following section, I also give you some advice on how these titles should be used. Note that, as always, I also give the current version of these titles.

1. Jetech.org’s PocketNester 0.7

This is the first emulator you should check out. It is the most compatible, free and reasonably fast emulator. Some of the other, current emulators (for example, NesterJ4u) are based on this one and, therefore, have exactly the same capabilities, except for the additional support for WM5 softkeys and, with the VGA version, Landscape support.

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Its main problem is the lack of WM5 softkey (and, therefore, Smartphone / Windows Mobile Standard) and Landscape screen orientation support.

These issues, as has been already mentioned, have been fixed by for example the NesterJ4u applications. There is another PocketNester derivative implementing WM5 softkey support (and, therefore, sporting support for the Smartphone / Windows Mobile Standard platform) and offering Landscape support: Masterall’s PocketNesterPlus (see the next subsection). Unfortunately, it’s only at these two areas that it excels at; it doesn’t have anything else worth mentioning.

Using the emulator is very simple: download the archive from Sourceforge, unzip it, install and click the PocketNester icon in the Programs / Games folder. Go to File / Open ROM and select the ROM you’d like to play. The ROM can be both compressed and uncompressed and, if you use Mad Programmer’s File Dialog Changer (please read my previous emulation-related articles on how it can be installed; most importantly, the related section in my guide to running Magnetic Scrolls games), it can be anywhere in your file system. If you don’t use File Dialog Changer, it must be under either \My Documents or in either the root or a direct subdirectory under it on your storage cards.

While the emulator has on-screen controls (screenshot), you may also want to (re)assign these functionalities to hardware buttons in Options / Controllers. In there, click a button and, as instructed, press the key you’d like to be assigned to the given functionality. Also, it’s in here (see the lowermost checkbox) that you can enable a different method for scanning hardware buttons, should you encounter problems with some (rare) Windows Mobile models.

In Graphics, you may also want to enable displaying the top- and bottommost 8 scanlines. It’s disabled by default, you will want to enable it with games supporting them (for example, 1942) so that you can see more of the screen (some games use this). To see what the difference is, this screenshot (of the game 1942) shows the scanlines enabled and this when disabled. See the difference on the top and bottom? Yes, 16 pixel rows are missing from the second screenshot. Note that, however, there are also a lot of games that don’t use these rows and even games that just display some static in there. An example is King’s Quest 5, which has some static at the bottom there as can be seen in here (see the colored line under “Game paused”. During the game, it can become pretty annoying.). If you disable the 2*8 scanline display, this won’t distract your attention (see screenshot here).

Note many emulators don’t let for enabling displaying these rows at all. Also note that I’ve also elaborated on how the individual emulators behave in this respect (see the “2*8 scanlines displayed?” row in the Comparison and Compatibility Chart).

1.1 Masterall’s PocketNesterPlus 0.9

This self-standing emulator is an enhanced version of PocketNester. Download it from the first post of the linked MoDaCo thread, unzip it and transfer PocketNesterPlus.exe to your handheld. Execute it there.

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As has already been mentioned, it adds Landscape support to PocketNester (but nothing else). You can switch the orientation in Options / Display as can be seen in here. Unfortunately, currently, it’s in no way compatible with VGA devices.

2. MorphGear 2.4.0.9

A not very fast (but, on current, fast Windows Mobile devices, speed-wise, still perfectly sufficient), commercial emulator with somewhat limited compatibility (and some other emulators; most importantly for the GameBoy). I recommend it mostly because of the NAMCO106 compatibility and the native support for landscape / stretching / on-screen buttons.

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Getting and installing MorphGear is easy: download THIS (main program) and THIS (Morat’s module) CAB files; unzip them, transfer them to your PDA and click them for installing. Then, click the new MorphGear icon in the Programs / Games group. Click the Posted Image icon in order to select a ROM to load. After this, the game will start (if it’s compatible).

As, by default, MG uses the Portrait orientation and the 100% (one source pixel equals one target pixel) rendering mode, the active screen area is really tiny, particularly on VGA devices, you will want to make sure you override this setting so that the rendering uses the full screen estate. To do this, first, click the Posted Image icon and select iNES (NES) in the list. Now, click Screen Size on the upper left; a drop-down list will be displayed on the right. Select Window Size in the drop-down list.

You can also fine-tune other parameters here: for example, the sound and the frame dropping ones. On current, fast devices, you can safely leave the sound settings at their default, high-quality settings; on slower ones, you will want to either disable sound completely or select “Low (11 kHz)” in the Quality drop-down list. Also, at the bottom of this settings dialog, you can reassign the buttons of your mobile device. As with all the other apps in this roundup, you can utilize any button on your mobile device, even WM5 hardware softkeys and the red/green phone buttons.

Finally, if you want to play games in Landscape orientation, click the Posted Image icon again and, now, select “Global Settings” in the menu. Click Orientation and, from the drop-down menu, select either West or East, depending on whether you’re right- or left-handed.

3. HanaHo Games / Bitbank Software’s SmartGear

(Note that the official homepage of the developer doesn’t even mention SmartGear. Use the MoDaCo link to download the emulator from.)

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A blazingly fast and efficient, commercial emulator: it runs flawlessly even on Windows Mobile devices underclocked to 104 MHz. It, however, has severe compatibility problems and is only compatible with about 60-70% of the current NES games, as opposed to PocketNester(Plus) and even MorphGear, which have a compatibility ratio of around 96-99%. It's not compatible with VGA devices either.

Download the file from the above-linked MoDaCo thread (you’ll need to register yourself as a forum member). Decompress the archive and transfer SmartGear_PPC.exe to anywhere on your Windows Mobile device. Execute it.

In the Options / Settings section, you may want to make sure Throttle framerate” remains checked in (it is enabled by default); otherwise, the games will be FAR too quick. (This will be the case with some games even with it enabled; for example, Super Mario Bros 2. In order to get rid of this problem, you will need to use another emulator.)

Also, you will need to redefine the A, B, Start and Select buttons in Options because, by default, they are assigned to the numeric keys (even if they don’t exist – it’s been written for Smartphones, which do have numeric keys) 1, 2, 3 and 4 as can be seen in here. Therefore, you’ll need to click all of them in turn, click Define and press the hardware button on your Windows Mobile handheld you’d like to assign the given functionality to. I also recommend reassigning the Exit functionality so that you can easily stop running a game and bringing up the GUI of the emulator – with the traditional, stylus-based method, this may take some 2-3 seconds.

After this, you can load the ROM image in File / Open and enjoy gaming.

Incidentally, in addition to the framerate throttling (and some other) checkbox, there is a "Stereo" checkbox in the Settings. As the NES had mono sound, it doesn't change anything - it has only effect on the emulation of other consoles / handhelds (SmartGear is capable of emulating other systems too). Finally, the emulator also lets for changing the sampling frequency of the sound emulation. Unfortunately, changing this won't get rid of the most notable sound-related problem of the emulator (not present in the other, recommended emulators): the high-pitch noise. Unlike with some other emulators, there's no low-pass filters to get rid of this very annoying high-pitched noise.

Note that in order to really save battery life, you must manually underclock your handheld to, say, 208 MHz (if it’s an XScale one). It’s only this way, if you use SmartGear, that you will save significant battery life. The sole reason for this that SmartGear, as with both MorphGear and PocketNester, uses all the CPU cycles of the handheld even when it doesn’t actually need it. (For example, when you do make sure “Throttle framerate” remains enabled.)

An example CPU usage graph, running the emulator on an 520 MHz HTC Universal, showing this fact can be seen HERE. The first, about a minute long 100% peak shows running a Mario game in PocketNester, the second shows MorphGear and, finally, the third shows SmartGear. All in all, you will need to underclock your handheld. Please see my battery life saving-related articles (there are quite a few of them; see for example THIS; make sure you follow the backlinks) for more info on this.

The available emulators II – the less recommended emulators

Now, I also list and elaborate on the other, older and not any more recommended emulators; for example, Jogosoft’s PocketNES, YameCE, NesCE, InfoNES etc.

NesterJ4u

These two emulators, except for some minor issues, are almost the same as PocketNester. There isn’t much point in preferring them over PocketNester – unless you have a VGA device (it doesn't run on QVGA ones) AND you want to run your games in Landscape. Then, the Sharp build will be your friend.

Jogosoft PocketNES 1.0

This was the first Pocket PC-specific NES emulator (in addition to the Pocket PC-compatible YameCE). Now, because of it not supporting several mappers and lacking for example Landscape support makes it a worse alternative.

InfoNES for PocketPC 0.97

Note that the official homepage of the developer only contains the old (v0.76b) Japanese binaries; the latest, 0.97 version can be accessed either in Michu’s database (pre-WM5 and WM5) or HERE.

This emulator isn't really notable: it has stuttering sound even at 624 MHz. Most of the alternative emulators are FAR better.

nesCE 2.0

(See the download at the bottom of the page). A non-recommended title. See the comparison chart for more info on why I don’t recommend it.

YameCE

This emulator used to be the first really fast NES (but NOT SNES! Its SNES emulation is very slow - much slower than current SNES emulators) emulator to be released for WindowsCE. Now, however, with the advent of fast Windows Mobile devices and the later versions of both PocketNester and, particularly, the unbelievably fast SmartGear, the initial speed advantage has gone. This means it’s no longer worth sticking to this emulator, particularly because it is only able to work for some 3-4 minutes under WM5+. After that, it becomes unable to emulate anything and only a soft reset (!) helps the situation. (Under pre-WM5 OS’es, this problem doesn’t exist.)

(Also see THIS PG thread)

The comparison & compatibility chart

... is available here (click the link!). Based on the info above (and in my previous articles – read them!), you will understand what it contains.

Note that, compatibility-wise, I’ve not only tested most of the possible mappers, but also some generic, famous games.

I’ve included two versions of the most recommended NES emulator, PocketNester, in the chart: an earlier 0.5.4 and the latest 0.7, the latter occupying in the first column in the chart. All this in order to be able to compare how it has evolved over time.

Recommended links

My other game emulator reviews in the Games section of the Smartphone & Pocket PC Magazine's Expert Blog. I plan to cover / discuss ALL emulators available for Windows Mobile and have already published some of these articles. Do make sure you follow / read these articles - nowhere else will you find a better source of emulation-related information, I'm absolutely sure.

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#4
Menneisyys

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hi , i have the wing too , i installed a nes emulator and runs good for me, look for pocketnester on google and download it. now can you help me how to install and use a SNES emluator?


For you, here's my SNES emulator guide. All you need to know is here.

I’m very often asked about what emulator should be used under Windows Mobile to run Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES) (a.k.a. Super Famicom / Super Comboy), a hugely successful home game console of the early nineties.

One of the reasons for this is the abundance of the current emulators. See for example the SNES section on Michu’s famous EmuPage - it lists seven titles and, with some (for example, the n0p port) of them, even additional ones. Another reason for this was the shortage of dependable, comparative information available:
  • there are no real up-to-date articles with REAL-WORLD compatibility information and really dependable and reliable comparison; for example, the only SNES-emulations-specific roundup of available emulators I could find, PDAGameGuide's Top SNES Emulator Downloads Guide For Your Pocket PC, is heavily outdated, only discusses two (very old and, today, in no way recommended) emulators and doesn't at all dive into subtleties like emulating sound or on-screen controls.
  • there are a lot of plain bad information floating around (for example, some people’s praising the absolutely useless Snes9xPPC (by pdafan) or Snes9xJ4u)
  • and even the above-linked WikiPedia article linking in the oldest and least capable SNES emulator version (the original port made by Scott Ramsby)
Finally, the Nominations Manager for Smartphone & Pocket PC magazine’s Best Software Awards 2007, the guy responsible for nominations and (initially) deciding what should be nominated and what not, should show the entire Windows Mobile community he really knows what he does, doesn’t he? ;-)

Why should you bother?

It’s simple: if you’re into Japanese RPG’s like the early Final Fantasy series, Zelda, Earthbound, Chrono Trigger and similar titles (there are a LOT of them), your best (and, in most of the cases, only) bet is SNES emulation to be able to play these titles.

Of course, there are some very good arcade / platformer games for the platform; for example, Firepower 2000, Donkey Kong Country, Super Metroid or the Mega Man and R-Type series. In addition, you will want to check out for example the SNES implementation of the Super Mario series (there are several fan-created, free, public domain additions and fan versions like THESE)– after all, it’s free (if you own the original SNES cartridge), and high-quality – in general, much better (because of the higher quality) than the GameBoy Color / Advance versions. However, let's not forget NeoGeo emulation may offer even better arcade-quality platformer games (for example, Metal Slug) - that is, for REALLY nice action / platformer games, you may want to check out even stronger, but still properly emulated consoles / arcade machines like the NeoGeo.

What about the speed?

While many (see for example THIS PG thread) say low-resolution QVGA devices will ALWAYS be faster to emulate SNES than VGA, this is not necessarily the case. For example, the HTC Wizard runs ALL emulators REALLY slow even when overclocked to 273 MHz (and not using the touch screen – that is, it’s not the well-known 2.8” HTC bug that is slowing down the emulation). For example, some HP iPAQ hx2490 users (another QVGA model) have also reported the same. It should also be stressed that there aren’t that big differences between VGA devices than some people state.

For example, I have four VGA devices:
  • HTC Universal
  • WM5 (ROM version 2.01) HP iPAQ hx4700
  • WM2003SE Fujitsu-Siemens Pocket Loox 720 (without Picard’s GAPI hack)
  • WM5 (ROM version A12) Dell Axim x51v
All of them runs the test games (for example, Mario Kart) definitely faster (with n0p’s latest emulator version) than my HTC Wizard overclocked to 273 MHz (and not touching the touch screen), and, at least with the Pocket Loox 720 and the x51v, even faster than my 400 MHz HP iPAQ 2210 running WM2003. Yes, even the HTC Universal, which, in general, is pretty useless for action games / emulators.

This all means don’t believe people that state VGA (high-resolution) devices are bound to be useless and QVGA models bound to be great. That’s an oversimplification and, in most cases, not at all true.

Sound issues

Unfortunately, sound emulation is, in general, much worse with SNES than with CPS-1/2, Sega Genesis or even the, hardware-wise, much more advanced NeoGeo. When emulating the latter, if your device doesn’t have the necessary “juice”, all you will get is choppy sound (with only some games; for example, the Metal Slug series on NeoGeo. The vast majority of games will run with excellent sound – even NeoGeo ones).

With SNES emulation, the situation is much worse. While some games (for example, Super Ghouls and Ghosts) are reported not to have this issue, other games (for example, Final Fantasy II) will always exhibit absolutely messed-up music (see for example mrfalcon’s post in this PG thread).

If you still want sound emulation, make absolutely sure you disable automatic frame skipping and set frame skips to a wired-in value of 1 instead of the default 5. Then, after enabling sound (and sound synching as can be seen in here (note that you may also want to enable stereo mode if you uses headphones / external stereo speakers; just switch it off if you find it further decreasing the emulation speed. I didn’t; therefore, I’ve left it as stereo. You may also want to play with the other parameters)), the sound / music will become far more consistent and enjoyable.

The frame drop option “1” tells the emulator to drop (not render) every other frame. That is, the, by default, frame rate of 60 will be forced to become 30. This will help a lot in almost every respect, even at an expense of some (almost invisible) jerkiness increase.

The available emulators

OK, let’s see what we have and what you should use.

First, let me point out that there are two main groups of (current) SNES emulators.

One of the groups has numerous emulators. They’re all common in that they all are based on Scott Ramsby’s initial, old PocketSNES, either adding some additional functionality (for example, on-screen buttons) to it, bugfixing it (for example, making it VGA-compliant) or recompiling / updating it, using a newer version of the underlying Snes9x engine. As far as usage is concerned, these emulators are very similar. I’ll explain the differences in the GUI (particularly with Tala’s OpenGL ES version).

The second "group" only contains one (up-to-date) emulator: MorphGear.

Let's see the first group first.

n0p’s PocketSNES ports

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n0p is pretty famous for his emulator ports. I've already reviewed his Genesis Plus in my Sega Genesis / Mega Drive article. With SNES emulation, he has also come up with something really top quality.

This (these) are the emulator(s) you MUST check out unless you have a Dell Axim x50v / x51v (then, Tala's emulator is the one to get first).

There are three emulators on n0p's homepage: a WM5 / VGA, a generic and an ARM one. There isn't much difference between these emulators: for example, if you have a non-VGA, XScale-based Windows Mobile device (even a WM5+ one), you can use any of the three versions. If you have a VGA device, you MUST download the latest, WM5 + VGA version. Note that it'll also run on previous-generation (WM2003SE) VGA models too, as is also explained for example in my AximSite-frontpaged review HERE.

This emulator excels in full-screen stretching capabilities and on-screen tap areas. Mostly because of these that it should be preferred over the other titles.

Tala’s OpenGL ES PocketSNES version

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The above-introduced and, in general, most recommended n0p emulator doesn't use OpenGL ES in Dell Axim x50v / x51v's to make the graphics less pixelizated. For the latter, you must get the specific OpenGL ES version by Tala (also see the dedicated thread HERE and HERE).

It, being not pixelizated at all, is much easier on eyes and also supports on-screen buttons. As opposed to n0p's version, there can be only two of them at one time; they, however, can be freely assigned to any of the eight original buttons of the SNES controller (while the four on-screen buttons / tap areas of n0p's version is hardwired to A, B, X and Y). In addition, you can also configure Tala's version to treat one key as an autofire one. This is pretty unlike "traditional" autofire solutions because it'll keep autofiring even without your having to hold down the given (screen) button. This can prove really useful on devices like the HTC-manufactured Pocket PC Phone Edition models with a 2.8" screen because they all exhibit touchscreen CPU overburdening problems and, therefore, hopefully n0p will also implement this functionality on his ports.

Masterall’s PocketSNES port

Masterall is the author of the BEST NeoGeo / CPS-1/2 emulator, FinalBurn Alpha and the BEST Sega Mega Drive / Genesis emulator, PicroDrive.

Unfortunately, his PocketSNES update has nothing to write home about, except for being based on the latest, 1.43 version of the Snes9x engine, which means compatibility with some titles 1.39, on which both Tala's and n0p's above-introduced emulators are based on, was still incompatible with (see the compatibility information for individual titles below). It has no goodies like on-screen keys. You may only want to check it out if you have a Microsoft Smartphone (Windows Mobile 6 Standard Edition) and the other Microsoft Smartphone solutions (see the Additional Links section for more info) are insufficient for your needs.

PocketSNES/03 Preview 4

This title is also based on the latest, 1.43 version of the Snes9x engine. Unfortunately, it has no other goodies - it's, otherwise, almost the exact recompilation (with fixed VGA support) of the original Scott Ramsby PocketSNES.

The second group, as has been pointed out, contains one title,

MorphGear

with the SNES9x plug-in (the CAB can be downloaded from HERE, in addition to that of MorphGear. Install the latter first and, then, the former).

It's way better than some other MorphGear modules and is highly recommended. It's certainly a bit slower than the above-introduced PocketSNES modules, but exhibits a definitely higher compatibility ratio. Therefore, I really recommend installing it on your Windows Mobile device, even if as a second emulators, the main still being either n0p's or (depending on whether you have a Dell Axim x50v / x51v or not) Tala's enhanced PocketSNES versions.

Note that all the reviewed emulators are free (including the SNES module of MorphGear).

Finally, let's talk about the non-recommended titles too.

Scott Ramsby's PocketSNES 1.12.200

As has already been pointed out, this is the base of all current enhanced ports. It's not really worth checking it out – n0p’s version (or that of Tala is you have OpenGL ES support) is much more up to date & featureful (on-screen buttons, VGA support).

Snes9xJ4u (its old URL isn’t accessible any more)

The GUI of this app is entirely in Japanese and is WindowsCE-friendly, meaning a non-native Windows Mobile GUI. It was last modified on 2004/08/05. It, basically, works the same way as PocketSNES but the menus are pretty different. You can, however, easily guess what the menu items are for; except for Options / B (the bottom-most menu item). There, the bottom-most checkbox enables, while disabling bringing up the menu with on-screen controls, is related to D-pad. I couldn't find out the way it's controlled - it's absolutely irregular. The topmost checkbox seems to be doing nothing; the middle one enables the above-explained screen "control" but doesn't disable pausing the game & bringing up the menu by clicking anywhere else than the lower left part of the screen. I couldn't find out how landscape should be used instead of the default Portrait - it's possible it's not supported at all.

pdafan’s Snes9xPPC ver0.41

While this emulator is based on the Snes9x 1.43 core and is pretty new (last modified: 2006.2.24), it's definitely slow (MUCH slower than any other tested emulators!) on all the devices, both QVGA and VGA, I’ve tested it on. Avoid it.

Getting games and storing them on the mobile device in an efficient way

In here, I don't give you URL's to ROM files as it'd be illegal (without being sure you DO own the original cartridges of all games you do want to play). However, the Internet, particularly Google, has a lot of related information on how these ROM's can be acquired. That is, Google will be your friend. Note that you'll need to read THIS article for more info on ROM file naming conventions (what for example the exclamation marks, numbers and letters mean after the ROM file names).

After you've acquired your ROM images (as .ZIP or .7z files - the latter is very common with archives having more than one image - for example, different release versions, languages of the same game are often packed with 7z to GREATLY, in cases, with orders of magnitude (!) decrease the archive's size), decompress them if your emulator doesn't support ZIP archives - for example, of the three most recommended emulators, MorphGear doesn't support ZIP files as can also be seen in the "Compression support" row of the Comparison and game compatibility chart. Then, transfer them to your mobile device. Please consult the "Files" section in the first part of the Comparison and game compatibility chart for more information on whether a given emulator has its own file open dialog. If it doesn't (as is the case with Tala's app), you will need to either install Mad Programmer's File Dialog Changer (FDC), as is explained in my Sierra interpreter review & tutorial. Or, alternatively, store your (if the emulator allows for compression, ZIP'ed) ROM files in a direct subdirectory of your storage card. Otherwise, you can store them anywhere.

Also note that, if you do plan to very often load new ROM's in your emulator, you will want to thoroughly check out the "Remembers last position (with Mad programmer's FDC - that is, when NOT using the standard file dialog)" row in the same section. You will want a solution that always takes you back to the last-used directory so that you don't need to manually switch directories, which can be pretty tedious.

Unfortunately, as can be seen in the chart, n0p's (internally Mad Programmer's FDC-based) solution always starts from the home directory of the app and doesn't remember the last directory you've loaded your files from. Therefore, to make things as fast as possible, consider storing your ZIP archives right in the home directory or n0p's port (that is, in the same directory where you've decompressed n0p's emulator to).

Tala's port (the preferable emulator for Dell Axim x50v / x51v users) always starts from \My Documents, in the built-in storage, if you do install Mad Programmer's FDC. Therefore, if you don't want to move your ROM files in the main storage (because it's already full and/or you'd like to keep your ROM files on a card) but still need quick image switching capabilities, consider disabling FDC or adding Tala's emulator to the exception list of FDC and just stick with the standard file selector dialog of the operating system and just put yuour ROM's in a direct subdirectory of the root of your memory card so that they are displayed at once without your having to manually change directories.

Installation, configuration, running games

All the reviewed emulators can co-exist without problems - this means you can keep any of them on your Windows Mobile (as long as they're compatible - for example, it's pretty useless to keep the OpenGLES (Tala) version of PocketSNES on your mobile if it's not a 2700G-based Dell Axim). Actually, except for MorphGear, they don't even need to be installed: you only transfer the EXE file you dowload off the Web to your mobile device and start it in there. (With the addition that Masterall also requires Tillansoft's tGetFile and n0p's distribution has some other files in the ZIP file you'll also need to transfer to the same directory on your mobile.)

After starting the emulators, starting a game is pretty straightforward: you go to Tools / Load ROM (in all PocketSNES-derivatives) and click a ROM after finding it. After this, the game is started and can be controlled with the D-pad and hardware buttons of your device.

Buttons

The standard button assignment can be changed in Options / Buttons…; this is particularly important on WM devices with few buttons (like the HP iPAQ 2210) because the, by default, eight non-directional buttons (one of them, Start, being assigned to Action - that is, the center of the D-pad or, if present, the jog dial) needs to be assigned to 4, 5 or 6 buttons, depending on the particular WM model. Therefore, you may want to change your button assignment configuration regularly on devices having too few buttons.

To configure your button assignment, just go to the above-mentioned Options / Buttons…, click a SNES controller button (A, B, X, Y, L, R etc) on the screen and press the hardware button you'd like to assign to it.

Note that on devices with double button functionality (HTC Wizard, Fujitsu-Siemens Pocket Loox 720), in general, you can assign a functionality to the long-pressed state as well (of most buttons). This isn't the case with the WM5-upgraded and, therefore, double button functionality-enabled HP iPAQ hx4700.

You can also make use of the WM5 hardware soft keys (when available).

Finally, if you have a Windows Mobile phone, you can also utilize its red and green phone buttons.

Display

The emulators use the Portrait orientation by default, which may not be the best solution because it leaves a lot of screen estate unused (and, what is more, on-screen buttons / tap areas are far more awkward to use in this state, if not downright impossible, as is the case with the Tala OpenGL ES-enabled version). Therefore, you will want to switch the game display to Landscape mode. You can do this in Options / Display…, by clicking in either Landscape Left (Stretched) if you're right-handed or Landscape Right (Stretched) if you're left-handed. Stretched means the app (if it's capable of doing so - many, for example, PocketSNES/03, don't) will try to fill in the entire screen.

Note that if you run Tala's version, you will need to use the system-level orientation change support instead of this menu. That is, with the Tala version, leave the default "Portrait" mode in Options / Display… always intact - as opposed to all the other emulators.

Note that, as far as on-screen buttons are concerned, with n0p's ports, they are correctly relocated in the lot less widely used left-handed Landscape mode; Tala's version doesn't support this. This is certainly bad news for left-handed Dell Axim x50v/ x51v users.

It's also in Options / Display… that you will want to disable Auto Frame Skip and use a value of 1 (or, if your PDA or the emulation is particularly slow, 2 or even higher) to drop frames in order to provide a consistent, jerkiness-free emulation and, what is even more important, sound (if you enable it at all).

SNES emulation on other platforms

Desktop operating systems


Here are three, excellent emulators for desktop OS'es:
Snes9x
ZSNES
bsnes

Please check out the above links for more information.

Symbian

I've also tested the Symbian SNES emulator, vSun Plus 1.0 (and its ancestor, the still sound-enabled vSun 1.1) on my Nokia N-Gage. Note that the N-Gage is a very old (2003) phone and only has a 104MHz ARM9 CPU and some 3 Mbyte of free RAM. This is why most games run pretty slow (but some of them are still playable) and sound emulation (with vSun 1.1) results in unbelievably bad results. If they start at all, that is - it's only with ROM images smaller than 3 Mbytes that they are loaded at all.

Note that, with newer, faster Symbian devices with much more RAM, these games (can) become very nice (and 3+ Mbyte cartridges also loadable). Therefore, if you, say, have a Nokia N93 or N95, make sure you download vSun Plus 1.0 (or even the earlier, less compatible but sound-enabled vSun 1.1 to check out whether the sound emulation is OK on your model).

What I've provided here is more of compliance information to see how vSun Plus compares to the Windows Mobile emulators because many state vSun Plus is superior to WM titles (see for example THIS). As can be seen, Windows mobile has nothing to be ashamed of - in general, WM-based emulators are more compatible with the tested titles than vSun.

Also see this for more info on generic Symbian emulators.

Comparison and game compatibility chart

It's available HERE. The first section discusses generic questions like on-screen buttons, operating system / device compatibility, support for ZIP archives etc and, based on this article (and my past, emulation-related ones), is pretty easy to understand; the second has a LONG list of the best, most popular SNES titles and their compatibility with the three most recommended PPC emulators (Tala, n0p, MorphGear) and, as far as the Symbian S60 operating system is concerned, vSun Plus; in addition, I've now and then tested the other emulators with these games too. In order to help authors/developers to fix problems (or, for people that really want to see a given title indeed doesn't run) with a particular non-working title, I've also provided links to the non-working games (but only them! I haven't linked in working games. Sorry, I won't breach the © laws.)

Recommended links

My other game emulator reviews in the Games section of the Smartphone & Pocket PC Magazine's Expert Blog. I plan to cover / discuss ALL emulators available for Windows Mobile and have already published some of these articles. Do make sure you follow / read this articles - nowhere else will you find a better source of emulation-related information, I'm pretty sure.

Additional links

Note that these threads / articles may have outdated or plain bad info. You should NOT believe anything in them that is in strong contrast with the information in the above article. You, however, may want to give them a read.

PDAGameGuide's Top SNES Emulator Downloads Guide For Your Pocket PC
n0p's PocketSnes vs Tals's OpenGL-ES PocketSnes vs...
How to do SNES games
SNES Emulation on Pocket PC
How is game playing?
hx2750 with morphgear
MorphGear 2.0 Review
Good news, MorphGear now can run on Smartphone 2003!
working smartphone snes emulator(s)! and avalon5's new smartsnes

UPDATE (05/11/2007):
  • I haven’t listed YameCE, the very old, no longer supported GameBoy, PC Engine, NES and SNES emulator in the “Disqualified” section. Its SNES emulation useless: if it runs at all (for example, with Axelay or SF2 Ultra, as opposed to, for example, Super Mario World / Kart, Lufia and FirePower 2000), it's definitely slower than with PocketSNES / MG. Its NES capabilities are pretty bad too, particularly under WM5+, where it crashes after a few minutes. In no way recommended.
  • You can make Snes9xJ4u English by changing HKLM\ SOFTWARE\ CEe4U\ Snes9xJ4u\ Language from 0 (zero) to 1 (one). (Thanks to XDA-Dev forum member decknologist for the tip)
  • This HowardForums thread may be of interest.
  • It should be stressed that the reviewed Windows Mobile (but not the Symbian ones) emulators (particularly MorphGear) require a LOT of dynamic (RAM, program) memory, particularly with larger ROM images. That is, make sure you have at least 20 Mbytes of free RAM if you encounter RAM shortage problems.
UPDATE (05/12/2007): PG frontpage

UPDATE (06/05/2007): PPCT frontpage

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#5
Just_Chillin

Just_Chillin

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hey fellas, noob here :D Just got a Wing as a gift. Wanted some guidance on how to Run Nes Emulator on this device. Had some luck with the SNES runs laggy but ok. umm NO luck with NES...can someone help here.

Tmobile Wing
Windows mobile 6

thanks


Unforftunatelt, you will get no real help from reading these blogs.. you may get links or files to download but the rest is up to you.. findind working roms and emulators can be very tricky and time consuming (Trust me) I have over 20 games on my wing from back in the day check out my phone. I only showed like 4 games.. didnt want anyone to report me or to get jelous :-) Thanks MODACO

check out my video and leave comments
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http://myspacetv.com...ideoid=42026438
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#6
Just_Chillin

Just_Chillin

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hey fellas, noob here :D Just got a Wing as a gift. Wanted some guidance on how to Run Nes Emulator on this device. Had some luck with the SNES runs laggy but ok. umm NO luck with NES...can someone help here.

Tmobile Wing
Windows mobile 6

thanks



when I downloaded duck hunt i could not shoot the ducks. but all my other games seem to work just fine


http://www.youtube.c...;watch_response


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#7
Just_Chillin

Just_Chillin

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when I downloaded duck hunt i could not shoot the ducks. but all my other games seem to work just fine http://www.youtube.c...;watch_response



check out my T-Mobile wing on youtube by clicking this link below, feel free to leave comments.


http://www.youtube.c...;watch_response

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#8
krazy1z

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hey the problem that im having on both the pocketnester plus and my pocketsnes is that it will load up but the display is cut in half and have no buttton functionality at all. i tried to landscapeleft but still nothing. does anyone know what i can to do fix this cause i really want to play some old school games on my q 9h from att

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