So some loony let me loose on a Microsoft XBOX development kit a month or two ago and I had some spare time on my hands this last weekend so it was only natural that I do something “creative”. M.A.M.E. for the XBOX is the result, and it was a lot easier to port to another platform the second time around than it was this time last year . The XBOX version runs at a rock solid 60 FPS on all the old 80’s ROMs I’ve tested it with, and also the NEOGEO ROMs too, and this is only with a debug build. There are a few lines in some of the drivers of the M.A.M.E. source code that give the MS VC++ 7.0 compiler the screaming ghoulies so I have not been able to test a fully optimised compile yet.
I’ve got to tweak a few bugs in my rendering code that copies the arcade game bitmap that M.A.M.E. creates each video frame to the XBOX bitmap and that will remove some of the blown out colours you can see in the screen shots and also the fact that NEOGEO games only fill two third’s of the screen.
I also need to come up with a decent menu system & interface for the emulator, right now, if you want to change games you have to restart the XBOX console, edit a config file that contains the game name you want to play, and then reload M.A.M.E.
So yeah, this should be the ideal machine to put in a M.A.M.E. cabinet I am still trying to find time to construct. I’d like it to be an XBOX. The console has a built-in hard drive, Ethernet connection, and supports analogue & digital controlllers, and only costs a few hundred American dollars, plus it already supports a standard TV signal so I can wire up any decent TV instead of an expensive Wells Gardner monitor.
The screenshots below were taken with a Kodak Digital DC240 camera in very poor lighting conditions, plus I was in a bit of a hurry to take them too as I had borrowed the camera from a colleague who needed it back to finish up some work.
As an aside I have come to the empirical conclusion that I am an utterly awful photgrapher. I’m going to have a more artistically inclined colleague take some far better pictures later on and use those instead. I’m also hoping to get an .AVI of the emulator actually running a few games at some point in the near future.
I posted a small update on my progress
|Ghosts & Goblins with all the colours blown out. The second game I managed to get to load. Note the subtle brand placement of the Starbucks’ coffee cup.|
|The XBOX development kit (the big silver box) tucked away under the desk alongside a PlayStation 2 devkit. Those big meaty paws belong to Nate, a colleague. He’s a big man, probably the only man I personally know who’s hands made the prototype XBOX controller seem small when he held it.|
|More Ghosts & Goblins. The prototype XBOX controller propped up on the top of the PSX controller behind it. Or perhaps the XBOX controller is attempting to mount the PSX controller. Microsot & SONY. Who’s your daddy?|
|More G&G. I figured out how to turn on the camera flash so you can get a better look at the XBOX dev kit.|
|A half hour later, a little tweaking and we have better colour control in the emulator.|
|The XBOX dev kit boot loader with a couple of demos already sat on the hard drive and the last but one item declaring itself to be XBOX M.A.M.E.|
|Donkey Kong attract mode.|
|The first level of Donkey Kong.|
|NEOGEO Metal Slug. The first game I loaded on the emulator. I don’t yet have the rendering system properly implemented so it is squashing the screen horizontally.|
|NEOGEO Metal Slug running just fine. Strangely the NEOGEO emulator had pretty decent colour reproduction, though I think this was due to the fact that the game should have been dark and the overblown colours just made this scene look “correct.”|
|The less said about my photography skills in this one, the better.|