How Do You Play Retro Games?: Original Hardware vs. Emulation

snes vs snes classic

Blogging live to you and yours! It’s your boy TWOTAL4UFOOL! A lot of us love to play retro games. I’ve realized since watching a bunch of different channels on YouTube and reading many different blog sites, and blog posts that there is still a market for playing retro games. It’s a lot bigger than I have ever realized and people’s disappointment with how the Nintendo Switch’s Online Service is being run I feel is proof of that. That’s a whole nother story however. But one thing I want to get into today is how we play these games. Do you prefer Original Hardware or do you prefer Emulation? I’m going to explore both sides state and explain what side I’m on and why. There is no wrong answer in my opinion however.

Let’s start with Original Hardware. Now if you have your original consoles still hooked up and getting video footage from retro games using original hardware “MORE POWER TO YOU”. I think that it is totally awesome that you can still pick up your hardware from years ago and play video games on the original console. That’s absolutely cool and you took pride in taking care of your hardware over the years. One of the advantages to playing games on original hardware is that there should be no input lag with your controllers. Unless the game was poorly put together that shouldn’t be a problem for you if you are playing on original hardware. Another advantage is you can go for world records on original hardware. I feel any type of speed run or world record that is going to be set needs to be done on original hardware. Not even a plug and play. And that also goes for arcade games as well. So if you are setting a record on original hardware I can honestly say that that record is legitimate.

Moving on to Emulation. Advantages to that include just being able to play a bunch of games all on one device. No having to pop out carts, or eject discs. Just exit the game once you are done and it should take you back to a main menu depending upon whatever machine you are using for emulation. Whether it be a NES Mini, or a Raspberry Pi. Another advantage is that you can emulate more of your favorite retro games on the go. Whether it be some random android device, or playing NES games on the Nintendo Switch. Now if it is an original handheld device such as a Game Boy that’s one thing. But even today you can’t take your NES with you and play Super Mario Bros. 3 while on a car ride. You’ll need something to emulate it on.

Now in my opinion both sides have their disadvantages as well. For example with original hardware most old consoles can’t hook up to current gen TVs. You’ll have to go out and buy converter devices. It’s doable but it can be a pain at times. As for emulation you run the risk of not being able to emulate every game at 100 percent. Whether it be the power of the machine you are running it on or the emulator itself. Emulation isn’t perfect. It’s gotten a lot better over the past 10 years but it still has a way to go before we call it the sole alternative to original hardware.

Now me personally I prefer to emulate my retro games. The reason is that it is just more convenient for me. I emulate games on my laptop computer using RetroArch but I also do have plug and play mini consoles as well. At the end of the day I don’t have the room to keep all my original hardware plugged in. And my old CRT TV stopped working years ago. And they are getting a bit harder to find. Another reason why I prefer to emulate games is I feel that the technology behind it is incredible. Being able to play a 2-player old school game with someone halfway around the world is awesome. Whether you are using RetroArch or the Nintendo Switch Online Service I feel that being able to do that you know that emulation has come a long way.

Now even though I support past generation emulation I don’t support current gen. emulation. One example would be when Super Smash Bros. Ultimate leaked. I feel everyone should support current gen. games by buying them. Now as for old school games I necessarily don’t care if a person downloads ROMs, and puts it on a device for their own personal use (or for a relative, or friend). But downloading ROMs onto a device and selling that device with the ROMs I’m not for. And it upsets me how people don’t do their research and pay hundreds of dollars when it is just something that they could’ve put together themselves. If you want to put together a Raspberry Pi with ROMs on it there are tons of tutorials out there that will show you how to do it. Don’t make a bad purchase people!

Now I told you how I play my retro games! How about you? How do you play retro games? Do you prefer original hardware or emulation? Let me know in the comments below. I’m curious at what you guys have to say. Until next time! Blogging live to you and yours! It’s your boy TWOTALL4UFOOL! Remember that TOGETHER EVERYONE ACHIEVES MORE! Thanks for reading folks. More great content coming soon!


5 thoughts on “How Do You Play Retro Games?: Original Hardware vs. Emulation

  1. Honestly, I’ve always loved the old hardware. When I was in my early 20s, I worked part-time in a retro gaming store, where I was able to use my hefty discount to pick up an N64, in near mint condition, and all the bells and whistles that come with it. N64 has always been my favorite console, and I have actually bought probably 3 or 4 in my life at this point. I always end up having to sell them, and my game collection, after a few years to pay bills or something, but I always come back to it. I’ve never tried an Emulator, but if I had the money, I wouldn’t be opposed to giving it a try!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I held an N64 controller for the first time in years earlier this month. It was a great system but probably one of the worst controllers ever made. Do you think Nintendo will put out a N64 Classic later this year?

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I do a mix of original hardware and emulation. There is something cool about being able to play a game in its original form with original controlers. And while some systems translate well to the modern standard controller, some games just don’t work as well outside of their original habitat (for instance, anything that required the number pad for the Atari 2600). That said, most games play fine via emulation (at least from the PS2 era and back) and capturing screens or video or streaming is far easier via that method.

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