117: Best Little Emulator Ever Made!

Best Little Emulator Ever Made!

"In 1998, the "great sweep" took place, shutting down most of the major emulation sites in existence within a six-month period. But they had no preparation for the flood of emulators that appeared in 1999, chief among them bleem! All the major players were concerned."

Tom Rhodes takes on the dream of bleem!, the Best Little Emulator Ever Made.

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I remember all of this with great clarity, though never got to use any of the software first hand. Interesting read and although they shut their doors due to financial pressures, the BLEEM guys really did set some interesting precedents in the courts which may come back and smite the Goliaths in the future.

This article is really biased. A part of launch of bleem on Dreamcast is completely omitted. No details on how this emulator is different from other emulators of it's time is explained. No details on competition - VGS emulator from the company that was acquired by Microsoft for it's VirtualPC. Basically, this article is BS.

http://www.overclocked.org/emufaq/EmuFAQ_M3P1.htm - for a true story about Bleem and VGS
EmuFAQ is a priceless document that holds the knowledge of the past century:
available as PDF or HTML

Re: "We'd like to see the gaming industry give emulation a fair chance," Herpolsheimer told PS Extreme. Something not likely to happen now, or ever.

I beg to differ. All three next-gen consoles have growing libraries of emulated games, either from previous iterations of their consoles, defunct competitor consoles, or arcade games. Emulation is now a "legitimate" industry, which provides a quick & easy way for publishers to milk their library of "classic" games without expending much effort or cost in the process.

Biased against what? Such a silly statement. Just because it didn't mention Bleem on the DC? It didn't mention VGS because it's an article about Bleem, or at least I assume that's why it didn't mention it.

Who would be a writer on The Escapist, eh?



As always, I'm happy to answer critics, even mildly rude ones.

My original draft of the article contained more information on the emulation scene, including VGS (which was also sued by Sony), and specific game emulators that came out. This was stripped in the editing process because it strayed a little far from the center of the article. As to the bleemcast, well, there just wasn't room to go into it. If it makes you feel better, the anecdote about Sony attacking bleem! staffers was, IIRC, concerning a bleemcast demo.

I do readily acknowledge that your links are helpful, and were part of the research I did for the article, as well as numerous other news links and sites. I can assure you that this was thoroughly researched, and with another 1000 words I might have been able to delve into emulation as a whole, but this was about bleem, and there I stayed.

As for being biased, I'm not entirely sure what bias you're talking about. Biased against bleem? For it? Against Sony? Against emulators? I'm confused.


Yes, emulation is legitimate...for console manufacturers. But outside competitors into the field are viciously attacked, and often decried as supportive of piracy. Current emulators are made by the companies that still receive fees and the like from license partners, so they maintain their monopoly on it. They can have their cake and eat it, too.

The more I hear about Sony, the less I like. I'm very near to boycotting their products (especially game-related) on principle...

And along came ePSXe...
Of course, emulation also had the effect of increasing next gen console complexity and possibly costs, as the PS2, Gamecube, Xbox, and all that followed were intensely designed to be unemulatable by their creators. The current big name PS2 emulator can play maybe a third of the PS2 library properly, and requires a thousand+ dollar extreme high end gaming PC to run respectively. Xbox and Gamecube are MIA. DS emulators are showing signs of progress, but are slow, and are behind the PS2. However, in all likelihood, they'll be accomplished long before Gamecube or Xbox. As far as I know, there isn't even an Xbox emulator in development. One was made that could play Turok: Evolution (a game that was a) terrible and b) had a PC port), and was given up.

Its ashame bleem was buried in so much legal trash that it failed, and to think now adays they are drooling to get emulators up and ruining so they can bleed moeny from them, only trouble is most corp emus are crappy and barely run and do not have save states and everythign else in emulation that make emulation fun, it would be nice to see the consoles do full button congif save states and frame rate adjusting hell FF12 offered frame rate booster on the international release of FF12, it can be done merely warn that suing such things can cause errors and get to polishing it but not we get static ports and sucky emulation we have to PAY for, and they wonder why some people wont touch their sad over priced BS.

WII's VC is over priced about 50%, ontop of it minamail control configs bah BAH I say when it can half of what ZSNES and VGBA can do then maybe I will start shelling out moeny for stuff I already own...

BTW the only reason the PS2 emu is crappy is because its a hard system to emulate,plus there are not as many hardcore coders and hardware people anymore,that and sony has a rather nasty armed force of lawyers LOL.

The Saturn was the last multi CPU system before the PS2 it took awhile for it to be get to running good and even its not 100%.

I am surprised a Full blown Xbox emulator has not come out yet,I'd love to be able to have some control over the Xbox games its hard playing medciore crap on it, prehaps save states,cheats and some control tweaks would make them a bit more fun......of coarse fun always gets in the way of profits and fun is bad >>

N64 80-90% emulated
DC 80-90% emulated
Gamecube 40-60% emulated
DS 40-60% emulated
PSP 40-60% emulated

Maybe they will go up 5-15% in 2 or 3 years >>

We just dont have as many coders and such as we used to , and the ones we do have stay near safe waters, i mean the game crackers are the only group that is still fairly strong. i mean why learn something that can get you sued when you can be a pilot instead...

I don't really trust many emulators, but one I do know that is fairly capable is Visual Boy Advance. That emulator has it all, save states, screen shot tools, and a frame rate throttle control when you don't feel like sitting through those long save times and pointless Pokemon attacks...

As far as I know, their were a few companies that truly got off the ground as emulators and reverse game engineers. But making money off them? That's a new one to me.

The current big name PS2 emulator can play maybe a third of the PS2 library properly

Not quite.
PCSX2 is up at over 70% compatibility now.
That is, counting games that's regarded as fully playable.
Counting games that have some issues but run somewhat well with some coaxing, it's easily over 80%.
Few games do not run at all.
Some games even emulate so well that they run better than on an actual PS2, on top of the superior graphics.

Also, emulation mostly only require a good CPU.
Anything over 3GHz will do for most games to run at full speed, really.
You can even run some games at super speed with that.
RAM, GPU, and whatever else barely even factor in.
I emulate PS2 games on my cheap 5 year old mid-range machine just fine.

PS2 emulation is way more developed and accessible than you think.


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