So Adafruit have done it again and got me obsessing with something they are offering  “Cupcade“. Last year it was their basic arcade console tutorial which spawned my first version here and then after gaining confidence on that one I made this much more advanced one here.

I do not have this yet, I am in the early phase of obsession where my rational side and my kid side are battling out how to justify it but you can bet I will within the next few months. There are a few discrepancies with the Cupcade software choices that I have noticed and resolved myself on my own consoles over the last year that I would like to explain for others before going on.

The era the Pi can span

In a video blog I was watching this morning regarding Adafruits new products here they claim dig dug, gauntlet, packman etc.. is the best it can do because the Pi is too slow. This is not true. The Pi can emulate nearly flawlessly up to Street fighter II, The sound, speed everything, is 99% perfect with only an occasional pop. You can also do Mortal Kombat 1 this would be where I draw the limit as MK1’s sound starts to fluctuate a bit more than SFII and when the sound fluctuates in the game that’s when you’re pushing your luck because that is an indication of the emulator skipping to keep up.

In this particular case SFII would not be a good choice for the Cupcade as it needs 6 fight buttons but I am just making a point on the Pi’s capabilities. The best two button games I have tried are Raiden and Puzzle Bobble which are also early 90’s and work perfectly.

The emulator

Now their preconfigured image comes with AdvanceMAME and I wouldn’t say this is a bad choice in one way but it is in another. The reason it is a good choice is because it is an up to date emulator and any ROM you run into today should run on it without any problems. It is a bad choice in the fact that it slaughters your CPU cycles and the Pi cannot afford this and that is most likely the cause of the video blog I mentioned above stating the limit is mid 80’s and that the Pi is too slow. I already ran into this conclusion last summer which I blogged about here when I explained my trials and tribulations with Pi and MAME.

My choice is Mame4All as it is optimized for mobile platforms including the Pi and it allows that upto Street Fighter 2 performance that I was referring to before. The caveat is of course that you need to be able to either convert roms back to the version it supports -> 0.37b5 or know a place to get those version roms (and they do exist).

Mame4All also still supports hiscore.dat because what’s the point of playing arcade games if you can’t shove your Hi score’s in your friends faces?

Back to the goodness

Anyways I just wanted to clarify those points. The Pi is an excellent emulating platform and it is a much more cost effective method of experimenting with the arcade VS when I was younger and you still needed to back it with a full blown PC. The CupCade looks amazing, I plan to get it and I am sure it will rock. Hurry up with those Sticker kits Adafruit!

Facebook Comments

No Comment.

Add Your Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.