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ares

ares is a multi-system emulator by Near (formally byuu) which is a descendent of higan and bsnes. It's focusing mainly on accuracy and preservation. It currently supports the following consoles:

  • Famicom + Famicom Disk System

  • Super Famicom + Super Game Boy

  • Nintendo 64 (Parallel-RDP port)

  • Game Boy + Game Boy Color

  • Game Boy Advance + Game Boy Player

  • Master System + Game Gear

  • Mega Drive + Mega CD

  • SG-1000 + SC-3000

  • PC Engine + PC Engine CD + SuperGrafx

  • PlayStation One

  • MSX + MSX2

  • ColecoVision

  • Neo Geo Pocket + Neo Geo Pocket Color

  • WonderSwan + WonderSwan Color + SwanCrystal + Pocket Challenge V2


It has native multi-platform UI Adaptive sync, Dynamic rate control, Save states, Run-ahead, Rewind or fast-forward and much more..!

Accuracy

Performance

Features

Most Recent Changes

I'm excited to launch ares v118 today, the first release featuring playable, full-speed Nintendo 64 emulation!


The new Nintendo 64 emulation is made possible thanks to Themaister very graciously porting his Vulkan-based ParaLLEl-RDP graphics renderer to ares. With its default settings, it is nearly pixel-perfect to real hardware, and it optionally supports upscaling to 2x or 4x the original Nintendo 64 resolution, plus optional supersampling back down to the original resolution (for enhanced anti-aliasing) if desired. The Vulkan support requires an appropriate graphics card, and either Windows or Linux. At this time, Vulkan is not available for macOS nor the BSDs.


Also new for the Nintendo 64 core in this release is Rumble Pak, Cartridge Pak, SRAM, EEPROM, and Flash save support. Note that for right now, the Rumble Pak will only be enabled for games which use internal saves (SRAM, EEPROM, and Flash.) That does not cover all Rumble Pak-capable games. The option to choose between Rumble Paks and Cartridge Paks will be added to a future release.


For the PlayStation core, Luke Usher provided two rendering fixes that allow Final Fantasy VII and Tony Hawk's Pro Skater to be fully playable!


Right now, approximately 33% of the Nintendo 64 library is fully playable, and about 67% of the PlayStation library is fully playable. Each core has only been under active development for about one month each, so they both have a long way to go. Please treat these early releases as tech samples, rather than finished emulation cores.


Further, note that the Nintendo 64 and PlayStation cores employ cached interpreters. This is a middle-ground between the accuracy of interpreters and the performance of dynamic recompilers. As such, ares' system requirements will be a bit higher than traditional emulators for these systems. Presuming no background task interference or CPU throttling, generally speaking, a Ryzen 5 2600 or better CPU should get you to around ~120fps in the average case, and ~60fps in the worst case.



Previous Update Changes

Most notably, this release adds Sony PlayStation emulation. Please understand however that this support is new, and compatibility will be low. That said, the base hardware is entirely emulated, including MDEC, SPU, CD-XA, memory card support, etc. It shouldn't take much effort to raise the compatibility to a respectable level in the future. And thanks to dynamic recompilation and multi-threading, it should run at full-speed even on modest hardware. ares can run games in either ISO/CUE or BIN/CUE format, as split/WAV files or as a single merged BIN file.


As for the Nintendo 64, Themaister has ported Parallel-RDP to it, and it too is now capable of running commercial games at full-speed, with accuracy just shy of Cen64. However, the support is too new and untested to release at this time, and memory card support has not been added yet. Nintendo 64 support should ship with the next release instead.


Beyond this, there are six months of emulation improvements: many new Famicom mappers were added, several Master System and Game Boy Advance emulation bugs were fixed, etc. Also, a second virtual gamepad has been added for multi-player support.


Note: if you post this news elsewhere or are commenting on it, please refer to me only as Near, I would greatly appreciate that. If you're here wondering if ares development has resumed, the short answer is yes, but please read this post for more information.