No emulated system for me thanks! (unless I really have to)

Friends often ask me why I still bother with a computer that is over twenty years old. More if you factor in a C64. And the answer is always just a shrug of the shoulder and a simple “dunno”.

Their main argument is not so much the fact I am using, and enjoying, these machines but I am using real machines rather than an easily available emulated versions. That I am spending what seems to be absurd amounts of money on keeping them maintained and even buying upgrades for them. When an emulated Amiga, done through Amiga Forever for example, is more than enough for playing the games I play and a modern OS like Windows is far more capable of doing my day-to-day computing needs.

And they are right. They are right that UAE is the de facto emulator for Amiga systems and that it is more than capable of emulating any classic Amiga. That Vice is one of several choices for emulating C64’s. They are right that my modern, multi-core system has the equivalent power of 417 Amiga 600’s running in tandem six times over. But it’s not the same though.

When I run a game in an emulated environment, I do not get the same sense of satisfaction that I do when I run them on my real hardware. Nor do I get to experience the little quirks that come with using real hardware. That extra little irregular tick that my, and only mine, Amiga floppy drive makes when accessing a disk. The way the Amiga tank mouse might just give me an extra amount of exquisite panic in a game because the track ball has skidded ever so slightly. The way that the keystrokes feel on the keyboard when I am typing something. The way the screen flickers when loading a game from a C64 datasette.

So yes, an emulated system might be all right for some. But not for me. For me the only reason I would use an emulator is if I was recording a gameplay or there was simply no more Amiga’s or C64’s left in the world.

Thats not to say I hate emulators. Far from it. But I simply prefer to avoid them where I can.

Enjoy Life, be kind to others.

3 thoughts on “No emulated system for me thanks! (unless I really have to)

    1. There are plenty of real Amiga’s in circulation, and they are aquireable for a good price.

      I agree with CritAnime, that there is a better sense in the real hardware. But it’s great to have the possibilities of the emulators today.

  1. I suppose if I had a real VIC-20 keyboard hooked to my Mac, running VICE would feel much more like a real VIC. But, trying to play games or run programs designed with the keyboard layout in mind is much different on a modern PC keyboard. Ditto for using USB joypads to emulate an Atari style joystick. But hey, for some watching Titanic on their smartphone is the same movie as seenig it in a 3-D IMAX.

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