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  Pocket PC Emulation..its all in hand                                                             A feature by Paul J









Portable Power in your hands....
and all we want to do is play old games with it...tut!

Its Great playing all these games on your PC. The fun never ends (only when its time for bed or when Mum calls for tea). The Pocket PC is one such device that you could take anywhere and while being a stonking little device with lots of useful functions, as with everything computer wise, you gotta ask can it play games. PeeknPoke locked Paul J. in a cupboard with his new Pocket PC and made him play emulators on it (while slipping him much needed ale - a major point of retroplaying) and what we could use it for retro wise....

Retro gaming in the palm of your hand! Retro gaming does not have to be played on just a console , PC or Macintosh. Many systems can be emulated on the latest Pocket PC's. You know those gadgets which look cool but a lot of people don't really use properly and end up just inputting their address book into?

The latest Pocket PC's are getting faster and faster, the latest models which have a 400mhz processor running Pocket 2003 (Pocket version of Windows) are now capable of running a whole host of consoles. The fastest PPC at the moment is the Asus MyPal 620 which is 234. However it is a good idea to also buy a CompactFlash card to put all the games/movies you download onto it as believe me you will fill it up soon ! Once you have one of the fastest PPC's you can now run a whole host of emulators. Older or cheaper PPC's can still run many emulators but if you want to play GBA, Megadrive, SNES or MAME games then you'll have to get the fastest PPC out there.

Pocketgamer has a host of links to the best emulators. There are Pocket PC emulators for...

Sinclair Spectrum, Commodore 64, Atari ST, MAME (Arcade systems), Master System, Gamegear, Atari Lynx, Atari 2600, Colecovision, Gameboy / Gameboy Colour / Gameboy Advanced, NES, SNES, Megadrive / Genesis, PC Engine / Turbogrfx, MSX, Wonderswan,Neo Geo Pocket and Oric.

One of the best emulators out there is Morphgear which combines many console systems altogether. Morphgear is an excellent emulator but each module costs 15 dollars so things can get a bit pricey. However the emulator is worth getting as the SNES and PC

Engine modules are free and both are two of the best emulators out there for their respective systems. The PC Engine (also known as Turbografix) was never a huge console in Europe but it features a ton of great games. Reviews of many of the games can be found here . Bloody Wolf, New Zealand Story , Rainbow Islands and Gradius (Nemesis) are some of the best games which can be found easily on the net to download.

There are currently two SNES emulators for the PPC, one in Morphgear and also PocketSNES which is another free emulator and can be found  here . However only the latest PPC's can really play these games well with 100% speed and sound. Playing Mario Kart or MarioLand on your PPC is a dream ! There are over 500 SNES games to be found online.

The Sinclair Spectrum has its very own PPC emulator in Pocketclive which is free and is superb. If you think of how low the filesizes are for Spectrum games you can fit a ton of games onto your PPC or CompactFlash card, also games can easily be found for the Spectrum (over 6000). You can load up .Z80, .SNA or .TAP files or even write your own program in Sinclair Basic ! Games can be saved at any stage and reloaded at a later time.

The Commodore C64 also has its own emulator but this is not free, however at 7 dollars it is a bargain. Again games can easily be found for the C64 on the internet and the emulator is superb. A great buy for just 7 dollars.

PocketVCS is the Atari 2600 Video Console emulator is a great looking emulator and its free. The games for this system are tiny, maybe a maximum of 4k and there are a host of great games for this old console, remember Space Invaders (101 different versions), Ms Pacman and many others.

The older consoles have some great emulators for them most of which are free. PocketNES is capable of emulating over 3000 NES titles. Yet again you can save your game at any state and theres many many NES games out there. The Mastersystem (Plus Gamegear combined) is free. Again a whole host of Master System titles and Gamegear games run on this emulator. Many great Sega games from the past can be found like Outrun, Golden Axe and many others.

My favourite emulator which only runs on the latest fastest Pocket PC's is MegaMameCE. This MAME emulator (Arcade games) is capable of running several hundred MAME games (version 0.36) and playing the original arcade rom of Bombjack, Space Invaders, Bubble Bobble or Commando is a dream ! The sound is slightly muffled but runs full speed and if you think that this is the actual arcade rom running on your PPC, wow ! This time you dont have to pay 10p to play, just press one of the buttons to input credits ! Remember Morphgear features a free Megadrive emulator, with the latest PPC's you can play Sonic and many others !!!

There are other emulators for the Pocket PC, CastCE is a very good Atari ST emulator which runs very well but can only be played at landscape not portrait. Still very good. There is an emulator for the MSX home computer, this machine was not very popular in the UK but has a host of great Konami games available to it. The Gameboy has a fair few emulators, play the original Super Mario Land or Tetris on the emulator or many other 100's of games. Again the latest PPC's can play several GBA games such as Mario Kart Advanced or Warioware but a fair few GBA games are still slow or the sound does not work. Still very good for the ones which are available though.

There are even emulators for machines such as Colecovision , Oric and some of the early Apple computers ! The big news is that there is actually a Playstation emulator (without sound) available for Pocket PC ! You need a lot of space on your Flash card for the files but it does seem to be playable and should get better in time. FPSE is available for download at the link.

Overall there are many different emulators to choose from, most of which are free. As for the games you'll find them all over the net, remember you should own the original game if you are downloading the ROM etc. Pocket PC's should get faster and faster and very soon all GBA games will be able to be emulated and who knows what next, the N64 etc ?!? For now imagine a Pocket PC the size of a gameboy and the ability to play 1000's of different retro games for different consoles in the palm of your hand.

Its a reality already!




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