Two topics, only tangentially related, but I thought I'd share.
Yesterday, I finally got my original Wii console out of storage, intending to play a GameCube game again. I hadn't plugged it in since shortly after getting my Wii U (which was also in storage for almost a year thanks to my living situation). Anyway, I plugged it in and booted it up, only to find that... tragically... my Wii has died. Oh, it boots up, sorta. As soon as you try to get to the Wii Main Menu, it gives you an error saying "The System Memory is corrupt, please refer to the manual." Of course, I tried all the usual routes. I removed the SD card. I booted into maintenance mode. I even called support and did a full system format to factory settings (rest in peace, uncopyable Super Smash Bros. Brawl save data). Alas, the system format never completes, and thus, while I have a formatted system, the startup memory corruption problem persists. The only available option is to send it to Nintendo for repair, for $70 plus shipping. Since a used, working Wii is cheaper than that, I'm not going to send it off. My unsaveable data is already gone anyway. :(
So, I've come to a decision. I'm going to do most of my GameCube and Wii gaming via the Dolphine emulator from now on. As some of you may remember from the Krystal Archive Podcast #35, I actually already have another Wii. A modded Wii, used for ripping my own games for my emulation experiments. (Future experiments with Star Fox Assault are also coming along hint, hint!)
That brings me to the related issue of Star Fox 64, and its official emulation on Wii and Wii U. A couple months ago, Star Fox 64 was re-released on the Wii U virtual console, just as the Wii did years earlier. Nintendo World Report did an interesting video comparison showing the rather drastic emulation differences between the three official versions of the game. I find this fascinating, seeing how things change and what the trade-offs are when emulating on different systems.
It seems that the original Star Fox 64 used frame timing, meaning the game simply slows down when a frame takes longer than 1/60th of a second to draw. This made explosions and huge scenes seem more epic, because time appeared to slow down, also giving the player more time to aim. Since the Wii U has a lot of processing power available to it, it rarely ever slows down, making that version feel VERY fast. Other differences abound. For junior game developers out there, note that modern games don't use frame-timing, but instead run their physics and motion calculations on a fixed timestep. This means that the game should feel and play exactly the same, but on older hardware, the game might run at only 30 or even 15 frames per second at any given time.
Anyway, hope you liked this post, and enjoy the rest of your weekend!