The future is ARM with an x86 emulator for legacy apps (stuff we run today).
I took a few hours recently to set my Eee PC 701 2G Surf up as a dedicated emulator machine. I picked up a dirt-cheap 16GB Sandisk Cruzer USB stick for $9 and downloaded an ISO of Mandriva Linux 2011.0.
This thing is pretty sweet! It runs SNES, NES, Game Boy, Game Boy Color, Game Boy Advance, Nintendo DS, Genesis, MAME, and Sega Master System emulators. Pretty much anything 2D it can handle easily.
Even better, I had a bunch of space left over on the USB stick for mp3s and oggs, so I can listen to some decent music while I’m driving in my car thanks to the audio input jack on my car stereo.
Wait, what? There’s a few groups of dedicated people out there committed to the idea of emulating the original Star Wars Galaxies in full pre-Combat Upgrade glory. When I say emulating, I don’t mean some hack-and-slash wannabe game — I mean the original software you used to use to connect to Star Wars Galaxies just like it used to be back in the day. Imagine that.
#1. Register in the SWGEmu forum to create an SWGEmu user
Head to this forum to create a user and password, which you will use to log into the game.
#2. Install Star Wars Galaxies.
This is the hardest part for most of us because usually one friend somehow ends up with everyone’s discs. Typically it’s me becuase everyone used to LAN this game at my house. If you have your discs, install SWG normally.
#3. Install Launchpad Enhanced.
After installing this program, go into the “Options” menu and set both your “Emu Location” and “Source Location” to be the same directory. This will update your Star Wars Galaxies installation to the PreCU format used by the emulator.
#4. Select the SWGEmu Test Center and login!
You can start to play immediately. Just pick a username and password, create a character, and buff. Enjoy!
For even more SWG Emulation information, news, and community discussion, head over to the Galaxies Reborn forums!
If I had a lot of money…
I’d buy PlayOnLinux and Cedega and Crossover Games (while maintaining a great working relationship with the good folks still at Crossover working on apps) and put together (with some hefty funds behind them) a crack team of DirectX hackers and previous Microsoft DirectX programmers to put together a fully-functional, working DirectX emulator for Mac and Linux. Then, port all those changes back into the Wine trunk while promoting an off-the-shelf Windows games player.
I truly believe that if games worked on Linux flawlessly there would be a greater adoption of Linux on desktops worldwide. I know locally it is a huge hurdle to jump. All of my friends are interested in Linux, two of them have the ISO sitting on their desktop. Why are they not making the switch? One: Games. The other: Sony Vegas. People want to use it but they want their games too!
Game development and publishing companies wouldn’t have to write games to be cross platform if the emulator worked perfectly. They would go on making Windows games while Linux continues to grow in installed user base.
Making games for Linux is not the answer, making Linux work for games is!