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Thursday, March 15, 2007

I don't need no emu

I found a VGA box on Amazon and decided it might help provide a decent gaming alternative to the Mac Mini. VGA boxes theoretically take any composite feed and convert it to VGA - so you can run your old console on your fancy LCD monitor.

Apparently your mileage may vary. I got one made by Yobo and so far my results have been excellent. The PlayStation 1 and Dreamcast both ran perfectly on it. There is a RCA out for headphones or speakers. Booting up Jet Grind Radio and listening to the old tracks was a real treat.

The only real con is ... well, it's still a low res display intended for television that has been essentially upscaled. It's not like you're going to see crisp new graphics off your aging hardware - you see the same graphics with a bit of a vengeance. Plus, I'd guess the refresh rate is a bit slow because it can be a little more strain on the eyes than your standard computer monitor. Still, I played Crazy Taxi for a decent amount of time without any trouble.

There are easy wins here. Jet Grind Radio is fun to revisit even if you've beaten the game. I forgot how much of a playground that game really can be. I still have X-Com for the PlayStation (in fact, it's the only real viable platform for the game I have left). I'm trying to figure out old Nintendo64 games worth digging out. I mean, Ocarina of Time was excellent ... but do I need to play it again?

Phantasy Star Online comes in the mail pretty soon. I know the servers don't exist and the offline version isn't really the same ... but I just don't care.

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