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  1. #1
    Sony battery Toasty's Avatar
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    N64 Some new N64 on PS2 questions

    I know there's been some talk about this on the forums here, but as a newbie, I've got a few new questions. Note that all these questions are concerning real-time emulation.



    1. Is emulation for the N64 on PS2 possible? If not, why not? (Also if not, ignore all my other questions.)
    2. What are some reasons why this hasn't been done yet?
    3. The main CPU on the N64 has instructions that are (almost?) completely backwards compatible with the instructions on the PS2's main CPU, right? (MIPS III) Would this at least somewhat simplify main CPU emulation? Also, wouldn't this make LLE nearly as feasible (if not more so) as HLE?
    4. N64 emulation on the GameCube is obviously possible. What factors would make it harder/easier to accomplish on the PS2?
    5. A few years ago, lack of documentation hindered many N64 emulator writers. Has the situation improved at all?

    Thanks in advance for answering any of the questions above. I know the topic has been discussed before, but the previous posts didn't quite satisfy my curiosity.


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  2. #2
    Emulator Developer Hacktarux's Avatar
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    1. Is emulation for the N64 on PS2 possible? If not, why not? (Also if not, ignore all my other questions.)

    I can't be sure if it's possible or not but i know that you will have high difficulties to manage memory. You have a lot more to store in memory than just the n64 ram, especially if you want to optimize your emulator.

    3. The main CPU on the N64 has instructions that are (almost?) completely backwards compatible with the instructions on the PS2's main CPU, right? (MIPS III) Would this at least somewhat simplify main CPU emulation? Also, wouldn't this make LLE nearly as feasible (if not more so) as HLE?

    Simplify isn't the exact word.... it would open door for a lot of possible optimizations A well written dynarec would be very fast i think (but don't forget that the cpu is only one part of the emulator... and the gfx tasks take an important amount of time to emulate).

    In current emulators, no HLE is used for cpu emulation, so it wouldn't change many things. And for gfx and sound, i highly suggest using HLE on a ps2, you wouldn't have enough power to low level emulate the RSP.

  3. #3
    Just Another Wacko ;) PsyMan's Avatar
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    1) Yes it is.
    2) It takes time (a lot of it) to develop the project so much that it can run N64 games at reasonable speed and it needs enough knowledge of the PS2 and N64 hardware.
    3) You can't know that unless you completely understand how both N64's and PS2's CPUs work. If they are "compatible" enough it would make the CPU emulation faster.
    4) It's harder to accomplish it on PS2 because you're not working on hardware that you know so well as Nintendo does for GC and N64, PS2 is not as fast as GC and PS2's GFX chip is not as "evolved" as GC's GFX chip. It could be easier if PS2's and N64's CPUs are similar enough.
    5) There were enough improvements in the last few years. Everything (apart from the GFX) can now be low level emulated from at least one plugin (or emulator); compatibility and speed are increased a lot (in games like yoshi story, Mystical ninja and Cruis'n USA). The only missing things are the emulation of some Lucas arts games such as Indiana Jones (due to lack of documentation?) and low level GFX emulation due to the need of very high system requirements.
    Last edited by PsyMan; December 29th, 2004 at 01:34.
    I'm not insane. YOU are insane... You are all insane!

  4. #4
    Emulator Developer Azimer's Avatar
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    PS2's main processor and N64's main processor are very similar. You also have two vector units to use for graphics manipulation and another processor for audio emulation. It is very hard to say for sure what is possible.
    -Azimer

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    I pointed ahead -- ahead of myself as well as of you." (George Bernard Shaw)

  5. #5
    Sony battery Toasty's Avatar
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    OK, time for another newbie question. I get the basics of HLE and LLE, but am a little hazy about the details (I'm very new to emulation). If you use dynamic (or static) recompilation, shouldn't the main speed drawback be the recompiling time and not the speed of the code being executed? I can understand why, for general purpose machines (IE PCs), where there are APIs and abstractions between the CPU and GPU, HLE would have significant benefits, but when emulating on a console where a the CPU is designed to work on a low-level with the GPU, would LLE be so bad? Don't consoles have more in common with eachother than they do with PCs (for the most part)? Again, I'm new - I know very little, so bare with me. :p If anyone knows a good link or something that explains the pros/cons and details of LLE/HLE that would be most helpful!

  6. #6
    Administrator Gorxon's Avatar
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    You probably have read this already, but just in case you haven't, it's worth checking out:

    http://pj64.emulation64.com/emubook/
    Staff member of Emulation64.com

  7. #7
    Emulator Developer Hacktarux's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Toasty
    OK, time for another newbie question. I get the basics of HLE and LLE, but am a little hazy about the details (I'm very new to emulation). If you use dynamic (or static) recompilation, shouldn't the main speed drawback be the recompiling time and not the speed of the code being executed? I can understand why, for general purpose machines (IE PCs), where there are APIs and abstractions between the CPU and GPU, HLE would have significant benefits, but when emulating on a console where a the CPU is designed to work on a low-level with the GPU, would LLE be so bad? Don't consoles have more in common with eachother than they do with PCs (for the most part)? Again, I'm new - I know very little, so bare with me. :p If anyone knows a good link or something that explains the pros/cons and details of LLE/HLE that would be most helpful!
    The n64 has two processors to produce graphics : RSP and RDP. The RSP is a vector processor and that's what is emulated by HLE in current emulators. I know the ps2 has some vectors processors too but i think it would just take too much time and memory to emulate the RSP at low level (a large part of the emulation would still have to be made by the main CPU).

  8. #8
    Sony battery Toasty's Avatar
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    PSX

    Currently, the largest N64 ROMs are 32MB (256 Mbits) right? Just out of curiosity, on the average, how much of that would you guess is code and how much is data? I'm sure it probably can vary a lot from game to game, but an educated guess is close enough.

    Then, an N64 architecture question: The N64's CPU and GPU share the same 4MB (or 8MB when expanded) memory right? If my guess is right, this would complicate emulation for expansion pak games on PS2, wouldn't it? (As the PS2 only has 4MB graphics memory.) Or can the PS2's GPU also access main memory? I'm obviously a very long way off from attempting this project. Thanks for helping out a newbie!

  9. #9
    noctrunal internet surfing guy
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    the largest n64 roms I have seen are 64 mb/512 mbits (conker, resident evil2 etc)

  10. #10
    Sony battery Toasty's Avatar
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    Wow. So, typically what percentage of a ROM is code and how much is data? If it just varies too much from game to game, then for example in Zelda OOT and/or Mario 64? I could probably put my newbish powers to work and find out on my own, but it would probably take a long time unless someone knows a good method of finding this out.

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