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The 3DO is a great system with an incredible library of games. A recommendation thread. (Gif img heavy)

SF Kosmo

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Hmm, I'm curious, what is the state of 3DO right now? I never hear of new emulators coming out to support it (and if Immercenary doesn't run well, is that the only known-name game that doesn't work?) or anything like overclocking or polygon render improvement systems or anything fun like that. (I'm reading up now on the 4DO emulation core for RetroArch...)

I do know that M2 emulation got some news in the last two years (the console itself was canceled in production but there were other weird uses of the technology that did come to market) but that's about the extent I have heard about a 3D0 emulation fanbase before this thread.
Yeah the RetroArch core is the way to go. It's a lot more advanced than the stand alone 4DO, which has been dormant for years, and in fact that core was recently renamed Opera, to avoid that confusion.

I have tried it with a handful of games and they worked very well. It seems to have come a long way.
 
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CamHostage

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Too bad the console was way too expensive for me to afford. It had some solid games.

It's sort of weird that the console ended up being expensive, because the whole idea for 3DO was to make it a platform, sort of "set-top-box of games", where a variety of hardware manufacturers could have licensed the technology and made their own 3DO-compliant consoles, either cheaper or more high-end than the one that partner Panasonic launched with. Those plans sadly went practically nowhere (as hardware, it seems like a tough idea anyway because games are typically a loss-leading product on hardware made up for in software,) and prices never came down until the platform crashed.
 
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Isleofsancroy

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It's sort of weird that the console ended up being expensive, because the whole idea for 3DO was to make it a platform, sort of "set-top-box of games", where a variety of hardware manufacturers could have licensed the technology and made their own 3DO-compliant consoles, either cheaper or more high-end than the one that partner Panasonic launched with. Those plans sadly went practically nowhere (as hardware, it seems like a tough idea anyway because games are typically a loss-leading product on hardware made up for in software,) and prices never came down until the platform crashed.
Prices came down in one year. 3DO directly mentioned that more manufacturers would allow them to quickly start dropping the price once Goldstar jumped on and Panasonic put their second model in higher production. It still had a price cut before then it wasn't $700 for too long.

Next episode: The Nuon is amazing and you need to get one NOW!
Tag fits.

Even better, that’ll save a bob or two
Never take advice without considering what model of 3DO you will buy first, depending on the model burned discs can be tricky, and exclusives that only work or play well on a certain hardware model still won't do either if you use a burned disc. Some sites have fixed Iso's though that work on any machine but of course I can't tell you where to find those.
 

Isleofsancroy

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Looking back CD32 was a joke of a system no way in hell would it have been able to pull off Need For Speed much less Doom..
Commodore messed up and they were falling behind. Alien Breed 3D was supposed to be their Doom replacement for the Amiga and CD32 but that was quite the failure and played poorly. But for 3D, nothing was playing anything like 3DOs Need for Speed, Jaguar and 32X were the only 3D systems that could come close and they were still miles away, they couldn't hope to produce those visuals.

3DO had some great games, so it wasn't exactly like some failures like CDi, Amiga CD32 and Jaguar.
SSF2T, Road Dash, NFS, Gex, Fifa, Alone in the Dark were beautiful games on par with Saturn and PSX games (of that time of course).

Also, 3DO was the first (and only if we don't consider Switch) home console with an ARM CPU very powerful for that time
.
The problem with the Jaguar is there are some good games on it, more than people think, but the library is too small. Atari did some dumb stuff early on when the Jaguar started gaining traction that led to many third party games being cancelled and retailers just telling them to go ** themselves, so you end up with an incredibly small library of games with a handful of great games, some good games, and the rest are ok but worst versions of games on other consoles, or just bad games like Bubsy fairy tail or broken games like Fight for life. Atari was also known for not paying developers, which made sure those remaining third parties still leaning on the fence ran far away from that fence.

As for the CDI, that often gets confused for an early Saturn era console because it uses discs, but it was competing with early 90's PC, SNES and so on it was released in 1990. CDI is also the discs themselves, the machines were tagged by Phillips as Interactive computers, but at some point people decided to call the computers game consoles. But there technically isn't a CDI game console in existence, they are just bad media computers that played the CDI discs and they were horribly overengineered and were developed by idiots, so outside some nice point and click FMV games, it ran games worse than any other machine. The CDI 'computer' couldn't play Altered Beast for Final Fight 1.
 

kurisu_1974

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The CDI had a console version tho. I have two of them in the loft for some reason.

 

Isleofsancroy

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The CDI had a console version tho. I have two of them in the loft for some reason.

They never had a console version, they made cheap versions of their lower priced consumer models with the intent to have one of their 'media computers' priced competitively with gaming consoles like the Genesis and Super Nintendo (it wasn't) and both versions came with the presentation controller because they didn't have a game controller finished yet. All you would have seen in the early days were point and click games, simple games like casino titles, chess, golf. and interactive simulators.

The first real games for the CDI came out in 1992. Philips picked things up for games, but by then the Genesis had been out for 3 years and the Super nintendo almost 2 years, and the "competitively priced" players were $200 more until they put out the first game controller. The first controller you may have seen some reviewers and youtubers mention, but that wasn't the controller they were originally working on that was rushed out, they came out with the real controller much later, but for some reason they never put it in any packages with the hardware.

Problem with CDI hardware was that Philips had underestimated CD(Compact disc), so this new CDI disc technology required new hardware built from scratch when Phillips set the CDI hardware standard in 1989. Problem is when they set the hardware, they didn't look at micro computers, they looked at PC, yes PC in the 80's, and not the powerful ones the low-end ones. They also had no idea what hardware was needed for games or advanced animations, they just looked at screenshots in mags and went to arcades and said "we can do that" and left it at that. They also installed a fractured OS with keyboard and mouse support because it was a 'computer' for the TV, an OS which took further resources from games.

You may think that you've seen some good looking games on it, but that's because of the tricks the hardware can do and the benefits of using CDI, which is similar to the benefits of a plain CD. When you actually build a game using CDI hardware itself you get games like these:







The hardware had many problems but discussing it as a games machine, it's easily the most phony "console" out there saved by the benefits of CD like storage space and FMV. Alien gate in the bottom gif is slow, nothing is happening on screen, can't do the basic 2D techniques you expect from a console, and this isn't a badly programmed game it's just hard to get the damn hardware to do anything.

The CDI is often mistaken as a PS13DO era console because it uses CDs but not only does the release date too old to be from that era and was actually (eventually) meant to compete with the Super Nintendo, but the actual hardware is so bad that I am fairly certain, and I've checked, it's the most inferior game machine of the Super Nintendo era in terms of graphics and hardware. Super Nintendo, SNK Neo Geo, NEC Tg16, Sega Genesis, Commodore CDTV, and I would go farther and say it's worse for games than the VIS, another overengineered piece of crap but at least they had a clue of what to put in the hardware for animations and parallax.

Not only could it obviously not run Need for Speed or any 3D game, but it couldn't run Altered beast either, it's fucking junk. What's funny about the whole 'computer' thing is Phillips couldn't even get an internet feature ready until 1996, 5 years after launch. There was an online game released with their internet modem however. Picture this: imagine Wolfenstein 3D, but with most of the details gone, no ceiling, input lag, and running at half the frame rate. Exciting right?
 

Isleofsancroy

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Very engaged homebrew community and games being launched to this day.
Yes, and a lot of that has to do with the secret sauce nonsense from back in the day that got worse after the Jaguar was discontinued. "Guys the Jaguar has the super power, it's not that it's weak but that the tools are bad and that people didn't have enough time to make games, and and and and the one guy said the Jaguar is more powerful than the Saturn and on par with the Playstation with no evidence and who else could you trust if not that guy? But but it's the 68k that's holding back games you have to work around it than it's N64 level." this is still going on now, It's one of the reasons why people often associate the 3DO and Jaguar together as often as they do, because of the myth they are similar. There's nothing similar about them.

I want to clarify that I think the Jaguar has some good software on it, and some of the homebrews look fun, but there's no secret sauce. I'm not saying that the homebrew scene should stop, but it's 2021, it's time to at least admit the Jaguar was just an underpowered machine released too late and was handled poorly by Atari. There is no magical hidden secret sauce in the silicon.

Anyway, you are spot on with the homebrew community, it's freaking massive. You can even get hardware support if something goes wrong with the console itself. It's made the console worth buying for some people if you like what the homebrewers are coming out with.
 

RAIDEN1

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Commodore messed up and they were falling behind. Alien Breed 3D was supposed to be their Doom replacement for the Amiga and CD32 but that was quite the failure and played poorly. But for 3D, nothing was playing anything like 3DOs Need for Speed, Jaguar and 32X were the only 3D systems that could come close and they were still miles away, they couldn't hope to produce those visuals.


The problem with the Jaguar is there are some good games on it, more than people think, but the library is too small. Atari did some dumb stuff early on when the Jaguar started gaining traction that led to many third party games being cancelled and retailers just telling them to go ** themselves, so you end up with an incredibly small library of games with a handful of great games, some good games, and the rest are ok but worst versions of games on other consoles, or just bad games like Bubsy fairy tail or broken games like Fight for life. Atari was also known for not paying developers, which made sure those remaining third parties still leaning on the fence ran far away from that fence.

As for the CDI, that often gets confused for an early Saturn era console because it uses discs, but it was competing with early 90's PC, SNES and so on it was released in 1990. CDI is also the discs themselves, the machines were tagged by Phillips as Interactive computers, but at some point people decided to call the computers game consoles. But there technically isn't a CDI game console in existence, they are just bad media computers that played the CDI discs and they were horribly overengineered and were developed by idiots, so outside some nice point and click FMV games, it ran games worse than any other machine. The CDI 'computer' couldn't play Altered Beast for Final Fight 1.
The Jaguar was an over-priced piece of..........well I mean even AVP couldn't save it....The console was dead on arrival
 

NeoIkaruGAF

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You fail to see how it's relevant because you weren't there.
You got me, bro! Guilty as charged.

Except I’ve been playing and following console gaming since 1990, and I was so fucking there when the 5th gen launched *shrugs*

From my Euro-centric perspective, where 3DO practically didn’t exist, Saturn was barely a blip on the radar and N64 seemed to be Nintendo’s last leg, I know very well how things were back then. Keep assuming, though. That attitude will get you far.
 

kurisu_1974

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You got me, bro! Guilty as charged.

Except I’ve been playing and following console gaming since 1990, and I was so fucking there when the 5th gen launched *shrugs*

From my Euro-centric perspective, where 3DO practically didn’t exist, Saturn was barely a blip on the radar and N64 seemed to be Nintendo’s last leg, I know very well how things were back then. Keep assuming, though. That attitude will get you far.

The guy even invents his own definitions of words like "console" just to fit his narrative. That's where I opted out of this discussion.
 
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DT MEDIA

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It's great to see some love for the 3DO system. It's an interesting machine that tried to revolutionize the medium and while it ultimately wasn't successful, it did pave the way for where videogames were headed. The $700 price tag on its release was horrific, however, and it took a while for the platform to find its footing as a games console, but I do believe it went out on a very strong note.

Kudos to the OP for creating this thread. It's always great to see enthusiasm for classic videogames, even the less successful machines.
 

Isleofsancroy

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From my Euro-centric perspective, where 3DO practically didn’t exist,
And this is why you weren't there and have confirmed you weren't there. You were in a conversation talking about US release dates and the US evolution of the PS library without mentioning where you were from. This does actually matter.

The guy even invents his own definitions of words like "console" just to fit his narrative. That's where I opted out of this discussion.

Like I said before, tag fits.

I didn't "invent" anything, Phillips never released a console. The machine you refer to is just a CDI 450 marketed toward video game players because of its lower price compared to all the other models released at the time. There's nothing about any version of the 450 that's more 'console' than the other. Just because Philips thought they may be able to snatch some of Sega and Nintendo's player base doesn't mean their media 'computer' is a 'console', at best you can say it's a game 'system' which is not the same as a 'console', as a console, stay with me now, is specifically designed to play games in some way, or it's the primary purpose. You can keep thinking it's a console but it's not, sorry.

Some further education for you, the model you call a 'console' can't even play most of the games released on CDI because it's too underpowered for many of them, for others like many FMV games, it can't play them because it doesn't come with digital video capabilities out the box, so you would be locked out of the majority of the CDI 'library' unless you brought a separate digital video cartridge to play some of those games, and you still would have many games inaccessible because of the specs.

But hey if you want to opt-out in petty ignorance go ahead.
 

Isleofsancroy

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The Jaguar was an over-priced piece of..........well I mean even AVP couldn't save it....The console was dead on arrival

AVP did save it, it extended its life span. But AVP popularity was moot because Atari couldn't produce large shipments of the game so people who wanted to buy it couldn't if they wanted to. This is why you can't launch consoles without money, at least after the early 90's.

I wouldn't say the Jaguar was overpriced, it was the cheapest console of all the 3D capable ones but really who though Checkered Flag was a game ready for release? Atari was too focused on trying to fill the gaps in their line up, wtf was Club Drive? I still don't know what the point of that game was but apparently you can beat it.

I was able to get a 3DO at launch back in the day. Escape From Monster Manor was freaking amazing despite being so basic. That was my introduction to FPS games. For all the grief the 3DO gets these days, it really does has some hidden gems.
Manor runs buttery smooth, unlike Killing Time which uh.

Still a good game though, like the FMV characters in the game world.

It's great to see some love for the 3DO system. It's an interesting machine that tried to revolutionize the medium and while it ultimately wasn't successful, it did pave the way for where videogames were headed. The $700 price tag on its release was horrific, however, and it took a while for the platform to find its footing as a games console, but I do believe it went out on a very strong note.

Kudos to the OP for creating this thread. It's always great to see enthusiasm for classic videogames, even the less successful machines.

A lot of stuff on the 3DO ended up with sequels, spin-offs, or finished development on the PlayStation so it was heading in the right direction. I would have liked to see the M2 but 3DO was done loss leading. I liked how many games were PC ports which wasn't common at the time, or played like PC games, maybe the M2 could have been the Xbox 5 years early.
 
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kurisu_1974

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I wonder if all 3DO owners are so condescending. Like I didn't know about the MPEG2 module... Changes nothing about that thing being a fucking console tho. Whatever seems I'll have to just hide this thread to be safe :D
 
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Isleofsancroy

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I wonder if all 3DO owners are so condescending. Like I didn't know about the MPEG2 module... Changes nothing about that thing being a fucking console tho. Whatever seems I'll have to just hide this thread to be safe :D
That's not the issue nor is that the only thing I mentioned, like I said your tag fits, you came in here trolling from the start, now you are misrepresenting posts after getting called out for a false accusation. An accusation that I made up my own definition of consoles because you didn't know that the CDI was never a console which is the truth, nor did Philips release a console. Instead of understanding this and moving on you continue to be distasteful.

The $700 price tag on its release was horrific, however, and it took a while for the platform to find its footing as a games console, but I do believe it went out on a very strong note.
Bringing up your post again, I wholeheartedly agree that it ended on a strong note, most of it's highest rated games were released in it's last couple years, as well as most of its sales and the best of its graphical capabilities, at least for the time it had left before 3DO pulled the plug. Gex itself, which became the best selling 3DO game before it was a pack-in, was released in 1995 about a year before the plug was pulled.

I often think the 3DO was the canary in the coal mine for the rising costs of interactive electronics. Many of the 3DO's problems from start to finish could have been solved if they had more cash or if the material to build the consoles were cheaper. The whole business model 3DO company used only existed because they couldn't release their vision in any other way that was economically feasible.

Look at the Xbox, it lost $4 billion dollars, not because of the common misconception that they spend it trying to fight the PS2 on games and marketing, most of those losses were generated on the console itself and the deals surrounding its production. Like it or not it's very likely we will never see a new R.E.A.L. entrant in the home console space because of this, and we will always have the current 3 options. The only exception would be if someone comes up with a new business model that ends up being successful without needing to be a rich corporation, but I think 3DO had conjured up the only business model that had the possibility of succeeding.
 
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s_mirage

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Hmm, I'm curious, what is the state of 3DO right now? I never hear of new emulators coming out to support it (and if Immercenary doesn't run well, is that the only known-name game that doesn't work?) or anything like overclocking or polygon render improvement systems or anything fun like that. (I'm reading up now on the 4DO emulation core for RetroArch...)

I do know that M2 emulation got some news in the last two years (the console itself was canceled in production but there were other weird uses of the technology that did come to market) but that's about the extent I have heard about a 3D0 emulation fanbase before this thread.

Phoenix is still the best, and most compatible, 3DO emulator, and it has the ability to run games at higher than native resolution. It hasn't been updated in a few years though, which is sad because it does have a couple of compatibility issues still. It does have one significant flaw though: frame pacing. It only updates the screen when the emulated 3DO updates the screen rather than updating at a constant 60Hz. I'm not sure what the rationale behind that was, but it can lead to some frame pacing issues and things like scrolling text looking a tad stuttery at times. Generally it doesn't make much difference as most 3DO games weren't silky smooth anyway.
 
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Trimesh

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I always thought the 3DO was a victim of a combination of the "use 3rd party manufacturers" model and the point in time it came out. The way it was designed and then transferred to production led to long product cycle times and when coupled with the rapid pace of semiconductor development in the early '90 led to features (like a 12.5MHz ARM60) getting baked into the design that were entirely reasonable choices at the time they were selected but had become borderline obsolete by the time the FZ-1 actually hit the stores. You can also see this in the design of the video subsystem - it's been cleverly designed to use as little logic as possible to keep cost, die size and power consumption down. A few years later, when Sony were developing the PlayStation fabrication techniques had improved to the point where targeting a 1,000,000 gate equivalent cell array was a plausible (if somewhat aggressive) design approach.

Seeing as how clever a lot of the logic in the 3DO is, I would have loved to see what those guys would have come up with if they had been given a million gate budget to work with...
 
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Never cared for 3DO as the price of the system was NEO GEO territory and PS1 was around the corner.

I never saw the game in action until YT videos (only saw game ads in mags at thee time), but got to say Foes of Ali looks and sounds awesome for a 1995 game.

 
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kurisu_1974

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That's not the issue nor is that the only thing I mentioned, like I said your tag fits, you came in here trolling from the start, now you are misrepresenting posts after getting called out for a false accusation. An accusation that I made up my own definition of consoles because you didn't know that the CDI was never a console which is the truth, nor did Philips release a console. Instead of understanding this and moving on you continue to be distasteful.

You have been acting like a jerk with your pedantic replies and your moronic "tag fits uhuhuh" mantra but I'm distasteful :D

I'll just leave this here so you can go and direct your anger at Wikipedia instead of me.

Philips's aim with its players was to introduce interactive multimedia content for the general public by combining features of a CD player and game console,[5] but at a lower price than a personal computer with a CD-ROM drive.
 
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Isleofsancroy

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You have been acting like a jerk with your pedantic replies and your moronic "tag fits uhuhuh" mantra but I'm distasteful :D
Still trolling, you can leave at anytime instead of continuing to derail the thread.

This is the 'source' for you excerpt on Wikipedia reference [5]: http://repairfaq.cis.upenn.edu/sam/icets/opttech.htm the word games or game are nowhere on the page. I do not understand why you keep coming back just to continue to prove you know nothing about the CDI, which is a form of CD, or the players. All because you refuse to understand it's not a console and all they did was put their cheapest models out there to compete with the SNES because Philips saw a money making opportunity, LATER. Why were they not doing it earlier? I though you said they made a console? You're going to keep coming back so I'll just leave you with this, you've failed and derailed enough times.

I always thought the 3DO was a victim of a combination of the "use 3rd party manufacturers" model and the point in time it came out. The way it was designed and then transferred to production led to long product cycle times and when coupled with the rapid pace of semiconductor development in the early '90 led to features (like a 12.5MHz ARM60) getting baked into the design that were entirely reasonable choices at the time they were selected but had become borderline obsolete by the time the FZ-1 actually hit the stores. You can also see this in the design of the video subsystem - it's been cleverly designed to use as little logic as possible to keep cost, die size and power consumption down. A few years later, when Sony were developing the PlayStation fabrication techniques had improved to the point where targeting a 1,000,000 gate equivalent cell array was a plausible (if somewhat aggressive) design approach.

Seeing as how clever a lot of the logic in the 3DO is, I would have loved to see what those guys would have come up with if they had been given a million gate budget to work with...
I think based on what we've seen during it's short life, the choice of the processor was perfectly fine. I believe the main problem is they over-relied on the ARM chip alone way too much for tasks. With another chip, or a software method to offload work from the ARM, I think we could have seen games run at higher frame rates and possibly see a bump in texture capability.

But the 3rd-party manufacturer model was a necessity at the time if 3DO wanted to get the a console out within 2 years of designing it. On paper, 3DO could have wooed more investors and partnerships to be able to release hardware themselves, but if that took until 1996 that would put 3DO in an even worse position. A no-name late in the game, releasing a competitor to Sony and Sega with the Nintendo 64 launching the same year? It may have sold equally or less than the Jaguar.

I could only see a delay working if 3DO put out the M2 in place of the 3DO, but they only came up with the M2 after the 3DO. A rock and a hard place.
 

Isleofsancroy

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I never saw the game in action until YT videos (only saw game ads in mags at thee time), but got to say Foes of Ali looks and sounds awesome for a 1995 game.
It was a headliner back in the day, reviews mentioned the realistic (for the time) graphics and what you just said, realistic (for the time) atmosphere.
 

trapexit

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The decision to go with the ARM CPU was very interesting. I am really curious, beyond cost, why they didn't consider something in the 68000 series, possibly an 030 or 040. I can't recall what the best chip was at the time. I do recall however in 1993, 486 system were coming into the main stream. Those weren't cheap at all either.
Performance was decent. The original designs appeared to have a 25Mhz part. I've not found out why they halved it. Would have been a decently more powerful machine had they kept that frequency. Unfortunately, given the design it isn't really possible to over clock the CPU without affecting other components.
 

trapexit

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Yeah the RetroArch core is the way to go. It's a lot more advanced than the stand alone 4DO, which has been dormant for years, and in fact that core was recently renamed Opera, to avoid that confusion.

I have tried it with a handful of games and they worked very well. It seems to have come a long way.
I'm the maintainer of Opera. The core of the emulation is very similar to 4DO. I've not changed much. The code is not the cleanest and getting familiar with it took a while. I mostly spent time improving some very obvious inefficiencies with the rendering pipeline, adding all the different controller support, adding misc features. Ideally all the main components (the CPU, DSP, and MADAM/CLIO) would be rewritten for clarity and performance. I've just a bunch of other projects I'm working on that has taken me away from that work. Most relevant to this crowd... creating a new devkit for homebrew and helping on the software side of a new opensource ODE in the works.
 
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