MiSTer FPGA - Retro Console Hardware


[H]ard as it Gets
Feb 19, 2008
Anyone else messing around with MiSTer? I put one together recently and so far have been loving the experience compared to my RetroPie device. Setup was just as easy as a RetroPie.

MiSTer an open source console/computer hardware simulator project using FPGA hardware, similar to the Super Nt and Mega Sg projects. People create hardware cores that program the FPGA device to simulate hardware. It pretty much eliminates the issues you experience with emulation because the FPGA hardware is acting as the console. That means more accurate games with less slowdown, etc unless it was in the real game. Obviously nothing is perfect but many of the cores have been worked on for well over a year now. The only latency you have to deal with is input and display. But thanks to some creative people, they also have zero latency input devices that use real controllers (SNAC and BliSTer), and almost zero latency USB polling overclocking options available.

Other than the more authentic gaming experience, features like extra sprites, adjusting aspect ratio, adding filters, adjusting pallets and sound, etc. are all present as well.

The downside compared to say a RetroPie or other emulators is that features such as save states and pausing (games that don't have pause or saves) are not supported. You also have to make sure that you return to the menu before shutting off the game so that the core save game memory writes back to flash. There is still some slowdown in some games. Also, the cost is significantly higher than Raspberry Pi hardware as well. But I think those trade offs are some people are willing to make if you are interested in a more authentic experience.

MiSTer info.

A couple of the big players on YouTube are RetroRGB and SmokeMonster
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