A brief on Mister

A brief on Mister

The future of emulation??


This isent really ment to be a guide or a tell all about what the Mister can do. It will do different things for different people. There are a huge amount of old computers, consoles, and arcade games that can be run on it. This is more about my expierence with the device.

So it was about 4 months ago I dident have any retro games outside emulators and I decided I was going to go full send on a setup with all the games I want to play. My parents found me a Genesis and N64. I then aquired a Super Famicom off ebay. Bought Everdrives for all 3 and was pretty happy ripping through all my childhood favorites on a crt tv. After a while I really wanted a Neo-Geo but some quick napkin math told me Id be looking at around $2000 for a console, some controllers, the right hookups, and a flashcart. This was just out of the question and right around the time someone on Shacknews here suggested Mister.

I was quite skeptical as I already have a raspberry pi and its cool that it can play the games but it also kinda sucks. I could also just play emulators on my computer but that kinda sucks too. Also the de-10 nano board Mister is based on is quite old already.

So why using fpga is better than just regular old emulation?? Emulators are computer programs that execute code one command at a time but since our modern computers are so incredibly fast they can do that and still play the game at full speed. This is great but its not accurate and if you have a favorite game from back in the day that you played to death you can feel the difference and in some cases its completly game breaking.

Using FPGA is not like this because we are using the magic powers of the FPGA chip to simulate the real system and it is infact very close to playing on original hardware. In direct comparsons against my Genesis and Snes Iv come away with some interesting findings. Snes I prefer to play on real hardware and that is mostly because because of a minor bug in the analog video output that throws the colors off a bit. It only happens with Snes and is not an issue over hdmi. Genesis on the other hand gets blown out of the water by this thing. I have a model 2 Genesis. I get crappy video and sound out of it. But with Mister Im getting perfect component video out and I can even select to use the sound chip out of the very original Genesis consoles. It sounds alot better than the later systems.

For me the real star of the show is Neo-Geo I have never played on a real console and outside a few of the games in the arcade when I was a kid. Iv tried on emulators a few times but always finished feeling fusterated like somehow the games were impossible to get anyware in. But no that was just good old emulator lag. These games are absoultly spectacular and if you got someone to play with are even better. Im really enjoying just browsing the library in search of hidden gems and Iv found quite a few.

On the techinical side of things it was very fiddly to get setup but not really that difficult. Im very impressed that it outputs both analog and digital video at the same time and switching between old and modern screens is no hassle at all. Iv used it on 3 different modern screens a C9, a Samsung NU8000, and my friends tv that Im not sure what it is. In all cases the input lag was noticible a little bit when directly compared to a crt but was far better than emulators. You also get the advantage of having proper digital output rather than the mess old consoles paint on a modern screen without expensive upconverters.

The only thing I have left to talk about is the price. I will be about $450cdn in on this thing not counting the controllers and I dont even have a real case for it yet. This sounds expensive until you start doing the math on real hardware, proper hookups, and upconverters if you are going to use a modern tv and then its kinda a bargin

mario scanlinesIv seen it asked quite a few times if you can have scanlines on a modern display and the answer is yes!


Id post more screen shots but they just come out like postage stamps and we all know what these games look like.

From The Chatty
  • reply
    December 21, 2020 8:23 PM

    godm0de wrote a thing!

    Read more: A brief on Mister

    • reply
      December 21, 2020 8:26 PM

      Mr. MiSTer

    • reply
      December 21, 2020 9:32 PM

      Thanks for writing up your experience! It was me, I am the Shacker that suggested it to you after you talked about getting a sketchy Neo-Geo multi cart! I’m glad you didn’t support those things. This is the way,

    • reply
      December 22, 2020 6:39 AM

      The cost keeps me away at the moment, but Mister and FPGA emulation are the future of classic videogames.

    • reply
      December 22, 2020 6:44 AM

      One of these days I'll have to pick one of these up.

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