During the console wars in the early 90s, the two main competitors were the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES) and the Sega Genesis/Mega Drive.
But being a kid at that time it was likely that your parents would only buy you one of these consoles since they both cost a lot and the games weren’t really cheap either.
So, because of this, it would usually split the playground down the middle with either Sega or Nintendo’s fanboys.
In my case, we were a Sega household but luckily, we did get a Super Nintendo right at the end of its life cycle with about 5 games.
After the console war was long over I often heard about the top SNES games on the internet such as Super Metroid, Star Fox and even Super Mario World which I never got to play.
But with emulation, you play all these games I missed out on as a kid with Snesx9x.
What is Snes9x?
It’s a portable, freeware, Super Nintendo Entertainment System or SNES emulator.
This enables you to play games from the SNES on machines running Mac OS, Linux, Windows and it’s even now available in GooglePlay for tablets and smartphones.
The emulator also supports games from the Super Famicom (Japanese Super Nintendo) so, this also means games that were never released outside of Japan are playable in the emulator.
The SNES emulator Snes9x project was founded by two guys Gary Henderson and Jeremy Koot who worked on other SNES emulators like Snes96 and Snes97. Over the years the emulator has been collaborated on by many talented programmers, some of which are credited in the files.
So How do I use it?
Well, you need to make sure you have a computer that can run the software before you worry about how it works. The software is not very demanding as its quite old now and runs easily on your smartphone.
System Requirements –
- Windows 98/2000/XP/Vista/7.
- DirectX 6.1b or later.
- 300MHz processor BARE MINIMUM (1GHz+ rec for best settings.)
- 16MB RAM BARE MINIMUM.
- DirectSound capable sound card.
As I say these are low specs and even the crappiest computers should be able to run this software. These stats would probably have been considered high-end years ago but now I’m sure 99.9% of you would be able to use it.
In terms of using the software, you would need to download it (Google’s your friend) and once you have it extract the files onto your machine. If you don’t have DirectX on your machine it may flag up an error that a file is missing from your computer when you try to launch it otherwise it should open the first time.
Once open you will be faced with the settings and functions of the emulator where you can set your controls, configure your display, load your save files, and run your SNES ROMS.
SNES ROMS, what’s that? quick definition – ROMS (Read Only Memory) is a small piece of hardware within a plastic cartridge case that can be connected to a game system or home computer and for you young cats out there, in the 90s this was your game.
They can be used to load software such as video games or other applications. A SNES ROM is just a ROM that has game software which was originally for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System.
One of the cool things about this emulator is that it supports the following controller types:
- Multi-Player 5 – also known as the multi-tap this is a five-player adapter enabling you to play with 4 others on games that support it
- Super Scope – This was a large bazooka type gun that would be connected to the Super Nintendo
- Justifier – This was the same as the super scope but a gun design instead of a bazooka
- SNES Mouse – Yep the Super Nintendo also had a mouse for some games, such as paint or creative games
All of these work through the keyboard, mouse or your USB gamepad.
Another amazing thing that I’ve heard of but not seen myself is net-play. You can apparently play with up to five other players all on different computers either all playing the same game or watching each other play.
All the computers would need to be connected to a network that allows for TCP/IP Traffic to flow between them including local ethernet style network, and direct cable connection.
There are detailed files of how to use this in the extracted files that come with the application. Now just imagine this in the 90s, I wonder if it would have changed the game industry similar to the original Xbox…
From what I have seen of the emulator through videos and people I know that have used it, I think it plays most of the SNES library games really well. Fast games from Super Mario Kart to F-Zero ran flawlessly other games like Donkey Kong Country 2 also ran very true to the original with very slight frame-skip issues (speed inconsistency).
You can also save the game in the game or through the emulator with the save state function. This lets you save the game at any point whether at the start screen (not that you’d ever need to do that…) or mid-play However, you have to click on the function every time you want to use it instead of keyboard shortcuts which can really kill the pace if you use it frequently.
The interface was simple and easy to use and just looked like an old windows program, I know to some this doesn’t matter but I’ve seen some emulators have nice visual touches.
The controller was very easy to setup and it had a nice touch showing you the original Nintendo controller so you can map your buttons more accurately.
On the whole, this software is very cool and a nice entry into the world of emulation. You can be up and running quite quickly playing Nintendo classics in no time at all.
This concludes all I wanted to say on the Snes9x Emulator, please remember to share this with your friends and join the mailing list to get more from EmulatorLowdown.