ROM image of ultra-rare Atari arcade game dumped and released for MAME

Only a few working cabinets exist of Akka Arrh, an early-80s Atari arcade game that failed in test markets and was not mass-produced. Tucked away in private collections, no ROM image existed of the otherwise fully-functional prototypes—until, the story has it, a repair worker dumped and exfiltrated them.

One well-placed arcade collector with direct knowledge of the extant Akka Arrh cabinets and their owners (who asked for anonymity to "avoid burning bridges") told me "it does sound like this really happened." That source tells me that the victim of the alleged theft is sharing essentially the same story as atariscott with other Akka Arrh owners (who, unsurprisingly, all know each other).

"They were told it was theft from the tech who had access, and apparently there were rumblings about this tech being shady ahead of this release," the collector tells Ars. "It wasn't their board that was dumped, but [they] were pretty upset when the ROMs were released, given the rarity of the machine."

Or,

Arcade Heroes blogger and arcade owner Adam Pratt has his own take, which he shared with Ars:

As it comes across online, it sounds like something is missing... That a technician would come in to a collection to fix something else, break into the Akka Arrh machine, pull out all of the ROMs, burn them one-by-one (which requires a ROM burner and a computer), then put everything back unnoticed doesn't seem plausible to me. Chances are, [Evans] or one of the other two collectors happened to have backed up the ROMs when they first got the machine and that backup either got out, or one of the collectors finally decided to anonymously upload the ROMs.

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Building a high-performance cluster of Gameboy emulators to teach computers to play video games

Kamil Rocki was inspired by the 2016 paper from Google Deepmind researchers explaining how they used machine learning to develop a system that could play Breakout on the Atari 2600 with superhuman proficiency. Read the rest

Tiny Emus: play old games online without hassle

Tiny Emus has in-browser emulators for all the classic 8-bit systems, but also ready links for specific games so you don't have to spend ages tracking them down and configuring them.

Creator Andre Weissflog, via Hacker News:

The emulators are written in C(99), with some platform-specific bits written in Objective-C and Javascript, and in C++ for the UI parts (since Dear ImGui is implemented in C++). Apart from the WebAssembly version, Win32, Linux, OSX and iOS is also supported, but you need to compile those yourself

The selection's limited but Weissflog's really nailed the "just let me play" UI, so hopefully more's to come. Read the rest

OLIVE: a system for emulating old OSes on old processors that saves old data from extinction

Olive ("Open Library of Images for Virtualized Execution") is an experimental service from Carnegie Mellon University that stores images of old processors, as well as the old operating systems that ran on top of them, along with software packages for those old OSes; this allows users to access old data from obsolete systems inside simulations of the computers that originally ran that data, using the original operating systems and applications. Read the rest

Yuzu emulates Nintendo's Switch

Yuzu is an experimental emulator for Nintendo's Switch console. No, it does not run commercial games.

It is written in C++ with portability in mind, with builds actively maintained for Windows, Linux and macOS. The emulator is currently only useful for homebrew development and research purposes. yuzu only emulates a subset of Switch hardware and therefore is generally only useful for running/debugging homebrew applications. At this time, yuzu does not run any commercial Switch games. yuzu can boot some games, to varying degrees of success, but does not implement any of the necessary GPU features to render 3D graphics.

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Emulate ancient NES games on an ancient Amiga

A/NES is a Nintendo Entertainment System emulator for the classic Commodore Amiga. You'll need an enhanced chipset (too bad, A500 owners!) and you'll want a good joypad to enjoy those old console games.

It was coded by Morgan Johansson (me) and Fredrik Schultz. The emulator is entirely coded in 680x0 assembler and optimized for classic Amiga hardware.

Features * Full 6502 emulation * Batterybackup support * GUI :) * Action Replay and Game Genie codesupport * Sound! * Famicom Disk System emulation (W.I.P) * Two player support * Support for XPK compressed files * 100% 680x0 assembler. :)

Someone, not me, should run this in an Amiga emulator running in DOSBox on a Mac and report back. Read the rest

Atari 2600 emulated inside Minecraft

Seth Bling built a functioning Atari 2600 emulator in Minecraft. Not just the processor, or the box, but the whole thing, complete with cartridges and a television. The white flashing line you see in it is the television's scanning electron beam being emulated. You can watch dirt blocks turn to stone and back: that's the ones and zeroes in the Atari's memory. You can edit the memory, bit by bit, by punching it!

It takes Minecraft about three minutes to draw each frame, but Bling recorded a timelapse of it in action. Click through to the YouTube for a download of the Minecraft world housing the emulator. Here's a technical explanatory video:

Previously: Extremely Mundane Places In Minecraft Read the rest