Yesterday saw the release of the new MAME 0.120, the Multi-Arcade Machine Emulator. If you’re using Windows, you’ll find MAME32, the Windows port for MAME more to your liking (The following FAQ describes the difference)
When I noticed this new milestone, on top of the fact that the XBOX360 arcade at the Microsoft Visitors Center reminded me of how much I miss these oldies (especially Street Fighter II) I just had to get some games working on my laptop.
Quick steps for getting arcade games to run on your machine:
- Download and extract MAME32
- Get some games (ROMs)
- I found what I was looking for at http://www.rom-world.com
- The MAME FAQ specifies the following legal options:
(1) Search for auctions (on eBay for example) of the actual arcade circuit boards, and buy a ROM reader device to copy the ROM chips’ contents into files.
(2) Buy the HotRod Joystick control panel. It is bundled with a CD that includes MAME and a few 100% legal Capcom ROMs. Hanaho also sells the ArcadePC cabinet with a different selection of legal Capcom ROMs.
(3) Buy legal Atari arcade game ROMs from StarROMs for prices varying between $2.00 and $6.00. You can even get one free game for signing up!
(4) There are also three free ROM sets available right on the official MAME site, in the miscellaneous downloads page.
- Start MAME32 and browse to the game you’ve downloaded. Check the directory name (on the Directory column) and copy the game to a sub-folder with that name under the roms folder.
- Double-click to run the game…
Now how about taking you arcade experience to the next level?
After a short search on the net I found GameEx which is a graphical front-end for MAME (and a bunch of other emulators) that integrates with Windows Media Center allowing you to simply browse and launch your game your game directly from your Media Center interface.
And not to complete the experience arcade joysticks. A company called XGaming is selling a Two-Player Arcade Joystick for about 130$. There are also XBox 360 arcade joysticks available out there that can be used with a PC using a proper adapter.
So it turns out that I can upgrade my Home Theater PC to a full fledged arcade machine that would kick XBox360 Arcade’s ass in about 150$ (15$ for GameEx and ~130$ for joysticks)
Should be an interesting project to get this thing running once I get back to Israel…