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View Full Version : New version of great gaming console emulator SmartGear (soon) out!

08-15-2007, 04:08 PM
It’s pretty much unnecessary to introduce SmartGear (http://www.bitbanksoftware.com/SmartGear.html) for any Windows Mobile game / emulator freak. It’s a MUST for ALL MS Smartphone (both 176*220 and QVGA) AND QVGA Pocket PC users – it’s WAY faster than any other emulator on low-speed devices and has few bugs (most importantly, speed issues on (W)VGA Pocket PC’s and lack of Genesis / Sega Megadrive sound emulation), as is also pointed out in several of my previous articles (http://www.pocketpcmag.com/blogs/index.php?s=SmartGear&sentence=AND&submit=Search).

Thanks to the courtesy of the developer, Larry Bank, I had the chance to “test drive” the new version, which will be released VERY soon. Now that he has modified the code so that audio emulation takes precedence over video emulation (even at the expense of, on VGA devices, excess dropped frames), you’ll very rarely (if ever) hear sound problems any more if you use the default frame dropping configuration. That is, you make sure both the “Throttle farmerate” and the “Skip every other frame” checkboxes are both checked in. Note that I had slight problems with the sound in GBC emulation (with 1062 - Wendy - Every Witch Way (USA)(Menace)) – I don’t know if other GBC titles exhibit the same behavior.

Now that sound emulation gets absolute preference, you’ll see MASSIVE frame drops on (W)VGA Pocket PC’s if you enable sound (and, even without sound, the frame rate is definitely inferior to that of the top emulators of the given gaming platform). My recommendation is, therefore, that you do NOT use this emulator if and only if you have a (W)VGA Pocket PC. If you, on the other hand, have either any MS Smartphone (no touch screen devices) OR a QVGA Pocket PC, you MUST check out SmartGear – you’ll simply love it, it’s, thanks to having partially been programmed in assembly, WAY faster and battery-friendlier than any other emulator currently available.

Don’t forget, however, that this emulator still doesn’t have support for Genesis / Sega Megadrive sound emulation and on-screen tap / button areas, which are important for many Pocket PC users. However, as you’re entitled to lifetime upgrades if you purchase a license, I still recommend purchasing this emulator, even if these are a problem for you and/or even if you have a (W)VGA Pocket PC. After all, it’s pretty cheap and BitBank Software is well-known for their constantly upgrading their products – I’m pretty sure these bugs / problems will soon be fixed and, hopefully, on-screen tap zones will also be added.