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Best NES emulator for macOS?
https://forums.nesdev.com/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=17807
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Author:  thefox [ Sat Sep 15, 2018 11:37 am ]
Post subject:  Best NES emulator for macOS?

I've been using macOS for a while now as my primary operating system. I was looking for an NES emulator a couple of days ago but couldn't find anything definitive.

Any ideas/experiences?

Author:  rainwarrior [ Sat Sep 15, 2018 1:12 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Best NES emulator for macOS?

OpenEmu seemed to give me the best emulator user experience for the mac: https://openemu.org/

It has two NES cores, the default one is slightly updated from a very old version of Nestopia, and the other one is more or less the last stable release of FCEUX (but no debugging features).

If you can stand RetroArch's interface, it has similar capabilities and sort of the converse set of cores for NES: Nestopia UE and some older modified version of FCEUX. :P

If you need something for debugging though, I'm not sure what to suggest. I understand you can run the Windows ones with homebrew/wine but I haven't gone into that myself.

Author:  Banshaku [ Sat Sep 15, 2018 7:37 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Best NES emulator for macOS?

Here's my experience up to now on mac:

- If you are looking for emulators for dev, there is no appropriate one with debugger that are native
- most native ones (nestopia) that I'm aware were ported by Richard Bannister. They are working but maybe old by now. I don't know it other than nes one have debuggers
- fceux sdl version is available with homebrew if you need one for quick testing
- if you need debuggers, you need to use wine with fceux-32 win, nintendulator
- or if you use java then you can use nintaco but don't have much experience with it yet
- Mesen "work" but cannot run with mono because of mono winform support is still with carbon 32 and doesn't work with latest version of os
- I think mesen did work with wine but debugger was unfortunately slow (thus my reason to use my old winpc instead) and for some reason my main partition has a borked wine and cannot find the cause
- I do not have experience with openEmu (remember the name, don't remember why I was not using it) but I may try it out now to know what it offer

As for toolchain, since everything can run from bash, what runs on linux/wsl should run without issue on a mac usually. As long you have homebrew you should be fine. If not, you can always compile it if source available.

If I remember anything else I will be more than happy to update it. If you have any question, don't hesitate to ask :)

edit:

Just did a quick test of openEmu and when you try nes (inside famicom category) its need to download a "core" to make it work. In that case, it uses the Nestopia one. Seems to be a nice emulator "frontend" (I don't know if this is accurate to say that way) to play multiple console and would be more resent that Richard's one but no debugger. But still, it may be useful to play games since there is not much emulators like this one on the mac.

Author:  thefox [ Sun Sep 16, 2018 3:15 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Best NES emulator for macOS?

OpenEmu seems quite nice, thanks!

Kind of strange how the "built-in" homebrew games work, though. It wants to download the game again every time I start it.

Author:  Banshaku [ Sun Sep 16, 2018 7:11 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Best NES emulator for macOS?

Yes, it seems nice for playing games. If it work well for other platform like sms gb, pce etc then it's quite useful for playing game in general.

As for the nes core, I didn't realize that Rainwarrior already wrote about that. I answered too fast without checking the details of the previous post. My bad ^^;;

Author:  samophlange [ Sun Sep 16, 2018 11:23 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Best NES emulator for macOS?

You could try Nintaco. Its written in Java, so "should" work on MacOS. I played around with it a little bit and it seemed promising, but once I found Mesen I haven't gone back to give it a longer look.

Author:  Banshaku [ Sun Sep 16, 2018 7:44 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Best NES emulator for macOS?

But Mesen is unfortunately slow on macOS if you make it run with wine. The best is with mono, like on linux but MacOS has poor support of that.

Author:  slembcke [ Wed Sep 19, 2018 8:05 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Best NES emulator for macOS?

I use Nestopia on Mac/Linux primarily. I even have a phony makefile target to launch it which is handy. Richard Bannister's Mac port was updated recently, and his ports are always really high quality. He's been maintaining a dozen or so emulators for like a decade at this point. https://www.bannister.org/software/nestopia.htm

Nintaco works Ok, and Messen works with a mild amount of fiddling with Wine, but I've never actually needed to use the debugger in either. Both use *way* more CPU/battery on my laptop where I've been doing most of my NES dev.

Author:  davecom [ Fri Sep 21, 2018 8:17 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Best NES emulator for macOS?

samophlange wrote:
You could try Nintaco. Its written in Java, so "should" work on MacOS. I played around with it a little bit and it seemed promising, but once I found Mesen I haven't gone back to give it a longer look.


Over the summer I created a similar thread about the best Mac emulator for dev work that you can find by searching the forum. I am going to second the recommendation of Nintaco. It has just about all of the features you need for basic emulator development and it's easy to install.

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