MAME For Windows is a great free emulator that lets you play thousands of games for PC! The tool’s purpose is to preserve decades of software history. As electronic technology continues to rush forward, the app prevents this important “vintage” software from being lost and forgotten. This is achieved by documenting the hardware and how it functions. The source code to the app serves as this documentation. The fact that the software is usable serves primarily to validate the accuracy of the documentation (how else can you prove that you have recreated the hardware faithfully?). Over time, the app absorbed the sister-project MESS (Multi Emulator Super System), so the program now documents a wide variety of (mostly vintage) computers, video game consoles and calculators, in addition to the arcade video games that were its initial focus.
What is MAME?
MAME formerly was an acronym that stood for Multi Arcade Machine Emulator, documents and reproduces through emulation the inner components of arcade machines, computers, consoles, chess computers, calculators, and many other types of electronic amusement machines. As a nice side-effect, the app allows using on a modern PC those programs and games which were originally developed for the emulated machines.
At one point there were actually two separate projects, MAME and MESS. The software covered arcade machines, while MESS covered everything else. They are now merged into the one MAME. The tool is mostly programmed in C with some core components in C++. MAME 64-bit can currently emulate over 32000 individual systems from the last 5 decades.
In order to use this software you need a ROM image with the game data. Most of the game images that are available on the Internet cannot be used unless you also own the arcade machine or a license. Fortunately, the developers can provide you with a few game ROMs that can get you started and help you understand the interface.
A new toolchain for Windows, based on GCC 4.4.3 prerelease, is now REQUIRED. Go to http://mamedev.org/tools to get the new tools. The code included with 0.137 WILL NOT BUILD with the old tools. The new toolchain has support for building 64-bit MAME builds with GCC, as well as built-in DirectX headers, and C++ support, which was missing from the old tools.
Non-Unicode builds of Windows MAME are no longer supported. The options to turn this off in the makefile have been removed, and future changes are likely to solidify this requirement. If you are still (God forbid) running on Win9x, you will need the unicows.dll library to run MAME. Download unicows from Microsoft.
The application can be run in command line mode in order to view the list of available commands and to enter the command arguments. This allows you to customize the display brightness, the input devices, and the video options applied to the emulator.
If you have at least an installed game you can launch the application interface from the executable and play the game. The interface is very simple and allows you to select the game from the list or to customize the player controls before starting to play. You can also use the mouse to move the cursor in order to quickly navigate through the options.
All code in MAME is now compiled as C++, plus there have been a few small changes that take advantage of the C++ language. For the most part, there is no effect on how drivers are written, except for some nicer accessors to devices and address spaces. Future improvements to take advantage of the C++ syntax will evolve slowly, and will be done internally. We are not interested in outside attempts to do this work
The SDL OSD for MAME is now shipped as part of the main source package. SDL builds for Windows are now regularly built as part of the validation sequence for a new release. Thanks to R. Belmont, couriersud, and Olivier Galibert for their work on the SDL port over the years.
Each game has specific requirements that are displayed when launching the application. However, it should accommodate any computer since they are designed to be used on machines with less processing power. In or tests, the program ran smoothly and required an insignificant amount of memory.
MAME is a good solution for the users that want to play a video arcade game without buying an entertainment machine.
||Intel Core series CPU or equivalent, at least 2.0 GHz.
||4 GB RAM.
||Any DirectSound capable sound card/onboard audio.
||Mame Emulator For Windows Software V 0.224
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||The MAME Team