Over the last month or two I’ve discovered Launchbox, and somewhat ravenously been configuring it, emulators, ROMs, etc in all of there glorious ways. Around 6 years ago I built a 4P MAME cabinet and initially discovered the joy of using front ends to launch a myriad of emulators.
Six years ago Hyperspin was the business. It was, while a little convoluted and disjointed, the best front end around and worked a dream once I got all the additional bits and pieces configured and a lifetime subscription to EmuMovies setup. Alas, times change. I wasn’t actually looking for a new front end or to build a new emulation machine, I was actually just stalking around the internet trying to find the creator of MEAGRE so that I could try and figure out just what I’d messed up when I broke the ExoDOS collection… this lead me to the Launchbox forums and after a quick read I decided to investigate what it was all about, and that quickly inspired me to grab a spare PC I had no current use for and see what it was all about.
Since then I’ve barely gone a day without playing a game on it or learning to configure new systems, even to the point where I’ve started emulating systems that I’d previously had zero experience or interest in – but with Launchboxs content creator making step-by-step video tutorials for individual systems it was just too easy to set them up. So why not, right?
My collection is now at all-time highs, and I’m emulating a tonne of games that I’ve never played and never been able to emulate before (note: Games that I physically own, specifically GameCube, Saturn, and Dreamcast titles). I’m also incredibly impressed that the emulation community is not only alive and kicking but absolutely thriving, with more and more improvements on retro systems happening all the time. Specifically the Sega Saturn emulation which took a quantum leap in emulation quality within the last few months.
With LB’s active community and driven development it’s quickly going to catch up to where parts of Hyperspin have been for some time, but with a much stronger base product. The super-constant updates providing more features, more improvements, and more optimisation all the time has got me absolutely LOVING it.
Now I just need to decide if I rebuild my cabinet PC with LB…. it definitely needs a cleanup of games to strip it back to just cabinet compatible titles, but I’m cautious of how Launchbox will play with WinIPAC and the keyboard emulation…. time will tell I guess!