MAME 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.
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.
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, and Olivier Galibert for their work on the SDL port over the years.
||Intel Core series CPU or equivalent, at least 2.0 GHz.
||4 GB RAM.
||Any DirectSound capable sound card/onboard audio.
||Mame Software For Windows V 0.224
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||The MAME Team