Hello everyone, I've been following the progress of arcade emulation in the past 3 years and lots of good things happened. CPS3 has been emulated, NAOMI emulation is making huge progress at the moment and so on. However, it's clear that there's an industry shift towards PC based architectures and commodity hardware for arcade boards. In the last decade, most commercial game consoles had arcade counterparts (Sega Dreamcast - NAOMI, Microsoft Xbox - Chihiro etc.). Now we also have custom PCs used as arcade boards (Taito Type X, X+, X2, Sega Lindbergh, Europa-R, Ringedge etc.) PC-based boards are much, much more cheaper - standard hardware (Intel, AMD, Nvidia) and development tools (DirectX, anyone?), easy porting, seamless hardware upgrades and countless other advantages. I do believe Sega, Taito and other arcade manufacturers will eventually completely switch to custom PCs. When the emulator developers will eventually tackle these PC-based arcade boards, how will they proceed? As far as I can think, there are two alternatives. 1. Emulate the whole stack: PC BIOS, standard PC hardware, operating system, custom proprietary hardware. Basically a virtual machine, like Virtualbox or VMware, only slightly customized in order to emulate specific hardware used in the arcade board. PC hardware is well understood, anyone can download and use free virtual machine software, so it's a problem of cracking the protections and tweaking the VM. (3d support in VM software is currently at the experimental stage, but it will eventually get much better, to the point of cherry-picking the video hardware to emulate). Purists, like MAME, will probably want to follow this path and create a driver for the whole thing. Of course, the downside is long development time, hardware beasts needed to emulate recent Intel processors and powerful graphic cards etc. 2. Just crack the protections and implement some compatibility layer, so that the games will run on today's computers. Recent Windows operating systems are backwards compatible, so technically there's no reason these arcade games won't run on your Windows XP/Vista/7 box, except for the protections implemented by the manufacturer (i.e. USB security dongle and custom proprietary I/O board in the case of Taito Type X). Crack the protections and free the games! If this is achieved, everyone with a decent computer will be able to play the games at decent framerates. Yet, this is not emulation. Maybe I don't know what the hell I'm talking about, but I do believe this is a legitimate question, after all. As far as the emulation scene is concerned, are PC-based arcade boards a blessing or a curse? Will they make things easier or the opposite?