DOSPAD - DOSBox for iPad/iPhone


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#1 ApOkwARG

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Posted 13 August 2010 - 11:25 AM

It recently came to my attention that DOSbox has found it's way to the iPhone and iPad. I'm sure many XCommies will automatically realize what this means. Keep in mind however that this port is still in a early development stage. As shown in the screenshots, it is capable of running TFTD but i'm sure UFO will also. Currently the performance is quite lackluster but this will hopefully be fixed in time.

This app only runs on Jailbroken devices.

dospad_xcomtftd1.jpg dospad_xcomtftd2.jpg


Source:
Developer website
Thread on touchArcade

#2 Bomb Bloke

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Posted 13 August 2010 - 01:28 PM

Lessee now, Google tells me the iPhone and iPad have CPU speeds ranging from about 600mhz to a 1ghz (though apparently these are underclocked in some cases to run even slower, in order to prolong battery life and keep temperatures down).

Unfortunately I haven't had much luck with DOSBox on that sort of hardware (I've found +2ghz is preferable for UFO/TFTD - they were sluggish on my old 1.5ghz computer and crawled on my 733mhz Xbox), so I'm not sure "updates" will be able to improve performance to an acceptable level. Cranking the frameskip may produce some results, though.
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#3 ApOkwARG

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Posted 13 August 2010 - 02:18 PM

I actually have X-COM running quite decently on my Sony PSP which runs at only 333mhz. PC hardware and operating systems are designed to execute and run a plethora of tasks where a mere game console is designed to dedicate it's resources only to gaming. This is why console emulation on PC often requires a lot of processing power, even though the game console is quite "weak" on paper.

This is why it could work on the iPhone/iPad. Did you know it can run Amiga games at full speed?
Eventually the performance all depends on the quality of the code/port and the understanding of the platform it is running on >:]

Hopefully the developer won't give up easily and keep the updates flowing. Projects like these often die fast.

#4 Bomb Bloke

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Posted 14 August 2010 - 02:09 AM

Regarding emulation, the emulator has to run not only the game, but virtual versions of the hardware the game expects to be dealing with (for example, DOSBox has to emulate a CPU, a least one disk drive, memory structure, video card, sound card, input devices, DOS... and a game). This is why emulators, no matter how well written, are never as fast as direct ports - they have a lot more work to do.

It also doesn't help that a lot of modern systems (console or otherwise) are designed with multiple cores in mind. For example, most games these days rely on a GPU to get a lot of the work done. Emulation of older single-threaded stuff can't easily be split over multiple processors, meaning that a lot of the host machine's system power goes to waste.

What this means is that the PSP is arguably better suited for playing "native" games (two 333mhz processors and a 3D graphics card), while the iPad/Phone should be better suited for emulation (up to around a full 1ghz on a single processor). So, there's definitely hope there if the PSP is handling it.  >:]
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#5 Guest_Guest_Neil_*_*

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Posted 28 October 2010 - 07:16 PM

I installed the DosBox Beta on my iPad and loaded XCOM. it loads the startup video and plays the audio. The strategy screen works and you can get into the base screen. But it crashes in the tactical screen. The mouse movement is very cumbersome.

#6 Guest_UNDERSCORE_*

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Posted 13 April 2011 - 04:25 AM

View PostBomb Bloke, on 14th August 2010, 2:09am, said:

Regarding emulation, the emulator has to run not only the game, but virtual versions of the hardware the game expects to be dealing with (for example, DOSBox has to emulate a CPU, a least one disk drive, memory structure, video card, sound card, input devices, DOS... and a game). This is why emulators, no matter how well written, are never as fast as direct ports - they have a lot more work to do.

It also doesn't help that a lot of modern systems (console or otherwise) are designed with multiple cores in mind. For example, most games these days rely on a GPU to get a lot of the work done. Emulation of older single-threaded stuff can't easily be split over multiple processors, meaning that a lot of the host machine's system power goes to waste.

What this means is that the PSP is arguably better suited for playing "native" games (two 333mhz processors and a 3D graphics card), while the iPad/Phone should be better suited for emulation (up to around a full 1ghz on a single processor). So, there's definitely hope there if the PSP is handling it.  :)


My friend, i am a PSP developer, and i am confused as to where you got the idea that the PSP has 2 333 MHz CPUs or Cores. It has a single core 333 MHZ CPU underclocked to 222 MHz. Some games can cause the CPU to run at full speed, but the only way to get it there consistantly is with a CFW. if you have any questions about the psp, please feel free to ask a dev in #psp-hacks on irc.dashhacks.com

#7 Bomb Bloke

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Posted 15 April 2011 - 06:15 AM

I was referring to the media engine chip thingy. I know it's mostly locked down, and probably can't be treated as a proper CPU, but I didn't want to entirely short-change the system.
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