June 30, 2009 | by Andrew Kameka
Retro gaming on Android is something that many might hold dear. It is a welcome dose of nostalgia to play Nintendo games on Android or play Sega Genesis games on Android. And while technology may have made video games far more advanced than most could have imagined, it’s still a blast to fly in Super Mario Bros or trade “hadoukens” with Ryu and Ken in Street Fighter.
Android devices with a physical keyboard are able to play NES, SNES, and Sega Genesis games thanks to Nesoid, Snesoid, and Gensoid. The three apps by the same developer are the first to provide a decent retro gaming experience on Android. This is done through emulation and ROM’s, which – despite what you may have heard – are not clearly-defined as legal. ROM’s are still copyrighted material and there has been no court case to sanction downloading a ROM, even if a user owns a physical copy. Read more on emulation law here and here.
Muddy legal waters aside, the “X-oid” gaming systems are successful at varying degrees. The frame rate in Nesoid is smooth and the audio quality is passable, which are both noticeable improvements on the first gaming emulators seen on Android. Gensoid and Snesoid, however, still have issues of lag when audio is turned on; they have a 40-50 fps frame rate compared to Nesoid’s 60 fps. The games are tolerable but not smooth enough just yet.
The ability to load ROM’s from the SD card then leads to a massive source of entertainment limited only by time, tastes, and storage space. After testing several ROM’s on each system, it seems that Nesoid, Snesoid, and Gensoid are each capable of consistently loading ROM’s. Each app can even save states like progress on a memory card that can be reloaded at another time. Along with the fully-customizable button configuration, this makes for good gaming.
For those of you who came of age in the 80′s or 90′s, the Oid emulators are able to transform you back in time to your long gaming sessions. All it takes is a Google search and a purchase in the Android Market to travel down memory lane. Gensoid and Nesoid have some fluidity issues to resolve, but Nesoid is prime for business.
- Fully-customizable keyboard configuration
- Smooth frame rate in Nesoid
- Consistent ability to load ROM’s stored on SD card
Apps: Nesoid, Snesoid, Gensoid
Price: $2.99 USD each