Wednesday, May 10, 2006
I knew the latest Flash Virtual Machine was rebuilt from the ground up and that it realized significant performance improvements, but I didn't know it was fast enough for C64 emulation. This kind of "serious" emulation using Flash was out of the question before the release of the new FVM and AS3.0. The details surrounding this project are a little thin though, particularly regarding the configuration of the hardware it was running on when they clocked 6MHz CPU emulation speed.
In any case, it was fast, even for only emulating the CPU — a key choke point for any emulator. The C64 is a sophisticated machine and emulating all of the necessary subsystems so that it can play games will surely put the new FVM through its paces. (For instance, the C64's disk drive had its own onboard CPU, which alone would cut the performance of the emulator in half when accessing the drive unless some shortcuts are used to speed up emulation but reduce game compatibility.)
Perhaps Flash will start getting more love as a true application platform now versus a "skip intro" player — especially considering that it enjoys more ubiquity than pants.