Atari 7800 on PSP

The Atari 7800 was a bad system the day it came out, and it is at least as bad today. There isn’t much to be said for any electronic device that sounds like this, especially not one that is supposed to entertain you.

Still, the passage of time can play tricks with one’s mind. For those with a severe case of gaming nostalgia, here are the emulators for PSP that can replicate the 7800 in all its ear-piercing infamy.


Yet another emulation work by Ludovic Jacomme (aka ZX-81), PSP7800 is a port of version 1.2 of the ProSystem emulator. This isn’t his most optimised work - some of the games won’t reach full speed at 222 Mhz.


Of course, you can always increase the clock rate up to the full 333 Mhz in the settings, and hit the 60 FPS rate. But for such a weak system, that feels downright wasteful.


An annoying peculiarity of ProSystem is that it only takes one version of the BIOS at a time. So you’ll need to rename the BIOS file every time you switch between European and American games, otherwise the emulator will get stuck at the Atari logo.

There is also a fork of PSP7800 created by a guy calling himself Underball. This build supposedly upgrades the port to version 1.3e of ProSystem, but I don’t really see much of a difference between the two in terms of performance or accuracy.


RetroArch: ProSystem core

When you read “RetroArch” and “PSP” in the same sentence, you can safely sum it up as “inexplicably slow and unoptimized” and be right 90% of the time.

The rule applies to the ProSystem core as well. Don’t bother with it.


Leading image: “Lord_Arse” from Twitter.