DS vs Emulator: Which do you prefer?


Nov 7, 2012
I prefer emulators. I like not having to worry about battery life and being able to multitask with it on my computer screen while I do other things at the same time. Though, a DS would come in handy if I were to travel, but I don't want to spend all that money that I don't have.
Emulators are easier but at the same time I like the controls for the DS. I mean, they're designed that way to make it easier. I've had few games where I prefer the emulator over the actual handheld it's designed for. But that's mainly me not being patient and learning the new controls. It is simple because it's using a keyboard, it just feels weird to me.
The good thing about Emulators is that they will always be far more customizable than the hardware they emulate. But the trade off almost all the time is the performance. Emulators are the kinds of things I use after the hardware cycle of that system is over and the games start becoming hard to find/ rare.

So for me, I'd go with the DS.
I have a real DS and an emulator and, financial issues aside, I can only think of two substantial differences between them. As far as I know, there aren't any DS emulators with mic support, which limits the playability of certain games by a good bit. However, you can't underestimate the utility of whenever saving and seemingly infinite space for save files. In this, I think there's room to pick the platform most convenient for the game you're playing.
How well does an average computer handle DS emulation? Are there a lot of glitches? I ask because 15 years later there still isn't a perfect Nintendo 64 emulator out there.
I've seen some decent emulation for the DS. If you can find someone who has ever Lets Played a DS game most likely they are using some form of emulator or a capture card (I'm not entirely sure if capture cards can get handheld footage though. Sorry I'm not knowledgeable about that part) Of course there are several forums across the web dedicated to emulators. If you want an expert you could seek out one of those places.
I have a 3DS so i just play that but for older consoles I like emulators. I do like the actual consoles too and still purchase games for my SNES, Genesis and NES but I like using emulators too because you don't gotta worry about those pesky save batteries on the cartridge when using a ROM.
I've only ever played DS games as emulations on a friend's computer. They ran just fine (well, I can't make a comparison to a real DS, but there weren't any obvious glitches or anything.) I don't have the technical know-how to set them up on my own, and I don't own a DS. I'd like to though. Does anyone have any links to emulation forums or tutorials for setting up a DS emulator on Windows 7? I can't remember the names off the top of my head but there were a bunch of games I liked for that platform and I wouldn't mind being able to play them again...
I recently discovered that my smartphone could emulate Nintendo games. My phone is touchscren, so I sometimes found it difficult to keep my eyes on the gameplay, and on where my fingers were touching. With a physical DS, the buttons are raised, so you can feel where each button is. I prefer the physical DS to the Emulator on smartphones but as for emulating games on Windows 7, It's not an awful experience, but i still prefer to be holding an actual DS.
I would rather the actual handheld version. I don't often play them, but when I do, it's usually while traveling or something. If I'm playing at my computer, then I tend to go with other games anyway. If I'm away, though, I love having a DS or gameboy of some variety instead.
I would prefer playing on an actual DS, just because it's that much more amusing, being able to hold it and tap with the stylus and all. Emulators are still great too because you don't have to buy games at all, you can just download everything and off you go. You also don't have to worry about battery life, which is pretty awesome.
I like the DS because I can play it whereever. It's very hand on long train rides or if I'm stuck waiting in a line somewhere. I use emulators sometimes but mainly for old console games.
While I enjoy emulators, I have to say it doesn't match up to the actual DS. I mean take a game like The World Ends With You - good luck doing quite a few things on that game. It doesn't mean you can't beat the game, but it's a lot more difficult than it might be cause you're denied a large portion of gameplay. Emulators really work best for games that don't use all the capabilities of the system like the mike or buttons and stylus or whatever. Still they have their usage and I enjoy them.
I prefer using an actual DS, but with emulators it is much more convenient for me. When using an emulator on your phone you don't have to carry the whole DS. This makes it way more portable than a DS. With an actual DS on the other hand you get online capabilities that an emulator cannot offer. They both have their pros and cons.
In all honesty, I prefer emulators to anything because I have spent most of my life in front of a computer.
However, there is a certain feeling to it when I'm playing games on my DSi (which is now broken :( ). It reminds me of the good ol' days of the GameBoy :rolleyes:

Also: I can lay in bed and play games on my DSi, while I would have to sit in front of my computer if I used an emulator :D
I prefer emulators because you can download any game you want, plus you don't have to buy any of them either. I used to carry my Nintendo DS until I have found there was a good emulator that ran very smooth, which it cost about $7.99 to download. I played the emulator version on my smartphone quite often and get used to all the controlling buttons much easier than the console's controller. I can download any Nintendo DS games I want without any charge. I personally think Nintendo games can be quite expensive because I can't afford to spend $40 on each game.
pandandesign said:
I can download any Nintendo DS games I want without any charge.
No advocating piracy on the forum.
I'm not a big fan of emulators in general. Just not my bag. I may just be a gaming hoarder though. I have yet to decide. I like to play the game on it's original platform with original controllers. I'm the type of person who cannnot stand to use off brand controllers also. I can say that emulators are great when you want to play a game you do not own and is currently worth hundreds of dollars. That's a nice touch.
I played a lot of emulators for the gameboy advance but I haven't tried any for the DS yet. I mssed a few titles last generation, like Radia Historia and I can't find it anywhere in stores so I may have to resort to one soon.
I like the emulators because they allow me a lot more freedom then playing them on the ds and I never have to worry about losing my games and about the battery going dead every time I decide to play it for a long time.

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