Gamers from back in the day will recognize “Glide Wrappers”, probably even fondly. These little gems allowed those of us that were not fortunate enough to own certain hardware to play games that were made for that hardware (PC gamers only folks). Specifically 3DFx games, and emulators, could be played on computers that didn’t contain a 3DFx graphics card, somewhat. Some games and emulators worked better than others and it still mattered what hardware you were running as that complicated the compatibility situation too. Now thanks to a new, upcoming PC emulator, we should be able to play 3DFx games rather easily – at least that is what is purported to be happening- when we get our hands on PCem.
I remember using Glide wrappers so that I could play stuff like Mupen64, or some other Nintendo 64 emulator, with higher frame rates and better graphics. I also remember fumbling with Glide wrapper so that I could play Tomb Raider (in something other than “software” mode) and Nuclear Strike (I had it on Playstation but come on, the allure of higher resolutions was just too hard to resist). There were plenty of other titles that I wanted to play in higher resolution, or better than the low quality that software mode offered, but was hardly able to get many of them running. When they did run it was usually at a low frame rate as there were problems here and there that kept them from running well (usually the wrapper I was using was crap or my video card was simply not good enough).
Why am I telling you all of that? Because those days are gone, or at least hopefully will be when PCem is released. Right now there are only some gameplay videos available and the knowledge that certain, key, players in the gaming world are able to use PCem right now (like a closed beta test of sorts).
The gameplay videos (embedded in this article) feature Turok: The Dinosaur Hunter and Need for Speed III: Hot Pursuit. Both are running quite well and look great, as good as my rose colored glasses wearing memory implies they looked like. Unreal has some problems but it still is running quite well (maybe the game was not “all of that” in the first place?).
Emulators like PCem expand the available games library for modern gamers. While we don’t condone piracy here at RGM we do support those that wish to keep the past alive, whether publishers want to or not (and when they do, we will be there championing their efforts as well).