The GUI of ZSNES
|Original author(s)||zsKnight, _Demo_, pagefault, and Nach|
|Initial release||0.150 / October 14, 1997|
1.51 / 24 January 2007
|Written in||x86 assembly, C, C++, PSR|
|Operating system||Linux, DOS, Windows, Mac OS X, FreeBSD, Xbox|
|Type||Video game console emulator|
|License||GNU General Public License Version 2|
Development of ZSNES began on 3 July 1997 and the first version was released on 14 October 1997, for DOS. Since then, official ports have been made for Windows and Linux. The emulator became free software under the GPL license on 2 April 2001. Despite an announcement by adventure_of_link stating that "ZSNES is NOT dead, it's still in development" made on the ZSNES board after the departure of its original developers zsKnight and _Demo_, development has slowed down dramatically since its last version (1.51 released on 24 January 2007). Much of the development efforts concentrated on increasing the emulator's portability, by rewriting assembly code in C and C++, including a new GUI using Qt.
ZSNES is notable in that it was among the first to emulate most SNES enhancement chips at some level. Until version 1.50, ZSNES featured netplay via TCP/IP or UDP. The way sound is emulated in ZSNES is different compared to other Super NES emulators (e.g. Snes9x), or an actual Super NES hardware.
Due to being written in low-level assembly language for x86 processors, it is not possible to port ZSNES to devices using RISC processors. Other than the original Xbox, no mainstream gaming console has ever used an x86 processor prior to the eighth generation, with the 2013 releases of the Xbox One and PlayStation 4.
With the development of more accurate emulators such as Snes9x and higan along with computers generally being more powerful, ZSNES has been criticized for its relatively low accuracy. This has also caused several fan-made translations and modifications designed around ZSNES' inaccuracies to be unplayable on newer emulators and real hardware.
In 2015 an exploit that allowed a specially crafted SNES ROM to gain control of the host system, and thus be able to execute malicious code, was discovered in version 1.51; a fixed build was released shortly afterwards.
- badinsults (9 October 2009). "ZSNES is not dead, it is still under active development". Retrieved 23 July 2010.
- grinvader. "Re: Current Status FAQ". ZSNES board. Retrieved 24 October 2011.
- "ZSNES GUI 3.0 the first screenshot". ZSNES board. Retrieved 24 October 2011.
- Deathlike2 (3 November 2007). "No Port requests". Retrieved 23 July 2010.
- "Retro Coverdisc". Retro Gamer (15): 108. 2005.
- Byuu. "Accuracy takes power: one man’s 3GHz quest to build a perfect SNES emulator". Ars Technica. Retrieved 24 October 2011.
- "#792420 - zsnes: emulator escape vulnerability - Debian Bug report logs". Debian. Retrieved 28 July 2016.