While some arcadefans go for accuracy, others might go for playing specific games. Not all games are available or playable in emulated form, for some there are simulated or remade versions.
A simulator is a software program that uses optimised code to recreate an arcade experience. A simulator generally uses some of the real arcade data such as graphics and sound. The major difference between a simulator and an emulator is that an emulator is software that mimics the arcade hardware in order to execute the real arcade game code. A simulator does not try to recreate the hardware but recreate the game itself. Therefore an emulator provides an accurate recreation of a game and a simulator a near accurate rendition. A simulator on the other hand is often used when the arcade hardware is too powerful to emulate on today's PC.
An example where a simulator can be used is in games that use 3D graphics. An emulated version would also emulate the 3D hardware while a simulator would use the PC's modern video card's 3D features. The result is a playable game but the graphics might look slightly different. An example of a simulator is the early Nintendo 64 emulator UltraHLE. The software emulated most of the Nintendo 64 hardware but simulated the graphics output in order to get decent and playable framerates. The modern 3D cards have better shading and reflections than the Nintendo 64 had, so the end result was more shiny than the real thing.
Another reason to use a simulator is because some hardware features cannot be emulated. A pinball machine for example cannot be 100% emulated. Modern pinball machines use software and a digital displays, they all react on a physical steel ball on a playfield that is not captured in software. [PinMame] is a combination of emulator and simulator. The software emulates the computer inside the pinball machine (to react on bumpers, flippers and display the scores) but simulates the playfield with a digital ball reacting to programmed physics.
List of game simulators
- PinMame, a pinball simulator
A remake is a newly made version of an old game. The game usually benefits from better graphics and sound.