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New At games Genesis/megadrive!


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#26 Flojomojo OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Jul 21, 2008 5:38 AM

"AtGames exclusively manages Sega's platform game library, including Sega 8 bit, Sega MegaDrive/Genesis, Sega CD, Sega Saturn and Sega Dreamcast for OEM in Greater China for worldwide shipment."

Curiouser and curiouser!

Sega Saturn! If they do anything with it, whoo-hoo!

#27 onmode-ky OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jul 30, 2008 10:03 PM

A review of this product is up: Aeropause's AtGames Sega Megadrive Twin Pad Player Review. This line might be of interest: "I gave the cartridges a thorough cleaning and while they work fine on my Genesis, most of my games don’t work on this system. Only Toejam & Earl works perfectly, and I wonder if I won’t find an issue somewhere along the way if I play it long enough." So AtGames' portable Megadrive had sound issues and a tendency to reset, and now their Twin Pad Player system has compatibility problems with a number of original cartridges. Not such a good record so far.

onmode-ky

#28 nathanallan OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jul 30, 2008 11:54 PM

ordering an mp4 player looks to be a real pain. Is there some special way you're doing it?

I think I missed this question (don't even know if it was for me, but here goes). Drop shipping and buying from factories in China. There isn't as much red tape as I thought, but translating is a real chore. I have a friend that'll help me when it gets to that point. I have realised that to order stuff, you have to pay for it and I have a slight lack of funds right now. So. Stuff is kind of at a standstill right now.

A review of this product is up: Aeropause's AtGames Sega Megadrive Twin Pad Player Review. This line might be of interest: "I gave the cartridges a thorough cleaning and while they work fine on my Genesis, most of my games don’t work on this system. Only Toejam & Earl works perfectly, and I wonder if I won’t find an issue somewhere along the way if I play it long enough." So AtGames' portable Megadrive had sound issues and a tendency to reset, and now their Twin Pad Player system has compatibility problems with a number of original cartridges. Not such a good record so far.

onmode-ky

Sounds like it's being emulated with software rather than using compatible hardware. What a way to screw the pooch. I would have done the same, played with it first but then I would have taken it apart soon after. I just do that :)

Any word on the cart that goes with it? How about the main processor? The genesis used a 68000, and it would be neat to see what this thing uses (if it isn't a 68K).

Nathan

#29 Reaperman OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jul 31, 2008 7:30 AM

http://www.play-asia...en-70-2wit.html
Vectorman + Vectorman 2 + Columns + Eternal Champions + Bonanza Bros. + Comix Zone + Ecco II: The Tides of Time + Ristar + Phantasy Star III

I'm'a need me sum 'that.
Right quick-like too.

Edited by Reaperman, Thu Jul 31, 2008 7:31 AM.


#30 Flojomojo OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jul 31, 2008 2:41 PM

http://www.play-asia...en-70-2wit.html
Vectorman + Vectorman 2 + Columns + Eternal Champions + Bonanza Bros. + Comix Zone + Ecco II: The Tides of Time + Ristar + Phantasy Star III

I'm'a need me sum 'that.
Right quick-like too.

All that and more, for $20:
http://www.amazon.co...n/dp/B000HQBZOM

#31 Reaperman OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jul 31, 2008 10:32 PM

http://www.play-asia...en-70-2wit.html
Vectorman + Vectorman 2 + Columns + Eternal Champions + Bonanza Bros. + Comix Zone + Ecco II: The Tides of Time + Ristar + Phantasy Star III

I'm'a need me sum 'that.
Right quick-like too.

All that and more, for $20:
http://www.amazon.co...n/dp/B000HQBZOM

that defeats the purpose. If I wanted emulation, I'd choose any number of products that I already have and never use.
Where in cart form, that multicart would work really well in a nomad.

Edited by Reaperman, Thu Jul 31, 2008 10:37 PM.


#32 Asaki OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Aug 1, 2008 1:41 AM

All that and more, for $20:


Dangit, you had me all excited that Amazon had RedKid cart info =(

Not as cool as the real hardware, but it might be halfway playable with one of these: http://www.play-asia...-en-70-imb.html

Though some of us don't have PS2s ¬_¬

#33 panamajoe OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Aug 6, 2008 10:33 AM

Got mine yesterday from Play-Asia, and i must say that i´m pretty pleased with it!
Yes the sound ist a bit off (especially in Sonic+Knuckles) and the thing feels a bit cheap but overall i´d say that the build-quality is OK. The joypads are responsive, and you get two of them.
I tested Ghouls´n´Ghosts (PAL) with the Twin-Pad Player and it works just fine; picture quality is great, and when i switch the system to NTSC it display the Japanese version of GnG! nice!

#34 onmode-ky OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Aug 16, 2008 11:09 PM

I thought I would pass along some info I recently found about these AtGames Genesis/Mega Drive products. While AtGames is the Sega license holder, the actual hardware in their products was designed by someone else. Specifically, they were done by a company called Digital Media Cartridge. Take a look at this press release from 2005: Digital Media Cartridge's Titan 1.0 32-Bit RISC Chip. I searched for more info about this company but could not determine whether they were still active. However, I did find some other interesting info. For example, 2 consultants who worked for the company: Resume for Marat Fayzullin shows that this guy worked for them from 2005 to 2007 and did "hardware design and software techniques for emulating hardware," particularly "gaming hardware platforms based on dual ARM, 68000, and Z80 CPU cores." Also note this LinkedIn page for Toshiyasu Morita, who consulted for DMC briefly. The page notes: "Analyzed 68000 interpreter running on an ARM implementation and recommended several strategies for improving performance. Fixed sound bugs in an OPN 4-op FM synthesis emulator." These two resume notes indicate that AtGames' hardware actually uses an an emulator (interpreter for the 68000 running on 32-bit ARM architecture) rather than something like the Flashback 2 (which actually runs the original binaries directly in hardware). Incidentally, Morita was pretty well qualified for helping them with Genesis emulation, since he was Sega of America's Technical Director for 7 years, as noted in his resume and in this Sega-16.com interview. Strange, though, that his resume specifically mentions fixing sound bugs, yet we still have complaints about the sound in these AtGames products being inferior. Maybe there were still bugs, or just hurdles he couldn't overcome.

The most interesting part of this for me (aside from Morita's involvement) was finding out that there really is at least one example of a plug-and-play (or standalone handheld) product which runs an emulator. Usually, you get re-coded ports running on hardware like Sunplus or Winbond architectures (check out this resume from a former interactive technology senior manager at Jakks Pacific--it's a Word document, but Google can display it as HTML for you), and sometimes you get hardware that natively runs original binaries (e.g., Flashback 2 and C64 DTV), though still not necessarily with full original behavioral replication. That someone actually went the path of using software emulation is a bit surprising, since it generally would be more expensive. I guess they found an economical way to do it this time--though they still needed at least 2 consultants to do it.

onmode-ky

. . . You know, I seem to remember reading somewhere that Digital Eclipse's Atari Paddles TV Game for Jakks Pacific used an emulator to run the original Atari binaries on Jakks' hardware (if it was a 32-bit architecture, I suppose emulating something as primitive as the 2600 wouldn't really be hard--but I do wonder if they did the same for that excellent rendition of arcade Warlords). Was it here at AtariAge where I read that? Maybe.

#35 famicommander OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Aug 17, 2008 1:37 AM

I prefer my original SEGA hardware. I've got a Genesis 1, a Genesis 2, and a Nomad. I'm pretty set on that front.

#36 Asaki OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Dec 5, 2008 11:55 PM

So is there still no info on the Redkid cartridges, or are they not even close to coming out yet?

Play-Asia still says TBA, but it seems like every time I watch a product there, it stays in "TBA" forever and then goes straight to "out of stock" >_<

#37 panamajoe OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Dec 8, 2008 1:33 PM

yeah, i guess the Red Kid Cartridge is just some vaporware

#38 nathanallan OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Dec 8, 2008 3:57 PM

I ws under the impression that the rdekid carts were gonna be only slightly modded Genesis carts. It may be a mistake to remake older carts for newer games.

I have yet to get mine (time is coming soon), does it indeed play Genesis carts? Who has one?

#39 Avon Fox OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Nov 18, 2011 4:29 AM

I picked one of these up in a pawn shop ultra cheap today and have to agree, it's a little cheap feeling but it works a treat. The controllers are the cheapest feeling part and I've not yet dug out my SEGA ones to test and see if it works.
The sound in Sonic & Knuckles is a little off running on the built in game but when you play the actual cart it was fine; at least mine was.
Has anyone tested it with NTSC / Region 1 games? I've tested it with PAL Region 2/4 only.

EDIT: I should add that mine doesn't have the NTSC/PAL switch on the back like some seem to have. I pulled the shell apart and it appears to have the solder points for it with P/N printer on the PCB so I'll have to test it and see if it auto detects the region and switches or whether I have to solder a switch on and if that's going to work.

Edited by Avon Fox, Fri Nov 18, 2011 4:54 AM.


#40 onmode-ky OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Apr 12, 2013 11:04 PM

A few posts above, back in summer 2008, I wrote about my findings looking into the technical underpinnings of AtGames' Sega systems. Namely, I talked about them being emulators running on an ARM-implementation CPU produced by AtGames/Digital Media Cartridge, called "Titan." In the nearly 5 years since, the Web in general (including me) has assumed that all the Sega (and presumably also Atari) anthology systems they have released in the intervening years have continued to be based on the same setup. I wonder if that's really true, though.

The LinkedIn page for Sheng Yang shows that, as a longtime employee of Digital Media Cartridge, he worked on the Titan SDK in 2005/2006. However, it also says the following for the period between 2006 and 2009:

Conducted technology transfer. Implemented several novel image, video, and audio processing algorithms on RK and RK2 to improve their display quality. RK is a 16-bit game IC which is fully compatible with SEGA MD platform. RK2 is an enhanced RK with better visual and audio quality, and more stable performance.


These RK and RK2 chips sound unrelated to Titan, which was specifically described in its 2005 press release as being a 32-bit processor. Meanwhile, RK's description makes it sound like it natively runs Mega Drive/Genesis 68000 binaries (which does not necessarily imply complete fidelity, of course). But, I thought to myself, perhaps this was a project that did not result in any actual consumer product, and all AtGames' stuff really still runs in an emulator on the Titan. Then, however, I found this post at the Sega-16.com forum, containing an image of what is supposedly the PCB inside the most recent AtGames Sega product, from late last year (that was the topic of the discussion thread, and the author of the post with the picture is the person who started the thread). Ignore the callout text, as that could be pure speculation, but note the "SAT-RK2" printed at the top of the PCB. "RK2," right there, with what looks like a board revision date of the very end of 2010.

To my knowledge, AtGames has never actually said that they are still using a Genesis emulator running on the Titan ARM implementation, and I don't think there are any statements from people really "in the know" to that effect, either. We have simply all assumed that. So, it could be true that RK/RK2 is a Genesis-on-a-chip that has replaced the Titan in AtGames' Genesis products (and seemingly even replicating its predecessor's inaccuracies, like the out-of-tune music). The next step in this investigation, then, is to try to wrangle a statement out of AtGames, no? For that, our best bet might be Bill Loguidice.

onmode-ky

#41 onmode-ky OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Sep 13, 2013 4:52 PM

I have news to share! My speculations in the post above that AtGames' latest Genesis/Mega Drive systems have been based not around a software emulator running on an ARM implementation, but rather a Genesis-compatible (mostly) RK2 chip, are indeed true. But that's not the biggest news here. No, the biggest news is:

our assumptions that AtGames Genesis systems run via emulator on their Titan ARM have been incorrect since at least the very beginning of this topic, over 5 years ago!

Take a look at the first few posts in this topic. Do you see the references to "RedKid cartridges"? It turns out that the "RK" in the RK and RK2 16-bit chips' names is merely an abbreviation for "RedKid"! While the term "RedKid" was shortly superseded in the consumer-facing space by "Firecore," this means that since at least mid-2008, AtGames' Genesis systems have run not through emulation on an ARM but rather through Genesis-on-a-chip hardware. Obviously, it is not a 1-to-1 perfect GOAC, but then, compatibility is a frequent issue with NOACs as well.

What does this revelation mean for the consumer? Nothing, really; what you're buying is still a device that plays Genesis games with varying degrees of fidelity. However, everything that has been discussed around the Internet about AtGames products using an ARM derivative and a Genesis emulator has been wrong, at least for the past half decade. While it is true that they worked on a Genesis emulator on ARM architecture, and it is true that they developed an ARM-based chip called "Titan," we don't actually know for sure (yet) if those two things were ever used in an actual released product. If they were, that was only done for a couple of years for so, before the advent of the RK chips.

History is written corrected by the victors researchers!

onmode-ky

#42 Gemintronic OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Sep 14, 2013 1:52 AM

Most of the At Games unbranded units and asian clone portables seem to be running 68k code for their ROM loading menus.  This doesn't surprise me.



#43 onmode-ky OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Oct 29, 2013 11:12 AM

Regarding the RedKid series of chips that AtGames has been using in its Sega Genesis compilation plug-n-play systems, I found a claim in a Sega-16.com thread last year that it's actually derived from the single-chip Genesis implementation that Radica created for their Arcade Legends (later renamed "Play TV Legends") Genesis systems in cooperation with Sega Toys (who sold them in Japan). There was no concrete proof given on that point, but the user did give a link to the summary of a lawsuit that he/she claimed led to that development. Starting from there, I found a partial trail that does seem to support the claim.

The lawsuit cited is the only easily locatable part of a series of lawsuits, probably because it's the only one in a US District Court, rather than a California state court. The legal action story seems to start with Radica filing suit against AtGames. There is no date given for that action in this August 2005 SEC filing, but it says:
 

Previously, Radica Macao had filed suit in the California Superior Court, Los Angeles County, West District, against the attorneys representing AtGames. The Radica Macao complaint alleged misappropriation of trade secrets, conversion and unfair business practices. This suit has recently been settled on terms satisfactory to Radica Macao which are designed to protect its proprietary information.


The "previously" in that is in relation to the filing's primary topic, other legal conflict between Radica and AtGames during 2005 (which I'm about to get to). What we do get dates for, combining the US District Court case's summary and the SEC filing, are the following (note that the undated "previously" suit likely took place after some of these dated events, particularly the first one):

- January 4, 2005: AtGames obtains an exclusive OEM license from Sega for their old platforms' software library.

- March 2005: AtGames sublicenses some Sega titles to Jakks Pacific (almost undoubtedly for plug-n-play purposes). Recall that Digital Eclipse converted a few EA Sports Genesis titles to the Sunplus SPG110 for Jakks Pacific. I don't know precisely when that was done (though Jakks' EA license acquisition itself was announced in July 2004), but a January 2005 Amazon.com user review proves it was released earlier than this action. As the conversion was primarily done via an automated, custom tool (created by noted Atari 8-bit programmer John Harris), further Genesis projects likely could have been done with minimal resource investment. The Genesis library was thus probably that much more attractive to Jakks--or, well, maybe Jakks would have just used AtGames' Titan hardware, but I think it would not have been to their satisfaction.

- March 2005: AtGames sends a letter to Radica, challenging their exclusive plug-n-play Sega license. Radica meets with Sega and threatens them with legal action if Sega allows AtGames' Jakks agreement to proceed. Sega decides to side with Radica.

- April 2005: AtGames commences arbitration against Sega, scheduled to begin in November 2005.

- June 13, 2005: AtGames launches a civil suit against Radica in California Superior Court, "alleging intentional interference with contract and unfair competition."

- July 12, 2005: Radica files to get the action moved to federal court, based on a legal convention about foreign arbitral awards.

- October 7, 2005: US District Court grants AtGames' motion to remand back to state court, based on the fact that no arbitration agreement exists between Radica and AtGames.

That's all I have, unfortunately. Nothing about what actually happened during the AtGames-Sega arbitration. What the Sega-16.com forum user asserts is that the settlement resulted in a sharing agreement between Radica and AtGames, including Radica's Genesis hardware forming a new base on which AtGames built their subsequent Genesis products.

There is one AtGames-side element that vaguely supports this assertion. My LinkedIn quote in post #40 of this thread, from the AtGames engineer, says about the RK/RK2 (RedKid) chips, "Conducted technology transfer." When read with no context, this phrase could have many possible meanings. With Radica added into the picture, though, it suddenly could refer to the transfer of Radica's Genesis technology to AtGames, then getting modified to become RedKid.

Therefore, it does seem quite possible that AtGames' 2012 Sega Genesis plug-n-play systems are direct descendents of Radica's 2004 Arcade Legends Genesis line. An interesting find! Radica itself, meanwhile, was bought by Mattel in 2006 and is no longer in the plug-n-play market (they do other tech toys for Mattel now).

onmode-ky




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