Jump to content

Photo

Sega Arcade Classic and Arcade Ultimate Portable Review

sega atgames mega drive genesis

81 replies to this topic

#1 Bill Loguidice OFFLINE  

Bill Loguidice

    Stargunner

  • 1,656 posts
  • Armchair Arcade Managing Director
  • Location:Central New Jersey, USA

Posted Thu Aug 30, 2012 9:06 AM

In this video, I take an exclusive early look at the Sega Arcade Classic wireless game console and Sega Arcade Ultimate Portable handheld player from AtGames, both of which will be released in the US in time for the holidays. This is part 1. Part 2, which will be released a week or so after, will feature more live footage to get an even better sense of the quality of the systems and their capabilities.

The YouTube link: http://youtu.be/WrRxpQPEkvw

The blog post on Armchair Arcade: http://www.armchaira...m/neo/node/4891

#2 madmax2069 OFFLINE  

madmax2069

    Dragonstomper

  • 800 posts

Posted Thu Aug 30, 2012 7:01 PM

Meh, and they still can't get the sound right, effects missing ir wrong, and wrong tones.

Much rather spend more for an actual Genesis and a flash cart then to buy one of these.

Definitely need to show more game play, I'd like to see streets of rage, sonic, road rash, and or other well known game.

Edited by madmax2069, Thu Aug 30, 2012 7:04 PM.


#3 Bill Loguidice OFFLINE  

Bill Loguidice

    Stargunner

  • Topic Starter
  • 1,656 posts
  • Armchair Arcade Managing Director
  • Location:Central New Jersey, USA

Posted Thu Aug 30, 2012 7:28 PM

You'll see it sans capture glitches when I post part two, which features live play, in about a week. The missing sounds, graphics, etc., won't be present.

#4 madmax2069 OFFLINE  

madmax2069

    Dragonstomper

  • 800 posts

Posted Fri Aug 31, 2012 12:53 AM

These have the same issues as some software emulation does, the sounds are skewed in tone, it substitutes the correct note for the wrong one, or a screwed up version of the note.

Compare it next to a real Genesis and you will see. Its one of the major complaints about these units.

#5 Atariboy OFFLINE  

Atariboy

    River Patroller

  • 4,782 posts
  • River Raider
  • Location:North Country

Posted Fri Aug 31, 2012 4:51 PM

The handheld looks very interesting.

But does it support both rom formats? As I recall from an earlier Genesis plug and play that was shaped like Sonic's face with wireless controllers that sucked (I'm assuming it's AtGames as well since the menus seemed similar to what I saw in your video), it only supported one of the two common file formats for Genesis roms. And every collection like GoodGen that I downloaded had a mix of both file types. So it wasn't nearly as useful as it could've been.

Also that plug and play I own seemed fully compatible with PAL releases. I was able to play Super Skidmarks and F1 World Championship Edition with zero issues on my NTSC televisions. I'd love to hear if such compatibility remains now that it appears like they're inching towards creating something actually worth using unlike past products with very shoddy build quality and horrible audio reproduction that were largely only useful as a novelty (I bought it to check out SD support).

Also does the handheld have a cartridge slot? How about controller ports like the console version so you can use your own accessories when playing it via tv/out? Can it be powered by an AC adapter? Do either of them of them support Virtua Racing? And how about the Everdrive cartridge if you own one? I suspect those are big questions people would like answered. I know at least I would. :)

And I suspect some would like to hear about 32X and Power Base Converter support for the console although it seems unlikely that they're accurate enough to support those accessories (If they even physically fit on the console).

These have the same issues as some software emulation does, the sounds are skewed in tone, it substitutes the correct note for the wrong one, or a screwed up version of the note.

Compare it next to a real Genesis and you will see. Its one of the major complaints about these units.


In their defense, the audio sounds far closer than their earlier attempts. It isn't obviously incorrect like it used to be. It used to be you'd have no issues in many games just identifying that the audio isn't anywhere close to being correct. It was plainly clear it was very off even if you were unfamiliar with a game.

Now, I think you'd have to do side by side comparisons or be very familiar with a game in question to declare the audio as being off.

Edited by Atariboy, Fri Aug 31, 2012 4:58 PM.


#6 Bill Loguidice OFFLINE  

Bill Loguidice

    Stargunner

  • Topic Starter
  • 1,656 posts
  • Armchair Arcade Managing Director
  • Location:Central New Jersey, USA

Posted Fri Aug 31, 2012 7:19 PM

I only tried the one ROM format, but I'll try the other one (point me to an example you'd like me to try), as well as Virtua Racing. This does work with any region's games. No, the handheld does not have a cartridge slot or controller ports, just the console (and in the handheld's defense, it has a compact form factor for it, and the price is very low). The console does not have an SD card slot. There is no AC adapter for the handheld, just the USB cable, but you can play it when you power it via USB, so functionally that's the same thing. The 32X and Power Base converter won't work with it--both of those require the original Genesis hardware. I do not own an Everdrive yet, but as mentioned, it had trouble with homebrews, so it may have problems with that as well. At some point I'll be able to test that, but I suspect others will be able to beat me to it.

#7 Atariboy OFFLINE  

Atariboy

    River Patroller

  • 4,782 posts
  • River Raider
  • Location:North Country

Posted Fri Aug 31, 2012 9:02 PM

Thanks for the answers. :)

Hope they produce something one of these days that combines their SD function with the ability to use original controllers. Toss in S-Video support and do a bit more work with the audio reproduction here and it sounds like they're have something worthwhile for a Genesis fan, particularly those without an Everdrive cartridge that want to be able to load up an entire romset and play at their tv and don't mind losing Sega CD/32X/SMS support.

As for file extensions, looks like I have .bin, .smd, .gen in my collection. At least one of these formats would refuse to load on my earlier AtGames Genesis plug and play and I'm pretty sure two of them refused to work. I have an entire GoodGen set that looks like it all ends in .gen, so I'm assuming that failed completely to work for me since I remember downloading a bunch of roms somewhere else individually that was a mix of .smd and .bin.

And only one of those file extensions would load up for me.

Edited by Atariboy, Fri Aug 31, 2012 9:03 PM.


#8 Bill Loguidice OFFLINE  

Bill Loguidice

    Stargunner

  • Topic Starter
  • 1,656 posts
  • Armchair Arcade Managing Director
  • Location:Central New Jersey, USA

Posted Fri Aug 31, 2012 9:28 PM

Thanks for the answers. :)

Hope they produce something one of these days that combines their SD function with the ability to use original controllers. Toss in S-Video support and do a bit more work with the audio reproduction here and it sounds like they're have something worthwhile for a Genesis fan, particularly those without an Everdrive cartridge that want to be able to load up an entire romset and play at their tv and don't mind losing Sega CD/32X/SMS support.

As for file extensions, looks like I have .bin, .smd, .gen in my collection. At least one of these formats would refuse to load on my earlier AtGames Genesis plug and play and I'm pretty sure two of them refused to work. I have an entire GoodGen set that looks like it all ends in .gen, so I'm assuming that failed completely to work for me since I remember downloading a bunch of roms somewhere else individually that was a mix of .smd and .bin.

And only one of those file extensions would load up for me.


I think the problem with adding S-Video support to these products is that that connector has fallen out of favor with most TV manufacturers and is not even present on many new sets. It's a far superior connection over composite for the Genesis-era systems, but I sadly don't see it happening on new hardware. I think we'd more likely see component or even HDMI on future versions of these projects, even if its another generation or two out.

#9 Atariboy OFFLINE  

Atariboy

    River Patroller

  • 4,782 posts
  • River Raider
  • Location:North Country

Posted Fri Aug 31, 2012 10:48 PM

Wouldn't mind component. You'd be hard pressed to find a modern high quality SD CRT that didn't have a component input so it would be beneficial even to classic gamers and would be even better than S-Video. But component seems set to follow the disappearance S-Video ports have made over the past 2 or 3 years so if maximum compatibility is their goal, the window seems to be ticking for the component option. And many HDTV's refuse to recognize a low resolution signal via component (Ico on the PS2, for instance, was famous for this issue).

Since it relies on emulation, I suppose I wouldn't mind HDMI as long as the emulator had the horsepower to do a decent job upscaling the image. Would be a good selling point to those with the original hardware hooked up if this thing gave them an option for playing their Genesis software on their HDTV without the common problems someone would encounter with original hardware.

Edited by Atariboy, Fri Aug 31, 2012 10:51 PM.


#10 Yurkie OFFLINE  

Yurkie

    Q*bert Champion

  • 3,346 posts
  • Offering mods for ColecoVision
  • Location:Toledo, Ohio

Posted Sat Sep 1, 2012 12:12 PM

Nice job on the video Bill. I just don't see where this hardware is worth buying.

For me personally if the music sounds "off" at all then it makes it completely unplayable. Since these are hardware running emulators, isn't one better off just using a modded PSP for mobile and an original Genesis and an Everdrive for at home gaming?

Genesis emulation on the PSP seems spot on to me and I got mine about a year ago off craigslist for $50 with charger and 1GB memory stick.

#11 OldSchoolRetroGamer OFFLINE  

OldSchoolRetroGamer

    River Patroller

  • 3,716 posts
  • Do you FEEL in charge?
  • Location:CANADA

Posted Sat Sep 1, 2012 2:28 PM

Yes I hate to say it but I am not seeing the value at any point for the handheld portable model. Don't get me wrong, I would have been all for it a couple years back and thanks for the excellent review and details Bill but my enthusiasm has dropped significantly at this point. If they played original carts I could see a novelty factor, even not considering a hacked PSP there are so many devices from cheap Chinese ANDROID handhelds to previous Linux kernel handhelds like the GP2x WIZ / GP2X Caanoo etc, that have software emulation that can run ALL the Genesis games as well or even better then these hardware emulated handhelds not to mention the fact that they pretty much run and emulate every classic console and computer on top of it to boot it really is hard to consider devices like these that only play one platform and cannot even do that perfectly.

I have been saying for a while now I truly believe the era of a dedicated portable gaming platform will be dead after this current generation and I think it also applies to these that play any classic platform to, there are simply too many ANDROID / LINUX and other options that can play these and do a ton of other stuff on top.

If only these came out at this price maybe five years ago, I think they really missed their window at this point. Just my 2 cents though BILL, who knows? I know a segment of the classic collector market will always consider these and again I mean no disrespect or negativity towards you or your fine detailed reviews, hell your one reviewer I always look forward to and can appreciate a non biased and informed review from! Thanks for sharing. :thumbsup:

Edited by OldSchoolRetroGamer, Sat Sep 1, 2012 2:46 PM.


#12 Bill Loguidice OFFLINE  

Bill Loguidice

    Stargunner

  • Topic Starter
  • 1,656 posts
  • Armchair Arcade Managing Director
  • Location:Central New Jersey, USA

Posted Sun Sep 2, 2012 11:48 AM

Oh, I agree that if you spend a little more money and put some more effort into configuration, you can certainly get a more versatile handheld, but that's just one of many possibilities. Consider that you're paying $40 list price (probably cheaper) for an officially licensed (always nice to support the original company) handheld with 80 games (40 good ones) and the ability to add more with your own SD card, as well as do TV out with an optional cable. It's "single purpose," of course, but I think it's hard to argue against the value, particularly since the screen quality is excellent and the controls are solid (and six button at that). If you already have a handheld solution, then by no means do you need this. However, to say this is not a good value is a stretch in my opinion. It may not be ideal for you or others, but I think we sometimes need to separate out our needs from the needs of the general buying public. Not everyone can or wants to go to all that relative trouble.

#13 Bill Loguidice OFFLINE  

Bill Loguidice

    Stargunner

  • Topic Starter
  • 1,656 posts
  • Armchair Arcade Managing Director
  • Location:Central New Jersey, USA

Posted Tue Sep 4, 2012 3:29 PM

I posted this in the Atari Flashback 4 thread too: "Sorry guys, looks like I'll be recording on Thursday. There won't be many edits, so it's possible it will go up very late Thursday night, but late Friday night worst case."

#14 mckafka99 OFFLINE  

mckafka99

    Moonsweeper

  • 446 posts

Posted Tue Sep 4, 2012 4:56 PM

Does the fact that this is "officially licensed" with the SD card slot mean that the green llight has been given to legally acquire roms off the Internet?

#15 Bill Loguidice OFFLINE  

Bill Loguidice

    Stargunner

  • Topic Starter
  • 1,656 posts
  • Armchair Arcade Managing Director
  • Location:Central New Jersey, USA

Posted Tue Sep 4, 2012 7:32 PM

Does the fact that this is "officially licensed" with the SD card slot mean that the green llight has been given to legally acquire roms off the Internet?


It's not for Sega or AtGames or any other corporate entity to make such an official statement (after all, more than just Sega properties are available for the Genesis), but at least its inclusion acknowledges the reality.

#16 Bill Loguidice OFFLINE  

Bill Loguidice

    Stargunner

  • Topic Starter
  • 1,656 posts
  • Armchair Arcade Managing Director
  • Location:Central New Jersey, USA

Posted Sat Sep 8, 2012 8:25 PM

For those interested, I posted part two: http://www.armchaira...m/neo/node/4904

#17 Yurkie OFFLINE  

Yurkie

    Q*bert Champion

  • 3,346 posts
  • Offering mods for ColecoVision
  • Location:Toledo, Ohio

Posted Sat Sep 8, 2012 10:57 PM

NIce job Bill

#18 Atariboy OFFLINE  

Atariboy

    River Patroller

  • 4,782 posts
  • River Raider
  • Location:North Country

Posted Sun Sep 9, 2012 1:04 AM

Good video

No surprise that Virtua Racing didn't work off of an SD card (What with an onboard processor and all), but the interesting test with a clone that has a cartridge slot is if the original cartridge will work. Doesn't even work on the Genesis 3 from the 1990's despite having excellent compatibility and accuracy (Although I guess it can be easily modded to play it).

Looks like it has the same pickyness about file extensions as their earlier products. But looking around the other night when I brought that up, it looks like simply just changing it to .bin is all that needs to be done (For .smd files at least, not sure if it's that simple with a .gen file). Might be an interesting addendum on your website to give that a try with that Road Rash 3 file and see if that's all it took to make it work.

Are you interested in demonstrating its PAL capabilities on your old CRT (It's possible that your DLP is more PAL friendly so that might not be such a good test)? I've played Power Drive (A title familiar to Jaguar fans as Power Drive Rally), Super Skidmarks, and F1 World Championship Edition successfully on my earlier AtGames Genesis clone with an SD slot. All three were PAL exclusives and all three worked just fine on my standard definition NTSC Sony Trinitron with no issues. I'm guessing the emulator still outputs an NTSC signal even with a PAL rom.

I could zip up all three and send them your way. Or you could just track them down along with a few other PAL exclusives and give them a go. Might be one of the more interesting features of this unit for the diehard Genesis fan that might otherwise not find much of interest here when they have original hardware sitting on their shelf all hooked up right now.

Even with a Genesis modded with a region switch, some PAL games won't work correctly.

Edited by Atariboy, Sun Sep 9, 2012 1:14 AM.


#19 Bill Loguidice OFFLINE  

Bill Loguidice

    Stargunner

  • Topic Starter
  • 1,656 posts
  • Armchair Arcade Managing Director
  • Location:Central New Jersey, USA

Posted Sun Sep 9, 2012 7:35 AM

Sure, Atariboy, send them my way and I'll try them. Thanks.

#20 Torr OFFLINE  

Torr

    Moonsweeper

  • 419 posts
  • Location:Newfoundland, Canada

Posted Sun Sep 9, 2012 11:41 AM

I'm guessing the emulator still outputs an NTSC signal even with a PAL rom.


Wouldn't that result in the game being played faster?
I know that happens with SMS games (which are region free). you can tell whether a game is being run on a PAL or NTSC system by watching it being played, if you listen to the music especially.

#21 Atariboy OFFLINE  

Atariboy

    River Patroller

  • 4,782 posts
  • River Raider
  • Location:North Country

Posted Wed Sep 12, 2012 7:51 PM

Sure, Atariboy, send them my way and I'll try them. Thanks.


I'll zip them up and send them your way.

Wouldn't that result in the game being played faster?
I know that happens with SMS games (which are region free). you can tell whether a game is being run on a PAL or NTSC system by watching it being played, if you listen to the music especially.


It's emulation rather than original hardware. So the emulator could be playing the game at the correct speed while still sending out a NTSC compatible signal.

One would have to do a direct comparison which I've never done to tell for sure (Which on this earlier wirelsss AtGames product that I own would be difficult to do since the audio is so far off). I guess you could start a game on it and original hardware at the same time that has a timer and let it count down for a couple of minutes and pause and see if one has crept away from the other, but the audio is so bad and the controllers so awful on what I own that it didn't stay hooked up for long despite its PAL functionality so I don't care to try.

And even then, it's only going to work if the PAL game was PAL optimized. Something that often wasn't done until the past 10 years. Many PAL games never ran at the correct speed to start with.

Edited by Atariboy, Wed Sep 12, 2012 7:59 PM.


#22 TwinChargers OFFLINE  

TwinChargers

    Dragonstomper

  • 957 posts
  • Location:Minnesota

Posted Sun Sep 16, 2012 7:32 AM

Is there any difference between the Sega Arcade Ultimate Portable and the Sega Gopher? They sound and look like the same product.

That and I also wonder how close we are to a dedicated portable Saturn? Any chance?

#23 OldSchoolRetroGamer OFFLINE  

OldSchoolRetroGamer

    River Patroller

  • 3,716 posts
  • Do you FEEL in charge?
  • Location:CANADA

Posted Sun Sep 16, 2012 8:15 AM

That and I also wonder how close we are to a dedicated portable Saturn? Any chance?


Nice dream but I highly doubt it, even Saturn emulators on PC leave something to be desired and your not talking tiny rom images but huge CD images here, nothing in the portable emulation market suggests we'll be seeing anything like that.

Edited by OldSchoolRetroGamer, Sun Sep 16, 2012 8:15 AM.


#24 theloon ONLINE  

theloon

    Quadrunner

  • 6,919 posts

Posted Tue Sep 18, 2012 10:35 AM

Firecore is emulation. Stuff like save states and save game support should be a no brainer but are glaringly missing. Having an SD card slot is a step forward though.

Edited by theloon, Tue Sep 18, 2012 10:36 AM.


#25 Bill Loguidice OFFLINE  

Bill Loguidice

    Stargunner

  • Topic Starter
  • 1,656 posts
  • Armchair Arcade Managing Director
  • Location:Central New Jersey, USA

Posted Tue Sep 18, 2012 10:50 AM

Firecore is emulation. Stuff like save states and save game support should be a no brainer but are glaringly missing. Having an SD card slot is a step forward though.


AtGames has expressed interest in this, so I can see them possibly being features if Sega allows in future versions of the products. A lot I'm sure will depend upon how well these two new products do at retail and how much added cost including those features will create (i.e., how much it cuts into profit margins).





Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: sega, atgames, mega drive, genesis

0 user(s) are browsing this forum

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users