I always thought "NT" was Analogue's way of evoking NinTendo without violating trademarks.
Analogue NinTendo Mini
Analogue Super NinTendo
Maybe they'll go with Analogue GN or MD, but i could be completely wrong. I agree about the 9-pin controller ports though. I might have to hunt down one of those detachable Fairchild Channel F controllers!
Sadly, I doubt we'll see this come to pass anytime soon, at least not from Analogue. I think what the Super NT turned out to be shows that they're trying to move away from the extremely high end enthusiast market to the mass market. They secured a "never before released" SNES game (just like Star Fox 2), cut the price by more than half from the NT Mini and can now reasonably market the Super NT as a competitor to the SNES Classic Mini (the Super NT price is about what the SNES Classic Mini is going for on eBay right now). Part of getting the price down was definitely reducing the number of parts (only 2 controller ports, no analog out, etc.) If you go on retrogaming subreddits, most people don't know what an FPGA is or why its significant for retro games other than a vague notion that its better than emulation. You're not going to be able to pitch a console to the mass market saying,
"ok guys, this thing can play your SNES carts and you can use your SNES controllers, but the default SNES female controller ports come off. Why? So you can use an Atari female port to plug in an Atari controller to play Atari games. But you can't play Atari cartridges, you have to download ROMs off the internet and also download a jailbreak software that transforms your console from a SNES into an Atari."
It's just a marketing mess. I think we'll still get jailbreak firmware and extra cores on the future Analogue systems but I think hopes for some jack of all trades box with generic ports and all different kinds of adapters for controllers and cartridges will be disappointed. I think the template going forward is that each system is going to be sold as a "reference quality" version of a specific console platform with capability to play that consoles real cartridges and use real accessories, with HDMI out. Any extra compatibility or cores added through jailbreaks should be seen as gravy imo
NT is more commonly known to mean "New Technology/Technologies", as in a re-invention of something. See "Windows NT" and "Zeppelin NT"
The next logical thing would be "Mega NT" if it did the SMS/Mega Drive/ Sega CD/32X, etc. Doing the full 32X might be out of reach for a single FPGA however, but that doesn't necessarily prevent implementing the enhanced VDP modes that add more colors to the Sega CD/MD games that otherwise aren't 32X software. Likewise, the power base converter was literately a pin converter, but one VDP mode was not present for a few SG1000 games because it wasn't in the Mega Drive's VDP but was in the SMS. At any rate basically the same PCB but with DE9 connectors for controllers, and a MD cartridge port would probably be what happens, if and when that happens. A pin converter for that could also allow other 9-pin controller devices to work with it.
Considering that back in the day you could buy wired aftermarket controllers that worked on the NES and SMS, I'm thinking it would be trivial to have a "rewire" mode that just converts between them without killing the PCB. It would probably require sensing the controller by detecting what it does without power applied (the SNES controller actually works without any power applied (used to do this with the Parallel port adapter) but I presume that was just just a side effect of the power level from the signal pin, and a real SNES might not do that.
Doesn't USB introduce lag though?
I think theres a NES to SNES adapter raph makes and once the Super NT comes out he'll probably be making a Genesis to SNES as well.
USB introduces lag when it goes through the ASIC. It's usually not a measurable amount of latency, but depends on the chip used. USB operates, or can operate faster than the SNES controller.
I'd like to first thank all involved in the thread for the great information. Obviously thank Kevin and the guys at Analogue for doing good retro gaming products that actually enhance our gaming experience, as opposed to most companies out there slapping garbage products together and pretending they're giving us something new.
That said, I have a concern. I don't think this is the best place to talk about it, but I don't know of another Forum to do so.
Lon.TV has a review of the new 8bitdo controllers, and it's showing a frame of extra input lag as compared to the old ones. I am not sure wether these are going to be the same controllers that are linked to as lag free on the Analogue website. Just to avoid problems later, I'd ask you Kevin, or anyone who has a direct line to analogue or even 8bitdo, to just poke them about this. Maybe the guys at Analogue don't even know about this at all. I mean, who would think a product that was already out there working as intended would get worse with a revision?
Again. I don't even know there is necessarily an issue here. Maybe these controllers being made for the NES and SNES mini are different to the ones that are going to be made for the NT. I still ask Analogue to just take a look at this and make sure everything is allright. It would be very disappointing if people got their hands on their brand new controllers, and found out they're not the same quality as the previous models. And since Analogue does have them as lag free on their own webpage this should be worth taking a look at.
Thanks again. And do keep the good work Kevin. I pre oerdered the Analogue NT as soon as I heard about it and know Kevtris was behind this. This is my first pre-order ever. I do think this team has the credentials to earn my trust.
Bluetooth (basically wireless USB) on the other hand adds a lot of latency because it's converted from Bluetooth to USB, to whatever it's plugged into. Even when you play with a PS3 or a Wii, the bluetooth controllers on those are laggy, because they often have to compensate for the WiFi the console is also using. Bluetooth uses FHSS where as WiFi uses DSSS. So the more noise, the more latency will be induced from error correction. Non-DECT 2.4Ghz cordless landline phones also blast noise on that frequency.
So it's not really possible to evaluate how much 2.4Ghz noise is present when a controller is tested/reviewed, but this is one of the reasons why Microsoft and Logitech made their own 2.4Ghz proprietary interfaces for their keyboards, mice and game controllers. No latency when you don't do the entire bluetooth/usb stack. It also makes the devices cheaper since they're usually driven by that USB dongle and not by the actual device.
I've had two Xbox 360 wireless controllers sitting in a drawer that I've only used once. I insist on using my wired controller that I bought, and have got to the point where the left thumb stick has worn through the rubberized coating on it. So I probably won't buy wireless controllers for the Super NT, or if I do, it would probably one that can be played while plugged in. I don't like the weight of the wireless controllers due to the batteries and balance (wireless 360 controllers feel front-heavy)
I don't own any 8bitdo stuff, but I see them every so often at BestBuy and sometimes want to buy one just as a PC controller, but I don't care for wireless stuff as I mentioned above.
It's likely possible to get a "near-zero" latency with a bluetooth controller if the environment is controlled, but for all practical reasons, people will buy them and not notice a 1 frame lag, but will notice a 2 frame lag, as any game with tight controls (eg mario, megaman, any SHUMP) will feel like you're too slow.