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Coleco Chameleon .... hardware speculations?


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#1 phoenixdownita OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Dec 25, 2015 9:47 PM

For those viewing this thread for the first time, here's an index of interesting posts in chronological order across several threads about this saga. Thanks to StopDrop&Retro for putting this list together!

 

2/26/15 First mention of the Retro VGS on AtariAge
http://atariage.com/...-3#entry3186600
 
4/14/15 First mention of FPGA
http://atariage.com/...l/#entry3218944
 
4/8/15 First pricing info
http://atariage.com/...-3#entry3214633
 
9/7/15 Preliminary cardboard PCB revealed
http://atariage.com/...35#entry3316391
 
9/14/15 $299/$349 prices revealed
http://atariage.com/...42#entry3321871
 
9/15/15 Kickstarter references removed from Facebook
http://atariage.com/...dpost&p=3322163
 
9/17/15 Switch to IndieGoGo confirmed
http://atariage.com/...46#entry3323558
 
9/17/15 Confirmation of no working prototype
http://atariage.com/...47#entry3323692
 
9/18/15 IndieGoGo announced to start tomorrow and new sizzle reel posted
http://atariage.com/...51#entry3324267
http://atariage.com/...51#entry3324206
 
9/19/15 IndieGoGo begins
http://atariage.com/...57#entry3324900
 
9/19/15 Kevtris criticizes the project
http://atariage.com/...60#entry3325199
 
9/19/15 Mike responds to Kevtris
http://atariage.com/...dpost&p=3325354
 
9/25/15 Video of first alleged prototype posted
http://atariage.com/...97#entry3330318
 
9/25/15 John Carlsen's update on project status
http://atariage.com/...dpost&p=3330401
 
9/25/15 Mike calls CU Podcast "drunken commentary"
http://atariage.com/...dpost&p=3330129
 
9/29/15 Mike ends the IndieGoGo (but campaign cannot be canceled)
http://atariage.com/...29#entry3333275
 
9/30/15 John Carlsen leaves the team via Facebook update
http://atariage.com/...36#entry3334149
 
10/1/15 First alleged prototype's off the shelf components identified
http://atariage.com/...dpost&p=3335358
 
10/6/15 Mike's first AtariAge update since the IndieGoGo's failure
http://atariage.com/...46#entry3338977
 
11/4/15 IndieGoGo ends
 
12/10/15 First indication of new "prototypes" under construction
http://atariage.com/...w/#entry3388235
 
12/17/15 COLECO licensing deal revealed
http://atariage.com/...73#entry3393231
 
12/23/15 Mike proposes a Christmas truce
http://atariage.com/...dpost&p=3398114
 
12/23/15 Mike confirms "there was NOTHING accurate about" his claimed connection to ColecoVision
http://atariage.com/...dpost&p=3398197
 
12/23/15 Mike claims he's funding the next prototype out of pocket
http://atariage.com/...92#entry3398191
 
12/24/15 Mike addresses Carl, posts confidential emails from Konami
http://atariage.com/...96#entry3399140
 
2/11/16 Mike's last appearance on AtariAge to dismiss a troll account
http://atariage.com/...21#entry3438061
 
2/12/16 Second alleged prototype teased on Facebook
http://atariage.com/...22#entry3438427
 
2/13/16 Toy Fair begins, Kickstarter Campaign announced to start on 2/26/16
http://atariage.com/...24#entry3439322
 
2/13/16 "Prototype cart" identified as a SD2SNES, SNESgate begins!
http://atariage.com/...25#entry3439410
 
2/26/16 Silence in the morning, update in the afternoon announcing a delay, pics of third alleged prototype posted
http://atariage.com/...26#entry3451465
 
2/29/16 Third alleged prototype board identified as a capture card, COLEgate begins!
http://atariage.com/...51#entry3454383

Here is a second collection of links put together by user Vanta (thank you!):

Mike announces cartidge adapter (For RetroVGS) - [here]
Initial statement from Mike regarding the inception of Coleco Chameleon - [here]
"Launch titles will start to be announced in January and lead up until Toy Fair" - [here]
"Once the prototype is complete we'll reveal what's inside, it wont be much longer" - [here]
Triverse interview Mark Thomann RE: Coleco licensing and the Chameleon, & his feelings on criticism - [here]
Piko comments on initial contact with Mike for releasing software on the Chameleon - [here]
Jan 15th post points out no games have been announced yet - [here] as they were said to be [here]
Jan 22nd post lists the lack of announcements and the silence across RVGS social networks - [here]
CUPodcast covers announcement of RVGS Coleco Chameleon - [here]
RVGS facebook post hints at $150 retail price for console - [here]
RVGS facebook post states launch console will have variety of games - [here]
RVGS twitter account says "still coming" to january game announcements, Jan 30th - [here]
RVGS releases "Early launch titles" video montage, montage is just of retro games - [here]
Full list of games shown off in video montage - [here] and [here]
CUPpodcast follow up on RVGSmove towards chameleon and indiegogo campaign - [here]
Post covering RVGS facebook announcement first mention of kickstarter plans, Feb 1st - [here]
RVGS show off clothing and decal application, looks ropey as shit - [here]
Analysis of RVGS team page with linkedin profile overview - [here]
Mike talking shit about the Ouya (becomes a habbit) - [here]
RVGS "Retro VGS first quick demo" video - [here]
Coleco/Chameleon booth information for Toy Fair - [here]
Coleco/Chameleon Toy Fair brochure - [here]
Mike addresses media response and Coleco Licensing / Coleco association confusion - [here]
New RVGS homepage goes up, empty system specifications page - [here]
Fake Chameleon twitter announces project will use FPGA and be priced at $150 - [here]
Mike chimes in on fake accounts - [here]
RVGS shows console running "Sydney Hunter" (Snes) - Implies same unit will be at toy fair, No power light - [here] - [full image]
Ars Technica article covers the removal of standard ports among other things - [here]
Post covering the deletion of content by RVGS - [here]
RVGS announce date of kickstarter for Chameleon on FB - [here]
Initial analysis of Toy Fair footage - No power light, Hardwired snes controllers - [here]
Theory that the multi-cart shown at Toy Fair is a Snes2SD - [here]
First theory stating the contents of the Toy Fair prototype is likely just a SNES - [here] (Image deleted by RVGS)
Shot of the back of the unit gets analysis - [here]
More speculation regarding the content being a SNES - [here] - [here] - [here]
RVGS state they will show pictures of the PCB for the kickstarter launch, and that it will be FPGA Arm - [here]
RVGS address the suggestions that the contents is just a Snes Jr (watching the thread much?) - [here]
Kevtris chimes on on the reality that it's likely a SNES inside a Jaguar shell - [here]
RVGS claim they have written a SNES FPGA - [here]
Poster re-creates the "Prototype" using Snes JR and Jaguar shell - Get's perfect match - [here]
Poster compares the above image to the "Prototype" - [here]
Poster posts the photo RVGS posted to quiet the "show the connections" requests - [here]
Mike covers the topic of purchasing the Jaguar molds - [here]
PikoInteractive's website quoted after interacting with coleco and asking Mike to debunk SNES mini rumors - [here]
Youtuber covers the growing speculation towards Snes Mini/Jr fakery - [here] and [here]
Poster compares the rear connections of Snes mini to the "prototype" directly - [here]
Interview with Mike at the toy fair - [here]
Pictures from the booth - Controller is Interworks Pro Controller U - [here
Vanta note! - they simply drilled out a hole in the IR panel and threw in a USB cable)
Poster covers discrepency regarding "hardwired" claims - [here]
CUPodcast covers the latest findings regarding the kickstarter and prototype - [here]
RVGS banning users on FB for bringing up the Snes Mini speculation - [here]
Various excuses by Mike regarding the shell and protrusions of the Snes Mini - [here]
Vanta note! - Changing the tooling to accommodate such changes would require a new mold to be made, of the modification of existing molds to save cost, thus, if he went ahead with modification of the existing molds, the original Jaguar molds would be lost forever.
Email from someone that hates ReviewTechUSA getting his video of the Chameleon fiasco pulled - [here] and [here]
ReviewTechUSA's video regarding the Chameleon - [here]
Another interview with Mike at the Toy Fair - [here]
SD&R's overview ofthe interview - [here]
More information from Kevtris stating he won't touch CC with a barge pole - [here]
Poster makes a replica of the prototype - [here]
RVGS states they will make an announcement soon regarding SNES speculation - [here]
Mike again claims their "Software" was running the games, not a SNES - [here]
Chameleon On//Off and Light pipe toolings - [here]
Recap of FB posts by RVGS team in correct order - [here]
RVGS posts update with Clear console pictures - the start of Mikes true downfall - [here]
Note that the image linked in this post was the one that Mike deleted once it was found to be faked - [here]
All images, including the deleted one can be found - [here]
Poster identifies some chips and the board type used in the transparent "prototype" - [here]
Posters identify the correct board used in the now confirmed fake "prototype" - [here] and [here]
Comparison of "prototype" along side the actual board placed inside to fake it - [here]
Coleco addresses the concerns and assigns RVGS 7 days to turn over a working prototype - [here] - Due date should be March 10th.
 
SD&R's overview of the timeline that brought us here can be found via this link, too.
 
Now, back to the original first post in this thread:

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

First let's rewind a little the clock:
 
http://atariage.com/...91#entry3398114
 
 

Hello Everyone.
 
It is the end of a very tumultuous year for me and in the spirit of Christmas and the holidays I wanted to come in here and ask those of you who will listen to let the past be the past as it relates to this (ad)venture.  RETRO VGS is the past and COLECO Chameleon is the future.  The Chameleon is not just a rebranded Retro VGS.  Despite sharing some of the same internal components the hardware has been completely redesigned to lower the cost while maintaining much of its ability to play a wide variety of games in a variety of ways.  To boil this all down to its essence we just want to produce a product that is different, affordable and will bring joy to people’s lives.  The market will ultimately decide if we are crazy enough to believe a cartridge console can stand its ground in this age of digital delivery.  There are clearly lots of people on both sides of this fence and ultimately it will all come down to the games that can be played and if they are compelling enough to vie for peoples hard earned money.
 
The COLECO branding was a business decision I made to bring instant brand recognition to the Chameleon.  But I did not enter into this licensing agreement lightly, knowing that if done so, we have a lot to live up to.  COLECO made some very influential, high quality and fun video gaming and electronic products during their time and we will try endlessly to carry on that tradition with the Chameleon.  The recognition of having the COLECO logo on the system and the (game and console) boxes will make the Chameleon immediately identifiable by millions of people right from the beginning.  In the end this is a good thing for all involved including us, our customers, our suppliers and distributors, our contract manufactures, potential retailers and probably most importantly to game developers.    Mark and Chris at River West/Coleco Holdings are also very behind this product and will be helping out in a variety of ways, beginning by inviting us into their booth at Toy Fair which is where they want to officially begin rebuilding this brand in more concrete ways.
 
We know we have a mountain to climb and are prepared to do what it takes to plant a flag at the top.  I will once again apologize to all of you for at times dissing some individuals and this community but it was hard being criticized by a group of my Atari and classic game lovin’ peers.  I let it get to me on occasion and I do regret all of it.  I am aware that we gave you all plenty to poke fun at and criticize but in the end, I believe the product will be much better for going through all of this.  In my mind, the best way for me to apologize once and for all is to ultimately create a game system that will make most of you turn a 180 and win over your support and positive influence.  And given the chance that is what I will do.
 
All I ask is moving forward into the New Year is you try and give the Chameleon a fair chance to stand on its own, and again forget about the past.  Let it speak for itself when we reveal it to you all early this New Year.  And finally, let’s respect one another and our opinions (some advice I am directing towards myself) and that goes for both believers and non-believers of what we are trying to do.  In the end, we all love and are passionate about video games and sometimes this passion causes us to do uncharacteristic things.
 
Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and I hope you all have a very Happy New Year!
 
- Mike


 
Now, what do you think it's under the hood?
 
ARM SoC?
Small ARM+FPGA all in one (Cyclone V SE, the smaller one has 25K LEs or the equivalent of the Mist board and it's around 61US$ from Mouser)?
 
EDIT: added hyperlinks


Edited by Albert, Sat Mar 5, 2016 12:42 AM.


#2 StopDrop&Retro OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Dec 25, 2015 10:33 PM

He said the original idea was based on the BeagleBone Black, this is also confirmed by the guy at Retro Gaming Roundup, and Mike said the new console would be a return to the original concept. So that's where my bet is.

 

The first iteration we saw on Indiegogo tried to cater to the hobbyist crowd. This new one will probably cater to the type of person who bought a Flashback console, so specs aren't even important as long as it plays the games they intend to run on this.

 

 

Speaking of hardware though, modifications to the case mold is something that I've always been interested in since it's undisputed that they actually do have those right now. From what we can see in the new 3D renders, I assume the front controller inputs will have to be modified. They also appear to have added to the 3D render's cartridge port, which I think might be a dust cover (possibly to further mimic a Coleco). Mike has stated in interviews in the past that he strongly opposed the idea of adding a dust cover because the cost would be prohibitively expensive and he would only ever consider it as a possible stretch goal.

 

This all leads to my own speculation that modifying the molds might be so expensive that it makes the advantages of reusing Jaguar tooling completely moot. And remember, they still have to make a rear panel. It would probably make more sense to just integrate that with the bottom half, so maybe they'll only use a heavily modified top half of the original Jag tooling.

 

Anyone else have thoughts on this? Sorry to reply with a concern but it's something I've been speculating about ever since I saw the new renders and as long as we're speculating about hardware I thought we could discuss it.


Edited by StopDrop&Retro, Fri Dec 25, 2015 10:40 PM.


#3 phoenixdownita OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Dec 25, 2015 10:44 PM

Well BeagleBone Black is "just an ARM SoC" ever so slightly more powerful than RPi1 but less than RPi2.

 

I was really hoping in the Cyclone V SE because that way there's hope of backcompat cores development/purchase for the 25K LEs but hey ...time will tell.

 

Given how cheap making cases for the RPi is I still find it hard to believe how much they claim to save reusing Jag molds, but I'm willing to let this one go and wait to see what's inside.

 

Needless to say a Rpi/RPi2 level of ARM SoC + SW emu would not exactly cut it for me but then again I am likely not their intended audience.

 

EDIT: I do own an RPi2 and have RetroPie installed on it and appreciate it for what it is (I bought it in a bundle that doubles the 35US$ but I got case, power supply, HDMI cable, wireless dongle, proto breadboard, flywires, etc....)

 

EDIT2: my obsession with FPGA stems from the "need" to have one expandable solution that could allow me to get rid of old consoles while keeping intact the possibility to play their games with very high fidelity (I prefer HW based emu to SW if/when possible, but I do love MAME, so yeah ... go figure)


Edited by phoenixdownita, Fri Dec 25, 2015 11:00 PM.


#4 StopDrop&Retro OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Dec 25, 2015 11:11 PM

EDIT2: my obsession with FPGA stems from the "need" to have one expandable solution that could allow me to get rid of old consoles while keeping intact the possibility to play their games with very high fidelity (I prefer HW based emu to SW if/when possible, but I do love MAME, so yeah ... go figure)

 

I think FPGA is long gone from the console, and that's probably for the best. After all, they didn't intend to support it for games anyways, they wanted to just have it there for devs to use if they wish. I guess they did want to use it to support emulation with adapters for original cartridges, but it was kinda weird how that whole adapter talk was officially teased mentioned like once and then never again (probably after the Kevtris fallout).

 

But if I can add to your speculation though, their Coleco partner has possibly been led to believe that they'll be benefiting from FPGA technology, so there is still some hope that you'll get your FPGA.

 

rvgs_121715_cardillo_fb3.png


Edited by StopDrop&Retro, Fri Dec 25, 2015 11:12 PM.


#5 phoenixdownita OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Dec 25, 2015 11:18 PM

 

I think FPGA is long gone from the console, and that's probably for the best. After all, they didn't intend to support it for games anyways, they wanted to just have it there for devs to use if they wish. I guess they did want to use it to support emulation with adapters for original cartridges, but it was kinda weird how that whole adapter talk was officially teased mentioned like once and then never again (probably after the Kevtris fallout).

 

But if I can add to your speculation though, their Coleco partner has possibly been led to believe that they'll be benefiting from FPGA technology, so there is still some hope that you'll get your FPGA.

 

rvgs_121715_cardillo_fb3.png

Interesting .... but I bet that at this point it is SW emu .... although the name "Chameleon" would be more fitting for an FPGA.

 

Recently I bought 2 test boards:

BEMICROMAX10  which is based on an Altera MAX10 (with just 8K LEs but with onboard flash) and

XULA2 LX9 with a Xilinx Spartan 6E (with around 9K LEs)

I have not yet even plugged them in but they seem fun and don't cost that much (the XULA2 LX9 is more expensive than equivalent "made in china" but hey they have a free FPGA book on it, all open source design and a contraption to connect it to the Rpi2 etc.... so why not?)

 

EDIT: I am no FPGA programmer, these 2 FPGA boards are the first boards I ever bought (aside from Krikzz EverDrive flashcarts ;) [usually based off of EP2C5 aka Altera Cyclone 2 with 5K LEs] and Ikari SD2SNES [also manufactured by Krikzz and based off of XC3S400 aka Xilinx Spartan3 400K gates ~=8K LEs] )

 

EDIT2: yeah I thought their original plan to have the FPGA be the chameleon piece to achieve high fidelity for old consoles was a good one.

 

EDIT3: added some details on sizing and type of FPGAs used by Keikzz Everdrives (except TBED v2 which is based off of iCE40HX1K aka Lattice iCE40 1.2K LEs), SD2SNES for comparison only, older Everdrives (TBED v1, SMS, GG] use an EPM240 aka Altera MAX 2 CPLD with 240 LEs, to complete the Mist board uses an EP3C25 aka Altera Cyclone 3 with 25K LEs.


Edited by phoenixdownita, Sat Dec 26, 2015 12:17 AM.


#6 roland p ONLINE  

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Posted Sat Dec 26, 2015 2:14 AM

FPGA vs ARM, Consider the goals (assuming these are the goals of the Coleco Chameleon):

- Longevity (components should be easy to build 20 years from now)
FPGA wins since you're already describing how the system should work.

- Cartridges (cpu/system needs to be interfaced with an external memory)
What interfaces best with the outside world? I don't know

- Retro-like (doesn't have to be the latest/greatest)
I think both solutions can offer retro-like experience. But the FPGA could emulate old chips in a really good (accurate) way.

- Should be easy programmable (whatever that is..)
Probably the ARM, but maybe easy tools can be developed for the FPGA too. But 'easy' (software development is never easy) is a slippery slope. The 'easy' frameworks probably need big processors for the code to be executed? (I've no hands-on experience).

Edited by roland p, Sat Dec 26, 2015 2:15 AM.


#7 leods OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Dec 26, 2015 2:58 AM

I don't care what the processor in this is. Anything can Play 2D games and even simple 3D games. Considering games have to be bugless, and the install base, games for this machine have to be simple. There's no other way.

 

So what I don't want to speculate, but I want to know, is what Technology is going into the cartridges, since the whole Point of the System is having this cartridges for a lifetime, I want to know what is storing the data.

 

All the rest can be done by pretty much anything. It just doesn't really matter.

 

Edit: I'll just stop posting about the RVGS in These Forums. I'll Keep reading everything, and I'll Keep doing my YouTube Videos. I disagree with the view of the Moderation that People are out to get mike or the Project. I personally think Mike's Project and Actions are that bad, and he makes every possible mistake every single step of the way. There's nothing else to say about this but negative things. All that said, I respect the Feelings of the veterans here, and I do understand that even if Mike is at fault, that People don't want something so negative piling up on an old member of the community.

 

Also this Forum is way more than the RVGS, and even if it's good that that Topic brought a ton of views to the Forums (including me), it doesn't reperesent this community in the slightest, nor the General Feelings and behaviour we see in other parts of the Forum.

 

So in respect to all that, and to the fact I won't pretend I have different views to what I actually have on a specific Topic, I'll just not post anymore.

 

Thank you guys for making this community. In the few months I've been around I've learned a ton of stuff already.


Edited by leods, Sat Dec 26, 2015 3:54 AM.


#8 Keatah ONLINE  

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Posted Sat Dec 26, 2015 6:30 AM

EDIT2: my obsession with FPGA stems from the "need" to have one expandable solution that could allow me to get rid of old consoles while keeping intact the possibility to play their games with very high fidelity (I prefer HW based emu to SW if/when possible, but I do love MAME, so yeah ... go figure)

 

FPGA is a limited solution and not suited to your end goal of having one expandable machine do it all. A mini-ITX i7 or similar box will fit your needs rather superbly however.

 

Explanation why:

The key point you're missing is that there are many classic machines out there. And the only way you're going to get support for all of them is through software emulation. Why? Because of the number of developers involved. An FPGA machine has typically one developer. Only one person or one small group will be working on it. If this dev loses interest or has no interest in a classic platform that platform will never get updated or be implemented.

 

An all-in-one machine is simply too big both politically and technically for one person to do it all. You need a team. This way each emulated machine is treated with care. Improvements and upgrades can happen piecemeal, one machine at a time. Your Atari 400/800 guy may be busy working on adding a disk subsystem menu while your VCS guy might be tweaking the TIA core. All the while the arcade guys are busy adding new games and decrypting motherboard protection chips and fixing obscure bugs. And your C64 team is sitting around dwaddling doing nothing at the moment.

 

You simply need the raw manpower to make an all-in-one happen. And you said it yourself, you love M.A.M.E. so.. go figure. This is an ecosphere within an ecosphere - and individual developers focus on their specialty, in their own time, at their own pace. And it all adds up for the greater good. There's enough granularity and separation so that updates to one platform aren't held in waiting for all of them to happen at once. The sheer number of people working on M.A.M.E. (and cumulatively other emulators) means there's always new software available. And you can install it at your own pace -  on your own time when you want to.

 

This makes for a vibrant and active and current platform on which to play classic games.

 

An FPGA emulation machine will not allow that to happen. You're stuck with whatever the single one-man development team or parent company gives you. If this one dev gives up the ghost or takes extended breaks between releases you are SOL. Worse off, this developer may not be interested in a certain platform to begin with, therefore you may never even see your favorite console emulated ever ever ever.

 

But with an R-Pi or Mini-ITX rig you can pick and chose your updates and machine, focus on one machine or all of them. And most software emulator authors are open to suggestion too. You can interact  with them through message forums because they have the time and interest to make their virtual machine the best.

 

Both individuals and teams working together have the time and resources to make each emulator the best it can be. Just look at the number of games M.A.M.E. supports. And look at the number of features and extra housekeeping functions Altirra, Vice, and Stella support!

 

With just those 4 software packs we're covering the entire Atari, Commodore, and Classic Arcade lineup! No FPGA solution to date or on the drawing board even comes close.

 

And YOU become the system's integrator! You pick and chose what emulators are the cornerstone of your rig. You pick and chose and spec-out the hardware that works best for you. A small unobtrusive, elegant and efficient STB. Or a boisterous m0DdERz BoY alien PC with bling-bling lights. Your call.

 

With FPGA you have little choice in defining the shape of your rig. It's like sucking through a straw. Software emulation is infinitely more versatile and flows in style, like the Alaskan Pipeline.

 

Note:

Regarding functional equivalents, consider:

1- an individual stand-alone emulator is equivalent to an FPGA core. Both are upgradeable.

2- an i7 + motherboard is no different than an FPGA chip and its motherboard.



#9 Keatah ONLINE  

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Posted Sat Dec 26, 2015 6:40 AM

- Should be easy programmable (whatever that is..)
Probably the ARM, but maybe easy tools can be developed for the FPGA too. But 'easy' (software development is never easy) is a slippery slope. The 'easy' frameworks probably need big processors for the code to be executed? (I've no hands-on experience).

 

Unity and GameMaker aren't lightweight.



#10 Keatah ONLINE  

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Posted Sat Dec 26, 2015 6:47 AM

http://www.retrovgs.com/press.html

COLECO Chameleon is a versatile new video-game system that serves as a modern day take on the classic game console and will accurately play classic games from the past.  The COLECO Chameleon also has the ability play brand-new games in the 8-, 16- and 32-bit styles, a growing and popular genre in today’s game scape.

 

This doesn't really say what "accurately play classic games" means. It doesn't mention specific systems, or use of their cartridges. But it does imply you'll be able to play any classic game.

 

The part regarding brand-new games implies all the new stuff is going to be made with modern tools for modern processors. And the games will have that stylized pixel look.



#11 Flojomojo ONLINE  

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Posted Sat Dec 26, 2015 9:09 AM

"has the ability play"
"standards set by the "original" COLCEO"

Based on the care given to the scant information presented thus far, I speculate that the newly renamed RetroVGS hardware will be a fire hazard, when it works at all.

#12 tep392 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Dec 26, 2015 9:23 AM

"has the ability play"
"standards set by the "original" COLCEO"

Based on the care given to the scant information presented thus far, I speculate that the newly renamed RetroVGS hardware will be a fire hazard, when it works at all.

Here we go again. :roll:



#13 PlaysWithWolves OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Dec 26, 2015 10:00 AM

Ugh. Too soon?  I swear I'm getting déjà vu all over again on this whole thing, from announcement to drama to speculations.

 

But I mostly wanted an excuse to post a picture of the one true Wonder Woman:

 

4298214-xokuv1.jpg

 



#14 tep392 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Dec 26, 2015 10:24 AM

It doesn't have to be locked.  It's interesting discussion.  Just needs to have the cheap shot's left out of it.



#15 Keatah ONLINE  

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Posted Sat Dec 26, 2015 10:28 AM

No don't lock it!!! I'm busy promoting emulation again in this thread..

 

BTW: I still wish I had my Wonder Woman toys. I even had the stealth jet. And as I kid I couldn't fathom how the hell the stealth tech worked as a toy. Low and behold it was made of clear plastic you could see through.


Edited by Keatah, Sat Dec 26, 2015 10:35 AM.


#16 PlaysWithWolves OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Dec 26, 2015 10:35 AM

It doesn't have to be locked.  It's interesting discussion.  Just needs to have the cheap shot's left out of it.

 

I didn't know it was possible to make cheap shots against an inanimate object like the COLECO Phantom.

 

I guess you missed the months and months of speculating what was to be inside the RVGS, only to find out it was even worse than expected (unless the stretch goals were met)?  



#17 tep392 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Dec 26, 2015 10:41 AM

I'm not going to argue with you. His post speaks for itself.

#18 Flojomojo ONLINE  

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Posted Sat Dec 26, 2015 10:51 AM

I don't see how pointing out two stupid typos in a brief, supposedly professional press release is a "cheap shot." They give zero details on hardware except for it being a "love-letter."

I believe that attention to quality and detail matters, and that it's fair play to call out multiple, obvious errors in a public statement. They were careful enough to copyright it, but not to proofread it!

The best you can hope for in a "speculation" thread is extrapolation from what you already know.

#19 tep392 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Dec 26, 2015 11:16 AM

I don't see how pointing out two stupid typos in a brief, supposedly professional press release is a "cheap shot." They give zero details on hardware except for it being a "love-letter."

I believe that attention to quality and detail matters, and that it's fair play to call out multiple, obvious errors in a public statement. They were careful enough to copyright it, but not to proofread it!

The best you can hope for in a "speculation" thread is extrapolation from what you already know.

And now you just did that well.

 

"I speculate that the newly renamed RetroVGS hardware will be a fire hazard, when it works at all."

 

This was an insult thinly disguised as a joke.  There is certainly not enough info, at your own admission, to speculate it will be a fire hazard.
 

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#20 Reaperman OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Dec 26, 2015 11:30 AM

http://www.retrovgs.com/press.html

COLECO Chameleon is a versatile new video-game system that serves as a modern day take on the classic game console and will accurately play classic games from the past.  

 

Right, so assuming information on that site is true (ha ha), then software emulation would obviously be out.  :D

 

Honestly, I think more thought has gone into the internals in this thread than at any point in its history.  We're probably just giving him ideas, and our time would be better spent doing anything but that.  The previous run had random specs that changed every week (or based on how many were to be sold, IIRC), cardboard printouts and a blinking light--does anybody REALLY think things have changed?

 

For my opinion on the 'desired' internals--the outside is jaguar, and I'm fairly certain that if he had the resources to make the insides a jaguar too, he'd do that.  Because jagfan.  I mean, the thing was perfect as-is, amiright?

 

If I were building this thing, and had a few unlost marbles left, I'd probably shoot for a cheap phone soc, and crap out a cartridge-based ouya as cheaply as possible to get it over with.  Really the only reason I'd continue was to save face, so I wouldn't give a rip what anybody thought of it, just what they thought of me.  :_(


Edited by Reaperman, Sat Dec 26, 2015 12:25 PM.


#21 TheClassyGamer OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Dec 26, 2015 11:41 AM

No don't lock it!!! I'm busy promoting emulation again in this thread..

 

BTW: I still wish I had my Wonder Woman toys. I even had the stealth jet. And as I kid I couldn't fathom how the hell the stealth tech worked as a toy. Low and behold it was made of clear plastic you could see through.

While Emulation may be great, I've a huge problem with it.  That being I don't know how to set that stuff up and make it work.  I wouldn't know where to start on what to buy to  build a box to do emulation or how to get the things I wanted to play up and running.  Not that I couldn't learn in time, but things like that get pushed onto the back burner as other things tend to come up.  That is the main reason I have interest in things like the Coleco Chameleon, the prospect of being able to play the old stuff I would want with a minimal investment of time.  

 

I would love to do an emulation set up and have the things I want on it and be done. I had a modded Xbox that I used for a while, but over time stuff on it seemed like it got corrupted or such and some games I played quit working or I started getting slow down issues, or it would lock up.  I've nothing against emulation but I'm not good enough with it for it to be a solid solution to my gaming desire.

 

I was really interested in the RVGS, until they changed over to IGG from Kickstarter.  I've been burned on every IGG I've backed and won't back anymore.  Then I got to reading here the stuff going on with it and was pretty let down.  I would like to be able to get behind the Chameleon, but am going to be very cautious.  I'm done derailing the thread now.



#22 Keatah ONLINE  

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Posted Sat Dec 26, 2015 12:33 PM

Most emulators are pretty easy to get going as soon as you install them. But they really shine once you tweak them and set them up just right. I won''t sugarcoat it. It takes time and thought to pick up on the nuances and get things organized just so.

 

An i5 or i7 PC for $500 will get you great hardware which is future proof. Even one of my Pentium III rigs is able to run emulators. Not all of them, but some. And its a 13-year old computer! Then it's a matter of installing the emulators system by system. And then their roms. Start with Stella or Altirra. They're easy to work with and you get a lot of support right here on AA. Just go at it and ask questions.

 

Emulators for me have been an ongoing thing since the early 1990's, and some days I'll do nothing but play games. Other random days I may tweak something or make arbitrary upgrades and changes to the configuration. No rush

 

There's no such thing as a free lunch. You can either take the time and learn a little bit how everything fits together, or get a ready-made package that may or may not be an exact fit for you and how you game.

 

In thinking about kickstarters and indiegogo campaigns. I have little interest in such ways of acquiring products. Nothing like working with a retail or online store where you can make exchanges and get refunds.


Edited by Keatah, Sat Dec 26, 2015 12:43 PM.


#23 Keatah ONLINE  

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Posted Sat Dec 26, 2015 12:44 PM

I was really interested in the RVGS, until they changed over to IGG from Kickstarter.  I've been burned on every IGG I've backed and won't back anymore.  Then I got to reading here the stuff going on with it and was pretty let down.  I would like to be able to get behind the Chameleon, but am going to be very cautious.  I'm done derailing the thread now.

 

I wouldn't worry about derailing the thread. It's gonna fill up with hot air anyway.



#24 Pipercub ONLINE  

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Posted Sat Dec 26, 2015 12:45 PM

He said the original idea was based on the BeagleBone Black, this is also confirmed by the guy at Retro Gaming Roundup, and Mike said the new console would be a return to the original concept. So that's where my bet is.

 

The original design was a Power PC derivative along the lines of a Super Genesis type of concept, Mike has erased that from history. The intent was not originally a high HP system with FPGAs and such. Design group #2 who remains nameless (we know each other, they are good guys but we were mutually shocked to find out socal had two different groups working) used a Beagle Bone Black and got much farther than designer #3 which of course was Carlson with allot of buzzwords installed on a dev board. So when there is talk about going back to the original design or designer, that means different things at different times.

 

Using an FPGA as a console has already been done, and it is a good one too! Dirk launched this thing at CGE 2K10 and I picked one up there, I don't know why it isn't more well known than it is, pretty much does what one of the versions of the RVGS system was purported to do. The MCC 216 does C64 and Amiga 500 very well, I have played a bit with the other cores and they are generally good but I tend to think of it as a Commodore platform since those were the first two cores targeted, it comes with a legal copy of Amiga C64 forever as well.

MCC_216_all_systems_Oct_2015.png


Edited by Pipercub, Sat Dec 26, 2015 12:48 PM.


#25 phoenixdownita OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Dec 26, 2015 12:47 PM

Unfortunately afaik there's no CPU+GPU+FPGA all in one yet.

 

There's CPU+GPU (countless ARM SoC of all level of performances) and FPGA SoC (with ARM hard IPs from both Altera and Xilinx also in multicore setups) but the trio is missing, obviously having a CPU+GPU already developed (ARM SoC) speeds up things a lot (std toolchain, std libraries etc...) but ends up putting the final product in the sea of sameness that are the "Android micro-consoles".

Emulation boxes per se are not very distinguished feature-wise as they all use the same emulators (or abuse in some case).

Setting up your own retro-emu-rig is fun the first 2 times around then it sucks .... not the same but as close as every time I turn on my Wii U (not that bad but still) or XB-one (oh gosh) and try to play just to be told .... "update or die" .... c'mon you worked fine two days ago let me do it another time ;).

 

It is true that there are not too many FPGA programmers around but the tide could change once the presence of such technology is more widespread, even on the SW side it took 20Y to get MAME to where it stands now (ok, ok, the last few years of "slot machines" are so so) and 10Y for bsnes/higan (one man effort mind you).

Also if they would let the FPGA dev profit from selling "in cart core" I see a secondary vibrant market forming.

 

As I said this is all purely speculative, kevtris project cited a Cyclone V with 49K LEs as main processor + a secondary Cyclone V [less powerful not yet sure how many LEs] for scaling/video processing in order to build an all FPGA do-it-all console.

I do not see the Coleco Chameleon coming even close to that but given the Mist can do Atari ST/Amiga level with 25K LE I would really look into finding a way (as cheap as possible as this is business after all) to get something of that size in it.

Case and controller aside which seems a solved problem [I'd love to know the true amount of those in the final price once they settle], the cost of those basic ARM SoC is less than 50US$ [well just 5US$ for the RPi zero] so another ~50US$ in an FPGA seems still doable to my "business untrained eyes" but not sure what it will do to the final price.

 

In the end I'm pretty sure it will be ARM SoC only, but then it's gonna be hard to even understand what the distinguishing feature would be. If a cart game on it becomes successful it will immediately be ported over and sold cheaper to higher number of customers on the other systems, so you'll really be just left with a plastic case and a glossy manual as distinguishing feature .... not convinced it is enough.

The other modern retro games the Chameleon seems to be catering to (retro-looking if you would), seems to be only SW based so there's really nothing in the platform to help them in any way .... not sure what the contract to distribute games on cart would look like so there may well be financial incentives for the small studios to try that route .... there's a reason a few developers went the Sega Megadrive/Neo Geo MVS cart way.

 

I believe in the end the "cartridge" gimmick could be more about the right of resale than anything else, if I could just buy and sell "used DLC" I believe I'd be set as well.


Edited by phoenixdownita, Sat Dec 26, 2015 12:59 PM.







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From: Coleco Chameleon .... hardware speculations?

By Serguei2 in Robin Gravel's Blog, on Tue Mar 8, 2016 9:32 PM

If only Coleco Chameleon was true, I would buy it
 
Unfortunately, it's seem it's a prank after all.
 
  
Source: Coleco Chameleon .... hardware speculations?

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