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Coleco Chameleon .... hardware speculations?


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#1726 elmer OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Feb 18, 2016 10:43 PM

I'll just leave this here...

 

 

Thank you! :grin:

 

That's the funniest parody on this whole thing since the wonderful Nostalgia S.H.I.T. ;)



#1727 TheClassyGamer OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Feb 18, 2016 10:45 PM

I skipped right to the SNES question.  Here's a rough transcript, starting at about 21:00:

 

Interviewer: "I know that some people, after seeing the video that you guys posted, there's been some controversy goin' around, they're thinking that you guys have an SNES in there and stuff, so what do you say to those people?"

 

Mike: "Well, we ... okay, so ... our hardware guy ... so this one has composite out ... we're still working on wrapping up some of the HD stuff.  It was our easiest way of getting composite out, to take ... they did use an SNES core ... that's what everybody saw.  I mean, I posted the picture ... I was like, here's what we've got going ... it just didn't occur to me that it would turn into such a big thing.  It was our easiest way to get composite out for the show, and that's what we've got ... it happens that all the games we have are SNES because that's the games [that] Piko and CollectorVision--you know, John Lester-- we've got Sydney Hunter.  It's a SNES game.  So our first development path for this was to create a SNES FPGA, so we could play those games.  So that's what ... we had a company create that for us, so that was why ... you know ... to create a Genesis core was a whole other thing ... I mean, we know we can do it, but again, the first one we did was SNES, and Piko has these SNES games and John's got some games, so okay, we'll show SNES games at the show, so that's what we did.  But we're gonna open it up [at the Kickstarter launch]."

 

It went on from there to a discussion of the Kickstarter campaign, when he promised that "there isn't going to be anything to speculate about" because "everything will be opened up."

 

 ... they did use an SNES cord ...

 

I thought he said Cord not core there.  As in talking about the photo showing the back and the Nintendo av cable.


Edited by TheClassyGamer, Thu Feb 18, 2016 10:45 PM.


#1728 PikoInteractive OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Feb 18, 2016 10:45 PM

I honestly would be happy if the SNES core running on  the FGPA supposed to be on the console has straight MSU1 support (chip not needed on the cart) so we can start to play around with Disc quality music on snes, and animation/cartoon intros, and stories.



#1729 phoenixdownita OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Feb 18, 2016 10:46 PM

To add more it's easier to produce VGA kind of signals (no interlace) or even progressive RGB than go composite just because .... you know ... someone says "they need composite" .... Who? When? Where?


Edited by phoenixdownita, Thu Feb 18, 2016 11:14 PM.


#1730 phoenixdownita OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Feb 18, 2016 10:47 PM

 

 ... they did use an SNES cord ...

 

I thought he said Cord not core there.  As in talking about the photo showing the back and the Nintendo av cable.

That makes more sense now .... utter nonsense as an explanation as to why but cord is the word to explain the picture reference.



#1731 jaybird3rd ONLINE  

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Posted Thu Feb 18, 2016 10:48 PM

... they did use an SNES cord ...
 
I thought he said Cord not core there.  As in talking about the photo showing the back and the Nintendo av cable.

Hard to tell ... there was a lot of ambient noise there, and his voice kept dropping off.  I corrected the transcript, but either way, it still doesn't make sense: if they wanted composite so badly, and if this was really "all-new hardware," why wouldn't they have used plain old dime-a-dozen RCA plugs and cords instead of an old proprietary Nintendo cord?



#1732 StopDrop&Retro OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Feb 18, 2016 10:50 PM

Yeah, it's a good interview! Hats off to the SEGAnerds guys, they really did their homework!
 
Summary: (I put in bold all the points I thought were most interesting)
 
-Starts off with throwing John Carlsen under the bus again. Said he's used to working with an unlimited budget.
-John's "prototype" video took Mike by surprise, Steve found out first and told Mike
-Had a proto board in January of 2015, was testing Neo Geo games, then a bigger company took them over (NGdev's console maybe??)
-They are now using a Cyclone 5 FPGA, same as Kevin Horton, "if he's using it it's good enough" Mike has sent emails to Kevin trying to make up
-Bought 2 cores already- Intellivision and Amiga, "for nowhere near Kevin's asking price"
-He's given up on big name developers for now, those devs want guarantees from him
-Not about stifling the market, doesn't care if the games are not exclusive to Chameleon
-Marketing plan: "most people don't have a Genesis!" So they'll buy a Chameleon. Bring your retro games to a system designed to play retro games
-On COLECO: "So it's a licensing deal, just paying them a little bit of everyone" (so a percentage of each sale)
-On Retro VGS: "We totally F'd up. No doubt."
-About the prototype: "We're going to open it up for the Kickstarter"
-a "big game" = 50mb
-On bug fixing: "as long as they're not catastrophic" bugs they won't fix the bug
-Goal: "$400k to $500k"
-Says the controller interface on proto is USB, almost wanted to use Logitech USB controllers but they have analog sticks that wouldn't work
-On Retro VGS's constantly changing specs, it "ballooned out of hand"
 
-Regarding SNES in a Jag shell (starts at 21:20):
  • Working on wrapping up the HDMI stuff
  • They did use an SNES Core "that's what they [we] saw"
  • claims using an original Nintendo AV cable was the easiest way to get composite
  • he posted pic of back panel, didn't occur to him it would be turned into such a big thing
 
-Pack-in game is still undetermined
-Not going to be "made in the USA" because "you can't just say it"
(I thought this was funny because of all things he's said, that's the one thing he understands he can't bend the rules on claiming)
-May ship off production of PCB or even the Jag case to China
-DoubleFine contacted him: "Ray Rice" talking to them this week (did he mean Ray Crook?)
-Frima games, makers of Chariot on Wii U have contacted him
-Says he can't launch with too many games because "ESA says the average console gamer buys 2 1/2 games per year" (can anyone confirm this?)
-on RETRO magazine: they will give away a subscription to all "retail box" buyers, console company will pay the magazine company for each one
 
 
Edit: typos

Edited by StopDrop&Retro, Thu Feb 18, 2016 11:18 PM.


#1733 galax OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Feb 18, 2016 10:54 PM

... they did use an SNES cord ...
 
I thought he said Cord not core there.  As in talking about the photo showing the back and the Nintendo av cable.

 

Yeah saying 'cord' does make sense. The SNES's propriotery video connector makes less sense on a prototype than say an RCA socket though.



#1734 Reaperman OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Feb 18, 2016 10:54 PM

WhKngUH.jpg



#1735 phoenixdownita OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Feb 18, 2016 11:12 PM

I listened to it and he says "cord" (and that it even took a picture of it) and about what we saw he just says SNES FPGA (no core) built by an undisclosed company.

 

Nothing new, more of the same. Like last time. I guess "Play Again" was for himself.

 

EDIT: I love the mention of "the hardware guy", I can almost see "the poor thing" single-handedly building the only object that 6 executives ("the team") want to sell and make money out of .... I would revolt and go solo or just ask for a hell of a pay raise ransom style (he can held hostage a few pins here and there, a couple of bits overhere and pronto .... millions muahahhahahah).


Edited by phoenixdownita, Thu Feb 18, 2016 11:19 PM.


#1736 mgman OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Feb 18, 2016 11:18 PM

 

I'll just leave this here...
 
https://youtu.be/XXxdPQo8-Gk


Well, you can clearly see right through the bullshit with that video: Mike's ripping off ideas from the Watara Ultravision! And he still can't even make it as convincing :|

Edited by mgman, Thu Feb 18, 2016 11:18 PM.


#1737 galax OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Feb 18, 2016 11:22 PM

 EDIT: I love the mention of "the hardware guy"

 

He also refers to some mysterious 'guys' who work for him, who can get whatever games he wants working.

 

Interesting to hear the start of the FPGA idea:

4:48 "and at the same time that we found John, Steve started reading about FPGAs and we thought we maybe need to think about doing this FPGA thing"



#1738 RupanIII OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Feb 18, 2016 11:29 PM

Okay, I am updating this without reading since I started listening to SoundCloud of the interview. 

 

At 16:24 he is loving Tiny Night because he is a Wonderboy Fan. 

He's not sure Collectorvision is going to finish that game by the end of the year as they have other projects ahead in the pipeline. 

He continues that they are targeting a Q4 delivery for this and that they are 50 days out from production. 

I don't know if he means NOW... or if he means at any time (when someone takes their contract they can begin production in 50 days from that point is what he could also mean, it's commonly called lead time in any industry). 

So.... At this point he's just finished the delicate dance about the SNES core being the easiest way to get Composite out (They had to have composite out to demo it.. WHY? but, okay). and that he took the pictures so he obviously wasn't trying to hide anything (this is his key 'Hey, believe me, I am this naive thing'... which I'll admit, I had a corporate training start out going south and felt this way before, lol). 

 

I'll go finish listening now and report in more. 



#1739 PikoInteractive OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Feb 18, 2016 11:33 PM

Okay, I am updating this without reading since I started listening to SoundCloud of the interview. 

 

At 16:24 he is loving Tiny Night because he is a Wonderboy Fan. 

He's not sure Collectorvision is going to finish that game by the end of the year as they have other projects ahead in the pipeline. 

He continues that they are targeting a Q4 delivery for this and that they are 50 days out from production. 

I don't know if he means NOW... or if he means at any time (when someone takes their contract they can begin production in 50 days from that point is what he could also mean, it's commonly called lead time in any industry). 

So.... At this point he's just finished the delicate dance about the SNES core being the easiest way to get Composite out (They had to have composite out to demo it.. WHY? but, okay). and that he took the pictures so he obviously wasn't trying to hide anything (this is his key 'Hey, believe me, I am this naive thing'... which I'll admit, I had a corporate training start out going south and felt this way before, lol). 

 

I'll go finish listening now and report in more. 

 

 

I think he meant 50 days + lead time + Production + import (if he goes to china).



#1740 StopDrop&Retro OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Feb 18, 2016 11:36 PM

So.... At this point he's just finished the delicate dance about the SNES core being the easiest way to get Composite out (They had to have composite out to demo it.. WHY? but, okay). and that he took the pictures so he obviously wasn't trying to hide anything (this is his key 'Hey, believe me, I am this naive thing'... which I'll admit, I had a corporate training start out going south and felt this way before, lol). 

 

In regards to composite out, I think he said they were using a "SNES cord" not core. So he's claiming that using a Nintendo cord/cable/av jack is the easiest way to get composite out (I doubt it) and that's why he used it, it's only a Nintendo cord not a whole SNES Jr. under there according to him. And because of that he claims he was taken by surprise when people blew up when he posted the pic of the back of the prototype.


Edited by StopDrop&Retro, Thu Feb 18, 2016 11:39 PM.


#1741 phoenixdownita OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Feb 18, 2016 11:45 PM

 

In regards to composite out, I think he said they were using a "SNES cord" not core. So he's claiming that using a Nintendo cord/cable/av jack is the easiest way to get composite out (I doubt it) and that's why he used it, it's only a Nintendo cord not a whole SNES Jr. under there according to him. And because of that he claims he was taken by surprise when people blew up when he posted the pic of the back of the prototype.

Yep, it's cord.

He's not saying that it's only the cord, he dances around it. He doesn't explicit say there's no "SNES inside" in that interview, does he?

 

 

EDIT: I want to take a moment to celebrate the crossing of the 100K views, another 150K views before lock down or someone goes bonkers and calls names whichever comes first!!! I know it's not because I started the thread but I felt something .... nevermind I just popped an hernia.


Edited by phoenixdownita, Thu Feb 18, 2016 11:47 PM.


#1742 jaybird3rd ONLINE  

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Posted Thu Feb 18, 2016 11:45 PM

In regards to composite out, I think he said they were using a "SNES cord" not core. So he's claiming that using a Nintendo cord/cable/av jack is the easiest way to get composite out (I doubt it) and that's why he used it, it's only a Nintendo cord not a whole SNES Jr. under there according to him. And because of that he claims he was taken by surprise when people blew up when he posted the pic of the back of the prototype.

... which makes absolutely no sense.  As the saying goes, it's "not even wrong."  Can you even buy the proprietary connectors that mated with those Nintendo A/V cords anymore?  Why would it have been "easier" to use the original cable than standard RCA composite connectors and cables, which all the clone systems have used for a long time and which you can buy almost anywhere for pennies?  Given the spacing of the ports and all the other evidence that has been amassed that it really was an SNES Jr. board in there, I guess he doesn't have any choice at this point but to dig in.  It's too bad that none of the interviewers who made it to Toy Fair were savvy or aggressive enough to call him on it.  Maybe that was one of the reasons he took it to Toy Fair.



#1743 Kosmic Stardust OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Feb 18, 2016 11:45 PM

Interview with Mike: http://www.seganerds...he-ny-toy-fair/
 
Listening to it now.

Sadly I can't listen right now as it won't work on mobile browsers. Adobe Flash required to use sound cloud. It's late and I don't feel like booting my laptop.
 

Please summarize anything interesting, and thanks for taking the time to check that out. I feel I'm too close to death to waste time listening to Mike Kennedy.

Yes, please!
 

Just barely into the Mike interview and he's said he's using the same FPGA (hardware wise) Kevin Horton does AND they've purchased an Intellivision and Amiga core.

Sure! Just go to the "core store" and buy whatever you need. Makes perfect sense in Retroland...

Cyclone 5 or something it was.
 
EDIT: He seems to say John was making a system that could run Mighty No. 9 type stuff. Seems something like it will not run on the Chameleon.
 
EDIT 2: Mike says his team says what's inside the Chameleon is gonna "blow the nerds away". He also refers to "opening it up", Obviously he doesn't meaning opening up the actual proto. ;) So it appears as complete specs will launch with KS.
 
EDIT 3: Mike was says you can play a huge game on it, but it'll cost a lot on a cartridge. [Doesn't seem friendly with Unity]
 
EDIT 4: Mike mentions $20-$50 for cart prices, $50 being like a sequel to an old school title.
 
EDIT 5: Kickstarter goal $400 - $500 000
 
EDIT 6: USB controllers are supposed to be compatible with Chameleon.

And you trust they have a competant hardware guy?
 

Cyclone V http://www.mouser.co...ltera-cyclonev/

It all comes down to what you do with it, of course.

I checked the mouser prices. The cheapest ones are about $50 but many in the $300 & up range! :o
 
Will the bargain chip do SNES?

#1744 mickcris OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Feb 18, 2016 11:48 PM

I guess he had to come up with some kind of bs answer. I'm sure lots of people will take his word for it. I guess the best way to power it too was an SNES power supply.

Edited by mickcris, Thu Feb 18, 2016 11:50 PM.


#1745 Kosmic Stardust OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Feb 18, 2016 11:54 PM

I skipped right to the SNES question.  Here's a rough transcript, starting at about 21:00:
 
Interviewer: "I know that some people, after seeing the video that you guys posted, there's been some controversy goin' around, they're thinking that you guys have an SNES in there and stuff, so what do you say to those people?"
 
Mike: "Well, we ... okay, so ... our hardware guy ... so this one has composite out ... we're still working on wrapping up some of the HD stuff.  It was our easiest way of getting composite out, to take ... they did use an SNES cord(?) ... that's what everybody saw.  I mean, I posted the picture ... I was like, here's what we've got going ... it just didn't occur to me that it would turn into such a big thing.  It was our easiest way to get composite out for the show, and that's what we've got ... it happens that all the games we have are SNES because that's the games [that] Piko and CollectorVision--you know, John Lester-- we've got Sydney Hunter.  It's a SNES game.  So our first development path for this was to create a SNES FPGA, so we could play those games.  So that's what ... we had a company create that for us, so that was why ... you know ... to create a Genesis core was a whole other thing ... I mean, we know we can do it, but again, the first one we did was SNES, and Piko has these SNES games and John's got some games, so okay, we'll show SNES games at the show, so that's what we did.  But we're gonna open it up [at the Kickstarter launch]."
 
It went on from there to a discussion of the Kickstarter campaign, when he promised that "there isn't going to be anything to speculate about" because "everything will be opened up."

He lies good. :P

#1746 Newsdee OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Feb 18, 2016 11:54 PM

and no matter how I look at it,
...16 keeps coming up lower than 64.
 


They have 4 games at launch so that's 64 bits. Soon it will be 128 bits and then the sky's the limit!!!!!!1


:)

#1747 jaybird3rd ONLINE  

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Posted Thu Feb 18, 2016 11:56 PM

He lies good. :P

He's positively Clintonian.  If he took the effort that he apparently puts into dreaming up excuses that sound plausible to the gullible, and put even half of it into productive effort, he probably could have built an amazing system by this time.



#1748 atm94404 OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Feb 19, 2016 12:02 AM

I skipped right to the SNES question.  Here's a rough transcript, starting at about 21:00:

 

ke: "Well, we ... okay, so ... our hardware guy ... so this one has composite out ... we're still working on wrapping up some of the HD stuff.  It was our easiest way of getting composite out, to take ... they did use an SNES cord(?) ... that's what everybody saw.  I mean, I posted the picture ... I was like, here's what we've got going ... it just didn't occur to me that it would turn into such a big thing.  It was our easiest way to get composite out for the show, and that's 

 

Gee, Mike, you know what's an easier way to get composite video than an SNES multi-av cable?  A standard composite cable!  You know- the one cable every piece of video equipment before HD came bundled with.


Edited by atm94404, Fri Feb 19, 2016 12:02 AM.


#1749 Kosmic Stardust OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Feb 19, 2016 12:06 AM

... and about what we saw he just says SNES FPGA (no core) built by an undisclosed company.

Undisclosed company = Nintendo?
Core = 65c816 CPU?
:ponder:

#1750 kevtris OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Feb 19, 2016 12:07 AM

Just barely into the Mike interview and he's said he's using the same FPGA (hardware wise) Kevin Horton does AND they've purchased an Intellivision and Amiga core.

 

Cyclone 5 or something it was.

 

EDIT: He seems to say John was making a system that could run Mighty No. 9 type stuff. Seems something like it will not run on the Chameleon.

 

EDIT 2: Mike says his team says what's inside the Chameleon is gonna "blow the nerds away". He also refers to "opening it up", Obviously he doesn't meaning opening up the actual proto. ;) So it appears as complete specs will launch with KS.

 

EDIT 3: Mike was says you can play a huge game on it, but it'll cost a lot on a cartridge. [Doesn't seem friendly with Unity]

 

EDIT 4: Mike mentions $20-$50 for cart prices, $50 being like a sequel to an old school title.

 

EDIT 5: Kickstarter goal $400 - $500 000

 

EDIT 6: USB controllers are supposed to be compatible with Chameleon.

Been finding it highly amusing that the design of this thing keeps slowly evolving into a Zimba 3000 as time goes on.

 

I remember discussing with Mike back last year before the initial IGG that he had to strip the cost out because it was too expensive.  Suggesting they ditch the DB9 controller ports and go USB only, due to cost.  If people really needed DB9 port controllers, they could buy adapters... but the problem was he didn't want people to pay extra money for them;  even though the 10 people who were never going to use it had to subsidize the 1 that would.   I also mentioned that having all those silly A/V options was going to majorly bloat the cost of the system, and they should drop it all and go HDMI only like I was planning to do, and make A/V an optional extra.

 

Looks like they are down to four USBs like me, and HDMI only.   Next thing you know it's going to only play games off SD cards with optional adapters for 2600, etc.  carts!  

 

At this point I'm fairly certain that it's all academic and honestly I don't think the design for the RVGS was ever completed, let alone started.   The specs kept changing way too much in very dramatic ways up to the IGG campaign which leads me to believe they never had a PCB design started, let alone finished, and when John made his video they literally had nothing to show for all their work except some dev boards running Linux or similar and no new code.  The cardboard PCB only cemented that fact fully in my mind.  It would take weeks to months of design to implement each major revision they came up with.

 

I still take great issue with Mike blaming John for the failings of the RVGS- because I specifically said it was going to be way too damn expensive to produce, and that they needed to cut costs.  Mike was adamant that nothing should or could be cut to save money.  I think he was hoping volume was going to solve their cost overrun woes.   John being the engineer, was going to implement what Mike wanted.   Honestly the RGVS turned into the Homer.  In fact, Mike asked me how much I would pay for one and I said something like $99 and he said "I was hoping it'd been a lot more".  

 

I remember discussing things like how if they *really* wanted all those A/V outputs, they could at least use a single RGB DAC to generate RGB, composite, component, and s-video from the same part by doing the encoding inside the FPGA itself.  Every single cost saving measure I came up with fell on deaf ears though, so I gave up trying to help.  I do know this method works, because my current prototype does exactly this.... But John wanted to use a fleet of expensive encoder chips instead running from the RGB DAC output.  

 

Then there was the small fact that John didn't even know that a videogame system of the era output 240P60 video, and was designing it to *only* output 480i30 on all the outputs at once with no facility for 240p60, let alone higher resolutions like 720p or 1080p. 

 

 

The Chameleon appears to be similar but worse-  there isn't even a hint of a whiff of actual work except chin music and some electrical tape wrapped around a SNES mini mobo hanging out the back of a cut up jag shell.   The lack of a lit power LED indicates that there literally is no engineer or hardware person on the team, because anyone with a little bit of experience could've hooked a power switch and power LED up in literally minutes.   If someone pulled back the Jag Curtain™, there wouldn't be anything inside except the Mini and some controller extension cables plugged into it.   I still am gobsmacked by how insane this has become. 

 

This obviously doesn't bode well for what their hypothetical hardware will be- it certainly won't have a Cyclone 5 big enough to run SNES inside it for $135, most likely.  Even if they can get over this hurdle, the sheer Wall of Code™ they are going to have to write will be a daunting task, and will take a long time.  

 

I was 100% fully expecting there to be a Beaglebone or Rpi inside that Jag shell.  Mike claiming it's a custom SNES core running on an FPGA inside there was a lol.  If you were running a SNES on an FPGA, you'd be outputting RGB or HDMI, because generating composite would require extra steps (either code in the FPGA or hardware), and crappier visual results.  I only know of that one Japanese SNES core on the FPGA.  What Mike showed off was akin to "the dog ate my homework" and he was busy at his desk during roll call trying to complete an assignment before the teacher collected them.

 

If John is still the hardware guy, I think he needs to bail ASAP.  If not, whoever IS the HW guy needs to bail ASAP (if there is one).   Unfortunately (or fortunately?) electronic designs don't run on hopes and dreams, they run on someone with skillz and money.  I still think it's possible to produce a niche system, but it takes a lot of dedication and time and attention to detail.  So far we have not seen a single shred of dedication or attention to detail, just repeated braying about the colours, limited editions, and how the hardware's going to BLOW US ALL AWAY and it just needs money to get started.

 

The extreme revisionist history going on on their Facebook page is incredible too.  I don't think this project could possibly be managed any worse than it already has been... then I refresh the thread and keep getting surprised. 

 

To be clear, I am not annoyed in any way that they keep inching closer to a Zimba 3000 on the design, in fact it's probably a good indicator that I have stripped the costs down as much as I dare without making it useless and uninteresting.  I also am 100% certain they will never be able to produce anything themselves that works, and isn't just a repackage job of an SNOAC (SNES on a chip), Rpi, or Beaglebone or other similar SoC board stuffed into the Jag shells.  Also, I don't think I want to get tangled up in this mess so I won't be licensing my cores to them I don't think. Even if I did, the chances of them having actual hardware to run them on is probably close to zero.

 

One more thought-  If they really are thinking of FPGA, I hope it just isn't going to be one of the cheap subsidized dev boards with a plug in board on it for HDMI/USB, because I doubt they will be able to obtain production quantities.  Those dev boards are for development use only, and are subsidized by the vendors whose parts appear on them (i.e. Altera/Xilinx for the FPGAs,  Analog Devices for the power supplies, etc).  The cost of those boards can be cheaper in some cases than the FPGA alone that sits on the board.

 

Sorry for the mic drop, just thought I'd unload everything at once :-)   








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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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