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Seedi - yet another emulation box, perhaps good enough?


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#1 Keatah OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Oct 2, 2017 10:53 PM

Seedi - yet another arm emulation box

https://www.indiegog...gaming-system#/

 

It caught my attention because it's all straightforward software emulation and even uses Stella. Apparently the latest version. So perhaps it has the potential to be better than RetroN 77? OR maybe the potential to simply work.

 

I don't see outlandish claims and they're listing all the emulators, front ends, and framework stuff. And hardware too, though it's rather anemic IMHO.

 

To me it seems like they just have to integrate the hardware components, like plug stuff in. And then configure and bring together all the emulators.

 

What am I missing?



#2 BawesomeBurf OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Oct 2, 2017 11:37 PM

I think this is a pretty interesting system, even though I really have no use for it. Don't own any Sega CD or Neo Geo CD games. My 2 PC Engine CD games can be played through Magic Engine (I think) on my PC which is hooked up to my TV via HDMI. Do own a lot of PS1 games, but I can always just pop those in the PS3, or play through PC or Raspberry Pi. I can see this being useful for a lot of people though



#3 OldSchoolRetroGamer OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Oct 3, 2017 12:55 AM

Horrible name and seems to be a External CD ROM drive with a RaspberryPi shoved in perhaps? Another one to be wary of for sure. Actually name might be appropriate, seems damn Seedi to me....... Order now and receive a knockoff PS2 Controller !!!! 



#4 MotoRacer OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Oct 3, 2017 1:00 AM

Theyve made it very clear it doesnt run off a raspberry pi. That being said there was a much larger box that claimed to do similar emulation of cd based consoles. I believe it was on indiegogo. It never came out. Most never come out. I might buy one once it's available at retail, but for now it's just not worth the financial risk.

#5 OldSchoolRetroGamer OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Oct 3, 2017 1:31 AM

Theyve made it very clear it doesnt run off a raspberry pi.


True it does state on the funding page that it is NOT a RaspberryPi and possibly one reason they have been very specific about that is more than
a few sources seem to be under the impression it is likely the OrangePi in a custom case since the microUSB, HDMI & microSD slots line up exactly with that board. 

 



#6 dj_convoy OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Oct 3, 2017 8:24 AM

I like their forthrightness (no magic "hybrid emulation," they tell you that you have to provide BIOSes, etc.). As I said way back whenever Retroblox (scoff) started, I'd be mildly interested in the disk-based equivalent of a Retron 5. My SEGA CD is finicky, and odds are, even tho' the caps have been recently been replaced, my Duo will be, too. I dunno that this is the solution I'd want... but maybe a couple of years down the line and there's a more refined version... 



#7 MotoRacer OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Oct 3, 2017 12:14 PM

I agree, DJ. What I'd want, theoretically, is a system like this but with retro controller inputs. Or, just Genesis pin controller ports but the option to buy converter cables for Turbo Grafx and Neo Geo pads. 

 

If something had those options, plus the bonus option of running MAME (like this does) without the need of extra hardware in order to have said controller ports, I'd be more ready to provide my money, and might be more comfortable with the idea of selling my modded Duo for a more modern replacement that would theoretically last longer.

 

In this case though, the Cart/controller port add on looks almost laughably last minute, and the system as a whole still doesn't give me the confidence it's genuinely real.

 

Anyone notice the clear green casing "limited edition" version console they have on their listing doesn't even have any components in it? It's just a hollow green shell. They also claim their PS3-knock off pad they admit they got from a supplier will somehow come with a matching clear green shell, despite the fact they've made it very clear they're not actually making the controllers, but simply buying pre-existing pads from China.

 

Like I mentioned before, the one that came in a little pc case about a year or two ago looked like a much more realistic vision, and that didn't even release. I have a tough time believing what looks like an external DVD drive in a cradle is somehow the answer for all my retro cd-based console needs. 

 

And I'm sorry, but Seedi? Really? The name doesn't help quell my fears...


Edited by MotoRacer, Tue Oct 3, 2017 12:17 PM.


#8 MotoRacer OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Oct 3, 2017 12:27 PM

Thought of a good campaign slogan for this thing.

 

Seedi - It's not, trust us!



#9 Flojomojo OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Oct 3, 2017 12:53 PM

It does look more plausible than some of the others, if super cheap and not much to look at. 

 

Why the obsession with original media? It's not like CDs are made out of unobtainium. They're bulky, slow, easily duplicated. Unlike (some) cartridges, there's nothing a CD can do that a rip cannot. 



#10 MotoRacer OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Oct 3, 2017 4:19 PM

It does look more plausible than some of the others, if super cheap and not much to look at. 

 

Why the obsession with original media? It's not like CDs are made out of unobtainium. They're bulky, slow, easily duplicated. Unlike (some) cartridges, there's nothing a CD can do that a rip cannot. 

 

It's not about the CD per-say, it's about what comes with the CD. While loose carts have nice visual appeal with the label art, most people actually keep the cases with their CD titles as the boxes weren't made of Nintendo-crap-grade recycled cardboard. With that comes art, manuals, etc that offer the same type of "need to have a physical version of my games" feeling people have for their cart based systems.

 

I went through this a few years ago with my Dreamcast. I went and burned tons of games, far too many to admit, and had a collection of "discs" that did the same thing the real "discs" did. But it wasn't the same. Much like an SD card with a rom on it isn't the same as a DS game with label, case and manual. 

 

Some systems I'm ok with Everdrives or similar solutions. Some I'm not. For many, the original PlayStation, Neo Geo, Saturn, Dreamcast, etc all hold too much value in our hearts to simply replace all games with a CD-R or an iso file. That's who this system is made for.

 

 

 

That being said, I still don't think it'll ever come out. And in addendum, most ripped carts (computer files) do the same thing real carts do, so I don't understand why CDs are somehow magically different from this. Heck, there's even a growing amount of repro carts floating around now, so it's not like carts aren't able to be reproduced in a similar way discs can. Even ones that contain special chips don't prevent ripped cartridges from being able to have their game played through emulation machines. So I fail to see the difference.

 

The reason people want physical media, regardless of the medium, has always been the same, and it has nothing to do with function. 


Edited by MotoRacer, Tue Oct 3, 2017 4:28 PM.


#11 HammR25 ONLINE  

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Posted Tue Oct 3, 2017 4:28 PM

It's on IndieNogo so forget it.



#12 Keatah OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Oct 3, 2017 4:56 PM

I agree, DJ. What I'd want, theoretically, is a system like this but with retro controller inputs. Or, just Genesis pin controller ports but the option to buy converter cables for Turbo Grafx and Neo Geo pads. 

 

If something had those options, plus the bonus option of running MAME (like this does) without the need of extra hardware in order to have said controller ports, I'd be more ready to provide my money, and might be more comfortable with the idea of selling my modded Duo for a more modern replacement that would theoretically last longer.

 

Mame or whatever emulator would need to be specifically written to access a DB9 by way of wading through all the USB and PC APIs presently part of any modern day OS.

 

Probably the best bet for custom controllers like that is wiring directly into the keyboard or using an iPac or stelladaptor. All 3 work well. Simply wiring your joysticks in parallel with the keys is cheapest.

 

It is important to remember that a lot of these kickstarter emulation rigs are done by folks simply assembling parts. There's no real engineering behind any of it. It's too multidisciplinary for one person.

 

I would also tend to say that these boxes are done with the hopes of making something become prevalent so it can be a source of income. Not for love of the hobby.



#13 stephena OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Oct 3, 2017 5:02 PM

It caught my attention because it's all straightforward software emulation and even uses Stella. Apparently the latest version. So perhaps it has the potential to be better than RetroN 77? OR maybe the potential to simply work.

 

Where does it say that it uses Stella, and more specifically the latest version?  I see that they emulate the 2600, but I don't see Stella mentioned.

 

With all the consoles popping up claiming to use Stella, I'm starting to keep more of an eye on them, to make sure that they're above board and following the licenses.



#14 Keatah OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Oct 3, 2017 5:30 PM

They said it uses Stella with GPLv2 license.

https://seedisystem....re-information/

 

---

 

Now I assume its a later or latest version because they make mention of the GPLv2 license.



#15 TheTIGuy OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Oct 3, 2017 5:42 PM

Eh, the best thing about it is the logo.

These specs look like a RasPi... it does not help that the board positions match up.

Seedi... is selling a RasPi with a custom distro, a ODD, and a Controller.

That, and the empty green see-thru case, is not reassuring that it is, in fact, NOT a RasPi.

Wouldn't sink my money into if I had any money.



#16 Keatah OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Oct 3, 2017 6:15 PM

This hardware and software combination is really something any enthusiast can put together. I built the wife an emulator box so she can play Scramble and Discs of Tron, among other favs.

 

It was really easy but rather time consuming.

 

Step 1:

Order parts from Amazon, ebay, and Arcade Controls

 

Step 2:

Assemble the parts

 

Step 3:

Install and configure the emulators

 

There is a ton of wiggle room and possibilities here. First of all, with software emulation one is not limited to what is available on FPGA or limited to what FPGA boards (or cores) are currently shipping. To be 100% fair you're limited to what software emus are available, naturally. But software emulators are so easily customized, look at all the options in any contemporary emu. And there are literally thousands of motherboards and processor combos that will power-up any given emulator!

 

So a generic fanless ITX-i7 fit the bill here. It can be assembled and become fully functional in an evening. Plenty of power to play thousands of favorites and double-up as a real PC. No frame skipping, no stuttering sound. None of the glitches you might encounter by simply running an emulator on your laptop. Quality components throughout bring the grand total to just under $1400. Sans monitor, speakers, keyboard, controllers. Just the box.

 

Step 3 is what takes the time. Polishing and making a rig absolutely perfect takes time. Nearly a month working 2 or 3 hours each evening if you want THE best of the best. Each emulator has to be configured just right for your exact bit of hardware and just how you want to do things. This button does this, this stick moves that, this here switch resets. You have to "interview the customer" to find out exactly what they're looking for and how they want it to work. What their expectations are. What controllers do they want? How sensitive? What kind of layout and mapping? What era is being focused on? All important questions. Certain games require extra attention and tweaks all their own. Not all, but some. And in problematic/unique/special/favorite situations, you can easily do a custom instance for a specific game. You need to know the exact monitor and speakers being used too. And then bring it all together.

 

This Seedi thing is someone's low-cost interpretation and variation on a homebrew emulation rig that is trying to appeal to all. You're paying for the time and assembly and configuration work really. It's nothing you can't do yourself if so motivated. You can build them on the cheap, less than $100. Or be elegant and sophisticated with high class hardware. Anodized metallic keyboard, automotive grade case finish, joystick/flightstick with all metal construction. Dual m.2 drives. SuperCapacitor 3 minute battery backup. The options are limitless.

 

So with Seedi you're essentially paying for the cheap hardware and a bit extra for someone to bring it all together for you. Sounds reasonable to me.

 

---

 

The experience of an emulator box IS going to be different than that of original hardware. One goal is to come damn close to recreating the winter mornings cozied-up with a 70's console or two..all the while utilizing modern hardware's capabilities and conveniences.

 

For example I've never owned a VCS or C64 or Atari 400/800 that was as reliable and as consistent as Stella-WinVice-Altirra. And if something does break, everything is modular and available today and tomorrow.


Edited by Keatah, Tue Oct 3, 2017 6:40 PM.


#17 StopDrop&Retro OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Oct 3, 2017 8:06 PM

True it does state on the funding page that it is NOT a RaspberryPi and possibly one reason they have been very specific about that is more than
a few sources seem to be under the impression it is likely the OrangePi in a custom case since the microUSB, HDMI & microSD slots line up exactly with that board. 

 

 

Are you sure? The ports don't seem to match. 

 

 

seediConsoleRear.jpg

 

orangepipch3.png

 

 

However, based on the specs and compatibility list I too agree that it's definitely some sort of a Pi derived piece of hardware but I'm wondering which one. And yes, I'm sure they're playing with their words when they say "it's not a Raspberry Pi!!"

 

Also, it's pretty hard to claim it's not Pi hardware when your pitch video includes this:

uNzeZSm.png



#18 Austin OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Oct 3, 2017 8:51 PM

Why the obsession with original media? It's not like CDs are made out of unobtainium. They're bulky, slow, easily duplicated. Unlike (some) cartridges, there's nothing a CD can do that a rip cannot. 

 

Uh.. Some people already have physical collections. Why spend time ripping/downloading and burning when you already have the games?



#19 Flojomojo OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Oct 3, 2017 9:12 PM

Uh.. Some people already have physical collections. Why spend time ripping/downloading and burning when you already have the games?


I have a lot of discs, too. They're a pain in the ass to handle and store. That's why.

#20 Keatah OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Oct 3, 2017 9:30 PM

The thing that isn't really mentioned or thought of is that little boxes like these are using emulators which've been in the field for a long time. They're tried, true, tested, and most are in active development. A known quantity. No magic bullshit need be created from scratch. No impossible unobtanium 'cores' need be engineered from the ground up. No magic hardware needs to be designed, built, revised, tested, then sent off to be manufactured. No "big corporation" has to be created. No niche inside a niche FPGA cores need be built by infighting engineer teams. And NO assinine hybrid emulation. None of that! Each emulator is a mature 'core' for a general-purpose CPU, like ARM or X86.

 

All the time consuming grunt work has been done by generous emu devs. And there are thousands of others whom have made 4-core 1GHz chips cost under $10. Let us not forget the development of the OS and everything else that goes into making a tiny single-board modular computer. All this infrastructure has been created. And what all these startup-wannabees are doing is assembling the pieces for you.

 

Maybe some of this R-Pi class hardware is a little monotonous. But you know what? It means enough bugs have been worked out to the point where it's boring mainstream. That is good. At least that's how a lot of consumers and myself see it. I don't want cutting-edge hyper-space technology here.

 

If you're looking for new kinds of hardware/ecosystems don't go looking here for that. Frankly that's where a lot of disappointment comes from. Everyone is looking at these rigs with the hope it's new architecture. No. It isn't. And it is never going to be that. For new architecture you're going to need to look at big names in semiconductors like Intel, AMD, ARM, Apple, Nvidia, and others.

 

---

 

I watched a vid just a while ago on my way back from up north. And the guys said a nice thing is that you don't have to worry about converter boxes and mods and piles of wires. The game is output in a format directly compatible with today's displays. It's something the consumer wants. Demands.

 

Oh sure, it's going to be different from the experience any arbitrary 10 year old kid had when opening up opening up a new VCS on a quiet Christmas Morning, Sunday, 1977. With piles of snow outside, fireplace going. A Sears Wishbook stacked on the newspapers stacked on the end table.. TV dinners cooking in the Harvest Gold oven. Loads of fun in knowing it was only mid-way into a 2-week winter vacation.. Quite different. And yet some of it the same.

 

I also argue that these emulation boxes are far enough removed in time from the original systems that NEW nostalgia can be created. And there are plenty of folks that are playing classic games for the first time on machines like this.


Edited by Keatah, Tue Oct 3, 2017 9:34 PM.


#21 Austin OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Oct 3, 2017 11:50 PM

I have a lot of discs, too. They're a pain in the ass to handle and store. That's why.

 

Oh no, I have to take a game out of a case! What will I ever do?!

 

THE SKY IS CRASHING DOWN, PEOPLE!!!!

 

 

AAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh..............................................



#22 Keatah OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Oct 3, 2017 11:57 PM

I can't fully see the final 46 characters. Are they dots?



#23 Video ONLINE  

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Posted Wed Oct 4, 2017 4:24 AM

Do we need yet another emulation box? I mean if it played everything including last gen maybe. Be nice to have the disc drive, but that's a sub for SD cards, right? I mean, if it plays actual software off disc, that would be cool, if its just for older cart ROMs t see little point though.

#24 Flojomojo OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Oct 4, 2017 5:19 AM

 

Oh no, I have to take a game out of a case! What will I ever do?!

 

THE SKY IS CRASHING DOWN, PEOPLE!!!!

 

 

AAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh..............................................

That's your opinion. You don't know me. I'm not buying something that plays discs, not on purpose. Spinning optical is for people who use big fonts on message boards. Solid state for me, thanks. 

 

Lots of people bitch about having to get up to reset the NES and SNES Classic Mini, too. None of us are getting any younger or more spry. 



#25 Austin OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Oct 4, 2017 10:38 PM

That's your opinion. You don't know me. I'm not buying something that plays discs, not on purpose. Spinning optical is for people who use big fonts on message boards. Solid state for me, thanks. 

 

Lots of people bitch about having to get up to reset the NES and SNES Classic Mini, too. None of us are getting any younger or more spry. 

 

We already know what you will or won't do with your devices. You scream "digital all day" even at times where it adds nothing to the conversation. It's predictable, and to that point, we do know you.

 

I'm all about playing a game via whatever means you want. If you want to use physical media, then awesome. If you want to go all digital/download only, then great.

 

To your last statement, perhaps having to get up once every now and then is actually a blessing in disguise. ;)






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