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Why is there not an "AVS" (fpga based console) equivalent for the 2600?

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#26 Kosmic Stardust OFFLINE  

Kosmic Stardust

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Posted Mon Jan 8, 2018 6:29 PM

To answer the OP quickly and succinctly, there is no need for an FPGA-based VCS. We're covered by ebay, Flashbacks, and emulation.


Additionally I also feel that if new VCS hardware were to be made today in the form of a full console; there would have to be additional things included. Why? Because! And that's a problem, WHAT to put in, what sort of "add-on" features to incorporate?

Keatah, with all due respect, you have made it obvious in your rants that no console truly needs the FPGA option, because emulation is cheaper and more feature filled. However some gamers demand tighter control, which can only be had through the FPGA.

#27 Keatah ONLINE  


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Posted Mon Jan 8, 2018 7:08 PM

I feel that as we move farther away from the time the original hardware was manufactured, the less people are championing accurate timing & control. And the ones that are calling for those features are becoming a vocal minority.


I believe the numbers back it up too. Software Emulation has exploded all over the place, while we still have yet to see a comprehensive and feature-complete FPGA implementation of one of the most simplest consoles of all time.


There's absolutely nothing wrong in holding such a high standard, I just continue to feel that those extra 2 or 3 percentage points don't warrant the inconvenience and costs. To me it's like bolting on a bigger turbo and extra intercooler and program chip among other mods, just to get .5 seconds off your 0-60 time. And in the process, losing cold-weather efficiency and easy starting of the engine.




In the end. I think it is cost and cost alone that stops a FPGA-based VCS'es from being made.

#28 Keatah ONLINE  


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Posted Mon Jan 8, 2018 7:42 PM

I was about to ask how accurate the 2600 core was, but you answered for me. The classic comps I have little interest in. Not really a rabbit hole I want to climb down and invest time into.


Classic comps via FPGA aren't really ever finished to completion. Again, it's the feature-set like in WinUAE or Altirra which can make your existing host PC+mouse+keyboard feel like an original Atari or Amiga. Or even a souped-up rig if you so desire. To do that on FPGA you'd need to make your own host OS too.


Cartridge consoles on the other hand are rather complete in their FPGA simulations. After all, there in usually one or two set configurations of hardware, no keyboards, no disk drives, or other virtualized peripherals that require user interaction. No controls other than POWER ON/OFF or RESET.


Disk drives, you have to be able to insert and swap disk images. Assign drive numbers.. and more. Virtual printers, you need to interact with the output portion, like specify a file, and then decode/display the file. Or a comport, you need to hook it a real hardware comport somehow.


I'm more than happy enough to be 1 frame behind or having it "get stuck" in the framebuffer if I gain all the extra features of those deluxe emulators.

#29 Keatah ONLINE  


    Missile Commander

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Posted Mon Jan 8, 2018 8:56 PM

I often keep mentioning Software Emulation and how well it competes against (and often exceeds) FPGA hardware so that newbies can get the whole picture. I don't care about seeing my type in print on message boards - that vanity died out in the 300 baud modem era. I don't care about increasing post counts - the mods could reset my count to 0 and I wouldn't give a care in the world.


A big issue is that too many people think FPGA is a 1:1 duplicate of the original hardware's circuitry, limited only by the accuracy of the schematics. Put a capacitor here, connect it to that chip there. Ha! That is so not true. And in the same way newcomers think that Software Emulation totally disregards timing and that the emulator itself is a hastily slapped-together translator of ROMS to X86. Or somesuch hack job. That is so not true either. A lot of painstaking work goes into both of these alternate ways of playing games. Getting things sequenced right and on-schedule is a huge deal.

#30 CapitanClassic ONLINE  



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Posted Tue Jan 9, 2018 9:55 PM

I dont have a lot of experience with verilog, but since the 6502, RiOT, and TIA have transistor level recreations due to the hard work of the Visual6502 guys, shouldnt an perfect recreation of a VCS be possible in an FPGA?


Someone creates a 6502 core

cannot seem to find the RIOT or TIA though. They do mention generating frames of video

Edited by CapitanClassic, Tue Jan 9, 2018 9:58 PM.

#31 Keatah ONLINE  


    Missile Commander

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Posted Tue Jan 9, 2018 10:35 PM

It's not enough to say a transistor is a simple switch. Transistors are more than that. And you have RC and RL circuits and some D/A conversion. To replicate the flavor of the VCS with all the nuances, the FPGA would need to handle the analog signals, the betas, cutoffs, resonances, and bias points.


You might get the logic and sequencing and timing right, but then a software emulator can do that too.

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