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LTO Flash! - Intellivision Flash Cartridge Information

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Someone else beat me to it, but I'll confirm: $119, no change from the original announcement.

 

 

 

 

It's not waiting at this end. More like running around with hair on fire getting all the last bits in place. LOL.

 

 

 

 

I don't know the Hive's final feature set. Based on what I do know, the main technical differences are:

  • LTO Flash! has built in flash (32MB). Hive uses a microSD card.
  • LTO Flash! has a microUSB connection, and offers a USB serial connection to games. AFAIK, the Hive does not.
  • LTO Flash! supports games up to 1MB (512K words), with flash save areas up to 1MB. I don't know the Hive's size limits offhand.
  • LTO Flash! provides a number of hardware acceleration functions based on JLP (docs available soon). We'll know what the Hive supports when they release documentation.
  • LTO Flash! uses a custom GUI (Mac, Windows) to load games on the cart. My understanding is that the Hive browses a microSD card.
  • LTO Flash! has a built-in manual reader. I don't know what the Hive offers here.
  • LTO Flash! transparently fixes compatibility issues with Inty 2 and ECS. I don't know what the Hive offers here.
  • LTO Flash! comes in a shrink-wrapped gatefold box, with custom shell, full color manual, hologram serial number label. I don't know the Hive's delivery options. We'll know when it ships.
  • Both units are field upgradeable.
Ultimately, they're both flash carts. Until a 3rd party reviewer can sit down with both and give a true head-to-head comparison, I can really only talk with certainty about what *I* have built. We each made different tradeoffs, and there's little point in debating those now. :) Each will have its fans.

 

I built LTO Flash! to satisfy me. intvsteve and my various beta-testers can attest I've spent a lot of time tweaking things to get every last little detail right on the unit. Hopefully, folks enjoy the result as much as I do.

Can't wait to buy both. Ummmm, did I just read serial number? :)

I call lowest number that Joe makes available if I can't have #1. Lol!

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I expect to see piles of LTO Flash boxes formed into a bar with Cmart serving drinks behind it at PRGE!

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

Oooh, good idea! :)

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Someone else beat me to it, but I'll confirm: $119, no change from the original announcement.

 

 

It's not waiting at this end. More like running around with hair on fire getting all the last bits in place. LOL.

 

 

 

 

I don't know the Hive's final feature set. Based on what I do know, the main technical differences are

<!SNIP!>

 

Those sound very much like the feature set of LTO Flash! "I don't know what the Hive has" is not really a technical difference. Just sayin'... ;)

 

 

 

 

I'm not sure if there's a point-by-point comparison worked up anywhere.

 

The most obvious difference is how you load the ROMs to the device.

 

For LTO Flash!, you use an application on your Windows or Mac computer to build a menu, plug the device into your computer with a USB cable, and put the ROMs onto your device. ROMs are stored in onboard flash memory. LTO Flash! also offers access to that port as a standard serial port on the PC side, as well as from the console directly.

 

There are a lot of other features described in the early posts on this thread, too.

 

For the Hive, it's said that you copy your ROMs onto an SD card and put the SD card into the slot on the Hive - no need for anything other than an SD card reader. Not sure what the file system formatting requirements for the SD card are, or the capacities supported. I believe it'll use the file system arrangement on your SD card as the menu arrangement. That approach is certainly a simplification over the Cuttle Cart 3. Although the CC3 was also SD-card-based, to arrange your menus you used a companion application to manage everything. Some found that app hard to use, so Soulbuster here wrote an alternative.

 

Maybe one day I'll add CC3 menu editor support to the UI for LTO Flash!, if enough people would want it.

 

That sounds about right from what I've heard too. I guess we'll know more when the final product is released, although I think the main features have already been described in another post, including a list of included games.

 

Like intvnut and intvsteve said already, the main difference for most users is that the LTO Flash! uses a separate application on your computer to managed your ROMs, while The Hive works like a USB thumbdrive where you drag and drop ROMs into it from your computer. The internal workings are probably different, but overall and in general they both do the same things.

 

Also, not to start another religious war, but the LTO Flash! supports DRM to protect commercial downloadable ROMs, which is available to game publishers if they wish to use it. Like the GUI vs. Drive features this may or may not be a stand-out feature to you.

 

It may be necessary for people to buy both since the hardware accelerated features will virtually guarantee that some games will run on one but not the other.

 

-dZ.

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Sweet!!!

 

This looks and sounds great, I will go C-Mart style and purchase two! :) :thumbsup:

Lol! Yes I will be buying more than one copy of both Flash and Hive.

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I'm glad i'll have one less item to have to arrange to transport back from PRGE :) more toom from the other 427 releases :)

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I'm still on board as well.

 

With the testing that has happened so far, are there any known games with issues, or non-working? I know we'll eventually have a good list of working, non-working, etc, but was wondering if anything was known yet at all.

 

I'll be using it with an Intellivision II with Intellivoice.

 

Edited my post because autocorrect caused it to make no sense, sorry. Posting from phone...

Edited by Hastor
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Sweet!!!

 

This looks and sounds great, I will go C-Mart style and purchase two! :) :thumbsup:

 

Lol! Yes I will be buying more than one copy of both Flash and Hive.

Uhm.. Maybe I'm being overly paranoid, as you did say not to worry that there will be enough for everyone, but it would be nice if you implemented some type of system to ensure we can actually get one, like only let each member buy only 1 (at least initially) to assure we all get a shot and avoid hoarding/flipping... Just sayin'... Edited by walterg74

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how many games can we have simultaneously with this cart?

 

At the risk of jumping in before Joe elaborates… My previous reply was necessarily short. I'll expand a little bit on this...

 

The maximum single ROM file size supported is 1MB. The available flash storage is 32 MB. So if you had 32 unique 1MB ROMs, then at most you'd fit 32 on there. But, you could put the same 1MB ROM on there 500 times and still only use 1MB of space. Joe created a robust, journaled file system for the flash that also de-dupes.

 

That said, I know of only one ROM that's a full megabyte in size, and it's one we used for testing.

 

The largest games are far, far smaller than that. Actual storage space has never been an issue.

 

The storage is shared among the ROMs, manuals, and game-specific storage needs, so ultimately, of course, it depends a lot on what you choose to put on the cart. :D

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Hoping that I'll have the money when the pre orders go up. It's going to be tight.

 

Better work a few extra hours this week. ;) I don't think Joe does pre-orders. When ordering info is announced, it'll be because it's ready for immediate shipment.

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I have maybe 500 or 600 roms. Will they all fit?

Insufficient data for giving a complete answer. :P

 

Based on the file system specification, it'd be less than half full based on typical Intellivision ROM sizes - closer to 1/3 full. That would likely not be due to storage space but other file-system-specific considerations.

 

Once nice thing, though, is you don't have to "install" the ROM to "permanent" storage if your computer is close to your console. One nifty feature I use a lot when testing out ROMs is to take the laptop over to the console, plug in the USB cable, and just have the rom download & play immediately -- not unlike the Intellicart, TBH.

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how many games can we have simultaneously with this cart?

 

The total storage is 32MB. There's a hard limit at 1536 games, which I think most folks* can live with. ;) Individual games can be up to 1MB, as intvsteve stated; however, most are much smaller than that. The original 125 catalog fits in about 1.5MB if I recall correctly. So, you could fit about 20 copies of the original 125 on there.

 

 

I have maybe 500 or 600 roms. Will they all fit?

 

They should. How many megabytes of ROMs is that?

 

*Rev's a candidate for exceeding the 1536 ROM limit.

 

 

Hoping that I'll have the money when the pre orders go up. It's going to be tight.

 

There won't be any pre-orders. Only actual orders. ;-)

 

 

With the testing that has happened so far, are there any known games with issues, or non-working? I know we'll eventually have a good list of working, non-working, etc, but was wondering if anything was known yet at all.

 

I'll be using it with an Intellivision II with Intellivoice.

 

100% compatible with Intellivision 1, Intellivision 2, INTV System III, and Super Pro System. Heavily tested on PAL and NTSC. 100% compatible with Intellivoice and ECS.

 

LTO Flash! includes a workaround for the Intellivision 2 "lockout" that prevents some games from working. It also will disable the ECS for games that are incompatible with it. (For example, you can now play Pac-Man while the ECS is attached.)

 

No known compatibility issues with any released games. In the unlikely circumstance of a game incompatibility, LTO Flash! is field upgradeable, so we should be able to address the issue quickly and painlessly. Firmware upgrades are quick, painless and safe. If there's ever an issue, the unit automatically falls back to the original factory firmware and generates a bug report to send to us.

 

EDIT: I will say that LTO Flash! doesn't fix all games with known compatibility issues. For example, Dreadnaught Factor doesn't play on PAL without a patch, and that remains true with LTO Flash! That's not a problem introduced by LTO Flash!, but also not addressed by LTO Flash! On the plus side, if you put such a patch in a .CFG file for the game, the GUI will automatically apply the patch when it downloads the game to the unit.

Edited by intvnut
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