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FPGA Based Videogame System

Interest in an FPGA Videogame System  

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  1. 1. I would pay....

  2. 2. I Would Like Support for...

  3. 3. Games Should Run From...

    • SD Card / USB Memory Sticks
    • Original Cartridges
    • Hopes and Dreams
  4. 4. The Video Inteface Should be...



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I finally bought one just now. (Pre-ordered anyhow)

 

Went for the Super Famicom design (it's seriously beautiful hardware -- inspired by the original, yet new and sleek).

 

It honors me to support both Kevtris and Analogue in their pursuit of making clone consoles that are not pieces of garbage like the majority of clone consoles out there. The time, work, effort spent on creating this product goes to show a real passion that I share for retro gaming. Glad to see this community thriving. Happy that an intelligent, hard-working, and meticulous engineer such as Kevtris and a company as dedicated to quality as Analogue have found eachother. Seems like a match made in heaven.

 

Anyways, I am now super excited for what comes next. Could a PC Engine be in the works? How about a Genesis? Those two seem like the most likely candidates to me. Kevtris, wink wink nudge nudge... these should be your next targets once you take a breath and recover from some relaxing vacation on a tropical island!

Edited by brentonius
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An FPGA will have no lag in the best case, and minimal lag in the worst case (i.e scaling to HDMI, etc). A software emulator, on the other hand, will have lots of sources of lag built in. There will be the controller interface aspect, the CPU/processing part, and then the video rendering portion. Some of these can be minimized possibly, but if there's an OS running underneath, I think lag will be unavoidable.

 

Since you said that Kevtris, I think you may find this piece of news interesting. It requires quite a lot of hassle, but still pretty impressive:

 

"Next-frame response time (≤16ms!) achievable with RetroArch! Latency with RetroArch as good as real hardware!"

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Since you said that Kevtris, I think you may find this piece of news interesting. It requires quite a lot of hassle, but still pretty impressive:

 

"Next-frame response time (≤16ms!) achievable with RetroArch! Latency with RetroArch as good as real hardware!"

 

what os and device? pc? linux? x86? arm? i would be more poised to believe this if not posted on a patreon donation page. anyone notice kevtris dont have one?

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i would be more poised to believe this if not posted on a patreon donation page. anyone notice kevtris dont have one?

 

 

We have asked him many times to create one here. :) BTW, it was posted on reddit as well: https://www.reddit.com/r/emulation/comments/7q7wgs/nextframe_response_time_16ms_achievable_with/

 

EDIT: And there's this whole thread devoted to investigating input lag (EDIT2: it is also the link to the post where you will find more details Kosmic about the specs and the methodology used).

Edited by retro_fan

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I want to know if those are a new version of the bluetooth controllers or the same one's that are out now. To bad the bundle is on amazon.com. I checked amazon.ca and they don't have the bundle but I can find them separate but it will be kinda pricy. They say pre order on analogue site maybe I have to wait for them to release or something for them to have them on the Canada amazon.

I want to know how much input lag they have compared to a wired controller. But I hear the older one's were pretty good anyways.

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Mapper 30 is pretty new and is not supported yet. I am really hoping it gets supported on the nt mini because a lot of games are going to be coming out soon that use it, and some of them will even be good! 🙂

Edited by cacophony

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Agreed. Clear doesn't look nearly as nice and the led looks like it will light up the room on the clear variant. I wanted to see the sexy internals not struggle to look though a milk jug.

 

Kevtris can the led be turned off?

 

It can't... directly. however you can make/load a custom LED pattern and set it to anything you like from off to darker or whatever. For solid black just make a file that's 768 bytes long, full of 0's. The file format is just RGBRGBRGB byte triples and you can force it to display one of the RGB entries specifically, or cycle through them. This is true for the nt mini, as well. The patterns on that work on this.

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About a Neo Geo Analogue system, I'd love to get jamma too !

 

If it becomes possible to patch games with expansion chips, then it will become possible to simply load a donor cart and play another Rom that uses the chip. I know this is possible for DSP-1, not sure about sa-1 or fx. Then there is the severe performance penalty for using a fx1 donor like Starfox to play an fx-2 rom like yoshi's island. Yoshi may not like running at half the clock speed, of visa versa for starfox running at 2x.

only DSP-1 works like that on snes.

the rom sits behind the coprocessor on those enhencement chip cart.

you can't use the chip or simulate another rom, for that you would need to simulate both on the fpga, and that requires some space on the fpga. (that's how SD2SNES does it)

 

 

About a Neo Geo Analogue system, I'd love to get jamma too !

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It can't... directly. however you can make/load a custom LED pattern and set it to anything you like from off to darker or whatever. For solid black just make a file that's 768 bytes long, full of 0's. The file format is just RGBRGBRGB byte triples and you can force it to display one of the RGB entries specifically, or cycle through them. This is true for the nt mini, as well. The patterns on that work on this.

Any particular reason it wasn't put in there as as option?

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It can't... directly. however you can make/load a custom LED pattern and set it to anything you like from off to darker or whatever. For solid black just make a file that's 768 bytes long, full of 0's. The file format is just RGBRGBRGB byte triples and you can force it to display one of the RGB entries specifically, or cycle through them. This is true for the nt mini, as well. The patterns on that work on this.

Thanks for the reply Kevtris. Is it possible to be added as a feature?

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Where are the Super Nt reviews on YouTube? Don't some people already have them? There still an embargo in effect, and if so... Why?

 

Can't wait to see if these live up to all the hype. Loving my Nt mini everyday while I wait. :)

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Since you said that Kevtris, I think you may find this piece of news interesting. It requires quite a lot of hassle, but still pretty impressive:

 

"Next-frame response time (≤16ms!) achievable with RetroArch! Latency with RetroArch as good as real hardware!"

 

I'm gonna call BS just because retroarch is not "one" emulator, but dozens of pieces of random emulators with different performance profiles. That might only be true of really specific boards/chips as well that has it's own controller bus like the NES/SNES mini and not of anything using USB or Bluetooth.
" Whoever told you input lag was a given with emulators and that you needed FPGA in order to avoid this latency, was talking about pre-RetroArch. Post-RetroArch, latency indistinguishable from real hardware is perfectly possible! "
It is physically impossible to get "like hardware" latency in software, especially when we're talking about 8-bit and 16-bit systems which don't tolerate latency. Take note that the person who actually did the work used an i5-5xxx series CPU on Linux, which is not a configuration many people have, and thus can't replicate the findings of. Plus the author is only talking about the NES. That's all you need is someone who reads that and then tries this on a RPi with 1/16th the capability. Plus that claim of being "indistinguishable from real hardware" is a bold faced lie. When they do some double-blind tests, they can try again.
While I think the retroarch people might believe they have a low-latency emulator, that will never be better than the original hardware, only "good enough" for people who tolerate inaccurate timing in the first place. There are plenty of speed hacks in current generations of emulators, that if you were to remove them, you'd never be able to emulate a SNES either except on the highest end hardware, which an i5 is not..
Edited by Kismet
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Where are the Super Nt reviews on YouTube? Don't some people already have them? There still an embargo in effect, and if so... Why?

 

Can't wait to see if these live up to all the hype. Loving my Nt mini everyday while I wait. :)

 

There is an embargo until Feb 7th. The embargo is about creating a fair and even playing field for reviewers, ensuring reviewers have enough time to do a quality job, and creating more impact by having all the reviews hit at once.

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I'm gonna call BS just because retroarch is not "one" emulator, but dozens of pieces of random emulators with different performance profiles. That might only be true of really specific boards/chips as well that has it's own controller bus like the NES/SNES mini and not of anything using USB or Bluetooth.
" Whoever told you input lag was a given with emulators and that you needed FPGA in order to avoid this latency, was talking about pre-RetroArch. Post-RetroArch, latency indistinguishable from real hardware is perfectly possible! "
It is physically impossible to get "like hardware" latency in software, especially when we're talking about 8-bit and 16-bit systems which don't tolerate latency. Take note that the person who actually did the work used an i5-5xxx series CPU on Linux, which is not a configuration many people have, and thus can't replicate the findings of. Plus the author is only talking about the NES. That's all you need is someone who reads that and then tries this on a RPi with 1/16th the capability. Plus that claim of being "indistinguishable from real hardware" is a bold faced lie. When they do some double-blind tests, they can try again.
While I think the retroarch people might believe they have a low-latency emulator, that will never be better than the original hardware, only "good enough" for people who tolerate inaccurate timing in the first place. There are plenty of speed hacks in current generations of emulators, that if you were to remove them, you'd never be able to emulate a SNES either except on the highest end hardware, which an i5 is not..

 

c21.jpg

 

Firstly, most people that still play retro consoles do so with more lag than an emulator would have. Those that aren't using a crt or an ossc + low input lag display are at best using a xrgb-mini with 1.5 frames of lag (so about the same as an emulator) and those without $400 to spend on a converter are dealing with more. (The crt crowd is a niche group of a niche group and the ossc only became easily available recently and previously it took half a year on a waiting list to get one.) And you know what? Most games are still perfectly enjoyable with a frame or two of lag and only a handful of games are actually so difficult that it would become a problem (lookin at you Battletoads)

 

Given the fact that people lose their minds and fight grandmas to get Nintendo Classic Consoles and how many people play emulated games or buy the same games 5 times from virtual stores and how much people love it when consoles are "backwards compatible" and how many people hack consoles to put emulators on them I think it is safe to say 99.9%+ of the people that play retro games are not going to notice enough to complain if they use a well built emulator with minimal lag.

 

And while "speed hacks" to get software running at close to native speed are a thing as long as the games function without issue what is there to hate about performance optimization?

 

Secondly, while most people won't notice/complain about minor lag you know what they will notice? 4k graphics, enhanced anti-aliasing/filters, and increasing the fps of a game from 30 to 60 or even 120+. Is that "good enough" compared to the original hardware? Because I would say it is far superior.

 

I've played Shenmue in 4k.

 

I played Breath of the Wild in 4k at 60 fps.

 

I've played ps1 with enough anti-aliasing and filters to actually see what was on the screen clearly.

 

And I've helped a guy with one hand set up an emulator so he could remap his buttons on a system that didn't natively allow it.

 

None of which is possible on original hardware.

 

So I ask you: Would you rather have 15ms, milliseconds, as in 15 thousandths of second, faster response time (or less depending on your setup) and half the resolution, fps, and anti-aliasing, or do you want that the other way around?

 

Don't get me wrong emulation isn't functional for every game or even every system but to say original hardware is best because in most cases the only difference is that it may run almost imperceptibly faster is honestly bullshit. Not to mention the cost of obtaining and modding a system as well as all the cables and hardware you need is insane compared to the cost of, at worst, maybe needing to upgrade the computer you already own for better results with your emulator.

 

Fpgas are the best of both worlds though, offering the same native resolution increases, digital outputs, and anti-aliasing/filters at native clock speeds and that is almost entirely because of Kevtris.

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With all the speculation that everyone does regarding Analogue's future plans there is one actual quote from Chris Taber (founder):

 

"Meanwhile, Analogue isn’t limiting itself to Nintendo. Up next, Taber says, are plans for every forgotten console released in the years since: Sega Genesis, Atari Jaguar, 3DO, Sega Saturn, Dreamcast. There’s no timeline, but their focus and the interest it’s creating certainly makes a strong case for the conservation of gaming’s history."

(source: http://www.scmp.com/culture/arts-entertainment/article/2118165/retro-gaming-gets-21st-century-boost-analogue-consoles )

 

To be honest, I'm a little surprised to see Atari Jaguar and 3DO mentioned, but no TG-16 or Neo Geo.

 

What do you think of that list? What would be your ideal next console(s) for Analogue to tackle?

Edited by cacophony

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With all the speculation that everyone does regarding Analogue's future plans there is one actual quote from Chris Taber (CEO):

 

"Meanwhile, Analogue isn’t limiting itself to Nintendo. Up next, Taber says, are plans for every forgotten console released in the years since: Sega Genesis, Atari Jaguar, 3DO, Sega Saturn, Dreamcast. There’s no timeline, but their focus and the interest it’s creating certainly makes a strong case for the conservation of gaming’s history."

(source: http://www.scmp.com/culture/arts-entertainment/article/2118165/retro-gaming-gets-21st-century-boost-analogue-consoles )

 

To be honest, I'm a little surprised to see Atari Jaguar and 3DO mentioned, but no TG-16 or Neo Geo.

 

What do you think of that list? What would be your ideal next console(s) for Analogue to tackle?

Honestly as long as Kevtris is coding/lead developer I don't care what they cover on that list as long as they keep working at it. That said I really hope the next project is a Genesis core and that they have the Neo Geo on their radar.

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It can't... directly. however you can make/load a custom LED pattern and set it to anything you like from off to darker or whatever. For solid black just make a file that's 768 bytes long, full of 0's. The file format is just RGBRGBRGB byte triples and you can force it to display one of the RGB entries specifically, or cycle through them. This is true for the nt mini, as well. The patterns on that work on this.

OH, so the LED is RGB? Retro meets the new trends.

 

If I can make the light red and dim I'm perfectly happy. That would be perfect. I think turning off the light completely is not a great idea, since you won't be able to tell at all wether the system is on or not.

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It can't, but I have a special PPU development board that plugs into the cartridge port and I can run real PPUs + the FPGA PPU in parallel while games and test programs run. This lets me do direct A:B comparisons in real time. At the very start, I did use an nt mini with a PPU board though until the super nt hardware was ready to go.

 

 

I am not sure what the problem is, but it sounds like cable issues. If you made your own cable, it's possible the ground isn't connected to ground or is open circuit or similar. An open ground will result in a very poor picture since the video is being grounded through other means (or not at all).

 

The composite output in NES mode is exactly the same, voltage wise, as a stock system. I tested it here during development on two PVMs, and on several other TVs here and at a friend's house. The sillyscope, earm, oscilloscope shows no noise or other anomalies on the DAC output lines either.

 

If you made your own cable, make sure you have the proper output mode pins grounded or else it might be outputting RGB or component instead.

 

Yes, I made my own cable, with official instructions

https://support.analogue.co/hc/en-us/articles/115000923948-Using-Analog-Video-output-with-the-Nt-mini

 

I think you don't test your consoles before shipping is the big problem, cause I live in Finland and now I have two faulty items, and it is very very expensive to ship them back to you.

 

I dont understand why the picture quality is so noise with Framemeister and orginal AV Famicom and NES is much less noise. Why the latest jbfirmware have problems to show pal composite/s-video picture?

Edited by RadikusRLZ

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