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FPGA Based Videogame System

Interest in an FPGA Videogame System  

637 members have voted

  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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Agreed. And these people watch 4:3 screen content stretched on their displays as well.

 

Skip stretching. Go straight to spherical projection.

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Strange. To me the 8:7 ratio seems correct, and even 4:3 seems stretched out horizontally. I'm not sure what looks like my old CRT, but most games I played look correct with the standard settings from the Super NT. I do use 4x hight just to reduce the size of the image, but besides that to me the Super NT looks correct out of the box and I see no need to change anything.

 

I tested 4x vertical and 5x horizontal pixel doubling and it looked like ass to me.

 

And to think some people like stretching the image to fill the screen. At that point it just looks silly....

 

The only graphical issue I have with the super NT is shimmmering/pixel crawl on slow scrolling objects of certain color. I do have interpolation ON (box unchecked), but still there is a weird distracting jumpiness specially on some white text on some games. I am guessing this is the fault of my monitor itself, but I'm not sure.

 

And BTW, I'm not sure what the whole deal with the 8bitdo controllers is. the 2 I have do give me some diagonals I didn't want now and then, but it's kinda rare. I did a 3 hour long stream yesterday, and I called out every time I made an unwanted input using the 8bit do controller, and it was like 5 or 6 times I think. I wonder wether there is inconsistencies between different controllers, or wether this is just how people play games differently so it affects them differently.

It’s a bigger issue for high-level players of certain kinds of games where accuracy is key. Even the people making an testing these controllers just aren’t particular enough to see that there’s a problem. That’s why so many controllers make it all the way to the market and still have this issue. People pay a lot of money for custom fight sticks, SteelStick64, and NOS controllers for these reasons and Nintendo had a history of getting this right a long time ago. They started their slippery slope with the GameCube’s horrible D-pad that could somehow register the complete opposite direction when sending commands to your squadron in a Rogue Squadron II Rogue Leader (a launch title). Somehow the exact same D-pad worked much better in the original GBA. Try playing Panel de Pon in Nintendo Puzzle Collection the way my brother does (it supports both). ;)

 

The Wii VC gets analog stick translation wrong. Not only is the quick spin in Zelda OOT/MQ more difficult, but Mario Kart 64 will randomly spin you out for no reason. This was an intentional play control quirk designed to discourage 3rd party controllers that allowed oversteer. This was in the era when Nintendo made the Rumble Pak break the unlicensed Interact Shark Pad (which would later be revised and licensed). They also made your character walk BACKWARDS in Blast Corps with controllers like “The Rock!” To see them get tripped up by their own play-control quirks tells me that the left hand didn’t know what the right hand was doing.

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I'll start this post with what to me is the big ellefant in the room. Why does analog advertise these 8bitdo pads as lag free when they add about a frame of lag?

 

It’s a bigger issue for high-level players of certain kinds of games where accuracy is key. Even the people making an testing these controllers just aren’t particular enough to see that there’s a problem. That’s why so many controllers make it all the way to the market and still have this issue. People pay a lot of money for custom fight sticks, SteelStick64, and NOS controllers for these reasons and Nintendo had a history of getting this right a long time ago. They started their slippery slope with the GameCube’s horrible D-pad that could somehow register the complete opposite direction when sending commands to your squadron in a Rogue Squadron II Rogue Leader (a launch title). Somehow the exact same D-pad worked much better in the original GBA. Try playing Panel de Pon in Nintendo Puzzle Collection the way my brother does (it supports both). ;)

The Wii VC gets analog stick translation wrong. Not only is the quick spin in Zelda OOT/MQ more difficult, but Mario Kart 64 will randomly spin you out for no reason. This was an intentional play control quirk designed to discourage 3rd party controllers that allowed oversteer. This was in the era when Nintendo made the Rumble Pak break the unlicensed Interact Shark Pad (which would later be revised and licensed). They also made your character walk BACKWARDS in Blast Corps with controllers like “The Rock!” To see them get tripped up by their own play-control quirks tells me that the left hand didn’t know what the right hand was doing.

Tl;Dr: 8bit do controllers are NOT perfect replicas of the originals. Its easier to get diagonals on them, wanted or unwanted, and they feel different to play on. They are still overall good precise controllers that work as intended. (with a frame of lag)

 

Sorry dude. I lost you. I am talking about the d-pad of the 8bit do controllers. I have no idea how your post relates to that at all. Now you're talking about "It’s a bigger issue for high-level players of certain kinds of games where accuracy is key." I hope you don't mean I am not skilled enough to perceive a difference. I have half a dozen Arcade sticks, and about 30 different controllers from Genesis originals, Saturn originals, fightpads of all sorts, older hori fighting pads, moderns fightpads etc...

 

I did clearly say, it's easier to get diagonals with the 8bitdo controller, but it isn't that bad. Now again, why it's a bigger issue to some people and not to other I'm not sure, but I can play fine with the 8bitdo controller and get the inputs I want. MY 6 years old daughter can also play yoshi's island with this controller, I have been watching her play the game, and she's doing just fine. In yoshi's island if you press diagonal down you'lll crouch. If you press diagonal up yoshi will throw his tongue up instead of forward. She doesn't have an issue with that at all. She eats fowrard as intended and doesn't croutch when she doesn't want to.

 

I'll say this again and for the last time. It is my personal experience with the 8bitdo controllers, that it is much easier to get diagonals on them. I do get an unwanted diagonal now and then if I'm not careful, but overall the controller is precise and works as intended. I can see some people would have more issues with it depending on their grip, how they like applying pressure on the d-pad etc... I also ask myself wether there are discreppancies between controllers.

 

Of course, there is one last thing that needs to be said: When you want to play a game well, you need to get a pad and get used to it. You need to practice on that pad till you master it. If what you want is get really good, alternating between the 8bitdo controllers and SNES controllers is a bad idea. They feel very different, and switching between them will most likely throw you off your game.

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Part 2 of my Analogue Mini Review is uploading. It's all about the jailbreak where I discuss the origins of this mysterious firmware, demonstrate the SAV bug, and scanlines not showing up when loading ROMs. Still a lot to love about this added little feature...

 

Sorry but it's late and my DSL uplink is slow as molasses. Currently at 65% but it's taken hours to get this far and I'm not waiting around for the video to finish uploading...

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Analogue could release a much better product at that price point.

 

Only outputting 720p is a huge limitation when so many people have 1080p displays.

 

 

Modern displays are very good at displaying 720p still, the limitation is rather lack of extra features like analog out and the extra cores/jb firmware.

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Modern displays are very good at displaying 720p still, the limitation is rather lack of extra features like analog out and the extra cores/jb firmware.

 

Nothing displays 720p really well other than 4K displays (there are no 720p displays in the consumer market, they are all 768p). And 480p isn't integer scaled on any consumer flat panel display, nor is 240p.

 

But agreed, Analogue hasn't really hit the NES market yet at an 'affordable' price let alone the JB cores.

 

(I'm speaking as an Analogue NT Mini owner, but I have a lot of disposable income)

Edited by Beer Monkey

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Modern displays are very good at displaying 720p still, the limitation is rather lack of extra features like analog out and the extra cores/jb firmware.

Lack of a good horizontal interpolation option is a bigger detriment than 720p IMO. I'd still recommend 720p 3x over 1080p 4.5x on the NT or Super NT however.

 

AVS 3x3 pixel aspect is too narrow and 4x3 pixel aspect is too wide. 3.5x3 is acceptable (barely) but the quarter increments all look like ass.

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(I'm speaking as an Analogue NT Mini owner, but I have a lot of disposable income)

 

Prices getting high on these.

Anyone knows if Analogue are going to make another run of these minis?

 

https://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_from=R40&_nkw=analogue+nt+mini&_in_kw=1&_ex_kw=&_sacat=0&LH_Sold=1&_udlo=&_udhi=&_samilow=&_samihi=&_sadis=15&_stpos=&_sargn=-1%26saslc%3D1&_salic=1&_sop=12&_dmd=1&_ipg=50&LH_Complete=1

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Modern displays are very good at displaying 720p still, the limitation is rather lack of extra features like analog out and the extra cores/jb firmware.

 

At a minimum a reduced cost Nt Mini would undoubtedly offer:

 

1080p with 5x vertical by 6x horizontal for screen filling image with 1.2 pixel aspect

Menu that can be brought up/tweaked while in-game

Custom palette loading off sd card

Compatibility with Analogue's upcoming DAC

Additional audio/video customization

Improved interpolation capability of Super Nt

And almost certainly the ability to play roms off SD card with better compatibility than the $120 Everdrive N8

Edited by cacophony
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TV will approximate, pick the next closest color. Like color banding.

 

They usually clip it actually. They treat level 16 as the darkest, and 235 as the brightest, and any shades that come out of the console outside of the 16-235 level will be indistinguishable. This is most noticeable on the low brightness range, where the darkest shades in the game will all become actual black. This is called "black crushing".

 

This is happening already on limited-range-only screens. Kevtris changing the HDMI flags to make screens read SNT as a "computer" source only fixes it for full-range capable screens that read those flags, it does not break it (or change it at all) for limited-range-only screens.

 

To allow limited-range screens to show the game's full brightness range, a new option would need to be added to SNT to compress the 0-255 range into 16-235. I realized today that such an option might be easier to employ using substitution tables rather than doing math ,0 in = 16 out, 2 in = 17 out... etc, simply dropping a shade from the output every 36 levels so that the table ends up at 255 in = 235 out. That's a bit dirty because of dropping shades in the output. Maybe a different method could be used employing dithering, so that the full range is approximated in limited range more smoothly.

 

I'm really talking out of my ass though, I don't program anything, let alone FPGAs. Kevtris would know how to do it best.

 

As an aside, I think it's absurd that screens exist in this day and age that only support limited range. Even OG Super Nintendo was full range, many classic consoles were, and decades later, we have digital screens that can't display that full range. Ridiculous.

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Got a HiDef NES question.

Since the Q1 should be removed and just bridged, are there a composite amp in the interposer?

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I'm happy to hear Kevtris is going to work on improving the scanlines. I think they look good, but maybe a bit too "perfect".

I wonder if there is a way to add a filter which makes the Super Nt look a bit more like a CRT.

 

For example, if you look at this image of Super Mario World running on a Sony Wega, via the excellent HD Retrovision YPbPr Component cable, you'll see some very small vertical "slices", along with the horizontal black lines. It would be neat if this could be replicated.

 

SNES-SMW-CRT-04-vgo.jpg

 

 

And compare to Super Mario World on the Super Nt (1080p, 5x, interpolation off, scanlines @200)

AnalogueSuperNt-vgo-20.jpg

 

 

 

 

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No artificial scan lines ever seem to represent that element, unfortunately. It's one reason why I never take advantage of them, since it doesn't really ever look like how a CRT does to my eyes.

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They usually clip it actually. They treat level 16 as the darkest, and 235 as the brightest, and any shades that come out of the console outside of the 16-235 level will be indistinguishable. This is most noticeable on the low brightness range, where the darkest shades in the game will all become actual black. This is called "black crushing".

 

As an aside, I think it's absurd that screens exist in this day and age that only support limited range. Even OG Super Nintendo was full range, many classic consoles were, and decades later, we have digital screens that can't display that full range. Ridiculous.

Is there an easy way to determine whether my tv supports full range or not? And can it be corrected by adjusting brightness and/or contrast?

 

No artificial scan lines ever seem to represent that element, unfortunately. It's one reason why I never take advantage of them, since it doesn't really ever look like how a CRT does to my eyes.

 

The scanlines still add much needed texture to the image. The so-called vertical scanlines are really just the rgb domains in the crt mask which show up on brightly colored backgrounds. Many hd monitors have these too, but are too small to see.

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I'm happy to hear Kevtris is going to work on improving the scanlines. I think they look good, but maybe a bit too "perfect".

I wonder if there is a way to add a filter which makes the Super Nt look a bit more like a CRT.

 

For example, if you look at this image of Super Mario World running on a Sony Wega, via the excellent HD Retrovision YPbPr Component cable, you'll see some very small vertical "slices", along with the horizontal black lines. It would be neat if this could be replicated.

 

SNES-SMW-CRT-04-vgo.jpg

 

 

And compare to Super Mario World on the Super Nt (1080p, 5x, interpolation off, scanlines @200)

AnalogueSuperNt-vgo-20.jpg

 

 

 

 

Nice CRT man! I have a flat Sony CRT too, but it's been serving general TV duty for my mom for the last couple decades. I think it's held up well though. I also have one of the "cylindrical" ones in storage.

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For example, if you look at this image of Super Mario World running on a Sony Wega, via the excellent HD Retrovision YPbPr Component cable, you'll see some very small vertical "slices", along with the horizontal black lines. It would be neat if this could be replicated.

 

That's an aperture grille set, as opposed to a shadow mask or slot mask, which each lend their respective 'looks' to an image due to their different structure of color triads.

 

 

No artificial scan lines ever seem to represent that element, unfortunately. It's one reason why I never take advantage of them, since it doesn't really ever look like how a CRT does to my eyes.

Scanlines can look awesome. Super NT improves on NT Mini and is going to improve further.

Edited by Beer Monkey
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Love the SuperNt, simply the best option to play my cartridges on a modern display. :)

 

I may have found a minor bug with Zelda. Using the JB firmware and the NTSC Zelda rom from the SmokeMonster pack, if you exit and re-enter the house at the beginning there is severe graphical corruption or just a black screen and you must restart the game. I can't confirm with the real cart because I have the PAL version - this and the PAL rom are fine.

Edited by paulrobinbrown

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I'm now trying settings slightly different from my previous recommendation:

 

Resolution: 1080p60

Width: 6x (1536)

Height: 5x (1200)

Vertical position: 45

Scaling: No scaling, both horizontal and vertical interpolation disabled

Scanlines: Hybrid, depth 30

 

Again, this is on a 1080p display set to no overscan (1:1 pixel mapping). This provides an image that's super sharp because it's an integer multiplier in both directions and interpolation is disabled entirely. It's less of a stretch than 1600 horizontal, which might make it more palatable to those who consider 4:3 "incorrect", but don't like the interpolation required at 1462 ("4:3 for 16:9 displays"). There are 4 "scanlines" cropped at the top and 5 at the bottom, which cuts off nothing meaningful in any game I've tested.

 

I find this to be a great setting for those who want a sharp image that fills as much screen real estate as possible without looking stretchy. I'd take a pic, but the only camera I have is my iPhone and it does a lousy job at capturing plasma cells :/

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So I was testing/playing some games and something came to mind.

 

In games without SRAM or have No Battery, how trivial would it be to have an alternative to a cheat menu be a way to preserve high-scores or even progress in certain games that are controlled by passwords?

 

Like the Tetris game in the Dr.Mario/Tetris, it saves your high scores on reset, but not on power off. Not like a save state (which saves everything, and requires more space.) eg 7E1E30-7E1E6D appears to be the high score table in Tetris.

 

Obviously someone would need to use a debugger to actually find the addresses, but once found they could be stored as a CSV file on the SD card. This seems more like a thing to do with the SD2SNES, but could also be entered as it's own type of game genie/pro action reply type of code, where instead of "patching" the memory, you preserve a specific address and size, and "save on reset/save-on-change/restore on cold boot/restore-after-boot/restore-upon-first read to address." Like with the Tetris game I watched the addresses, and the actual high score table is only manipulated when it's changed, so it could theoretically just be written at any point before the it's read, or it could just be straight up over written at any time before the game over.

 

Anyway that would be an interesting way to extend a feature that would otherwise only be useful for cheats.

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That's an aperture grille set, as opposed to a shadow mask or slot mask, which each lend their respective 'looks' to an image due to their different structure of color triads.

 

 

Scanlines can look awesome. Super NT improves on NT Mini and is going to improve further.

 

I really disagree on the SNT scanlines being an improvement on anything. As said before, they're simply broken in 1080p mode. For example, these are shots of my SNT and my Super Famicom JR via OSSC both on the same TV. Both at exactly the same scale (x5) and same ratio of 8:7. The OSSC does the scanlines correctly, scaling them by x5 along with the image. Super NT does not, and keeps them at 1px resulting an uneven image and out of proportion scanlines:

 

OSSC:

OSSC2

SNT:

SNT2

OSSC:

OSSC3

SNT:

SNT3

It's most obvious around the text, at the top of each letter. See how the OSSC's scanlines are absolutely in proportion whereas the SNT are at odds with the lettering? That's because they aren't being scaled correctly along with the image. The OSSC does it correctly - the Super NT does not. The OSSC's scanlines mimic how my JVC CRT looks:

 

DSC 0031

 

whereas the SNT's look...well, they look shit. Sorry. They don't replicate CRT scanlines, they aren't correctly proportioned and they actually are significantly worse than the NT Mini implementation. I can't see how anyone could read my post, look at the images, and not agree with me on this.

 

Until this is fixed, I simply can't reccomend the Super NT over my OSSC in 1080p mode. The inaccurate colours on the Super NT (evident in the shots above) are another issue entirely and very disappointing, but at least I know that's being sorted. The Super NT's scanline implementation right now is downright inadequate, and suffers from the same issues as the Framemeister in 1080p mode.

Edited by richisawesome

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Love the SuperNt, simply the best option to play my cartridges on a modern display. :)

 

I may have found a minor bug with Zelda. Using the JB firmware and the NTSC Zelda rom from the SmokeMonster pack, if you exit and re-enter the house at the beginning there is severe graphical corruption or just a black screen and you must restart the game. I can't confirm with the real cart because I have the PAL version - this and the PAL rom are fine.

 

NTSC Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past cart works fine here on 4.1 non-JB firmware.

 

I can replicate the crash on the SD2SNES however. Once.

 

Edit: Got it on video.

 

Here (This is on the SNT)

 

https://mega.nz/#!x2QghQaA!Fy2Eymnr4QgFfmbS_fMQxsiruNMe3xCeVf2ebGhUtDU

 

Steps to replicate:

1. Erase any save games

2. Reset

3. Create new game in slot 1

4. When you leave the house, hold up before the transition starts

5. SNT SNES core will crash

 

The SNT can still be told to run the cartridge again. The only times I've been able to replicate this is from the SD2SNES when there was no previous save game, and I suspect it might involve slot 1, as when I tried it on my real cart, I used slot 3 and could not replicate it. I'll move the save game around on the real cart and erase the first slot and see if that does it, but I have a feeling it might actually be the empty save that is responsible for it.

 

Edit: I tried three more times with the real cart on the SuperNT and I can not replicate it.

PCB I have is SHVC-1A3B-13 with

SNS-ZL-0

LH53820B

9223 E

if anyone else wants to compare PCB versions to see if there is another version of the cart.

I'll note the shell label has SNS-ZL-CAN on it. But Canadian versions of most software simply came with Bilingual manuals.

Edited by Kismet

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I really disagree on the SNT scanlines being an improvement on anything. As said before, they're simply broken in 1080p mode. For example, these are shots of my SNT and my Super Famicom JR via OSSC both on the same TV. Both at exactly the same scale (x5) and same ratio of 8:7. The OSSC does the scanlines correctly, scaling them by x5 along with the image. Super NT does not, and keeps them at 1px resulting an uneven image and out of proportion scanlines:

 

OSSC:

 

SNT:

 

OSSC:

 

SNT:

 

 

It's most obvious around the text, at the top of each letter. See how the OSSC's scanlines are absolutely in proportion whereas the SNT are at odds with the lettering? That's because they aren't being scaled correctly along with the image. The OSSC does it correctly - the Super NT does not. The OSSC's scanlines mimic how my JVC CRT looks:

 

 

 

whereas the SNT's look...well, they look shit. Sorry. They don't replicate CRT scanlines, they aren't correctly proportioned and they actually are significantly worse than the NT Mini implementation. I can't see how anyone could read my post, look at the images, and not agree with me on this.

 

Until this is fixed, I simply can't reccomend the Super NT over my OSSC in 1080p mode. The inaccurate colours on the Super NT (evident in the shots above) are another issue entirely and very disappointing, but at least I know that's being sorted. The Super NT's scanline implementation right now is downright inadequate, and suffers from the same issues as the Framemeister in 1080p mode.

 

The Super Nt scanlines look perfectly even for me. Using 5x, 1080p. Something must be off on your settings.

Here is a sample, which by the way, I can't see your images. It says I don't have permission for some reason.

 

1080p/60fps, 5x, no interpolation, scanlines:200, no gamma boost:

 

SuperNt-SF2-vgo-01.jpg

 

And just for comparison's sake, here is Street Fighter 2 Turbo on my Sony Wega CRT

SNES-SF2-CRT-01-vgo.jpg

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blimey, they are a bit pricey now!

 

Amazing system though, love mine. Been playing with the Super NT a couple of days and it really is very good, however I do think the NT Mini is in a different league (right now). The leap from a standard NES to NT Mini is far greater than a SNES to Super NT as the SNES had pretty good RGB to start with, I think Analogue realised this from the start, hence the lower price. The Cores on the NT Mini are the icing on he cake, it is my main gaming console that is always ready to play on my main TV, love playing Gameboy Colour Tetris DX and Atari 2600 games look amazing, feel like a can finally play them properly.

 

My opinion might change if the 8 bit cores are released for the Super NT but without them the NT Mini is worth the extra retail price (maybe even the $1000 they are going ebay for).

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