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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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You'd think somebody would capitalize on the niche market for CRTs and produce some new premium analog CRTs aimed at retro gamers.

IIRC there was a business case looked into for this, and a 19" would cost about $2200.00 in retrogamer quantities. There's lots of specialized and large equipment that would need to be designed and built from scratch.

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Just my own opinion here: I don't know if it's been done already, but a "modern remake" of the Sega CD should simply be an emulation box with a big hard disk. It would come with a few titles built-in, but you could install more Sega CD games on the hard disk by purchasing/downloading them from a central server. I'm assuming the Sega CD (just like the 32X) is a rather complex machine, so going the software emulation route seems like the most cost-effective way, compared to the long development time required to do it via an FPGA. I could even say the same about the 32X, given the hardware's complexity.

 

The point is, if classic software emulation can provide a good enough experience for either the Sega CD or the 32X, then why insist on an FPGA implementation?

 

Of course, the Genesis can be done with today's FPGA (there's a good chance the Super NT can support a Genesis core as it is now) so my point concerns more complex hardware, and our desire to play the particular games on those platforms.

They already have that, it's called a computer.

 

And we prefer a solution that can support actual hardware or better yet a fpga replacement because it is more accurate. Kevtris offers 100% accuracy so why settle for "good enough"? (Also many things about Sega CD emulation do not reach what I would call any resemblance of the words "good enough")

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Just my own opinion here: I don't know if it's been done already, but a "modern remake" of the Sega CD should simply be an emulation box with a big hard disk. It would come with a few titles built-in, but you could install more Sega CD games on the hard disk by purchasing/downloading them from a central server. I'm assuming the Sega CD (just like the 32X) is a rather complex machine, so going the software emulation route seems like the most cost-effective way, compared to the long development time required to do it via an FPGA. I could even say the same about the 32X, given the hardware's complexity.

 

The point is, if classic software emulation can provide a good enough experience for either the Sega CD or the 32X, then why insist on an FPGA implementation?

 

Of course, the Genesis can be done with today's FPGA (there's a good chance the Super NT can support a Genesis core as it is now) so my point concerns more complex hardware, and our desire to play the particular games on those platforms.

Xbox will play sega cd games through software emulation. Either off the harddrive or actual discs if I recall correctly. Pretty much every console can be software emulated but the whole point of fpga is to emulate on a hardware level. Snes emulation is at a "good enough" level but here we all are. Heck, people like Byuu argue that Higan is better than Super NT or at the very least the same quality level yet look how much we all like the Super NT.

 

 

You'd think somebody would capitalize on the niche market for CRTs and produce some new premium analog CRTs aimed at retro gamers.

 

Never going to happen. The masses have spoken and they want cheap lcds. It doesn't matter if one format is superior or not. Cheapness will always win. Lcd vs plasma, vhs vs beta max, etc. Heck the premium tv market is smaller than ever.

Edited by Shadowgate

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Just my own opinion here: I don't know if it's been done already, but a "modern remake" of the Sega CD should simply be an emulation box with a big hard disk. It would come with a few titles built-in, but you could install more Sega CD games on the hard disk by purchasing/downloading them from a central server. I'm assuming the Sega CD (just like the 32X) is a rather complex machine, so going the software emulation route seems like the most cost-effective way, compared to the long development time required to do it via an FPGA. I could even say the same about the 32X, given the hardware's complexity.

 

The point is, if classic software emulation can provide a good enough experience for either the Sega CD or the 32X, then why insist on an FPGA implementation?

 

Of course, the Genesis can be done with today's FPGA (there's a good chance the Super NT can support a Genesis core as it is now) so my point concerns more complex hardware, and our desire to play the particular games on those platforms.

...with a USB port for an external CD-ROM. Even if it can’t play directly off it, you should be able to dump from it. It’s the feature I want most from Open PS2 Loader, since so many HDD-capable PS2s have bad disc drives (would basically make them useful as PS2s again).

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it was because ROM chips were expensive. Compressing the graphics saved lots of space, and thus money.

I know that was part of it, but I was under the impression that there was also a technical limit on rom size for the SNES that the decompression chip served as a workaround for.

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...with a USB port for an external CD-ROM. Even if it can’t play directly off it, you should be able to dump from it. It’s the feature I want most from Open PS2 Loader, since so many HDD-capable PS2s have bad disc drives (would basically make them useful as PS2s again).

 

People keep floating the idea of a USB CD-ROM for a FPGA console are missing the part of the equation that the SegaCD is it's own computer that operates in parallel.

 

Even the CDX is basically just a Sega MD with the CD chips on the same board, no cost reduction. There's at least 24 chips not including the power board. Like assuming you could stick all the chips in one FPGA, you're still left with no viable drive to read discs with it. It's not as simple as "toss any old drive at it"

Edited by Kismet
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Just go my Super NT. Loving it! I also have a modded Super Famicom with a SuperCIC mod.

 

One limitation of the Super NT is that it doesn't detect the region automatically like the SuperCIC mod does. Kevtris, I suppose you're already implementing the CIC lock. Would it be possible to automatically switch PAL vs NTSC based on the cartridge?

 

Even better: if SuperCIC pair mode could be implemented, then with a SD2SNES, the console could automatically switch between PAL/NTSC based on the region of the game.

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IIRC there was a business case looked into for this, and a 19" would cost about $2200.00 in retrogamer quantities. There's lots of specialized and large equipment that would need to be designed and built from scratch.

That's not that bad assuming it's comparable to the Sony PVMs of yore. $2200 is a lot better than priceless and unattainable.

 

Heck, I paid $1300 for an LCD that gets about as close to CRT as they currently can get. It's a 27 inch Eizo Foris.

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I'm aware the connectors are the same, I was talking about size the entire time, that is why I mentioned the extender. Also if a full fpga sega cd replacement gets made that shouldn't be an issue because they will hopefully keep in mind the console that has to sit on top of it and size the replacement unit accordingly. It would be pretty crazy to intentionally design it not to sit the console properly on top of it.

 

Gotcha, so just a cosmetic preference. I agree that there's no need to make a Genesis FPGA that's the size of the Model 1 Genesis just so it can sit on top of a Model 1 Sega CD.

 

I don't know if you've seen the SSDS3, but it's rather small. A Genesis FPGA/Sega CD FPGA pairing wouldn't necessarily need to be stacked. They could probably fit comfortably side by side, although I will say that having a stacked setup would definitely appeal more to my sense of nostalgia. I just love the look of the Model 1 units stacked.

 

My main point is that preserving the CD-ROM drive isn't necessary. Disc collectors could rip their games to bin/cue on an SD card and play the games directly from there. The SSDS3 is absolutely brilliant at this; load times are much faster than the original hardware and the delays you normally hear on CD games when the music track changes are gone.

Edited by thirdkind

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That's not that bad assuming it's comparable to the Sony PVMs of yore. $2200 is a lot better than priceless and unattainable.

 

At that price, I'd expect something closer to a BVM. You can get a really clean 19"-20" PVM for far less than $2200.

 

I have a PVM-20L5, and I have to say that after getting the settings dialed in on my Nt Mini and Super Nt, I have no desire to go back to my CRT. I still have my Genesis/Sega CD and SuperGrafx hooked up to it because my plasma doesn't play nice with the OSSC, but if they're ever replaced by FPGA versions, I'd have no problem dropping the tube (figuratively).

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People keep floating the idea of a USB CD-ROM for a FPGA console are missing the part of the equation that the SegaCD is it's own computer that operates in parallel.

 

Even the CDX is basically just a Sega MD with the CD chips on the same board, no cost reduction. There's at least 24 chips not including the power board. Like assuming you could stick all the chips in one FPGA, you're still left with no viable drive to read discs with it. It's not as simple as "toss any old drive at it"

I wasn’t suggesting an FPGA Sega CD or CDX that could play directly off of the disc. I am definitely familiar with the complexity and feasibility of it and it doesn’t sound like Kevtris is even considering it. All I’m saying is that if someone were to do it that I’d like to see a function to dump original discs to the internal storage (SD card) so that there is some semblance of the old functionality. Heck, it can even be temporary storage, like RetroN5. The jailbroken Nt Mini does this for NES/Famicom games (built-in CopyNES function). HD Loader and OPL can rip from the PS2 console’s original drive to run/copy ISOs from USB. They really only need a USB optical drive... driver to make dumping directly from a USB DVD drive feasible.

 

Since I’m working PS2 HDD loaders like OPL into the discussion, it’s clear that I’m just generally promoting the idea and not deluding myself about an FPGA Sega CDX or Sega CD. I’d like to see a feature like that in SSDSys3 or UpperGrafx/UperGrafx too (port TurboRip! ;)). If an FPGA Sega CDX or Sega CD did exist then it really wouldn’t be a stretch to add USB disc dumping. They are standard CDs with no protection. Heck, even PS2 DVD games don’t have any protection other than the console identifying them as copies and refusing to execute them (change the flag to DVD movie and execute with a hacked DVD player like ESR ;)). Point is, if it’s possible to execute from a CD image at all like SSDSys3 and UpperGrafx UGX-02, it’s definitely feasible for an FPGA with an ARM CPU to dump discs over USB and then configure the core to execute from the dump.

 

 

Gotcha, so just a cosmetic preference. I agree that there's no need to make a Genesis FPGA that's the size of the Model 1 Genesis just so it can sit on top of a Model 1 Sega CD.

 

I don't know if you've seen the SSDS3, but it's rather small. A Genesis FPGA/Sega CD FPGA pairing wouldn't necessarily need to be stacked. They could probably fit comfortably side by side, although I will say that having a stacked setup would definitely appeal more to my sense of nostalgia. I just love the look of the Model 1 units stacked.

 

My main point is that preserving the CD-ROM drive isn't necessary. Disc collectors could rip their games to bin/cue on an SD card and play the games directly from there. The SSDS3 is absolutely brilliant at this; load times are much faster than the original hardware and the delays you normally hear on CD games when the music track changes are gone.

I think that there is value in eliminating the PC from the process of getting actual discs onto the ODE or FPGA console’s storage. iPhones no longer need iTunes to do anything and that was an important part of improving the product. Heck, I use a Bung Multi Xchanger to load N64 ROMs off CD from a PSX to the V64jr 512 just so I don’t have to maintain a PC with a compatible parallel port. For OPL and HD Loader, ripping from disc is FAR more convenient than unscrewing the network adapter, extracting the HDD (likely mounted in a make-shift way), connecting it to a PC, finding a way to power it, and copying the ISOs with special software. Heck, even FTP is a painful option (doesn’t work with the non-Network HDD-only adapters they make these days). I have a “phat” PS2 kiosk and getting the HDD out to change games is a nightmare. Even accessing the disc drive or USB port is a pain. I guess I can find a way to connect a USB thumb drive externally but I’d still love to be able to change games on a whim when someone wants to play something from my shelf that isn’t on the PS2 and hasn’t been ripped to my PC.

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Hey all. Came across this small graphical glitch in Donkey Kong Country in an early stage called Barrel Cannon Canyon in the first area. While I've played this game a few times on real hardware and emulators over the years, I don't really remember if this is something that existed on the original hardware. Here's an, admittedly pretty low-quality off-screen screenshot:

 

https://i.imgur.com/KxV7yi9.jpg

 

It looks like there is some kind of transparency issue on a few tiles in the entrance cave at the very start of the level. When you move around you can see it's the background layer because it parallax scrolls. It's not a big deal really, but it was something that I noticed in this play-through that I've never noticed before. Is this a glitch that exists on regular hardware?

 

US Donkey Kong Country, played off cartridge.

Area 1, "Barrel Cannon Canyon", Start.

Super NT firmware JB6.

Edited by katanaswordfish

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That's not that bad assuming it's comparable to the Sony PVMs of yore. $2200 is a lot better than priceless and unattainable.

 

Heck, I paid $1300 for an LCD that gets about as close to CRT as they currently can get. It's a 27 inch Eizo Foris.

 

Which model of the Eizo Foris and what makes it so close to CRT?

Edited by zeroG

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I wasn’t suggesting an FPGA Sega CD or CDX that could play directly off of the disc. I am definitely familiar with the complexity and feasibility of it and it doesn’t sound like Kevtris is even considering it. All I’m saying is that if someone were to do it that I’d like to see a function to dump original discs to the internal storage (SD card) so that there is some semblance of the old functionality. Heck, it can even be temporary storage, like RetroN5. The jailbroken Nt Mini does this for NES/Famicom games (built-in CopyNES function). HD Loader and OPL can rip from the PS2 console’s original drive to run/copy ISOs from USB. They really only need a USB optical drive... driver to make dumping directly from a USB DVD drive feasible.

 

 

I think the problem here is still that you can't take an off-the-shelf cd/dvd drive and rip things. Like even just to rip the PS1 games back in 1997 you needed a specific SCSI cd-rom that could read the subcode, and you still needed a mod-chip in the console because it would fail the region check due to that part of the disc not being readable. With the Sega CD discs apparently there simply is no check at all. But that still doesn't mean you can just plug a drive in and off it goes.

 

Ideally, you just make something a little similar to bin/wav/cue dump, except have it store the actual disc layout (eg file system / audio tracks ) so that the game can play the audio asynchronously, or you can play the game's audio without running the game. Or even sub it out.

Edited by Kismet

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You'd think somebody would capitalize on the niche market for CRTs and produce some new premium analog CRTs aimed at retro gamers.

I think until recently crts were still manufactured in 2nd world developing countries. However crts ard no longer legal for import into the united states, nor do manufacturing facilities exist here. The actual reason for the ban is lead from the tubes leeching into the environment. So far resale of nos or used is still permitted but no new sets have been manufactured since the dtv transition. For a brief period, crts with atsc digital tuners were available for sale. The smaller ones just downsampled the dtv to standard definition where as the nicer ones output 1080i.
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I think that there is value in eliminating the PC from the process of getting actual discs onto the ODE or FPGA console’s storage. iPhones no longer need iTunes to do anything and that was an important part of improving the product. Heck, I use a Bung Multi Xchanger to load N64 ROMs off CD from a PSX to the V64jr 512 just so I don’t have to maintain a PC with a compatible parallel port. For OPL and HD Loader, ripping from disc is FAR more convenient than unscrewing the network adapter, extracting the HDD (likely mounted in a make-shift way), connecting it to a PC, finding a way to power it, and copying the ISOs with special software. Heck, even FTP is a painful option (doesn’t work with the non-Network HDD-only adapters they make these days). I have a “phat” PS2 kiosk and getting the HDD out to change games is a nightmare. Even accessing the disc drive or USB port is a pain. I guess I can find a way to connect a USB thumb drive externally but I’d still love to be able to change games on a whim when someone wants to play something from my shelf that isn’t on the PS2 and hasn’t been ripped to my PC.

 

I'm not really following the iPhone comparison since we're talking about transferring owned physical media to an SD card, but still, there's nothing I see in those other approaches that sounds as simple as putting a CD in a drive, ripping it, and moving it to the SD card. Maybe the external approach you suggested makes sense though. Regardless, I only put it in those terms to be polite; you and I both know hardly anyone will be filling those SD cards with CDs they ripped from their own collection. That's why I think any kind of a drive in the product itself increases costs, decreases longevity, and won't be used by most people.

Edited by thirdkind
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Gotcha, so just a cosmetic preference. I agree that there's no need to make a Genesis FPGA that's the size of the Model 1 Genesis just so it can sit on top of a Model 1 Sega CD.

 

I don't know if you've seen the SSDS3, but it's rather small. A Genesis FPGA/Sega CD FPGA pairing wouldn't necessarily need to be stacked. They could probably fit comfortably side by side, although I will say that having a stacked setup would definitely appeal more to my sense of nostalgia. I just love the look of the Model 1 units stacked.

 

My main point is that preserving the CD-ROM drive isn't necessary. Disc collectors could rip their games to bin/cue on an SD card and play the games directly from there. The SSDS3 is absolutely brilliant at this; load times are much faster than the original hardware and the delays you normally hear on CD games when the music track changes are gone.

I think right now the intent is to get it working with an actual sega cd regardless of if a fpga one gets implemented in the future so the console would probably be designed with stacking in mind. I would be totally down with a fpga implemintation that was just a "_|" shape on the side and saved a ton of space. I don't think Analogue has any interest in making a stand alone Sega CD fpga module (although they might if they make a fpga Genesis) but maybe the SSD3 guys would take that mantel up. After all I'm fairly certain that of the cd based consoles without internal harddrives to exploit everything other than the Sega CD, Neo Geo CD, Atari Jaguar CD, and CD-I have been covered and the Sega CD definitely sold the most units out of those choices.

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I wasnt using anything from apple when it happened to me. Looks like both Great Hierophant and I made it happen by unzipping the files directly from the archive to the SD card. As for me I'm using 64 bit windows 10, and WinRAR 5.0 beta 4.

 

e: Windows does that kinda thing too, a thumbs.db had found its way in there. (Oh yeah, probably cause of the adapter schematics)

The metadata files aren't that big of an issue really. You need to have a routine that hides from view anything with an h or s attribute (windows), and any filename that begins with a period (mac, linux).

 

I always unzip my roms directly to the harddrive. I also don't use smokemonster packs; I use no-intro sets, unzip the entire archive using 7zip, then "extract to here" in the event there are more compressed files in the archive. This creates a large folder full of roms, often in the 1000s. I then delete any left over compressed files and copy them into separate folders by alphabet, an 0-9 folder, then a, b, c, and so forth. Some letters like M or S tend to have lots of Roms so i split them into multiple folders. Generally different flashcarts support varyimg amounts of files per folder so I try to keep it under 250. Some letters are more rare than others so I lump uncommon letters together like uvw and xyz.

 

I go through this process once for every system then copy the entire subfolder to the sd card. Windows automatically copies them in alphabetical order, so flash carts that cannot sort files by name will still display them in order on the menu.

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Just my own opinion here: I don't know if it's been done already, but a "modern remake" of the Sega CD should simply be an emulation box with a big hard disk. It would come with a few titles built-in, but you could install more Sega CD games on the hard disk by purchasing/downloading them from a central server. I'm assuming the Sega CD (just like the 32X) is a rather complex machine, so going the software emulation route seems like the most cost-effective way, compared to the long development time required to do it via an FPGA. I could even say the same about the 32X, given the hardware's complexity.The point is, if classic software emulation can provide a good enough experience for either the Sega CD or the 32X, then why insist on an FPGA implementation?Of course, the Genesis can be done with today's FPGA (there's a good chance the Super NT can support a Genesis core as it is now) so my point concerns more complex hardware, and our desire to play the particular games on those platforms.

The whole point of doing an fpga console remake is to replace failing hardware, whether the console itself or analog display tech. Genesis/megadrive sold 30m units and was fairly robudg and reliable. Sega CD about 2m and the mechzni al drives break and lasers wear out. Much of the cd units existing are poorly maintained. 32x sold terribly and needs an analog rgb output.

 

If an fpga genesis is created, that supports the base system plus sms games, that would be terrific. How much cost does it require to add the expansion port for a cd drive? How many people would use it? How much would it cost to add a genesis 2 analog out connector for 32x support? Bear in mind that no solution exists short of an expensive upscaler for converting the 32x output to hdmi. At that point, you may as well keep the stock Genesis hooked up.

 

On the cd front, adding an expansion port for cd units still will not allieviate issues with disc drives breaking down. Genesis likely will need to drop a cpu cycle here and there to stay in sync with modern hdmi output. Will this break compatibility with the scd? Who knows? Perhaps a drive replacement solution for sega cd will come about, but it won't be from analogue. Replacing the drive altogether with a dcrom would require a massive fpga and added expense of a new drive. And sd loading of disc imsges out of the box goes against analogue's stance of providing legal clone hardware.

 

Nevermind jailbreak firmwares with extra cores and what not. Officially it is not supported.

 

I'm just concerned that if they add a slot for the sega cd and rgb output for the 32x, and design the console around such festures, it will increase the price and place it outside many gamers' budgets, especially guys like me who only want the base console and have no need for extra gadgetry. But not including support will disappoint hardcore fans. Still I feel like this is a situation where they would sell more units by streamlining it and putting cost over features.

 

The Super NT hardware (with genesis cart slot and controller ports) could support Genesis plus sms/gg easily through an adapter or, they add an sms cart slot at low cost, similar to the nt mini with nes and famicom slots. I would easily pay $200 for a Sega genesis / sms fpga console. I most likely would not pay $300 or more for one with sega cd / 32x add-on support.

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Just renewed my membership to AtariAge ... it feels good and I get to pester around for another year ;-)

 

I saw a few new faces in this thread, why don't you subscribe to AtariAge? It's 30US$ for 1Y and you'll feel so much better being able to edit your old posts way past that meager 1H (retro-edit I call it) and you can even suppress that "edited by ...." little note when you do so ("amirite?" I call it) ... anyhow AtariAge is a great community (don't let me, myself and I make you believe otherwise) and as you can see it's not just about Atari, and if kevtris chose to have his own thread on it and be a subscriber there's gotta be a reason ... the guy is a genius for crying out loud ... so as Nike commercials say "Just Do It."

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Just renewed my membership to AtariAge ... it feels good and I get to pester around for another year ;-)

 

I saw a few new faces in this thread, why don't you subscribe to AtariAge? It's 30US$ for 1Y and you'll feel so much better being able to edit your old posts way past that meager 1H (retro-edit I call it) and you can even suppress that "edited by ...." little note when you do so ("amirite?" I call it) ... anyhow AtariAge is a great community (don't let me, myself and I make you believe otherwise) and as you can see it's not just about Atari, and if kevtris chose to have his own thread on it and be a subscriber there's gotta be a reason ... the guy is a genius for crying out loud ... so as Nike commercials say "Just Do It."

I've thought about it, but so far I've only participated in this thread.

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I'm not really following the iPhone comparison since we're talking about transferring owned physical media to an SD card,

The iPhone comparison was talking about how useful and essential it is for many devices to operate without ever requiring a PC. For years you could only activate an iPhone from a PC. You could only back it up from a PC. You could only put music on it from a PC. If you don’t think that was holding it back, you’re crazy! Now you can activate it straight from the device and it would be insane to force a user to install software and connect to a PC before they could activate service (or even use it without service!).

 

Eliminating the PC and special software from the process of ripping your games would not be terribly difficult. Heck, considering that most of the functionality is in Linux makes it super-easy to integrate into an ARM core device. CopyNES was probably harder to do

 

 

...but still, there's nothing I see in those other approaches that sounds as simple as putting a CD in a drive, ripping it, and moving it to the SD card.

“there's nothing I see in those other approaches that sounds as simple as putting a CD in a drive, ripping it, and moving it to the SD card.”

Uhh, not even ripping it straight to the SD card on the target device without a PC or imaging software? Funny, because involving a whole computer with software that isn’t included seems a lot more complicated to me.

 

 

...you and I both know hardly anyone will be filling those SD cards with CDs they ripped from their own collection.

Not every feature is for every user... just like scanlines. It’s not even “for” filling the SD card anyway, it’s for retaining a certain functionality, namely, the ability to use the games on your shelf.

 

 

That's why I think any kind of a drive in the product itself increases costs, decreases longevity, and won't be used by most people.

The drive wouldn’t be in the product. I was proposing a USB port specifically to use your own drive. In the case of something like HD Loader or OPL, they already have built-in disc ripping and can copy to and from USB thumb drives and the internal HDD. They’d just need to adapt the built-in ripper to a USB drive and get a USB CD/DVD driver running. For SegaCD and TG-CD, an FPGA console or ODE that already has CD image support could very easily add disc ripping.

 

 

I think the problem here is still that you can't take an off-the-shelf cd/dvd drive and rip things. Like even just to rip the PS1 games back in 1997 you needed a specific SCSI cd-rom that could read the subcode, and you still needed a mod-chip in the console because it would fail the region check due to that part of the disc not being readable. With the Sega CD discs apparently there simply is no check at all. But that still doesn't mean you can just plug a drive in and off it goes.

 

Ideally, you just make something a little similar to bin/wav/cue dump, except have it store the actual disc layout (eg file system / audio tracks ) so that the game can play the audio asynchronously, or you can play the game's audio without running the game. Or even sub it out.

Not sure what the exotic copy protections have to do with Sega CD, TG-CD/PCE CD-ROM², and PS2 rips (all easy to pull off with an off-the-shelf USB DVD-ROM drive). That said, any USB DVD-ROM is going to be able to read DAO and rip a PSX game with the right software that knows better than to bail when it hits an unreadable sector. Dreamcast, GameCube, etc: Nope.

 

The problem in 1997 was that non-SCSI CD burners were extremely uncommon and even blanks cost ~$10. The only decent CD burners were SCSI. I don’t think my IDE HP CD burner from 1997 could pull off a PSX rip but that drive didn’t even support 80min 700MB discs (rebranded Sony CRX-100; 650MB 74mim max). A year or two later though and nearly any drive could rip DAO and ignore subchannel errors, and let’s not forget that it doesn’t even require a burner to rip something. That limitation just never existed for proper USB DVD-ROMs.

 

Every rip I’ve ever done was with a plain off-the-shelf drive and only once did I have to resort to a fancy Plextor (a VCD that no other drive could read). Even that was plain old IDE. It takes moments to rip a PS2 game with IMGBurn or a TurboGrafx-CD game with TurboRip, but those formats spanning three decades can be ripped with just about any proper disc imaging software on any modern USB DVD drive and don’t need anything special.

 

Ripping Sega CD games really is as simple as imaging any old mixed-mode CD: just pop it in and make a DAO image using proper imaging software. It’s definitely feasible for clone hardware to include USB CD/DVD ripping function for the platforms we discussed. There is literally nothing more difficult about Sega CD than, say, my old copy of Quake on PC CD-ROM. Pretty much the biggest hurdle with either is that mainstream PC operating systems back then didn’t have built-in imaging software, which was never because they couldn’t... ...and it’s not like that self-imposed limitation applies to a device that was made for it.

Edited by CZroe

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Which model of the Eizo Foris and what makes it so close to CRT?

It's an FS2735, and it has input lag of only about 3ms, independently measured, has a stroboscopic backlight to greatly reduce motion blurring, and doesn't exhibit any ghosting or trailing at all showing 60hz material. The main con is that it actually runs at 120hz when showing 60hz material, so when your eye follows something moving quickly, you see two closely overlaid copies of it, very much like looking at 30hz content on a 60hz CRT back in the day, only not quite that bad, because the double images are only half as far apart as that for any given rate of motion. This motion blur reduction can be turned off, but I found that with it off, the screen is prone to temporary image retention, probably because it actually runs at 60hz that way, and the screen is really engineered to be run much faster than that. I'd rather see two closely overlaid sharp images than a single smeared out one anyways.

 

It's 1440p, but that's a perfect 2x 720p for scanlines.

 

The color accuracy is not perfect, the blue primary in particular hits way too far towards purple, and I think too saturated, but I use an older DVDO iScan Duo processor for it's color management engine to color correct it.

 

I also use the iScan for other things such as zooming/stretching the image, converting chromaticity and video levels, tweaking brightness/contrast/hue/saturation, auto-switching between 8 HDMI inputs and 8 analog inputs which include everything, even in foreign formats like PAL, and an amazing amount of other features. It does all this with less than 8ms additional lag when in game mode, and it seems to be essentially zero lag when in locked source->input framerate mode, a mode that's really cool btw, it will lock HDMI output framerate to whatever an input is, such as the 60.09 from an OG SNES will be passed right through with zero buffering to the monitor at 60.09hz, which the Eizo has no issue with btw. It's scaling of 240p is awful though, awful, I'd deem it useless due to the "ringing". It does a really nice job of 480i/p though, even passes 480i with less than 8ms lag in exchange for a lot more roughness, but it does a shockingly good job, it has some kind of voodoo to keep a very acceptable picture from interlaced video without even a single full frame of buffering.

 

The lag is so low with this setup that I'm able to stop the roulette on all cherries in the American Super Mario Bros 2 at least 10% of the time, and stop at least the first wheel on a cherry half the time, which is about as good as I ever did on a CRT. (The "wheels" in the OG game show one item per frame, and stop instantly when you press the button, so with a quick eye and low lag, you can stop it on what you want).

 

This pair has me in video heaven, for the first time ever, I feel like I'm not trading off anything significant from CRT in using an LCD.

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The iPhone comparison was talking about how useful and essential it is for many devices to operate without ever requiring a PC. For years you could only activate an iPhone from a PC. You could only back it up from a PC. You could only put music on it from a PC. If you don’t think that was holding it back, you’re crazy!

Honestly, no, I don't think iPhone sales or popularity were held back in any meaningful way by this, but I take your point icon_smile.gif It's certainly more convenient to set up your phone without requiring a computer.

 

I agree that a USB port to connect an external drive for playback and potentially ripping straight to SD would be ideal in a Sega CD FPGA.

 

Since I thoroughly enjoy many titles in the Sega CD library, a Genesis FPGA without Sega CD compatibility of some sort wouldn't be very attractive because I'd still need to keep my Model 1 Genesis anyway just to play those games. I know that's a minority opinion, however. I'm sure a Genesis FPGA console would be successful even without Sega CD compatibility.

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Not sure what the exotic copy protections have to do with Sega CD, TG-CD/PCE CD-ROM², and PS2 rips (all easy to pull off with an off-the-shelf USB DVD-ROM drive). That said, any USB DVD-ROM is going to be able to read DAO and rip a PSX game with the right software that knows better than to bail when it hits an unreadable sector. Dreamcast, GameCube, etc: Nope.

 

 

I think maybe you've missed my point, but I'll rephrase it. The software used back in 1997 was early versions of Nero burning rom. You had to use a SCSI drive to both read and write a disc with the subcode. Now tell me, exactly how much more complex this is than copyNES. When you copy a ROM off a cart, you basically do "get address 0x0000, 0x0004, 0x0008, 0x000A, etc" and there is nothing in the way except maybe those darn expansion chips. With a CD-ROM, current models are USB drives which are always just USB bridge chips with EIDE/SATA drives in them. So you need to implement the entire USB subsystem needed to implement UASP or you need to implement all the Mass Storage device drivers.

 

http://www.usb.org/developers/docs/devclass_docs/

 

Like, we're talking about the difference between a memory device (eg a rom or ram storage unit) and "USB attached mass storage device"

 

Maybe there's no point to implementing all this stuff in FPGA. Maybe it's better to just use an off-the-shelf linux SoC, since all these drivers and cruft will be in it already. Then reduce ripping down to the equivalent of a bin/wav/cue image that the FPGA SegaCD sees as simply a file system or audio tracks as if there was a disc.

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